How the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew authenticates plant material for Nature’s Best
Our scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew have been exploring the natural world for over 260 years, to discover, understand and protect the incredible plants and fungi that fill our planet.
In our botanic gardens at Kew and Wakehurst, our experts have amassed a vast amount of knowledge about the benefits of plants, from how to grow them to detailed understanding of their relationships, traits and uses.
We believe that the answers to world’s most pressing issues, from health to climate change or food security can be found in the natural world.
And we also believe that plants, when used responsibly and properly, can be an excellent material for products we use in our everyday lives.
What our stamp means
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a global leader in plant science and authentication from our scientists carries enormous weight.
This stamp of approval requires our partners to go that extra step to ensure they are using the right plant extracts in their products.
When you see our logo on a product, it means our team of scientists have verified botanical extracts used by Nature’s Best.
How do we authenticate ingredients?
To authenticate the plant ingredients, we look at the exact species of plant used to make the botanical extract, and confirm that it is the correct one.
We then use ‘botanical fingerprinting’, comparing the extracts against RBG Kew’s extensive eight million-strong collection of plants material.
Our collections span a vast living collection of plants grown in Kew Gardens and at our wild botanic garden in Wakehurst. We also have an incredible amount of species in our Herbarium; a collection of preserved plants that are stored, catalogued, and arranged systematically for study.
When our plant scientists collect specimens alongside partners around the world, we can compare them with specimens in the Herbarium to determine how one species differ from another, or whether it’s new to science.
What have we authenticated?
Our team of plant scientists have rigorously evaluated the botanical ingredients in a selection of Nature’s Best supplement range to confirm their identity and quality.
Sage (Salvia officinalis) is one of the first botanical ingredients we have authenticated for Nature’s Best. We have checked that each tablet contains 2.5% rosmarinic acid.
To find out more about Sage, please visit Kew’s plant profiles to learn more about its uses and our work.
Top facts about sage:
Garden sage can handle long, hot summers and survive for a while without a lot of water.
Flowers of the Salvia have pollen-producing stamens that have perfectly adapted so that when a bee enters, pollen is easily deposited onto their back to travel with the bee to the next plant.
Salvia is derived from the Latin ‘salvare’ meaning to save.
Nature’s Best Cranberry and Green Tea tablets have also been authenticated during the initial phase of our partnership. We’ve evaluated the botanicals and confirmed their identity as Cranberry extract (with no adulteration) and Green Tea Leaf (Camellia sinensis) respectively.
For more information about the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew please visit kew.org or follow us on @kewgardens and @wakehurst_kew on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Author - Sandra Botterell, Director of Marketing and Commercial Enterprise
Sandra joined the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in March 2016 as Director of Marketing & Commercial Enterprise. Sandra's role carries responsibility for: visitor programmes and exhibitions; brand, marketing, communications, digital experience, design; commercial activities including large scale events, brand licensing, retail, catering, venue hire and publishing; and visitor operations.
Sandra works with colleagues across the organisation to strengthen the overall visitor offer at Kew Gardens and to build the reputation of RBG Kew in the wider world.