Healthy sleep material VENETRON® (Rafuma extract)

  • Features / Abundant Functions
  • About Rafuma
  • A journey of Rafuma production areas(available in Japanese only)

Rafuma, a natural herb material.

It contains more than 4% Hyperoside (H) + Isoquercitrin (I)

Rafuma (Apocynum ventum L) is a wild perennial plant which is native to Central Asia and warm regions in Europe. Its main production regions are Tarim Basin, Sinkiang Uighur an Autonomous Region and it’s also distributed in Qinghai Province and Sichuan Province in China. It is a herbal medicine that is recorded in Chinese Pharmacopeia as “a mind stabilizer and calms the liver. It is used for insomnia, high blood pressure and nervous breakdown treatments.” In China, Rafuma has been used in various way e.g. clothes fabrics, fishing nets and as tea leaves. Yanlong tea is a roasted Rafuma leave to fit Japanese taste. It’s identified as a Food for Specified Health Uses (FOSHU) as it promotes improvement of high blood pressure.

Tokiwa Phytochamical’s VENETRON® is a powder extracted from Rafuma dry leaves in aqueous ethanol and purified with resin. It contains more than 4% “Hyperoside” and “Isoquercitrin” that are active components of St. John’s wort (SJW), a representative of western herb for anti-stress and anti-depressant.

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Features of VENETRON® & Abundant Functions

  • It complies with the labeling system on food functions and nutrients
  • It increases the proportion of non-REM sleep time thus improves the quality of sleep
  • It eliminates stress and/or sense of uneasiness.
  • Based on clinical data, its effectiveness is verified.
  • Safety is secured through human testing
  • It provides a superior sense of security because of no drug interaction.
  • It obtains certificate of JIHFS GMP for Health Foods.
  • Interview with Prof. Yokogoshi (available in Japanese only)
  • Studies on VENETRON®

It complies with the labeling system on food functions and nutrients

About the labeling system on food functions and nutrients

As a part of the whole nation’s initiative for disease prevention and health care aiming at realizing a society that “extends the healthy life expectancy of the Japanese people”, “the labeling system on food functions and nutrients” was established in April 2015.
This system allows manufacturers to show consumers an easy-to-understand way about the health functions of food.
To be authorized as a functional food that conforms to the labeling system on food functions and nutrients food, it is required to submit to the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) a “scientific base mandated to describe functions of the foods on its label”. This means any company that wants to apply to the system, needs to review literature on the functionality of necessary ingredients as well as verify that its product contains an effective dose of the identified ingredients.
Tokiwa phytochemical Co., Ltd. offers materials corresponding to the labeling system on food functions and nutrients: VENETRON®(Sleep quality improvement), BILBERON®(Dry eyes, focus accommodative function, eye fatigue), SIRTMAX®(Anti-hyperglycemia, anti-aging), GINKGOLON(Cognitive function improvement).

In a clinical trial on human, VENETRON® showed sleep improvement effect with the recommended dosage of 50mg/day and expanded non-REM sleep time significantly. Also its safeness was confirmed even with 150/day intake that was a three-times more than the recommended dosage. Another clinical trial provided data that indicated effects on increase of platelet serotonin rate as well as insomnia improvement. As for functionality and safety of VENETRON®, there are several peer-reviewed papers: the product complies with the labeling system on food functions and nutrients.

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It increases the proportion of non-REM sleep time thus improves the quali-ty of sleep

VENETRON® improves the quality of sleep Sleep-ameliorating effect that is shown through a human monitor test

Sleep is essential for various life activities such as hormone secretion, reinforcing immunity and reconstruction of memories. However, due to various external factors, modern people’s sleep have been declining both in quality and quantity. According to a survey conducted by Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in 2011, more than 50% of people both men and women, have had problems with their sleep. A human monitor test verifies that VENETRON® increases the proportion of non-REM sleep time thus improves the quality of sleep.

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It eliminates stress and/or sense of uneasiness

Its potential is more than 30-time higher than those of St. John’s wort extract.

At a forced swimming test using rats to examine antidepressant-like activity, VENETRON® significantly reduced immobility time, which means it showed antidepressant-like effect. Compare with St. John’s wort, a famous herb with mental effects, VENETRON® displayed more than 30-times of antidepressant-like effect in following experiment (below table); indicates the high potential of VENETRON®.

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Based on clinical data, it’s effectiveness is verified.

Sleep-ameliorating effect

We conducted a placebo-controlled double-blind study on 16 healthy adult men and women who have slight trouble with their sleep. The subjects continued to take either VENETRON® 50mg only or GABA (made by Pharma Foods International Co., Ltd.) 100mg only, or both VENETRON® 50mg and GABA 100mg for a week. As for sleep state, it was evaluated based on parameters of EEG measurement. On the other hand quality of sleep and changes of bodily sensation between before and after intake was evaluated through Visual Analog Scale (VAS) inquiry and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI).
As the result, it was confirmed that the time of non-REM sleep (deep sleep state), significantly increased among the group who took VENETRON® 50mg only. The time of non-REM sleep also tended to expand among the group who took both VENETRON® and GABA. (See diagram below) Moreover, from the results of the inquiry, it was shown that ‘satisfaction of sleep’ was significantly improved among the group who took both VENETRON® and GABA.

Depression Improvement (Increase of the serotonin concentration in blood)

A placebo-controlled double-blind study of 8-weeks intake of VENETRON® (50mg/day) was conducted in the US on 40 patients with light depression. The test items were: Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D Score) that is widely used for measuring depression state; Serotonin concentration in blood and Plasma MHPG concentration, a marker of which people with strong anxiety and/or frustration marked high scores. As a result, continuous declines of HAM-D score during the test period was observed in VENETRON® intake group from the beginning to the end.(Below left chart)Also, serotonin concentration in blood increased in 50% of the subjects,while MHPG concentration declined in 65% of the subject in VENETRON® intake group.

Sleep improvement

In the same test, insomnia score declined 60% on average in VENETRON® intake group. (Below right chart)

High anti-d epressant (anti-stress) effect of VENETRON® in combination with GABA

A clinical trial on the synergy effect with GABA was also conducted. A placebo-controlled double-blind study to eleven healthy males was executed. They were divided into four groups; VENETRON® + placebo intake group, GABA + placebo intake group, VENETRON® + GABA intake group and placebo intake group. They all took each of one-day sample for four continuous days. Their salivary concentration of chromogranin A, which is used as mental stress evaluation index as its concentration level becomes high with higher stress, was also measured. As the result (Below chart), in case of simultaneous ingestion of VENETRON® and GABA, the rate of chromogranin A was almost the same as the rates at rest before the test. This means, the use of VENETRON® in combination with GABA indicates relaxing effect.

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Safety is secured through human testing

A human monitor test was conducted for 12 weeks on 30 healthy males. The subjects had been continuously taken VENETRON® 50mg/day for 8 weeks and then 150mg/day, a three-times more than recommended dosage for 4 weeks. After the continuous intake, they went through hematology tests, blood chemistry tests, urine tests, as well as weight, blood pressure and pulse evaluation. As a result, there was no abnormality finding on all evaluation item.

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It provides a superior sense of security because of no drug interaction

Another aspect of VENETRON® which has excellent clinical results is that it has no effect on drug metabolic enzymes and it does not induce p-glycoprotein (chart below).It draws people’s attention as an anti-depressant and anti-stress herb. In comparison with SJW, safety of VENETRON® has been clearly verified. Also in a human monitor test of 30 people, no abnormality finding was observed in the general hematology test value, hematologic test value, biochemical test value and urinalysis test value respectively; rather, improvement tendency of these values have been shown. (An internal investigation of Tokiwa Phytochemical Co., Ltd.)

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It obtains certificate of JIHFS GMP for Health Foods.

Tokiwa Phytochemical’s Chiba factory is the production base of VENETRON® JIHFS GMP authorized factory. It has obtained JIHFS GMP for Health Food certification and is taking all possible measures for production management of VENETRON®. GMP is an abbreviation for Good Manufacturing Practice. Aiming at using domestic raw material only for VENETRON® , Tokiwa has been conducting various arrangements and coordination in all lines of business.

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Abundant Functions

Water-soluble extract powder

VENETRON-W®, a water-soluble extract powder has been developed for use in drinks with improved solubility in water.
Evidence-based abundant functions of VENETRON®, including antidepressant-like action, anti-anxiety effect and insomnia improvement.

A Natural herb product of which its effective use is anticipated in a stress-ful society.

In our modern lives, the society has become more stressful. There are some researches indicating that, with no measures at place to deal with the current situation, it would lead to huge economic losses. Countermeasures against stress is a pressing need to our society. Stress creates anxiety and/or irritability that induce insomnia. As the result, the stress is amplified. Such vicious circle leads to poor concentration and/or the accumulation of fatigue and further withdrawal and depression. The various effectiveness shown in VENETRON® are identified as it has superior functions for such kind of mind troubles; this is a benefiting, safe and secure herbal material expected to be widely used in the future.

Evidence-based abundant functions of VENETRON®, including antidepressant-like action, anti-anxiety effect and insomnia improvement.

VENETRON®, patented in Japan (Patent No. 4629933) and in the US (US.6737085), has abundant evidences. Many tests that lead to “mental healing” such as antidepressant-like action, anti-anxiety effect and insomnia improvement were conducted and proved its effectiveness. Furthermore, its improvement effect on premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is also reported.

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Studies on VENETRON®

  • Research results
  • Medical Herb Dictionary(available in Japanese only)

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Product PDF
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