Phytobiotics are bioactive compounds derived from plants that –added to animal feed – promote health, wellbeing and performance. Phytobiotics can support the food intake, the digestive enzymes secretion, the immune system stimulation, the modulation of the intestinal microflora, with some antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
They are also used as regulators of digestive functions, influence the gastrointestinal motility, regulate the gastrointestinal tract pH, and reduce the secretion of digestive juices and the appearance of diarrhoea.
The plant-based additives provided to animals stimulate the digestive processes supporting the microorganism in the gastrointestinal system. In particular, their effect on the growth of LAB probiotics is important since they act as regulators of the gastrointestinal microbial homeostasis. The balance of the intestinal flora represents an efficient barrier against the colonization from pathogens, influences the production of metabolic substrates (for ex. Vitamins and short chain fatty-acids) and positively stimulate the immune system.
For these reasons, Akron Srl has decided to add such raw materials to its products, making every formulation unique and rich in biologically active and interesting molecules. In 2023, the R&D Research Group also decided to engage in the research and development of a fermented product: the Orthosiphon.
The Orthosiphon aristatus (better known as Java tea) is an Indonesian medicinal plant normally used as traditional herbal tea. However, recently, it has started to draw the attention for its properties.
In facts, it has traditionally been used as herbal tea in alternative medicine against various diseases: gout, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, rheumatism, tonsillitis, and menstrual disorders, as well as some illnesses that affect the urinary tract, kidney disorders and the ones linked to the bladder (Hunaefi and Smetanska, 2013).
It is important to highlight that the Orthosiphon aristatus contains other phenolic compounds (Ho et. al., 2010), which are believed to be the main factors responsible for the multiple benefits that this plant provides.
Furthermore, the Orthosiphon leaves contains glucosides (among which orthosiphonine), essential oils (with sequiterpenes), flavonoids, saponins, vitamins, mineral salts (mainly potassium and calcium). Among the molecules that carry out their beneficial function there is the rosmarinic acid, the sinensetin and the eupatorin. However, it is impossible to indicate a single responsible for the Orthosiphon properties. For this reason, it is useful to exploit the synergy between the different components of the organism.
Thanks to these features, we can thus state that the Orthosiphon:
- Is diuretic: it does not stimulate the drainage of liquids only but also of exceeding chlorides and urea;
- Lowers the pressure: by increasing diuresis, it reduces the blood volume and, consequently, the pressure on vascular walls;
- Has a bactericidal effect, thanks to sequiterpenes;
- Fights infections and inflammations.
All these important characteristics have led Akron to highlight the positive function of Orthosiphon through a unique fermentation process with Aspergillus oryzae.
The processing made by Akron – starting from leaves and in combination with Aspergillus oryzae – enable to obtain a product with a low percentage of pollutants and contaminants.
Foksowicz-Flaczyk et al., 2022, The Effect of Herbal Feed Additives in the Diet of Dairy Goats on Intestinal Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) Count.