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Important secondary phytochemicals

What are bitter compounds, tannins, flavonoids?

Anyone involved in healthy natural nutrition can increasingly read about important secondary phytochemicals such as bitter compounds, tannins and flavonoids and their important beneficial properties. But what do these much-used terms actually mean? In plants and berries there are not only minerals and trace elements present, but a broad range of nutrients, each of which performs a specific function.

Bitter compounds are also known as amara. They are explicitly used to support the digestive organs. Among other things they stabilise the formation of bile and gastric juices and are also a natural means of supporting the functions of the pancreas. Support is also given to liver function, which includes the breakdown and excretion of toxins. Bitter compounds support the activation of the mucous membranes in the digestive system – here they get their elasticity and motility.

Bitter compounds possess a lot of outstanding properties and in many systems of traditional medicine they are considered to be the basis of lifelong health and vitality. Apart from supporting the digestive organs they are excellent appetite suppressants and generally make a craving for sweet things disappear very quickly. Bitter compound drugs support the circulation and blood formation, are also used to treat tension, exhaustion and in convalescence.

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In old age, the function of the digestive glands often decreases, here the bitter substances can be a valuable and purely natural support!

Bitter substances have many outstanding properties and are considered to be the basis of lifelong health and vitality in many traditional healing practices. They support the digestive organs, are excellent appetite suppressants and let the desire for “sweet” disappear very quickly. Bitter drugs support the circulation and blood formation, as well as finding a use in nervousness, fatigue and convalescence.

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The best-known bitter compound drugs can be found in, among other things, artichoke, dandelion, yarrow, gentian, centaury, chamomile as well as many other plants.

The term flavonoid is a collective noun for various substances with the same chemical structure – although of completely natural origin. Flavonoids have varied uses and are generally bound to glycosides. Plants or specific parts of plants, e.g. their fruits and berries, have been gathered and processed by humans for centuries. Down the years the experience gained was passed from generation to generation. Nowadays plants and their applications are increasingly becoming a focus of scientific interest. Thus flavonoids, found in celery and raspberries, are used as a dietary supplement in cancer therapy, the rutin from horse chestnuts can help keep veins healthy, the flavonoids in hawthorn can have a beneficial effect on cardiac activity, and birch and goldenrod contain flavonoids which can contribute to kidney and bladder health. 

Flavonoids are also known as polyphenols and generally have an antioxidative effect. Within this spectrum they can help reduce inflammation, support the circulation and the breakdown of tissue damaged by disease, and even play a role in pigmentation. Green leafed vegetables, among other things, are particularly rich in flavonoids, e.g. spinach and basil, also blackberries and currants. Tannins possess a very characteristic property. They are an astringent, i.e. contracting effect, which applies not only to leather production. Tannins can be used both internally and externally. Internally, for example, they support a healthy intestinal membrane and are helpful for diarrhoea. Tannins are used externally, e.g. for gum inflammation, wounds or skin complaints, as the tannins engage specifically with the proteins in skin and mucus help protect against bacteria and toxins.

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Tannins are found mainly in bark and roots. Bloodwort (tormentil) and oak bark are examples.

The variety of plant and berry ingredients  is very broad and extremely valuable for maintaining health or restoring health! At the same time it is very important not only to feed a substance in isolation, as is often the case with synthetic vitamins, but to administer the whole broad essence of a plant with all its natural active ingredients. These constituents complement each other and are important for efficacy. Since they are all supplied to the body  in a totally natural way, the detoxifying organs are not put under strain.

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With a balanced diet of high quality natural ingredients, you can satisfy your dog’s requirement for important phytochemicals. You can fortify food, especially when the requirement for vital elements is increased, for example during convalescence, it is a good idea to serve a carefully prepared mix of this “nutritional value plus”. In Naturavetal Tausendgrün Organic Barf Herbs, and in the Canis Extra Berry Power you will find a whole range of phytochemicals and much more besides.

You can happily mix Tausendgrün Organic Barf Herbs and Berry Power into your pet’s  food several times a year – with breaks in between. Please do not hesitate to contact the Naturavetal Advisory Team, who will be glad to answer any of your questions on feeding!

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