NutraMedix Deutschland GmbH is an independent company that specializes in the distribution of high-quality herbal nutritional supplements from NutraMedix in Europe. Our mission is to provide the best possible service for individual customers, therapists, pharmacies and wholesalers on all questions relating to Samento, Banderol and Co.
For over 15 years we, Manuela and Dr. Frank Riedel, intensively deals with the influence of nutrition and the supportive use of plant substances to maintain and regain health in various illnesses. From the very beginning, NutraMedix's high-quality products played a major role. Through the professional exchange with the founder of NutraMedix USA, Tim Eaton, a friendly relationship developed with him and his wife Bertha, which ultimately led to the founding of our company.
We particularly appreciate and share Tim and Bertha's mission to support people in the poorest countries in the world. But that's another story, namely this
A company that produces herbal supplements often has at its heart a single plant that is directly linked to the story and mission of its founders - a plant that is instrumental in helping the company evolve while maintaining health and well-being of its customers.
Years before NutraMedix co-founder Tim Eaton tried his first seed oil, a small group of scientists from an Austrian pharmaceutical company stumbled upon a rare form of cat's claw in the Amazon rainforest. It was a cat's claw that looked like any other, but when analyzed it did not contain any tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids (TOAs).
An oxindole alkaloid is a compound that has many different possibilities, and they interact with human biological processes. What the Austrian scientists understood is that TOAs counteract most of the immune-supporting factors in cat's claw, and their absence would make cat's claw all the more effective.
But there was a problem. In the jungle, they couldn't distinguish the cat's claw that contained TOAs from the cat's claw that didn't contain TOAs - the vines all looked the same, and the vast majority of their samples contained TOAs. They soon realized they couldn't get nearly the supply they needed to make it commercially available.
The Austrian pharmaceutical company then began a multi-year process to develop an extraction method that would remove the TOAs from cat's claw.
Meanwhile, in secret, there was a naturally occurring TOA-free cat's claw that grew wild throughout the Amazon basin and benefited the indigenous peoples living there.
In his twenties, Tim Eaton volunteered for a missionary flight group and served in the countries of Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas. In the mid-1980s, he considered himself the luckiest person in the world, serving God and flying to remote areas in Peru.
Part of Tim's training was to undergo three days of simulated survival training in the Amazon jungle. All he had was his wits, his previous experience, and local tribesmen to educate him about what he could and could not eat and drink.
Water is, of course, essential to survival, and he learned about these lianas that grew into the treetops, had hooked claws, and ranged from two to three centimeters to a foot or more in diameter.
“Cut the vine,” the locals told Tim. "It's a good source of water. You won't get sick." When he cut it, the water flowed into Tim's mouth, looking clear and tasting woody and bitter, as if it were flowing through a bark filter.
And so he tasted cat's claw for the first time in his life. What he didn't know was how this moment would change his life.
During these early years in the 1980s, Tim frequently landed in the jungle to do God's work, drinking cat's claw and sharing many teas with the natives of the Amazon, including teas made from cat's claw bark.
He spent many days and nights with the tribes, learning their customs and sharing their beliefs and stories. They taught him how to hunt, and in the evenings around the campfire, amid laughter and camaraderie, he learned about the cat's claw, that it was used for many things, and that it was an essential part of the Amazonian pharmacopoeia.
During his stay in Peru, Tim met his future wife Bertha and fell in love with her. In the early 1990s, the newlywed Eatons moved to Florida and brought with them a vision for their new company, NutraMedix. They had clarity about how it would manifest itself: it would be God's enterprise and they would be its stewards.
The goal was to offer Peruvian remedies in the United States and use the profits to fund projects that address the physical and spiritual needs of the Peruvian people. The first projects focused on rescuing street children and supporting pastors and workers.
The first herbal product they offered was cat's claw.
They started bringing very small quantities into the US. Since they were new to the herbal medicine business, they eventually found Phillip Steinberg in Wisconsin, who ground the bark into a powder that they could put into a capsule. Phillip, a certified nutritionist, used it himself and was so impressed that he wrote many articles and a book about it, "Cat's Claw: Uncaria tomentosa, the miraculous herb of the Peruvian rainforest."
News of NutraMedix's cat's claw began to spread, and the company began offering it in other forms: as a tea, in the form of bark pieces, and as a powdered extract. The early success allowed them to expand and be the first to introduce Peruvian maca root to the US market. But this is another story.
From 1995 to 1999, they brought 1,000 tons of cat's claw to market, selling it directly to consumers and acting as a wholesale supplier to many of the world's largest brands of nutritional supplements and herbs. Fifty percent of the profits were then donated to their mission projects. A strong virtuous circle between the two Americas.
In the late 1990s, an interesting request came from a wholesale customer. They had received a shipment of NutraMedix Cat's Claw and wrote shortly after receiving it: "We want a lot more of it, but it has to be the same type." They also wanted more QC testing for chemical analysis of each shipment.
Coincidentally, the lab that used NutraMedix for chemical analysis called Tim at the same time. The head of the lab said, "I'm on my way here. I have some exciting news to report." Two hours later, he told Tim that NutraMedix had an extremely rare form of cat's claw and went on to show what he had found: that cat's claw was naturally TOA-free.
Further research showed that the vast majority of cat's claw contains TOAs, which counteract most of the immune-supporting factors found in the vine. All-natural TOA-free cat's claw works differently and is therefore able to support optimal immune system health without stimulating it.
At that moment, NutraMedix realized how their Cat's Claw could lead to providing needed funding for so many projects. Much to the disappointment of their wholesale customers, the decision was made to only sell NutraMedix Cat's Claw directly to consumers and healthcare professionals.
TOA-free cat's claw was sold and marketed as a rare pentacyclic chemotype of Uncaria tomentosa. Once sales were established in the United States, the company moved to Europe to expand the market for its products and reach more people with its health benefits.
With all of these events happening in such a short period of time, it was important that the source of the TOA-free Cat's Claw was solidified. But would it be like the Austrians and only find the plant occasionally and by chance?
Luckily that didn't happen. Beyond sales, this product helped those in need not only in South America but also on other continents. To honor the locals' contribution, Tim remembered what the tribes in Peru called the plant: Samento.
Tim and his team at NutraMedix spend time throughout the year traveling the globe, visiting projects they support and sourcing botanical ingredients. They often return to the Amazon rainforest. Tim joins his fellow former mission pilots in their single-engine plane, landing in tiny patches of clearing and meeting up with his friends in the jungle. He brings with him botanists who understand the local ecology, doctors knowledgeable about native traditions, and, when necessary, guides who have developed a trusting relationship with the villages and tribes. If they can't fly in, they head to the river and then take a canoe with a small Briggs & Stratton engine strapped to the back. Every visit is a new exploration.
Over the years of studying and sourcing Samento, NutraMedix has learned to appreciate its personality. One aspect is how it changes. A vine can be TOA-free, and a year later it is no longer TOA-free. The TOA content can vary from 1% up to 20% and more. It can also become TOA-free after being previously identified as containing TOA. Studies have shown that even a small percentage of TOAs can impact cat's claw support of a healthy immune system. Therefore, finding the TAO-free vines is like a small miracle and is only possible with the help of the knowledgeable natives of the Peruvian rainforest.
Today's Samento products offered in NutraMedix liquid bottles are not exactly the same as yesterday's capsules. The ingredient is the same, but the proprietary extraction process has resulted in a more vibrant herbal remedy that has been evaluated by universities in multiple countries.
Progress is an essential part of the development of Samento. As is the care, intention and prayer that goes into sourcing, processing and testing the product.
This process has attracted amazing people to join the NutraMedix family.
One of those people is integrative physician William Lee Cowden, MD, MD (H). Years ago, Dr. Cowden at a health conference about the amazing properties of Samento. Samento clearly had special qualities, but what about the company that made and sold it? Was what the company said about its mission true, or was it just marketing? Dr. Cowden requested a meeting with Tim and asked a series of questions that probed the authenticity and integrity of the company and its founders. When he was satisfied, he said, "I really want to work with you and I would like to help your company achieve its mission." This was the beginning of a professional and personal relationship that led to the development of the Cowden Support Program, a protocol that leverages 14 NutraMedix products for unresolved health challenges.
In 2018, Cayetano Heredia University in Lima, Peru began researching NutraMedix products. The head of the research department, Leon Villegas Vilchez, had been testing cat's claw for more than two decades. He contacted Tim immediately and said, "I didn't think this rare species of cat's claw really existed. I thought it was a myth." He went on to explain that in all the years he had worked with cat's claw, NutraMedix Samento was the only cat's claw that actually met the US Pharmacopeia criteria, that it was the only cat's claw in which the tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids were actually undetectable with their state-of-the-art high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) laboratory equipment. Soon, NutraMedix sent more products to his lab, which eventually led Leon to say, "I've never seen a product line from a company where they all actually do what you say."
In 2018, NutraMedix began focusing on Samento and its synergistic relationship with other plants. The art and science of herbal formulation is as old as herbalism itself, but little was known about how Samento works in combination with other herbs.
What NutraMedix discovered was that Samento actually enhances the effects of other herbs. For example, the synergy with valerian provides relaxation and sleep support. When combined with Stevia, it creates a formula to support a healthy metabolism, and with Turmeric, a formula to support a healthy mood. All of these formulas benefit greatly from the fundamental immune system support that Samento provides. These combinations have undergone research and scientific studies to better understand the influence of Samento on the effectiveness of these herbs. The results so far are impressive.
Samento's synergy goes beyond the scientific. It was a force that drove NutraMedix to so many synergies that paved the way for so much good. Supporting people's health and well-being. Providing resources to support valuable philanthropic projects on six continents. Creating a supportive network of people who believe in the power of God.
And so what began as survival training in the Amazon region has developed into a tangible and measurable virtuous circle. The water of Samento, although bitter and woody in taste, provides a sweet sensation that blesses not only Tintin and Bertha, but millions of others.