A newsletter from the house of
November - January 2013-14
The future stands here
In these modern years, plant derived products are increasingly being sought
out as medicinal products & nutraceuticals. Herbal medicines widely used in
health-care and animal feed additives. Herbal formulations have reached
widespread acceptability as therapeutic agents for diabetics, arthritics, liver
diseases, immune stimulants, cough remedies, memory enhancers and
adoptogens. As per WHO definition, there are three kinds of herbal
medicines: raw plant material, processed plant material and medicinal herbal
According to an estimate of the World Health Organization (WHO), about 80%
of the world population still uses herbs and other traditional medicines for
their primary health care needs. The use of herbal formulations has increased
remarkably in line with the global trend of people returning to natural
therapies. Supplementation of antibiotic in farm animal diets to improve
animal growth performance and efficiency of feed conversion, historically, has
been theorized as a means of establishing food animals as reservoirs for
antibiotic resistant pathogens isolated from humans. Given the rising
concerns associated with increased antibiotic resistance in bacterial
pathogens making treatment of clinical diseases more difficult, antibiotic use
in animal management in the U.S. and Europe has become more of a
controversial issue. In this context, we would like to deal about the role of
phytochemicals, it's limitation and the way to overcome those limitations.
Specifications of phytochemicals
Phytochemicals are described by primary and secondary plant compounds.
Primary compounds are main nutrients (e.g., content of protein, fat, etc.),
whereas, secondary compounds comprise alkaloids, glycoloids, essential
(ethereal) and/or volatile oils, bitterns, hot stuffs, colorants and phenolic
compounds (Wald, 2003). In general, phytochemicals do not add significantly
to the intake of main nutrients in poultry. Therefore, secondary plant
compounds are the main ingredients of interest.
Herbs and Spices
1. Increased feed intake: The stimulatory effect of phytochemicals on feed
intake is due to the claimed improvement in palatability of the diet resulting
from the enhanced flavor and odor, especially with the use of essential oils
and may be due to their anti-oxidative effects, which might contribute to
preserving the desired organoleptic qualities of the diet. This effect could be
of relevance to feed rich in fat.
2. Stimulation of digestive secretions: Stimulation of digestive secretions,
such as saliva, digestive enzymes, bile and mucus is often considered to be one
of the important actions of phytochemicals.
3. Antimicrobial and coccidiostatic activity: Phytochemicals can selectively
influence microorganisms through antimicrobial activity, or by a favorable
stimulation of the eubiosis of the micro flora. This leads to better utilization
and absorption of nutrients resulting in higher performance.
4. Antioxidant activity: Plant oils containing natural antioxidants contribute
to the improved oxidative stability of meat and meat products containing
higher levels of polyunsaturated fatty acid.
5. Stimulation of the immune system: Polysaccharides derived from many
plants play an important role in stimulating the growth of immune organs,
increasing the number and activities of many interdependent cell types such
as T, B lymphocytes, macrophages and natural killer (NK) cells, and enhancing
cellular and humoral immune response.
6. Pharmacological actions: A wide range of phytochemicals are known from
folk medicine to exert pharmacological actions within the digestive tract, such
as laxative and spasmolytic effects as well as prevention from flatulence &
pronounce precaecal absorption of glucose via direct stimulation of Na/KATPase. Another field of phytochemical actions comprises astringent and
Beneficial effects of Phytochemicals as Animal Feed Supplement
E.g., Terpenes, Carvacrol
E.g., Capsaicin, Peperin
E.g., Chicoric acid,
Composition and main ingredients of phytobiotics (Wald, 2003)
Extraction of Phytochemicals
Contd. on page 2
Indian Poultry Farmers
Advised to Prepare for Winter
All that glitters is not gold
All that glitters are not gold is a well-known saying;
meaning that not everything that looks true turns out
to be so. This can apply to some of the unauthentic
herbal feed supplement for poultry as well, those that
promise to be more than they really are.
Herbal drugs have been used since the inception of
human beings on this planet and as a result are almost
as old as life itself. Plants by virtue of its composition of
containing multiple constituents developed during its
growth under various environmental stresses
providing a plethora of chemical families with
medicinal utility. One of the key factors that limit
commercial utility of herbal drugs is standardization.
Standardization poses numerous challenges related to
marker identification, active principle, lack of defined
regulations, and non-availability of universally
acceptable technical standards for testing and
implementation of quality control/safety standard
Herbal medicines, containing active ingredients in
complex chemical mixtures developed as crude
fractions, extracted from plant thereof, are widely
used in health-care or as dietary supplements. One of
the major drawbacks of these medicines is limited bioavailability. Standardization requires a natural plant
product to be authenticated at origin itself by
adoption of good agricultural practices, collection
strategies from wild and good manufacturing practices
for extraction modes and related parameters. The
present review focuses on the herbal constituents, its
role in the biological system & herbal standardization
guidelines that can be useful for development of
evidence based holistic natural plant products.
PUNJAB: Temperature management in the poultry house is an important pre-condition for
better production and health of the birds, according to a leading academic. With drop in
mercury level and change in weather, poultry farmers may have to face some challenges of
low environmental temperature, poor ventilation and decreased photoperiod.
Times of India reports that this information was shared by A.L. Saini, head of the
department, livestock production and management at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and
Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) in Ludhiana. He said that these seasonal
fluctuations may directly or indirectly influence the egg and meat production. Therefore,
farmer must be ready to take on these challenges by adopting some winter stress
alleviating practices to overcome economic losses, he added.
"Egg production has a tendency to slump down in winter because of reduced hours of
natural light. Since hens need 16 or more hours of day light to lay well to their potential,
therefore provision of consider switch on light bulbs in the laying hen sheds is must. This
will encourage hen to lay more number of eggs.
"To protect the birds from cold, gunny bags or plastic sheet curtains can be installed on the
side walls of shed. However, don't restrict ventilation in an attempt to conserve warmth.
Good ventilation in the chicken shed is must, because chickens naturally produce a lot of
moisture in their breath and droppings," he said. Dr Saini explained that poor ventilation
inside their house may create an ammonia build-up, which will affect the poultry's eyes
and respiratory system and makes them sick.
"Poultry need plenty of fresh air circulating in and around the poultry shed. So care should
be taken not to cover entire side wall but ensure sufficient open area towards the ceiling of
shed to facilitate escape of foul air. To provide warm and cozy environment, increase in the
depth of litter material (bedding) by six inch. Free access to balanced diet and fresh water
must be available to chickens of all age", A.L. Saini told the newspaper.
"Different age groups of poultry birds have unique requirements and abilities to bear cold
stress. However, day-old chicks are the most vulnerable and a temperature of 95°F during
the first week is must. Chicks chirping loudly, or huddling in groups, are most likely feel too
cold and need immediate attention and remedial measure. Try to feed them warm water
and place them under the brooders (heating device)," he advised.
Giving tips on winter stress alleviating management, Times of India reports A.L. Saini
advising that, before the arrival of chicks, the brooder room should be pre-heated for a day
to 95°F, curtains should be installed on the side wall of chicken houses without restricting
ventilation, the depth of litter material (bedding) should be increased and finally, a
minimum 'daylight' period of 16 hours should be provided for laying hens, using artificial
light, if necessary.
Contd from page 1
Limitations of Phytochemical Feed supplements
Garlic (Allium sativum)
Lower serum triglyceroids &
antibacterial & antiviral
Like any other branch of science and technology, present scenario of
herbal feed supplements has its own limitations arising out of its own
technical constituents. The prominent limitations of herbal medicines
can be summarized as follow
Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
* Inadequate standardization and lack of quality specifications
This is the most often criticized aspect of herbal feed supplements.
One important fact is that a herbal preparation is administered for
its holistic value. Each herbal ingredient in the herbal preparation
has an array of chemical constituents with complex molecular
formulae. This each herbal preparation is a source of polypharmacy
* Lack of scientific data
Lack of literature on herbal medicines & feed supplements &
scientific data in support of the medicinal activity claimed and
their safety and efficacy assumed. Hence there is a need to
incorporate certain parameters of the pharmacological evaluation
of moderns on modern lines. WHO guidelines clearly direct that it
is not necessary to carry out detailed toxicological evaluation of
herbs and herbal preparation originating from traditional system
7. Moisture content determination
8 . C h ro m ato g ra p h i c a n d s p e c t ro s co p i c
evaluation: TLC, HPTLC, HPLC methods will
provide qualitative and semi quantitative
information about the main active constituents
present in the crude drug as chemical markers in
the TLC fingerprint evaluation of herbals (FEH).
The quality of the drug can also be assessed on the
basis of the chromatographic fingerprint.
9. Determination of heavy metals: e.g. cadmium,
Standarization of herbal drugs Biological
lead, arsenic, etc.
10. Pesticide residue: WHO and FAO (Food and
Agricultural Organization) set limits of pesticides,
which are usually present in the herbs. These
pesticides are mixed with the herbs during the
time of cultivation. Mainly pesticides like DDT,
BHC, toxaphene, aldrin cause serious side-effects
in human beings if the crude drugs are mixed with
Fig. A schematic representation of herbal drug standardization
11.Microbial contamination: Usually medicinal
plants containing bacteria and molds are coming
Remedies to overcome the limitation of Phytochemical feed from soil and atmosphere. Analysis of the limits of E. coli and molds clearly
throws light towards the harvesting and production practices. The substance
known as aflatoxins will produce serious side-effects if consumed along with
Standardization of phytochemical formulations is essential in order to access
the crude drugs.
the quality of drugs, based on the concentration of their active principles.
Quality evaluation of phytochemical preparation is a fundamental
Limits for Microbial Contamination
requirement of industry & other organizations dealing with herbal products. It
is evident that the herbal industry needs to follow strict guidelines & such
E. coli and Salmonella
regulations are necessary. According to WHO guidelines, an phytochemical
Total aerobic bacteria
product needs to be standardized with respect to safety before releasing it
into the market.
Aflatoxins should be completely removed/adsorbed or should not be present.
WHO Guidelines for Quality Standardized Herbal Formulations
12. Radioactive contamination: Microbial growth in herbals is usually
* Quality control of crude drugs material, plant preparations and finished
avoided by irradiation. This process may sterilize the plant material but the
radioactivity hazard should be taken into account. The radioactivity of the
* Stability assessment and shelf life.
plant samples should be checked accordingly to the guidelines of
* Safety assessment; documentation of safety based on experience or
International Atomic Energy (IAE) in Vienna and that of WHO.
Standardization from raw material to crude drug preparation
* Assessment of efficacy by ethno medical information and biological activity
Standardization of herbal drugs comprises total information and controls to
The standardization of crude drug materials include the essentially guarantee consistent composition of all herbals including
analytical operations for identification, markers and assay of active
principles. There is no legal control model over medicinal plants. The herbal
1. Authentication: Stage of collection, parts of the plant collected, regional
formulations in general can be standardized schematically as to formulate
status, botanical identity like phytomorphology, microscopical and
the medicament using raw materials collected from different localities and
histological analysis, taxonomical identity, etc.
a comparative chemical efficacy of different batches of formulation are to
2. Foreign matter: Herbs collected should be free from soil, insect parts or
animal excreta, etc.
Texture & Fracture
3. Organoleptic evaluation: Sensory characters – taste, appearance, odor, feel
of the drug, etc.
4. Active Principle identification: Specific phytoconstituent present in the
5. Ash values and extractive values
6. Volatile matter
Standardization from CDP to finished goods
The preparations with better clinical efficacy are to be selected. After all the
routine physical, chemical and pharmacological parameters are to be
checked for all the batches to select the final finished product and to
validate the whole manufacturing process. Fingerprinting of herbal
medicines is utilized for the authenticity and quality control of herbal
medicinesand herbal preparations.
Chemical fingerprints of finished goods (QC)
Chemical fingerprints obtained by chromato-graphic, spectroscopic,
thermogravimetric analysis, capillary electrophoresis and polarography
techniques have become the most potent tools for quality control of
traditional herbal medicines. Moreover, all herbal products manufacturers
must follow WHO guidelines for quality control. Further, the combination of
qualitative fingerprinting and quantitive multicomponent analysis is a novel
and rational method to address the key issues of quality control of herbal
The advancement of analytical techniques will serve as a rapid and
specific tool in the herbal research, thereby, allowing the manufacturers
to set quality standards and specifications so as to seek marketing
approval from regulatory authorities for therapeutic efficacy, safety and
shelf life of herbal drugs. The applications of high-technology oriented
advanced hyphenated techniques will serve as a rapid and unambiguous
tool in the herbal research, thereby, benefiting the entire pharmaceutical
Editor: Dr. Gobinath Sub-Editor: Ms. Madhura Bhattacharyya Editorial Board: Dr. Ruturaj B. Patil, Dr. Divya Divakaran, Ms. Shradha Gupta Design & Layout: Mr. Sanjeev Rao J. Bengley
Editorial Office: M/s. Natural Remedies Pvt. Ltd., # 5 B, Veerasandra Indl. Area, Electronic City Post, Hosur Road, Bangalore 560 100.