Zembrin®, developed by HG&H Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd. (Bryanston, South Africa) and commercialized by P.L. Thomas & Co, Inc. (Morristown, NJ), received the Annual Functional Ingredients Magazine Editor’s Choice Award for Most Sustainable Ingredient at the Engredea show in Anaheim, CA earlier this month. The South African-produced Zembrin® is an extract of a cultivated elite selection of the indigenous plant Sceletium tortuosum, which for centuries has been used and traded by San hunter-gatherers and Khoi Khoi pastoralists for medicinal, social and spiritual purposes.
Zembrin® has been sustainably developed for more than a decade and is the recipient of Africa’s first “prior informed consent benefit-sharing agreement” with a South African indigenous community. The terms of this agreement state that six percent of all income from Zembrin® will be shared with the San Council, which formally agreed to allocate 50% of their share with the villagers who provided input on plant selection and dosing that were pivotal to the initial research and development on Zembrin®.
In addition, Zembrin® has been granted the first ever export permit from the South African government, being in full compliance under the Biodiversity Act.
A growing body of evidence supports use of Zembrin® for multiple benefits including cognitive function, focus, improved mood and reduced stress. The first of three clinical studies, published in the February issue of The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine is available online (http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acm.2012.0185). The results demonstrate safety and tolerability of 8 and 25 mg doses of Zembrin® in a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of 37 healthy adults for three months. The study was conducted under the direction of Dr. Haylene Nell at the Tiervlei Trial Centre, Karl Bremer Hospital, Bellville, Cape Town, South Africa. Dr. Nell writes that in addition to both doses being well-tolerated, “Unsolicited positive effects on well-being were noted in patient diaries by some participants taking extract Sceletium tortuosum (Zembrin®), including improved coping with stress and sleep.”
To complement this safety study, two additional trials are being submitted for publication describing the positive benefits of Zembrin® on cognitive function and stress reduction.
HG&H Pharmaceuticals and its USA partner P.L. Thomas introduced Zembrin® to nutraceutical and functional food and beverage producers who are interested in incorporating this innovative, evidence-based ingredient in products that experientially promote calmness and concentration, enhanced mood, and improved cognitive function.
About HG&H Pharmaceuticals
Dr. Nigel Gericke has been researching the ethnobotany, chemistry, pharmacology and clinical application of Sceletium since 1991. He was joined by Deon Hofmeyr in 2002, and they were joined by Halls Investments in 2006 to form HG&H Pharmaceuticals (Pty) Ltd. The company is headquartered in Bryanston, South Africa, with Zembrin® as its lead product.
About P.L. Thomas
P.L. Thomas, a New Jersey-based ingredient supplier and marketer, offers more than 60 years of innovation in sourcing, developing, and commercializing natural, reliable, value-added raw materials for the food, beverage, dietary supplement and cosmeceuticals markets. PLT specializes in clinically-supported, science based nutraceuticals, fruit and botanical extracts, and natural colors, anti-microbials, and flavors, with ingredients covering a wide range of application and condition-specific areas.