NEW HERBALIST’S HAND GEL RELEASED FOR HAND HYGIENE

Dear Colleague,

We think it is worth re-affirming at this time of uncertainty when so many of our herbal community have wonderfully risen to the challenges that, although we are a commercial organisation, Rutland Bio is driven by a deeply fundamental Hippocratic ethos. Our professional culture always puts our customers and their patients above all else. 

This culture underpins our no-nonsense approach to quality control, logistical efficiency and supply to the herbal profession.

During the current pandemic, many of us are experiencing frustrating shortages leading us to fast-track and release a new herbal hand gel. Although there has been no opportunity to fully trial this, it is offered to the herbal profession as a hygienic hand cleanser.

More information

(a) Generically, coronaviral envelopes consists of a lipid bilayer    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronavirus  

(b) Popular alcohol gels are therefore based on the concept of surfactant disruption of the viral lipid bilayer by the effect of the polarity of the hygiene solution upon amphiphilic zwitterionic cell membranes.

(c) Our own extensive use of these gels in our GMP cleanrooms over many years has highlighted the potential weakness: that isopropanolic hand gels, when used according to generally accepted instructions, at hand temperature, evaporate in approx 30 seconds. 
This short-duration of action at hand-temperatures has a limiting effect upon efficacy against some of the unknown persistence of coronavirus (and bacteria) in the environment in which we currently find ourselves, although this effect has not been formally quantified, as far as we have been able to find out.

(d) Therefore Rutland has been experimenting with gels containing heavier molecules (i.e. with significantly lower vapour pressures than short chain alcohols at STP) some of which barely evaporate at skin temperature and which therefore have a longer-lasting effect than most modern hand-gels.  Investigations of the literature indicate that different essential oils have varying efficacy on different models of lipid bilayer (see for example  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29596800 ). Little or no information is yet available on the efficacy of any one essential oil on the virus causing Covid-19  and so Rutland has brought to rapid development a hand gel containing a spectrum of essential oils and alcohols, each with traditional efficacy against viral envelopes, in an Almond fixed oil and flaxseed gel base. Vitamin E is added as an antioxidant to protect against rancidification of the unrefined natural gel. This mixture, it therefore might be anticipated, works synergistically over a wide range of micro-biological lipid bilayers (including viral and bacterial), lasting longer, as well as being softer and kinder to hands than traditional high-strength alcohol based gels.

(e) The product is unrefined and therefore contains natural colouring from the linseed and almond oil (See photograph below), but is effectively colourless in use.

(f) We have not had time to measure it’s stability profile. The oils will prevent microbiological degradation of the product and the Vitamin E reduce oxidation. We anticipate that, in the current climate, the gel will get used up before it goes off. On this basis, we are giving it a nominal shelf life of 6 months. Further updates to follow – watch this space!

Product Notes:
Contains Linseed gel (water and linseed), alcohol, Almond oil and essential oils of Lavender, Lemon, Cinnamon, Tea Tree, Clove and Rosemary.
This product is sold as a hand-cleaning hygiene product, to be used by professionals according to their own judgement and without medical claims.
The natural product colouring is a slightly cloudy brown colour, which derives from the almond oil and flaxseed extract. 
There may also be a degree of separation of components in time, therefore: Please shake the bottle before use.