Press Room

No Snake Oil, Just Herbs

By Anna Gamboa Gan
(From Manila Bulletin November 14, 2010 issue)

November 14, 2010, 3:46pm

At first glance, Ruby Cruz seems like any other participant selling herbal remedies at the Megatrade Hall’s event emphasizing organic solutions for health-conscious Filipinos. Eager to have people try their latest product, a dietary supplement called Hydrolean, she chats with visitors sampling the vermillion-colored drink, explaining that the slight itch they feel at the back of their throat is from the ginger extract, while the color of the drink comes from Roselle extract—a natural anti-oxidant that gives the product its cranberry flavor and inhibits the conversion of carbohydrate into fat.

Changing the Face of Philippine Herbalism ─ The Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade

Andalucio docked in Manila, PhilippinesHerbalism in the Philippines, as in much of Southeast Asia, shares a common Indo-Malayan heritage that has been enriched through centuries of trade with China and India. The colonization of the Philippine Islands by Spain starting in the 1600s however considerably changed Filipino folk healing practices as many new exotic plants were introduced in the country, enriching the medicinal chest box of the Filipino arbularyo.

Recycling Waste from Blister Packaging

The use of capsulized herbal products, instead of traditional home made liquid remedies, is rapidly gaining popularity in the Philippines because of the convenience it provides. Because of the limited disposable income of many Filipinos, most consumers prefer small retail-type packaging. This is usually in the form of blister pads or aluminum foils each containing a total of 8 to 12 doses. As in any industry, the use of packaging materials generates considerable quantities of waste products before the product even leaves the plant. For pharmaceutical and nutraceuticals companies, disposing responsibly of this essentially “virgin” waste laminates is a big challenge.

A Maverick In The Medicinal Herb Industry

A one-on-one interview with Herbanext President Philip S. Cruz

By Rose T. Mueda
IFPT-CFOS, University of the Philippines in the Visayas

You are a well known multi-awarded figure in the field of Philippine aquaculture with a Most Outstanding Young Alumnus Award from the University of the Philippines in the Visayas in 1997, and the prestigious The Outstanding Young Men Award (TOYM) in 2005. Why the sudden interest in the very distant field of herb farming and nutraceuticals?

Producing Herbs Through Natural Farming Technology

For over four years now, Herbanext has been using vermicasting with very good results as an organic fertilizer and foliar spray for its various medicinal herbs. Vermicasting is an excellent source of nutrients for organic farming and enhances plant resistance to some diseases caused by insects, nematodes, fungi, and bacteria. It also has an aggregated structure and a high content of humus which improves significantly the soil texture and its water holding capacity.

Certain non-aromatic herbs, however, are particularly attractive to insects and can suffer heavy damaged during summer months where insect infestations tend to be high. To cope up with this problem, Herbanext has adapted Natural Farming technology in its farm. Natural Farming is a relatively new concept of organic farming in the Philippines which originated in Japan and South Korea.

Herbanext Plant Receives Halal Accreditation

With growing consumer appreciation of the high quality standard of halal-certified products, Herbanext in recent months has upgraded its plant operations to be compliant with the equipment, process, and documentation requirements by the Islamic Dawah Council of the Philippines.

Last April 16, 2010, Herbanext plant at Bago City finally received its “Certification of Plant Accreditation” for the manufacture of Halal products. The company is now one of the handful of food supplement companies in the Philippines that satisfies the stringent requirement for the manufacture Halal-certified products. At present, Herbanext manufactures eight halal-certified products consisting of five herbal supplements in capsule form (Ganomax-R, Ganogest, Glucogan, Flamagan, Hepagan), two teas (Salabat-Ginger Tea, Gano Reishi Tea), and one snack food (Banana Chips with Turmeric). These products are now available from its sister company Daily Apple Distributions based in Bacolod City.

International Training Workshop

International Training Workshop on Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms HelIn line with Herbanext’s thrust of advancing production and manufacturing technology of Ganoderma lucidum in the Philippines, Herbanext President and concurrent R&D Head Philip S. Cruz recently attended the “International Training Workshop on Edible and Medicinal Mushroom Production Technology” at the prestigious Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences (SAAS). The comprehensive 13-day training workshop was held from Oct. 31-Nov. 12, 2009 at the SAAS’s Institute of Edible Fungi and Medicinal Mushrooms (IEF).

Herbanext: Nurturing nature's gift for the health of Filipinos

(The Philippine Star) Updated January 11, 2010 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - With today’s increasing demand for natural, plant-based wellness products and alternative medications
, one Filipino company is working for the validation of nature-based medicine by harnessing the healing power of nature with the combined wisdom of Ancient Asian and Filipino curing techniques and advanced scientific methodologies.

Guaranteeing that every product is carefully and systematically produced to provide people with the desired therapeutic or wellness benefit, Herbanext is the brainchild of TOYM awardee, scientist-agriculturist Philip Cruz whose personal interest with the healing potentials of mushrooms, particularly the ganoderma lucidum variety (a polypore mushroom found growing on dead logs in the deepest forests in China), paved the way for the company’s pioneering product, Ganomax R. Together with his colleague, Integrative Medicine physician Dr. Regio Sales, Herbanext later produced other potent medications that form the Gano Defense System: Ganomax 5, Glucogan (for blood circulation), Flamagan (for the control of inflammation/arthritis), Ganogest (for controlling ulcer and digestion problems) and Hepagan (for liver support).

Herbanext obtains Halal Certification for 3 products

Herbanext recently obtained Halal certification for three new unique functional food products it manufactures for Daily Apple Distributions, Inc. These are the Gano-Reishi Tea, Salabat Ginger Tea, and Banana Chips with Turmeric. Gano-Reishi Tea combines the medicinal properties of Ganoderma lucidum fruiting body and mycelia into an immune stimulating and relaxing drink. Salabat Ginger Tea is a health and digestive drink with a twist. It is especially suited for diabetics, using native ginger and the calorie-free natural herb sweetener sweetleaf. Banana Chips with Turmeric on the other hand is a health snack combining banana chips with debitterized turmeric and lightly sweetened with sweetleaf. This development opens up the products manufactured by the company to new export markets particularly in the Middle East and neighboring ASEAN countries. While Halal certification is commonly regarded as a religious requirement of Muslim consumers, it is actually a quality certification system on its own right and has many similarities to GMP and HACCP. Insofar as the food supplement industry is concerned, it is not only concerned with contamination from pork products or derivatives, but also of a hygienic process, the absence of chemical contaminants, proper storage, traceability, and good record keeping. Herbanext’s manufacturing plant underwent a thorough 2-day inspection last August 19-20 by 2-man team from the Islamic Da’wah Council of the Philippines, Inc. (IDCP), and facilitated by the Department of Trade and Industry in Region VI.

Herbanext now on its second year of GMP accreditation


Herbanext President Philip S. Cruz (seated, center) and staff, with FDA auditors Gina Joquico and Elizabeth Genada

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