Anti-ageing hormone found in Welsh plant


London: A natural food supplement called Asphalia, composed of completely plant-derived materials which are grown and produced in South Wales and are naturally rich in melatonin, has been proven to aid the body’s ability to achieve REM sleep faster than any other sleeping tablets and with no adverse side effects.

It is a well known that melatonin plays an important role in the regulation of the circadian rhythms of the body. It has also been proven to be a powerful, potent and natural antioxidant – five times as powerful as Vitamin C and twice as strong as Vitamin E, as well as helping to strengthen the immune system and providing cardiovascular protection. Melatonin however, is best known for its role in jet lag and in maintaining healthy sleep.

Available over the counter in the US, synthetic melatonin has become one of the most popular remedies for insomnia and jet lag. However, in the UK, synthetic melatonin supplements were banned several years ago, as they were classed as a hormone and are now only available on prescription.

In a published study reporting that some plants were rich in natural melatonin, the gramineous plant Festuca arundinacea, a meadow grass with unique properties, was shown to contain far more melatonin than any of the other 24 plants that were tested. (Hattori, Migitaka et al., 1995)

An independent Welsh laboratory, Coghill Research Laboratories, established in the early 1980s, has been growing this plant for several years and has now developed Asphalia as a food supplement based on its leaves. This natural plant-derived melatonin is proving more effective than its synthetic equivalent.

Asphalia contains melatonin in physiological doses (in the sub-microgram range), which have been shown to remain efficacious for longer than the pharmacological doses (in the milligram range). The latter usually applies to melatonin supplements made from synthetic chemicals.

Besides helping to regulate sleep, Asphalia also promotes wellbeing in people suffering from exposure to electromagnetic pollution, since it contains such a strong anti-oxidant. Anti-oxidants provide protection against extremely low frequency (“ELF”) electromagnetic fields (“EMFs”) found near power lines, domestic wiring and electric appliances and also against higher frequency radiations from radar, radio waves, cell phones and masts. A new DoH-funded committee (SAGE) has recently advised of the public’s need to mitigate exposure to EMFs.

It is also especially beneficial for people over 40, as melatonin declines with age – from the age of 70, the body only makes 10% of the normal adult concentration, a principal cause of the ageing process.

Approved by the MHRA as an over-the-counter food supplement, Asphalia’s Greensward anti-oxidant formula is made purely from Festuca arundinacea .

Asphalia products are now available from independent health food stores across the UK, by mail order and online at T. + 44 (0)1495 752122. Costs £11.75 for 30 capsules (one month’s supply) plus £2.50 p&p within the UK.