In the 1950s, our founder, Alfred Vogel, insisted that only the freshest of plants were used to craft the remedies for his patients at his herbal clinic in Teufen, Switzerland. This led him to pioneer the concept of fresh herb extraction – a technique we still use today for our herbal remedies.
Research confirms that fresh herb extracts often make better remedies. For instance, the fresh Echinacea extract used in Echinacea Echinaforce® contains almost 3 times more active substances than can be obtained from the same amount of dried herbs1.
Fresh valerian extract
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is one of the most well-known herbs in Europe. It grows naturally in the temperate zones throughout Europe, but can also be found in the Caucasus, west and central Asia, Siberia, Manchuria and Japan.
The herb is able to tolerate a wide variety of weather conditions, adapting well to the conditions in each environment. The plant does prefer damp locations – along river banks, soggy meadows and in ditches. However, it can also be found on elevated ground in mountainous areas where they are usually more aromatic (contain more essential oils) than those growing in swamps or marshland.
Although Valerian is to be found in the wild, it can also be cultivated. At A.Vogel, our Valerian plants are grown in central Europe, cultivated organically without the use of pesticides or fungicides. Natural compost is used to fertilise the plants.
The roots of the Valerian plant are used for Dormeasan® . These are harvested in late summer and processed whilst still fresh, to make the A.Vogel fresh herb extract of Valerian.
So why do we insist on using fresh herbs for Dormeasan® Valerian-Hops oral drops? It is because our research shows that extracts of fresh Valerian provide higher levels of the active ingredients that can help encourage undisturbed sleep1.
Fresh Hops extract
The Hops plant (humulus lupulus) is a climber and can be found naturally in swamps and damp hedges. It is said to originate from eastern europe and western asia. It loves deep, nutrient-rich soils and sheltered sites at the edges of forests, fences and hedges, able to thrive up to an altitude of 1,000 metres.
In Europe, Hops have been cultivated since the end of the Merovingian culture (circa 3rd to 8th centuries) when beer making supplanted mead. Today, Hops are cultivated on high poles or wires in large hop gardens in many countries for use in the brewing industry.
It is the fresh fruit from Hops, known as strobiles, which are extracted to become the active ingredient for Dormeasan® These strobiles are yellow, cone-shaped and contain a number of useful substances linked to their use in traditional medicine.
At A.Vogel, we cultivate our Hops plants organically in Central Europe. Fresh Hops strobiles destined for Dormeasan® are harvested in August and used within 24 hours to produce the A.Vogel fresh herb extract of Hops.
More information on Alfred Vogel and fresh herb extracts can be found in The A.Vogel fresh herb story pages.
1.Tobler M, et al. Characteristics of whole fresh plant extracts. Schweizerische Zeitschrift für GanzheitsMedizin, 1994.