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Phyllanthus Story

The Nova Phyllanthus Research:

Efficacy First


Our story dates back to 1997 at the back of a pharmacy where our founder had an idea to develop an effective product for people who are suffering from liver injuries by using a local plant known as Phyllanthus niruri.

The Legend of Phyllanthus

Over 3,000 years, Phyllanthus is known for its diverse medicinal use in treating various ailments by many cultures around the world. The plant has demonstrated liver protective activities, expelling kidney stones, assisting in solving digestive issues, improving respiratory, anti-viral activities, diuretic, improving skin disorders and sugar control activities. Since the 1960's there has been a growing number of scientific journals published on Phyllanthus and to date over 300 scientific journals on this plant has been published.

Early use of Phyllanthus niruri dates back almost 3,000 years in India. The plant was being used in the ayurverdic medical practise for the treatment of jaundice, liver protection, digestive issues, respiratory complications and skin diseases. Today, Phyllanthus is still being widely used in treating those complications and to treat liver disorders in alcoholics.

In 1988, a major breakthrough on Phyllanthus came when Dr. Baruch Blumberg reported that the plant could clear up the chronic carrier state of Hepatitis B in humans. In this study, he reported that an extract of Phyllanthus cleared the Hepatitis B virus surface antigen from 22 of 37 chronic Hepatitis B Virus patients in only 30 days. Dr. Blumberg was the winner of the 1963 Nobel Prize for discovering the Hepatitis B viral.

Phyllanthus also known as Chanca Piedra or "stone breaker" has been used by the indigenous peoples of the Amazon for generations as a remedy for gallstones and kidney stones. These people also use Phyllanthus to promote liver function by aiding detoxification efforts to clear harmful substances in the body.

In China, Phyllanthus also known as "yexiazhu", commonly used in the traditional Chinese medicine practice for over hundreds of years to treat jaundice and diarrhoea. It is also known to be beneficial in the treatment of Hepatitis B. The beneficial effect of Phyllanthus in Hepatitis B has been published in more than 30 scientific journals in china.

Finding the Elusive Active Compounds

Since the mid-1960s, Phyllanthus has been the subject of many researches to determine the active compounds that are responsible for the medicinal activities, yet the active compounds remain elusive to scientist. The identity and quantity of the compounds are difficult to be determined due to various reasons. One of the reasons is the inconsistency of the active compounds produced by the plant. The inconsistency of the active compounds is influenced by factors such as the environment, weather, soil, harvest time, storage and processes. The inconsistency and quantity of the active compounds will greatly affect the overall product efficacy.

In 1997, our founder started the long and winding road from the research laboratory at the back of his pharmacy to find the medicinal values of Phyllanthus niruri. He invested all his resources and started the risky research of Phyllanthus niruri.

Many researchers consider research as risky because exploring new discoveries or ideas may not lead to positive outcomes. However, his focus to establish a liver protection product that is effective and science-backed made the adversaries seem small.

The starting point for the research was to identify the active compounds in the plant. He screened through more than 500 fractions of the plant extracts and tested the liver protective effects of each fraction on animals.

After identifying the active fractions, he continued the research by determining the quantity of the active fractions that will provide the maximum beneficial effects. This was carried out by testing the liver protective effects on rats with more than 300 fractions at different dose levels.

Another important part of his study was to determine the safety of the product. The long-term safety tests done include the 6-months safety study on rats and 9-months safety study on rabbits. The animals were fed with the active fractions of Phyllanthus at levels more than 20 times the normal dose used for human consumption. At the end of the studies, all the vital organs and important blood parameters were checked to ensure that the products were safe even at high doses.

Based on the above findings, the product was formulated with a unique delivery system to ensure it is well absorbed when taken orally. One of the big formulation challenges for herbal-based products is the diversed nature of the active fractions which contain many compounds with different chemical properties and hence different absorption characteristics.

After three years of trying, he had sucessfully developed a unique delivery system that was able to increase the solubility and subsequent absorption of all the compounds in the active fraction. This is a broad-based delivery technology which can be used in many herbal products to improve solubility and absorption. This unique formulation is known as Phytomatrix Formulation.

Finally, the product was tested for the stability of its active components and for its shelf life. The product wash tested at 30oC for 2 years to ensure that the product is stable and safe to be consumed throughout its shelf life.

Translating plant to pill

For that period spanning more than 10 years, our founder had spent the best parts of his life developing an effective herbal product using Phyllanthus niruri. There were times, during his research he faced challenging situations and failures such as technological inadequacies, negative findings and lack of financial resources. However, the sense of purpose and tenacity were on full display and finally, he delivered a product that is approved for clinical trial in patients.

The business principle of Efficacy First that guided him during that period has also defined how we do business untill today. It has become the life-long guiding principle for Nova and is deeply rooted in our Four Promises that we made our customers.