In 2001, Albert Y. Leung, Ph.D. and his manufacturing company, Phyto-Technologies, Inc. received a grant of 1.4 million dollars from US government organisations to develop a technology that would guarantee the composition and reproducibility of herbal preparations. The Phyto-True™ technology is a result of scientific research in the laboratories of Albert Y. Leung, Ph.D.
This technology was registered for a patent procedure in the USA in 2008. Phyto-True™ is a system which uses multiple techniques and steps, enabling us to obtain an exact profile (fingerprint) of all active herbal substances in a preparation. Furthermore, it enables an easy detection of missing active chemical substances, as well as particularly undesirable substances (e.g., toxic contaminating substances or impurities).
The Phyto-True™ technology is a comprehensive system of quality control. It is able to detect whether herbal tonics were produced in a traditional way, whether they really contain the advertised herbal ingredients and whether all traditional formulas were followed. In other words, whether a product can be described as “manufactured according to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine”. With the Phyto-True™ technology, the links between herbs and scientific literature, and hence to a long tradition, can be proven. This fact allows us to ensure that herbal preparations comply with European legislation – Directive 2004/24/EC.
The Phyto-True™ technology can not only identify quality, but now it can also manage it scientifically. This had not been possible before, because herbs are not pharmaceuticals with a single chemical having specific therapeutic indications, and so the established pharmaceutical research and safety protocols could not be applied to them.
In practice, the Phyto-True™ method helps ensure the safety and efficiency of herbal products. With it, the curative effects of herbs can be scientifically proven.
What does this mean in practice and for the future? Production plants and laboratories using this technology will be able to guarantee the reproducible composition of their herbal preparations based on traditional Chinese medicine, and thus begin clinical trials that would accurately confirm their effects. Through compliance with Directive 2004/24/EC and the feasibility of a clinical study, herbal preparations can be registered as traditional herbal medicinal products, thus achieving a level very close to medicines.