Quality and Certificates for Ayurveda Products
With the spread of Ayurveda in the West also countless Ayurvedic products have come onto the market: massage oils, teas, cosmetics, food supplements and herbal preparations. Since the question of the quality of products is absolutely justified, partly because the media already have been reported about several occasions over quality defects (eg heavy metal pollution).
As in all areas, there are also different views what makes an ayurvedic product of high quality. Important for you as a consumer is to scrutinize the products critically and to receive specific information. You can also consult an Ayurvedic practitioner. Ultimately, you decide which quality features are important to you and how much you want to pay for it.
The simplest features of a qualitative good ayurvedic product are as follows:
- Products made from natural ingredients, without chemical additives
- Certification by a recognized quality label
- Laboratory tests, which were carried out in Europe
- Traditional Ayurvedic products are manufactured on the basis of herbs. Therefore massage oils with essential oils are not part of the traditional Ayurveda.
Pros and Cons about the basics materials:
- Rank growth quality, naturally grown plants and herbs, is advertised that they possessed a higher quality of ingredients and therefore a higher potency. However, the quality of the wild plant is not beyond all doubt, as the environmental impact in India are sometimes very large. There is a large range of quality differences, which is deducible only by careful laboratory analysis. Collecting wild herbs will increasingly represent a major burden for the ecosystem in India and neighboring countries.
- In India organic certification is still in early stages. Controlled organic farming is the only way to preserve biodiversity in the future.
- Organically certified plantations is recommended in order to satisfy the growing demand for ayurvedic products because the natural balance is not disturbed.
- Conventional intensive farming is incompatible with the Ayurvedic idea of a holistic and deliberate approach to the environment.
- Individual Indian companies sometimes use cheap substitutes, such as Potato flour as a substitute for Amla powder. This is not recommended in any case.
The media reported about a heavy metal content in ayurvedic products from India. It is true that pure herbal supplements do not include metals. A heavy metal content in such products may have the following consequences:
- The enormous demand for Ayurvedic preparations has led to a uncontrolled production process of individual Indian farmers who do not adhere to the traditional rules regarding the preparation and not consistently examine the quality of raw materials.
- The crude drugs (eg sprawl quality) are affected by the ongoing pollution in India.
In Ayurveda there are preparations - called Bhasmas - that process in a complex, repeated processes basic substances of metals and minerals that should be harmless in the correct preparation for the human body. This preparations are not admitted in Europe! Effective and consistent quality controls do not exist to a sufficient extent in India yet.
On one hand side there are representatives of products that are based on the classical Vedic scriptures. They advocate traditional production methods and the use of original materials in sprawl quality. On the other hand, there are also representatives of the opinion that the ancient writings of the present time and the corresponding culture need to be adjusted.
The quality plays a major role in the production in India. As before, the situation is very uncertain. European production standards and European safety regulations regarding hygiene and ingredients that have apply a positive impact on the quality of preparations.
In cases of import products to Europe, the decision lies with the importer, if he wants to check the imported products on heavy metal content or pesticides. The authorities intervene only if samples have shown any impurities. Laboratory tests are very expensive, so it must be assumed that many importers waive inspections. However, other companies attach great importance sold to the quality of products - and therefore the price is higher.
Various quality label give some assurance of product quality:
- ISO 9000 - the European standard for quality assurance. However, the standard certification only the production, not the products themselves.
- HACCP - concept for food hygiene in production facilities. It consists of operating own checks e.g. regarding hygiene in food products.
- BDIH - Federation of German Industries and Trading Firms for pharmaceuticals, health foods, nutritional supplements and natural cosmetics. Some manufacturers of ayurvedic cosmetics have become certified here.
- GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) - international regulations for securing the Quality of Medicines, including cultivation, harvesting, storage, production and processing of products.
- Organic certification, the products of the German and / or the European organic seal are certified organically grown.
The ayurvedic manufacturers were invited by the Indian government, to be certified according to GMP guidelines. Without these an export certification is no longer possible. This initiative is very welcome.
Application of products
The application and administration of Ayurvedic preparations requires a basic understanding of the Ayurvedic philosophy. Therefore he products should be recommended by qualified Ayurveda practitioners. Ayurvedic preparations appeal complementary and not only by themselves - they should never be isolated and taken on its own.