Golden Flower - Details on Manufacturing


Quality and Integrity


Founded in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1990, Golden Flower Chinese Herbs offers an exceptional line of Chinese herbal formulas. Manufactured in Taiwan to exact specifications from superior ingredients, without the impurities, adulterants, or questionable ingredients found in some herbal products.

Purity

Committed to providing clinicians with products of uncompromising quality and purity, Golden Flower uses the highest quality raw materials. Selected for freshness and verified to ensure that only the correct genus, species, and part of the plant are utilized. Advanced techniques are employed in herb selection, identification, and processing. All formulas are tested for pesticide residues, microbial activity, and heavy metals. Golden Flower products exceed current international GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) standards and exact formulation percentages are listed on the label.

Ease of Use

Optimally-concentrated formulations have been designed to be easily pulverized. Easy-to-take products improve patient compliance and aid effective treatment.

Adaptive Formulation

As diseases evolve, so must strategies used to treat them. Many Golden Flower products are classical Chinese prescriptions, while others are traditional preparations adapted to address the needs of modern Western patients. In some cases, new formulas have been created based on traditional strategies to address modern complaints.

Quality Assurance and Manufacturing Procedures

Beginning with the most advanced protocol for herb identification, the following is a description of the five-step process guaranteeing the highest quality herbal tablets available.

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1) Herb Selection and Identification
The Aristolochic acid controversy of the 1990s highlighted the need for accurate herb identification, and is a major concern for herbalists and manufacturers alike. Many Aristolochic acid-related problems could have been avoided if the herbs in question had been properly identified before formulation. Golden Flower’s manufacturer instituted a sophisticated herb identification process in 1995, and a formal documented system designed by herbalist Andrew Ellis was instituted in 2000. This identification protocol is constantly upgraded, and an on-staff botanist at the manufacturing site helps control quality and accuracy. Some of the features of this industry-leading procedure include:

  • Macroscopic inspection by experts to “weed out” commonly-substituted herbs.
  • Microscopic examination to ascertain species authenticity.
  • TLC (Thin Layer Chromatography), a method of verifying herb species by checking the chemical “fingerprint” unique to each.


2) Extraction manufacturing
After herbs have been properly identified, they are thoroughly cleaned and prepared for processing. They are picked through, washed, and agitated according to specific protocols for each herb. Once foreign materials have been meticulously removed, ingredients are assembled and cooked together in a vat called a rotary extractor. A continuous rotary motion thoroughly mixes the decoction liquid with strict control of the extraction temperature and timing. This unique extractor includes an essential oil retrieval system for which our manufacturer holds the patent. This retrieval system enables the vat to capture and preserve volatile oils, which are reintroduced later in the granulation phase. The oil retrieval system has been recently improved to preserve a greater quantity of volatile oil. When you open a bottle of Golden Flower herbs, you can easily perceive the freshness and strength of herbs prepared via this method.

3) Evaporation
Once extraction is complete, a valve is opened in the rotary extractor and the decoction flows directly into a state-of-the-art, low-temperature vacuum evaporation-concentration system. This low-temperature system prevents damage to potency caused by exposing herbs to high temperatures.


4) Granulation and Tableting
From the concentration chambers the herbs, now in the form of a viscous liquid, are piped into a flow coater. Still in a closed system, there is a 0% chance of cross-contamination as the flow coater (granulator) sprays the concentrate onto minute particles of base material, and dries them to create concentrated granules. In most of our formulas, the base material consists of powdered herbs from the ingredient lists of the formulas themselves. Occasionally, when a formula is especially cloying, some non-GMO potato starch is used as a foundation instead. Potato starch is used because it is hypoallergenic and available in non-GMO form, unlike the cornstarch commonly used by other processing facilities.

Technicians later precisely measure and press the granules into smooth tablets for easy swallowing. The composition of the granules requires only a maximum of 2.5% of extra material to make a tablet. This is far less than most other herbal tablets, which often contain up to 25% of flow promoting and binding materials. This means more herbs in each Golden Flower Chinese Herbs tablet.

5) Laboratory Testing
Samples from each formula batch are sent to a laboratory for a series of tests verifying potency and safety. These tests include:

  • Microbial testing, to screen for E. coli, Salmonella, and various bio-contaminants such as molds and yeasts.
  •  GC (Gas Chromatography), to ensure safety by checking for the presence of over 200 potentially harmful substances such as pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.
  • HPLC (High Pressure Liquid Chromatography), to measure potency by confirming the presence of active ingredients.
  • ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry), the future of non-organic (heavy metal) testing. Other systems in use today are sensitive to subparts per million (ppm), but the ICP-MS can detect elements in the subparts per billion (ppb) range, and some elements in the subparts per trillion (ppt) range. ICP-MS technology is by far the most precise and sensitive available for heavy metal testing. Samples from every lot of tablets are tested for heavy metals by ICP-MS.

As a final check, identity testing and a rotational testing program run by Eastern Currents in Canada ensures that this herbal product meets or exceeds standards set by Health Canada.

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