‘High-strength alternatives to pharma’: NZ’s Artemis unveils liquid plant-based formulas for sleep, stress and digestion

By Guan Yu Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags New zealand Artemis Sleep stress Digestion

New Zealand botanical and natural health brand Artemis has released a range of liquid plant-based formulations targeting sleep, stress and digestion health, with export markets, including China, in the firm’s sights.

The company was founded in 1998 by Dr Sandra Clair, and started off with medicinal teas targeting common ailments from sleep, digestion to varicose veins.

Clair, who is a medical herbalist by training, told NutraIngredients-Asia​ its medicinal teas are made from medicinal grade plant ingredients that are infused with hot water, which makes it easily absorbed by the body.

For instance, its medicinal tea for sleep contains plant extracts such as valerian, lemon balm, woodruff, passionflower, liquorice and hops (1000mg each).

Watch the video to find out more.

Liquid power

The company recently launched three liquid formulations targeting digestion, stress and sleep, which Clair said were pressing issues for people, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Plant medicines have been used for centuries to deal with these types of issues. But people were looking for a high strength option that could stand up with the efficacy of pharmaceuticals, and there was a gap for a high strength, natural medicine rather than just a wellness product,

People are reluctant to use products (pharmaceuticals) that could potentially cause side effects or could cause dependency and we wanted to help them out with a natural option​,

The new products are liquid, high-strength formulations, a natural alternative to the pharmaceuticals in this space​.”

As liquids, they can be consumed on its own. The company recommends taking 5mL (one teaspoon) before a meal.

You don't need to dilute it with water, its easy to take, pleasant in taste, and efficacious because anything that is in a liquid format is absorbed faster by the body. If we put plant ingredients into a tablet, we lose a lot of efficacy,” ​Clair explained.

The products are made with fresh plant extracts.

For instance, its liquid product targeting sleep (Deep Sleep) contains Noble Kava, passionflower, skullcap and liquorice.

The formula for stress (De-Stress Spray) contains lemon balm, Noble Kava, green oat, licorice and Ashwagandha.

For the digestion formula (Digestive Ease), it contains chamomile, licorice, cinnamon, meadowsweet and peppermint.

Fresh plant extracts have more active constituents and are more concentrated​.

Artemis also prides itself on using medicinal grade ingredients. This means that its ingredients are harvested at the right time to achieve the maximum level of bioactives, and are grown in healthy soils without any pesticides or herbicides. The firm also does not add any fillers, binders or preservatives into the products.

For us, we are not producing the cheapest product; we are making the most efficacious product to give consumers the best return on their investment​.”

We aim to not only nurture the well-being of people, but also the well-being of the planet​.”

Science-back ingredients

For all the ingredients that go into the products, Artemis will analyse existing research including in-vitro, in-vivo and human clinical trials as well as study existing literature on how these ingredients were used traditionally over the years.

All these would inform us on the formulation of our product, the levels of actives needed to make an efficacious product​,” Clair said.

R&D for the products took about 18 months, which was prolonged due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We only use pure and medicinal grade ingredients, but because of the pandemic, we had issues with the normal sources of some of our ingredients​.

So, we had to find new suppliers, and go through the audit and validation process to ensure that their ingredients would be at a level that we were satisfied with​.”

Clair added: “In the last few years, we have seen a surge in people looking for natural products. Unfortunately, there is a lot of adulteration happening in the supply chain for plant medicines. There are always people trying to make quick money and selling ingredients that have been adulterated or using ingredients that are not listed​.

Traceability is incredibly important to us and having the documentation and cross validated ensures that what we say on the label is actually in the product itself​.”

Artemis products are sold in pharmacies, health stores, and online in New Zealand.

Over the last five years, the firm has expanded into China, where it now owns a flagship store on Tmall.

We are very optimistic that these products will do well in China and we are going to list on Tmall​. We're also investigating other export market opportunities.”

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