How We Evaluate and Choose Our Amazing Ingredients
Bio-First® lives by its ethos of Science by Nature. This involves carefully selecting and extensively researching every ingredient used in our biovital formulations, we also work hard to ensure a sustainable supply chain where possible.
We are aligned with the International NATRUE Standard Classifications of natural ingredients being: Natural, Derived Natural or Nature Identical. All of our products are primarily pure Natural, with small amounts of Derived Natural (example: an emulsifier) and any Nature Identical ingredients added at 1% or less and only when strictly necessary (example: a preservative). The key characteristic of everything used is that it can be found in nature.
All of our ingredients have impressive hazard scores as defined by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). They rate ingredients from 1-10 with 1 being the lowest risk. This hazard score reflects known and suspected hazards or health impacts linked to the specific ingredient. You can see the EWG rating for each ingredient on the product pages. EWG is a community 30 million strong, working to protect our environmental and personal health by changing industry standards.
We use large proportions of lovely natural ingredients, like Self Heal extract at 12.5% in ‘Self Heal’ Oral Spray or 15% Elderberry in Liquid Health Syrup, and small amounts of nature-identicals such as Citric Acid in our Manuka Skin Saver at only 0.126%. The very small amount of Limonene (less than 0.4%) in our ‘Self Heal’ Salve is a special case – although the EWG rating is 4, this is an entirely natural ingredient that occurs in many essential oils but may be irritant in high concentrations.
Just by the way, we currently source ingredients grown in over 15 regions, from Australasia to America and Patagonia to Mongolia!
A word on Preservatives
Here’s the things with preservatives, they often get a bad rap, but really if you’re using the right ones they are there to ensure your safety and prevent infections through contaminated products. We use preservative systems that are nature-identical. The systems can include:
- Parfum or Naticide, a natural preservative.
- Potassium Sorbate, a nature-identical preservative. It is the salt of Sorbic Acid, which is naturally occurring in many fruits.
- Sodium Benzoate, a nature-identical preservative. It is the sodium salt of benzoic acid, which is naturally occurring in many fruits.
- Citric Acid, a nature-identical pH balancer. It is naturally occurring in citrus fruits.
Maori people of New Zealand knew the magic of manuka, and later arrivals quickly appreciated its value in wellness and illness. Bio-FirstTM uses manuka leaf, manuka oil, and the world famous manuka honey as special ingredients.
Every part of this New Zealand native has unique properties and character. The leaves make a wonderful tea rich in vitamin C and phyto-actives, the small pretty flowers have a distinctive aroma and pollen loved by bees, the seed capsules are potent and protective.
Manuka is a proven antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. The honey has multiple uses and powerful healing qualities. Manuka is truly magic.
A close relative with a different name, Kanuka resembles manuka and also yields a wonderful rich honey. While manuka is the red 'tea tree', kanuka is the white 'tea tree'. At Christmas time in New Zealand summer, its masses of tiny blossom give the native bush a snow kissed appearance.
Kanuka is slightly more delicate than manuka, the oil is lighter and aroma softer but health benefits are many and various. Kanuka is an underappreciated member of the family now gaining well-deserved recognition, particularly by Bio-FirstTM.
This 'first cousin' of the extended Myrtaceae family is native to Australia. It is found as a small tree with bright shiny leaves and clusters of white lemon scented flowers.
All parts of lemon myrtle have a divine citrus scent, fresh and uplifting. With a widely used intense flavour, it also has important antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic activity.
Immunity Treasure TrioElderberry & blackcurrant have the most intensely coloured fruit on earth. We bring them together with our Biovital Blend to pack a powerful immune defense punch!
Rightly renowned for their super-active benefits, elderberries grow in a glossy purple black profusion and are proven to reduce cold symptoms, duration and severity while also being generally antiviral, antibacterial, antioxidant, antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory - need we say more? Just that we use over FOUR times the concentration found in most Sambucus syrups!.
The amazing defence systems of nature can care for you too - made in NZ from the most protective and productive parts of five fruits including sauvignon grapes, boysenberries and kiwi-fruit, our Biovital Blend offers high performance antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action with superiority confirmed by scientific testing.
Saving the secret till last ..... blackcurrants from New Zealand have 50% more anthocyanins than those found anywhere else in the world, plus the amounts of vitamin C are amazing. These tiny shiny treasures are almost black, growing in clusters on grape-like vines. Apart from their benefits for immunity, blackcurrants regulate cholesterol and glucose levels. They can be a bit sour but we're very sweet on them!
Among the most famous of flavours, tender-leaved peppermint has long been a family friend. Edible and versatile, peppermint is antitussive and anti-irritant, soothing to coughs, calms the digestion, freshens the breath.
Enjoyed worldwide as a culinary herb, thyme is also found in many products such as mouthwash, cosmetics and even chewing gum!
Ancient Sumerians, Egyptians and Romans knew what they were doing when they chose thyme as a valued medicinal. It is a broad spectrum antibacterial, plus anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. We use it as a flavoursome phyto-active in our Immune Support formulations.
This widespread robust plant has striking purple flowers and large serrated leaves but it is the seeds that are used in health and medicine. Traditionally and still today milk thistle is taken orally however topical use is emerging strongly.
The seed extract is impressively bioactive in skin protection and repair, reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. The seed oil is lovely and light. much richer in tocopherols than vitamin E, and beautifully restorative. Overall an amazing ‘new secret’ in skincare.
Gifts of the DesertFrom adversity comes an awesome threesome.
This renowned succulent is nature's first-line answer to unhappy skin. The gel is soothing, hydrating, protective and healing.
It feels marvellous and in low concentrations can also support oral health. Aloe is the major component of several Bio-FirstTM tropicaIs so please consider this if among the very few with sensitivity to it.
Like aloes, jojoba is a desert native but this one looks more like small olive trees.
The fruit contains a wax, commonly known as jojoba oil. Like many species from arid lands, jojoba has exceptional characteristics of value to human life. Bio-First™ favours jojoba for it's outstanding sebum compatibility, moisturising quality, and repairing nature. It is simply a joy to use.
Yet another highly resilient evolved type, sea buckthorn survives and thrives in arid sub-arctic conditions exposed to the sea!
Each year it is smothered in golden berries from which an amazing emollients extracted. Finding its way onto your skin, this oil regenerates, nourishes and provides protection by helping restore barrier function. Sea buckthorn can defend both itself and you.
This much loved comforting botanical is another Asteraceae specimen*. We use a particular variety with a familiar herbaceous aroma and taste. Our chosen chamomile essential oil is indigo blue and premium.
It is calming, relieving, penetrating, healing and soothing. No other herb can do quite what it does so we include it for special purposes where nothing else is good enough.
*Some people are sensitive to this family- caution advised if you're one of them.
Straight from the heart of the sacred sandalwood tree comes its oil, rare and precious. The exotic fragrance is beguiling and unique, appreciated equally by males and females.
In natural medicine sandalwood is applied topically, infused, inhaled, and sometimes ingested. It is toning, penetrating, soothing, antimicrobial and balancing, perfect for topical use. Sandalwood essential oil is highly prized and priced .... beware of imitations. We only use the real thing.
The bergamot orange is a Mediterranean fruit, yellowish green outside and lime coloured inside. Bergamot blossom is creamy white with a gorgeous scent and the whole plant has a distinctive citrus fragrance familiar to many in Earl Grey tea, and appealing to most people.
The essential oil is extracted from inside the fruit rind. It purifies and tones, is cleansing, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Bio-FirstTM chooses non-phototoxic bergamot oil from Italy for complete confidence in skincare use.
Ancient IconsEach of these has spiritual dimensions much appreciated in past civilisations.
An ancient member of the mint family, self heal (Prunella vulgaris) is found growing in most parts of the world and has been highly valued in many cultures. This aromatic edible herb produces vivid purple blue flowers and tender, tasty leaves. All parts of the plant have been used medicinally for a wide variety of healing issues both internal and external, hence its other common name of Heal All. We use a custom formulated alcohol-free extract that is powerful, palatable and safe for the skin & body. A Bio-First gem.
Literally in a class of its own, pomegranate has no close relatives and is truly unique, from its smooth blush exterior to its seed filled interior. Originating in the cradle of civilisation, pomegranate has a proud history in health use due to its antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Apart from that the juice of this exotic fruit is delicious, nutritious and intense.
Back to before the time of the bible, frankincense has a mystical and medical aura…. It is the original incense. Frankincense oil is made from the resin of Boswellia trees, native to the Middle East, India and parts of Africa. The heady scent is known to arouse beneficial responses and the oil has many uses in topical forms. Bio-First uses a particular variety, Boswellia carterii, for its special properties and suitability.
Science by NatureNATURAL LIVING CARE
Nature is wise, nature knows best, and nature knows first – she already knows all that science discovers, so we called our brand Bio-First.
Bio-First is dedicated to reuniting human and plant biology in active living care. All of our living care products are Unique, Biovital, Proven & Quality. They are what you deserve.