Naturally Therapeutics

Softgel supplements vs. capsules and tablets

When we started our research on creating the best supplement available on the market, we discovered all the benefits of softgel supplements over any other preparation. Softgel supplements offer several advantages over capsules and tablets, making them a superior choice for delivering nutrients and active ingredients.

Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Enhanced Absorption

Softgel supplements have a liquid or oil-based formulation enclosed in a gelatin-based shell. This unique composition allows for better absorption and bioavailability of the active ingredients compared to capsules and tablets. The liquid or oil-based formulation is often better absorbed by the body, ensuring that the nutrients are efficiently delivered and utilized.

Softgels offer higher bioavailability compared to capsules or tablets for herbal preparations due to their faster absorption rate, enhanced solubility of lipophilic compounds, protection against degradation, and more consistent dosing. The liquid or oil-based formulation inside softgels allows for quicker absorption and efficient delivery of active herbal ingredients, resulting in improved bioavailability. Additionally, the protective barrier of softgels helps maintain the stability of the herbal ingredients, ensuring optimal bioavailability by preventing degradation. Softgels provide advantages in terms of absorption, solubility, stability, and dosing consistency, making them a preferred choice for maximizing the bioavailability of herbal preparations.

  • Easy to Swallow

Softgel supplements are typically smaller in size and have a smooth, gel-like texture, making them easier to swallow compared to larger tablets or capsules. This is particularly beneficial for individuals who may have difficulty swallowing or experience discomfort with other dosage forms.

  • Precise Dosage

Softgel supplements can be accurately formulated with precise dosage measurements, ensuring consistent delivery of the desired amount of nutrients or active ingredients. This is especially important for supplements that require specific dosing for optimal effectiveness.

  • Improved Stability

The gelatin-based shell of softgel supplements provides excellent protection against moisture, air, and light, helping to preserve the integrity and stability of the contents. This extended stability can result in a longer shelf life compared to capsules and tablets, which may be more susceptible to degradation.

  • Odor and Taste Masking

Softgel supplements can effectively mask any unpleasant tastes or odors associated with certain ingredients. The gelatin shell acts as a barrier, preventing the odor or taste from being released until the softgel is ingested, ensuring a more pleasant experience for the user.

Most supplements on the market are typically made of capsules rather than softgels due to their lower production costs. Capsules are cheaper to manufacture as they involve simple processes such as filling and sealing of powdered or granulated ingredients. However, when it comes to quality supplements, softgels are the preferred choice. While softgels may involve slightly higher production costs, they offer numerous advantages that contribute to the overall quality of the supplement. Softgels provide better bioavailability, as the liquid or oil-based formulation enhances absorption and solubility of active ingredients. They also offer precise dosage control and protection against degradation. The investment in softgel technology ensures that the active ingredients are effectively delivered and absorbed, maximizing the supplement’s efficacy and providing a superior experience for consumers seeking high-quality products.

The benefits of Valerian Root over Melatonin, a comparison

Finding a good night’s sleep is essential for our overall well-being. Without a proper night’s sleep, our physical and mental functioning becomes severely compromised, leading to a range of negative consequences on our health, cognition, and overall well-being.

Many individuals struggle with sleep and difficulty falling asleep. While melatonin has long been a popular choice for promoting sleep, some individuals, including myself, have experienced grogginess and drowsiness the next day. In my personal experience, I have found valerian root to be a superior alternative to melatonin, providing a refreshing sleep without the unwanted side effects. In this piece, we will explore why valerian root may be a better choice for improving sleep quality, based on my personal experience and additional science-based evidence.

  • Sleep Quality

Valerian root, derived from the Valeriana officinalis plant, has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for sleep disorders. It is known for its calming properties that promote relaxation and improved sleep quality. Unlike melatonin, which directly influences our sleep-wake cycle, valerian root works by increasing the levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps calm brain activity, leading to a more restful sleep.

In a meta-analysis and review of over 370 articles, (including randomized control trials), it was found that the use of valerian was found to almost double the chance of sleeping better compared to placebo.


  • Herbal vs. Synthetic preparation

Melatonin is a synthetic hormone, which is made in a laboratory.  It is made to resemble a natural hormone present in our body.  Valerian root is derived from the Valeriana Officinalis plant, which is found in Europe and Asia, it is classified as an herb.  Valerian has had a long history of traditional use for various ailments including sleep disorders, anxiety and nervousness.

  • Gentle Awakening

One of the main advantages I have experienced with valerian root is the absence of morning grogginess. While melatonin often leaves individuals feeling drowsy and unfocused during the day, valerian root has a gentler awakening effect. This can be attributed to its unique mechanism of action, which allows for a smoother transition from sleep to wakefulness. Waking up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day is a significant benefit of valerian root over melatonin.

  • Reduced Dependency

Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by the body, and supplementation may interfere with the body’s natural production and regulation of melatonin levels. With long-term use, it is possible to develop a dependency on melatonin supplements, requiring higher and higher doses to achieve the same sleep benefits. Valerian root, on the other hand, does not disrupt the body’s natural melatonin production, making it a more sustainable option in the long run.

  • Relaxation Benefits

Beyond its sleep-promoting effects, valerian root offers additional benefits for overall relaxation and stress reduction. It has been traditionally used as a natural remedy for anxiety and nervousness, which often contribute to sleep disturbances. By calming the mind and promoting a sense of tranquility, valerian root addresses the underlying causes of sleep difficulties, ensuring a more holistic approach to sleep management.

  • Fewer Side Effects

While melatonin is generally considered safe, it can still cause side effects such as headaches, dizziness, and daytime sleepiness, as I have experienced. Valerian root, on the other hand, is known for its minimal side effects. While some individuals may experience mild stomach discomfort or vivid dreams, these occurrences are relatively rare and typically subside with continued use.

  • Low Clinical Contraindications*

Available animal and human pharmacodynamic studies does not verify interaction potential of valerian preparations.  This means,  interactions seems to be low and thereby without clinical relevance. There is no specific evidence questioning safety, which includes cancer patients.


*Even though valerian may have lower contraindications than most other sleep supplements, please check with your doctor.

  • Can help relieve symptoms for Post-Menopausal Women

In a study published in April, 2023, “Effect of fennel-valerian extract on hot flashes and sleep disorders in postmenopausal women: A randomized trial” the results where that women who took the fennel-valerian extract had significantly lower pittsburgh sleep quality index score than the control group, 2 months after intervention.  The study found that fennel-valerian was effective in relieving sleep disorders as well as decreasing severity and frequency of hot flashes compared to placebo.


Based on my personal experience and additional evidence, valerian root emerges as a superior alternative to melatonin for promoting restful sleep. Its ability to induce relaxation, improve sleep quality, and offer a gentle awakening sets it apart from melatonin. Furthermore, valerian root’s reduced dependency potential and additional relaxation benefits make it a more holistic choice for those seeking natural sleep aids. As with any supplement, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional before incorporating valerian root into your sleep routine, particularly if you have pre-existing health conditions or are taking other medications.

Natural Supplements: A Natural Ally against Modern diseases

With increasing concerns about the side effects and limitations of conventional medications, many individuals are turning to natural alternatives to support their overall well-being. This piece explores the benefits of using natural supplements as preventatives for various modern diseases and highlights their potential advantages in promoting health and preventing illness.

1. Nutritional Support:

One of the key benefits of natural supplements is their ability to provide essential nutrients that may be lacking in a person’s diet. Inadequate intake of vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can weaken the immune system and make the body more susceptible to diseases. Natural supplements, such as multivitamins, herbal extracts, and superfoods, offer a convenient way to bridge nutritional gaps and promote optimal health. By ensuring an adequate intake of vital nutrients, natural supplements can help support immune function, cellular health, and overall disease resistance.

Here are some examples of natural supplements that provide nutritional support

    • Omega-3 Fatty Acids — found in fish oil supplements provide nutrient rich EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which provide heart health, brain health and reducing inflammation
    • Probiotics — beneficial bacteria that supports digestive health and boosts the immune systme
    • Vitamin D — bone health, immune function, overall well-being
    • Vitamin C — antioxidant, immune health, collagen production, free radical scavenger
    • Magnesium: involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body and essential for energy production
    • Antioxidant-rich extracts — green tea extracts, grape seed extracts, resveratrol from red wine — these various extracts provide additional antioxidant protection against free radicals

2. Reduced Risk of Chronic Diseases:

Modern society faces a significant burden of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Lifestyle factors, including poor diet, sedentary habits, and environmental toxins, contribute to the development of these conditions. Natural supplements, when used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases. For example, omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish oil have been associated with a lower risk of heart disease, while curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, exhibits anti-inflammatory properties that may be beneficial in preventing various chronic conditions.

Some examples of natural supplements that help fight against chronic disease

    • Turmeric (curcumin) — anti-inflammatory, antioxidant. Studies confirm of turmerics ability to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders.
    • Green Tea Extract — rich in polyphenols such as catechins. Has been associated with the reduced risk of heart disease, certain types of cancers and improved brain health.
    • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) — antioxidant, reduces oxidative stress, mitigates side effects of certain medications
    • Resveratrol — protects against heart disease, cancer and neurodegenerative disorders.
    • Garlic — contains sulfur compounds associated with cardiovascular benefits such as reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Also possesses antimicrobial properties.
    • Berberine — improves blood sugar control, lowers cholesterol levels and supports heart health

3. Immune System Support:

A robust immune system is essential for defending the body against pathogens and preventing the onset of diseases. Natural supplements, such as probiotics, vitamin C, zinc, and medicinal mushrooms, have been shown to enhance immune function. These supplements can help strengthen the body’s defenses, reduce the severity and duration of infections, and support overall immune health. By bolstering the immune system, natural supplements play a crucial role in preventing diseases caused by microbial pathogens and promoting general well-being.

Some examples of natural supplements that support the immune system

    • Vitamin C
    • Zinc
    • Elderberry
    • Echinacea
    • Garlic
    • Probiotics
    • Medicinal Mushrooms

4. Antioxidant Protection:

The modern lifestyle exposes individuals to various environmental pollutants, oxidative stress, and free radicals, which can damage cells and contribute to the development of diseases. Natural supplements rich in antioxidants, such as green tea extract, resveratrol, and vitamin E, help combat oxidative stress and neutralize harmful free radicals. By providing antioxidant protection, these supplements assist in reducing the risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disorders, neurodegenerative conditions, and certain types of cancer.

Here are some examples of natural supplements that provide antioxidant protection

    • Vitamin E
    • Vitamin C
    • Green Tea
    • Resveratrol
    • CoQ10
    • Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA)
    • Astaxanthin
    • Grape Seed Extract

5. Reduced Dependency on Pharmaceuticals:

While conventional medications have undoubtedly revolutionized modern medicine, there is a growing concern regarding their side effects and long-term use. Natural supplements offer a potential alternative or complementary approach to conventional pharmaceuticals. By incorporating natural supplements as preventatives, individuals may be able to reduce their reliance on prescription drugs or alleviate some of the adverse effects associated with them. However, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to medication regimens.

6. Sleep Regulation and Relaxation:

Several natural supplements have been found to aid in sleep regulation and relaxation. Melatonin, a hormone naturally produced by the body to regulate sleep-wake cycles, is a popular supplement used to alleviate insomnia and promote healthy sleep patterns. Other supplements, such as valerian root, chamomile, lavender, and passionflower, have calming effects on the nervous system, promoting relaxation and easing anxiety, which can contribute to improved sleep quality.

Here are some examples of natural supplements that help support sleep and relaxation:

    • Melatonin
    • Valerian Root
    • Chamomile
    • Magnesium
    • L-theanine
    • 5-HTP
    • Passion Flower

Natural supplements offer a range of benefits in supporting various aspects of health, including nutritional support, prevention of chronic diseases, immune system support, antioxidant protection, sleep and relaxation and many more… These supplements, when used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, can contribute to overall well-being and potentially reduce the risk of health conditions and fight against modern diseases.

Tumeric (Curcumin): A Powerful Anti-inflammatory and Sleep Ally

Turmeric, scientifically known as Curcuma longa, is a perennial herbaceous plant that belongs to the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. Native to South Asia, particularly India, turmeric has a long history of cultivation and use for various purposes. It is widely recognized for its vibrant yellow-orange color, warm aroma, and distinct flavor.

The turmeric plant features large, oblong leaves that grow from a central rhizome. The rhizome is the primary part of the plant that is harvested and utilized. It has a rough, brownish skin and a bright orange-yellow flesh. When the rhizome is dried and ground, it yields the popular spice known as turmeric powder.

Turmeric has been an integral part of cultural and culinary traditions in many societies. It is a key ingredient in numerous Asian cuisines, adding a distinctive flavor and color to dishes. It is commonly used in curries, soups, sauces, and rice dishes. Turmeric is also used as a natural food coloring agent, giving a vibrant yellow hue to various foods and beverages.

Beyond its culinary uses, turmeric has been valued for centuries for its potential medicinal properties. The main bioactive compound in turmeric is curcumin, which is responsible for many of its therapeutic effects. Research suggests that turmeric may offer several potential health benefits:

Anti-Inflammatory Benefits of Turmeric

  • Inhibition of Inflammatory Mediators: Turmeric and its active compound curcumin have been shown to inhibit the activity of various inflammatory mediators, such as cytokines, chemokines, and enzymes involved in the inflammatory response (Aggarwal et al., 2019; Menon & Sudheer, 2007).
  • Modulation of Inflammatory Pathways: Turmeric and curcumin have been found to interfere with the activation of several signaling pathways associated with inflammation, including NF-κB (nuclear factor-kappa B) and MAPKs (mitogen-activated protein kinases) (Aggarwal et al., 2019; Gupta et al., 2013).
  • Reduction of Oxidative Stress: Turmeric’s antioxidant properties help reduce oxidative stress, which is closely linked to chronic inflammation. By scavenging free radicals and enhancing the body’s antioxidant defenses, turmeric may help counteract inflammation caused by oxidative damage (Sahebkar et al., 2014; Chainani-Wu, 2003).
  • Joint Health and Arthritis: Turmeric has been studied for its potential benefits in joint health and arthritis management. It may help alleviate joint pain, stiffness, and swelling by reducing inflammatory responses within the joints (Henrotin et al., 2019).
  • Digestive Health: Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties may also extend to the digestive system. It has been traditionally used to support digestive health, alleviate symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and improve gut function (Mishra et al., 2013).
  • Skin Conditions: Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory effects make it a popular ingredient in skincare. It may help soothe inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis (Vaughn et al., 2016).

Antioxidant Benefits of Turmeric

  • Free Radical Scavenging: Turmeric contains active compounds, particularly curcumin, that possess strong antioxidant properties. They can neutralize harmful free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules that can cause oxidative damage to cells and contribute to various diseases (Sahebkar et al., 2014; Chainani-Wu, 2003).
  • Protection Against Oxidative Stress: Turmeric’s antioxidants help protect cells and tissues from oxidative stress, which occurs when there is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body’s antioxidant defenses. By reducing oxidative stress, turmeric may support overall health and well-being (Aggarwal et al., 2019; Sahebkar et al., 2014).
  • Cardiovascular Health: Turmeric’s antioxidant properties have been studied for their potential benefits in cardiovascular health. They may help protect against the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, inhibit platelet aggregation, and improve blood vessel function, thus potentially reducing the risk of heart disease (Sahebkar et al., 2014; Aggarwal et al., 2019).
  • Neuroprotection: Oxidative stress plays a role in the development and progression of neurological disorders. Turmeric’s antioxidants have shown potential neuroprotective effects by reducing oxidative damage, inflammation, and protecting against neuronal cell death, which may be beneficial for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease (Gupta et al., 2013; Aggarwal et al., 2019).
  • Anti-Aging Effects: Turmeric’s antioxidant activity may contribute to its potential anti-aging effects. By reducing oxidative stress and protecting against cellular damage, it may help maintain healthy cellular function and potentially slow down age-related processes (Sahebkar et al., 2014).
  • Skin Health: Turmeric’s antioxidant properties make it a popular ingredient in skincare products. It can help neutralize free radicals, protect against oxidative damage, and promote a healthy complexion. Turmeric may assist in reducing signs of aging, supporting skin elasticity, and improving overall skin health (Vaughn et al., 2016).

While Turmeric is not commonly used for sleep medication, it powerful benefits indirectly contribute to improved sleep and relaxation.  Here are a few ways, which turmeric has positive impacts:

  • Reducing Inflammation: Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties may help alleviate conditions that could disrupt sleep, such as chronic pain, arthritis, or inflammation-related sleep disorders. By reducing inflammation in the body, turmeric might contribute to improved sleep quality (Henrotin et al., 2019; Mishra et al., 2013).
  • Supporting Brain Health: Turmeric’s bioactive compounds, including curcumin, have shown potential neuroprotective effects. By protecting brain cells from oxidative damage and reducing inflammation in the brain, turmeric might support overall brain health, potentially benefiting sleep patterns and relaxation (Gupta et al., 2013; Aggarwal et al., 2019).
  • Mood Enhancement: Some preliminary research suggests that turmeric may have mood-enhancing effects. By positively impacting mood, turmeric might indirectly contribute to relaxation and better sleep quality (Sanmukhani et al., 2014). However, further studies are needed to establish a direct link between turmeric and mood regulation.
  • Stress Reduction: Chronic stress can interfere with sleep and relaxation. Turmeric’s antioxidant properties may help mitigate oxidative stress caused by environmental and psychological stressors, potentially promoting a more relaxed state and facilitating better sleep (Aggarwal et al., 2019).

Incorporating turmeric into your routine may be beneficial as part of a holistic approach to overall well-being, considering its potential anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Valerian Root: a Powerful, Natural Sleep Ally

Valerian root is a popular herbal remedy that has been used for centuries to promote relaxation and sleep. While it has a long history of traditional use, scientific studies have also explored its potential benefits.

Here are some science-based studies of valerian root, including its benefits and relevant scientific studies:

  • Promotes Sleep and reduces Insomnia:

Valerian root is commonly used as a natural sleep aid. Several studies have suggested its effectiveness in improving sleep quality and reducing insomnia symptoms. For example:

In a study published in the American Journal of Medicine Reviews, researchers found that valerian root supplementation significantly improved sleep quality and increased the percentage of deep sleep.

Another analysis, published in American Family Physician, it was found that valerian extract helped individuals with insomnia achieve better sleep compared to a placebo.

  • Anxiety and Stress Reduction:

Valerian root has also been investigated for its potential anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and stress-reducing effects. Some studies have indicated positive outcomes in this regard:

Mount Sinai has resources for Valerian including its ability to reduce insomnia, anxiety and nervous restlessness.  It also provides dosage information, availability, precautions and interactions.

Published in July 2020 in OMJ, double-blind, cross-over clinical study: Valerian signification  improved sleep quality, the symptoms of state anxiety and depression in hemodialysis (HD) patients

  • Potential for Pain Relief:

Some studies have explored the analgesic (pain-relieving) properties of valerian root, although more research is necessary to establish its efficacy and mechanisms of action:

In an animal study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, valerian extract showed potential analgesic effects by reducing pain sensitivity in rats.

A study published in the Journal of Natural Medicines suggested that valerian compounds could have antinociceptive effects, potentially influencing pain perception.

It’s important to note that while valerian root is considered safe for short-term use, it may interact with certain medications and cause side effects in some individuals. It is advisable to consult with your healthcare professional before incorporating valerian root when you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications.

Valerian Root contraindications and precautions

Valerian root is generally considered safe for short-term use. However, there are certain contraindications and precautions to be aware of:

  • Allergies: Individuals with known allergies or hypersensitivity to valerian or related plants (such as daisies, ragweed, or marigolds) should avoid valerian root.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Valerian root’s safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been well established. It is generally recommended to avoid its use during these periods due to limited research and potential risks.
  • Sedative medications: Valerian root has mild sedative effects. Combining it with other sedative medications, such as benzodiazepines or barbiturates, may enhance the sedative effects and result in excessive drowsiness or dizziness. It is advisable to consult a healthcare professional before using valerian root alongside sedative medications.
  • Hepatic impairment: Valerian root is primarily metabolized in the liver. Individuals with liver diseases or impaired liver function should exercise caution and consult a healthcare professional before using valerian root, as it may affect liver enzyme activity.
  • CNS depressants: Valerian root may have additive effects when used concurrently with central nervous system (CNS) depressants like alcohol, opioids, or certain medications. Combining these substances may increase the risk of excessive sedation and impaired coordination.
  • Surgery: Valerian root may have sedative effects and interact with anesthesia and other medications used during surgical procedures. It is recommended to discontinue valerian root use at least two weeks prior to scheduled surgery.

It’s important to note that these contraindications and precautions may vary depending on the individual’s health status, medication regimen, and other factors. If you are considering using valerian root or any herbal supplement, it is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified herbalist.