A patent-pending botanical extract blend, known commercially as Herbagut (Arjuna Natural Ltd.; Kerala, India), may support healthy digestive function according to a new study1 published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Arjuna will be showcasing Herbagut, which is available in powder, granular, and taste-masked water-dispersible powder formats, at this year’s Vitafoods Europe trade show.
Herbagut is a blend of 14 botanical extracts based in the centuries-old Indian Ayurvedic healing tradition. These botanicals include Tinospora cordifolia, Hemidesmus indicus, Piper longum Linn, Alpinia galangal, Terminalia chebula Retz, Swertia chirata Buch, Murraya koeniggii, Curcuma longa, and Zingiber officinale. The herbal ingredients in Herbagut were selected for their Ayurvedic associations with digestive health and general well-being, the company says.
In the new double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical study, researchers sought to determine whether the herbal blend, Herbagut, could improve negative gastrointestinal symptoms in subjects with “unsatisfactory bowel habits,” including chronic constipation.
In the study, 50 adults with self-reported gastrointestinal issues were given either two 400-mg capsules of Herbagut per day or the equivalent dosage of a placebo for 28 days. During that period, participants were instructed to take the two capsules one hour before bedtime. Subjects monitored their following bowel habits on a daily basis: consistency of bowel movement using the Bristol Stool Form Scale, ease of bowel movement, and bowel evacuation. Subjects reported gastrointestinal symptoms using the gastrointestinal symptom rating score. In addition, subjects assessed their quality of life using an abbreviated quality-of-life questionnaire from the World Health Organization and a patient assessment of constipation-quality-of-life questionnaire.
Compared with the placebo group, the group supplemented with Herbagut experienced increased bowel movements, normal bowel motions, and decreased abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and reflux. The Herbagut group also reported improved quality of life compared with the placebo group, including in social relations, psychological health, worries and concerns, and overall life satisfaction, among other parameters.
The researchers credit the positive study results to the synergistic effects of the ingredients in Herbagut. Further, they write that Herbagut’s digestive-health benefits also indicate additional potential health benefits, including reduced levels of stress, anxiety, and depression (the “gut-brain axis”). In a press statement from Arjuna, the company stated that the “synergistic action of ingredients in Herbagut offers mucosal protection and helps maintain the integrity of internal lining of the gut,” adding that Herbagut’s anti-inflammatory benefits also support a diverse gut microbiota and aid in gut motility.
Benny Antony, PhD, joint managing director for Arjuna, commented on the study results in the press statement: “This trial confirms that daily intake of 800 mg of Herbagut over a 28-day period can improve gut health and related health conditions in people with unsatisfactory bowel habits. The tradition of Ayurvedic medicine, used for hundreds of years, is finally backed by research and is accessible to consumers who seek natural relief from digestive stress.”
The company added that Herbagut was shown in the study to be safe for use in food supplements. According to the company, all 14 ingredients used in Herbagut are approved for use in food supplements in both the EU and the U.S.
Vitafoods Europe will be held this year from May 15-17 in Geneva, Switzerland.
- Lopresti A et al., “A poly-herbal blend (Herbagut) on adults presenting with gastrointestinal complaints: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study,” BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Published online March 20, 2018.