Despite the achievements of modern organic synthetic chemistry, the interest in medicinal herbs and natural remedies based on them continues to grow. Today, about a quarter of all medicines prescribed by doctors are manufactured on the basis of plants. According to the international research bureau BCC Research, the cumulative rate of annual growth in the consumption of natural medicines in the world will be at the level of 6.6% in the next five years, and the market volume will reach $ 35.4 billion by 2020.
"Herbal medicines are undeniably attractive; still, medicinal plants are very difficult to work with. The main problem is the wide variation in the content of biologically active substances in medicinal plants and, as a consequence, in the medicinal products obtained from them, which means there is a risk of not achieving the optimal effect"
— says a leading researcher at the metabolic and proteomic analysis laboratory of the Federal Research Institute of Nutrition, Professor, Doctor of Biology Andrei Vasiliev
There are many factors that can affect the content of biologically active substances: environmental and weather conditions for growing herbs, technologies for raw materials harvesting, processing and storage, etc. Therefore, companies that undertake to manufacture plant-based medicinal products need much experience in medicinal plants botany, chemical and physical properties of the biologically active substances contained in herbs (alkaloids, glycosides, flavonoids, coumarins, essential oils, etc.) and other plant products; in technological processes for their extraction and preparation of plant-based active substances; in pharmacological effects and toxic effects of such substances, etc. Evalar has been successfully operating for 25 years in this area.
Quality raw materials are the basis for the quality and efficiency of Evalar’s products. To ensure high quality, the company grows medicinal herbs on its own plantations, instead of collecting wild plants. The plantations cover more than 1000 hectares of cultivated lands in the environmentally pristine foothills of Altai. The company grows about 20 species of plants, including clover, oats, chamomile, motherwort, white potentilla that is very rare and difficult to grow, and many others.
“Evalar grows more than ten crops on an industrial scale,” says the company’s chief agronomist of the company Alexander Sharykin, “and about twenty more on the pilot sites.” For each plant, a special cultivation technology is developed. This takes from one to five years. And only after we find out which cultivation parameters are best for our climatic conditions, do we plant herbs on an industrial scale.”
When Evalar starts to develop a new medicinal product, it all begins with an experimental site on the plantations. After sowing a crop, the agronomists check how it grows in the Altai climate. Evalar’s laboratories test each plant for active substances and for the absence of harmful substances. Only after that, then the technologists start to develop the medicinal product. If large quantity of herbal raw material is needed for the manufacture, they start cultivating the necessary plants on the company’s plantation, after growing it on the pilot site.”
In almost 25 years of its work, Evalar has built its own seed stock. At the beginning of the journey, Evalar purchased seeds in various wildlife preserves and biologic research institutions, throughout Russia and internationally.