(South-East Asia), Integria, who is based in Malaysia.
Recently, Integria organised a five-day tour of Ballina for 20 representatives from the media and its brand distributors, DKSH, in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
We also visited Lake Ainsworth, a freshwater lake that has distinctive tanninstained waters from the surrounding tea trees. Most of us ended up dipping our tired legs up to the knee. The Australian aboriginals regarded the lake as sacred.
The lake is located at the end of Lennox Head, Australia’s surfing coast. Its waters are coloured brown by tannin leaching from the tea trees (mainly broad-leaved paperbark or Melaleuca quinquenervia interspersed with the occasional Melaleuca bracteata and Melaleuca nodosa) surrounding the lake.
The water, however, is believed to be an excellent remedy for sunburn, insect bites and is also said to be good for the hair and skin.
At a presentation, Matt Morgan, head of business development for Integria, said the company manages 10 brands, including nutritional, herbal and aromatherapy products along with Thursday Plantation, a personal care brand.
Being in the healthcare business isn’t as simple as envisaged. “It’s not just about putting a product in a bottle, sticking a nice label on it and distributing it in the market,” said Miriam McMahon, senior regulatory affairs manager, Integria.
“Our philosophy is to use natural ingredients wherever possible. We also need to ensure that our products are effective and safe, and their quality maintained,” she said, adding that the company manufactures the majority of products.
Its chemists test each product to ensure it meets pharmaceutical standards.
For its organic range, Integria works with certified organic manufacturers. It also believes in not testing its products on animals but uses laboratory test methods to demonstrate product safety.
Integria has a clinical trial programme managed by Assoc Prof Dr Reg Lehmann, general manager of R&D.
“We recently completed a large randomised controlled trials on the effectiveness of a standardised echinacea on preventing upper respiratory tract infections, the major cause of colds and flu,” he said. This trial was undertaken at Griffith University on the Gold Coast.
Integria has also collaborated with scientists conducting research on tea tree oil,