Merck launches new allergy ingredient in South Africa

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Allergy, Asthma, Immune system

Merck Consumer Health has launched its allergy relief ingredient Lectranal in South Africa after signing a distribution agreement with Croatian functional ingredients company Milsing.

Made from a herbal and a mineral compound using a patent-pending procedure, Lectranal is derived from the Chinese medicinal ingredient astragalus membranaceus.

The ingredient is said to remedy benefit allergic rhinitis and other allergic reactions such as perennial allergic rhinitis and skin allergy conditions.

Greg Carver, head of Merck Consumer Healthcare, told NutraIngredients.com: “Lectranal has a unique patented, clinically proven combination of a herbal root extrac, ​astragalus membranaceus, and a mineral combination, which have a synergistic effect and target allergy without side effects on a natural way.”

Immune system

In traditional Chinese medicine, the perennial plant astragalus ​membranaceus is used to relieve indigestion and to strengthen the immune system. Its root compounds help relieve allergic reactions, said the company. “Since we believe that these substances cannot be absorbed in their active form when taken orally, we have developed a new herbal and mineral complex that will enable their oral absorption,.​” said a company statement.

According to animal gene studies it is possible to assume that Lectranal aims specifically at the imbalance of the immune system that triggers the overproduction of substances that cause allergy symptoms.”

In addition to action against rhinitis, Lectranal’s particle size is said to allow the absorption of active compounds into the intestinal villi.

Milsing’s deputy director, Zlatko Buzina said: “After building a successful brand presence in Croatia and several other European countries, we are very enthusiastic to start the cooperation with Merck and believe it will develop favorably for both parties in the future. Lectranal is an established name with medical professionals and consumers in the markets in which we are present​.”

Merck and Milsing have agreed an exclusive distribution agreement to sell Lectranal under Merck’s proprietary brand labels.

Lectranal was introduced in South Africa under the commercial name Iliadin Herbal.

Allergic rhinitis

Meanwhile, the global incidence of seasonal allergic rhinitis is rising although the reasons remain unclear, according to Merck. Conditions such as asthma, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and dermatitis have all become more common during the past 20-30 years. Serious allergic diseases, such as asthma, are often disabling and sometimes fatal.

More than 80m Europeans alone are estimated to suffer from such allergies.

Although all proteins are potential allergens, most people suffer from seasonal, respiratory allergies caused by pollen, mold, or dust; food allergies; and allergies which are adverse reactions to drugs.

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