The line is based on a patented ingredient formulation called NurLlight manufactured by Nisarga Herbs in India. According to Jason Edwards, vice president of sales of San Francisco-based NuAxon, Nisarga developed the formulation in conjunction with noted Ayurvedic physician and scholar A. Shriskrishna Phadke, who has more than forty years experience in Ayurveda and is a member of the Central Council of Indian Medicine, which oversees Ayurvedic medicine in India.
“Ayurveda is one of the oldest systems of healing on the planet. With 5,000 years of evidence it is the most established form of herbal medicine,” Edwards told NutraIngredients-USA. “In the United States a has gained a lot of popularity. Consumers are less afraid of Indian herbs than they were. I think it’s time has come. You have seen a lot of companies for the last two decades that have used Indian herbs but have used American names for them.”
NuAxon is a bifurcated company; on one hand it has under the NuAxon name two consumer brands called NuroFocus and NuMemory that include the Nurolight formulation as the foundation of the product with additional active ingredients. These two products hit the US market in June. Also, under the Intelligence Tree Botanicals name, NuAxon is marketing Nurolight as a wholesale ingredient formulation.
Ayurveda is noted as a system that can give rise to formulations with numerous ingredients. While it is argued that this promotes the ‘synergy’ of the whole formulation, the multiplicity of ingredients does complicate the study of these formulas’ efficaciousness. Nisarga is on record as promoting formulas that contain the minimum number of ingredients to achieve the synergistic effects suggested under the Ayurvedic system. And so it is with Nurolight; the patented formula contains only five ingredients: flax seed extract, celastrus, bacopa leaf extract, rosemary leaf extract and ginger rhizome extract. The company says it has researched the formulation for support of normal cognitive function in areas including ADD and ADHD.
And NuAxon seems to be latching on to a rising trend. None other than Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council and an observer of the herbal market in North America, earlier this year identified one of the formula’s key ingredients as an up-and-comer.
“I think there are some botanicals from India that are going to reach a higher level of market acceptance in 2013,” Blumenthal said. “The two that come to mind are ashwagandha and bacopa.”
Bacopa, an exctract of Bacopa monnieri, a wetlands plant native to south Asia, has been used for thousands of years in the Ayurvedic system of medicine to enhance cognitive function and boost memory.
Addressing quality concerns
Edwards said Nisarga has state of the art supercritical CO2 extraction facilities that gets around one of the big criticisms of Indian ingredients.
“I think the worst reputation India has is in the area of heavy metal contamination. And we’ve gotten around that by using FDA qualified facilities to test for heavy metals before we import the product,” Edwards said.
“Nisarga has an organic farm where they grow almost all of the herbs. Some of the herbs are wildcrafted but they certified the entire forest as organic using Ecocert as the certifying authority,” he said.