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About Us

Sutherlandia being harvested in South Africa. The Sutherlandia Company is proud of its commitment to ensuring that poorer individuals, who often inhabit areas where plants of medical interest grow, benefit from the commercial use of these plants. This policy makes both a strong moral and business case, especially important in a time where corporate scandals are shaking faith in the corporate world.

 

Who we are
We are a small South African company that is researching information on many plants all over the world (with a special focus on Africa, South America and Asia) then examining how they can benefit people's health and general well being.

We have no connection to any of the major pharmaceutical firms, biotechnology or chemical firms. We are fully independently owned.

What we do
We examine various plants and discover any useful constituent bio-chemically active compounds in them, by researching the traditional uses of indigenous local inhabitants and by analyzing their chemical structures. We then study patent office reports and scientific literature for evidence of any health benefits of the active compounds, or we commission our own research if we are not satisfied with what we discover.

We are currently researching over two dozen plants in Africa, Asia and South America - some are well known, others are poorly understood. Though the process may be slow, we are confident that we will be able to effectively treat many conditions with at least some of these plants.

When we discover something that meets our strict criteria, we bring it to the world.

What we don't do
We do not have anything to do with animal based substances. This is not because of a belief in any lack of effectiveness of some these substances - in fact, many appear to be quite effective - but due to a number of ethical and scientific reasons. Firstly, many staff of Sutherlandia.Com are strongly opposed to animal based medicines on moral grounds. Secondly, the trade of many of these substances is illegal as they involve the harming of protected species. Thirdly, we find that many of these substances have a comparatively short shelf life. Finally, we do not have the expertise to properly evaluate these products: the biochemistry of animal matter is very different to those of plant substances. We simply do not possess the requisite knowledge in this area to properly evaluate animal based substances. Thus, we prefer to concentrate on what we know we can do well.

Our Products
At present, we have two product types, which we have exhaustively researched and are proud to bring to you:

Sutherlandia frutescens(subspecies Microphylla elite chemotype) This is our founding product and the one that has given us our corporate name. It is available as both a Gel and in Tablet form. You can find out more about it by clicking here.
Sceletium Tortuosum This is a recently added product, which has tremendous potential in helping individuals who are suffering from mood-type problems. You can find out more about it here.

Whilst we have many other products under consideration at this time, it's these two plants, due to their combination of affordability, known biochemical properties and the effectiveness of their constituent compounds (as evidenced by a series of patents and research documentation) in treating a wide variety of conditions, that we have chosen to initially bring to the wider world.

Our Philosophy
We are a company that believes strongly that many ailments that currently afflict people can be effectively treated with low cost, naturally occurring substances. In many cases, these substances are composed of complex biochemical compounds that are scientifically proven to be effective in treating ailments but, unfortunately, are often patented by major pharmaceutical companies, who proceed to make huge profits in selling these substances. In other cases, their effectiveness is suspected, but not yet proven by Western scientific standards.

However, we do not subscribe to the notion that all the giant pharmaceutical companies are inherently evil corporations: that is plainly false. No one can argue that these large firms have not invested billions of research dollars and made major breakthroughs that have saved millions of lives over many years and eased the pain and suffering of many more. Research into many of these breakthrough drugs is a costly and time consuming process. It is only fair that these companies reward their shareholders with solid returns.

However, what cannot be argued is that some of the decisions of these companies over the past few years have had a detrimental effect on many less affluent individuals - or the fact that, despite numerous safeguards and testing procedures, drugs have been released to the public that have had serious, long term health effects on individuals.

One of our methods, we feel, reduces the risk of the above significantly.

A key component of analysis we use is to speak to native inhabitants of local areas where many of these plants grow and ask them about their uses: effectiveness, side effects and limitations. Whilst this approach does not fulfill the very important criteria of double blind, placebo controlled trials (a key component of Western medicine), it does offer something that we feel is potentially at least as valuable: hundreds of years of experience in the safety and effectiveness of the plant. The knowledge of these plants has been passed on for many generations: if the plant is ineffective or is dangerous, then that information would be far more likely to surface than from clinical trials of new drugs which, in some cases, last only last a few months.

However, another reason for our existence is because of a very regrettable phenomenon which is surfacing of late: the corporate greed that has tragically affected so many formally respected companies in the US is now accelerating in ht medical field.

One of the most unfortunate examples of corporate greed is some pharmaceutical companies studying certain plants which have been commonly known (in some cases for centuries) to be effective in treating many ailments in second and third world countries and then patenting the active ingredients in those plants. This is what is known as "Bio-Piracy".

Bio-Piracy has the effect of not only increasing the end user cost (and in many cases pushing the treatment beyond the means of many individuals), but limiting the financial benefit to financially disadvantaged individuals in Africa, Asia and South America.

We are determined to never allow this to happen to any plants and extracts that we consider "in the common knowledge"...or even the not so common knowledge.

Please note, we are not out to "break" the major drug companies: this is not only impossible for a company of our size, but would severely limit research into many new drugs that promise real benefits for people.

Sutherlandia.Com's goal is to fill a niche by giving people what rightly should belong to them as co-owners of a common body of medical knowledge: access to effective treatments for many serious ailments for very low cost...and to make certain that the financially disadvantaged individuals where many of these plants are found benefit from their use.

Of Interest
Sutherlandia.Com sells its products via the AfricanDrugs website.

 

A prime example of the Bio-Piracy that we are trying to stop. An anti-diabetic treatment used for centuries in India was patented by a US firm. Details here.

 

An interesting, if perhaps not totally objective, site on corporate behavior in less developed countries. Whilst the site certainly is very much biased in one direction, it does highlight many issues that otherwise do not appear in the mainstream media. Please click here.

 

An excellent site about corporate responsibility and how some companies are failing, others succeeding in their obligations. Please click here.

 

News

The United Nations is now helping to fight on behalf of people from Third World nations from being exploited by large pharmaceutical companies, with mixed results. Please click here for a BBC report.

 

Some people think that Bio-Piracy is a new phenomenon. Far from it. Click here.

 

There is a way to fight back, at least in part, against Bio-Piracy. This BBC report shows how India is doing it. Please click here.

 

 
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