Alkemist Labs Releases List Of “Herbs & Fungi We’re Watching” for First Half of 2024 Naming 20 Ingredients Requiring Extra Scrutiny

Garden Grove, CA (June 13, 2024) –Alkemist Labs has released a list of the botanicals and fungi that most frequently failed identity testing during the first half of 2024. As the companies that test with Alkemist tend to be what CEO Elan Sudberg describes as “the best of the best” Alkemist may not see as many failures as some other labs are likely to, but believes that sharing the ingredients that are currently the most problematic is valuable to the industry.


All were tested using High Performance Thin-Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) to assess identity and quality of botanicals and various ingredients. HPTLC, for which Alkemist holds a flexible scope ISO 17025 accreditation, is able to detect adulterants and contamination, such as containing incorrect plant parts, closely related species, and unknowns. This technique is applicable to crude raw botanicals from powdered to whole form, extract (powdered or liquid), and finished product/blends. 


This list is representative of the products Alkemist’s manufacturer clients are testing before they put them into their products as well as some finished products. 

Latin Name
Common Name*
Echinacea purpurea
Echinacea purpurea
Eleutherococcus senticosus
Ganoderma lucidum
Gynostemma pentaphyllum
Hericium erinaceus
Lion’s mane
Malus pumila
Melissa officinalis
Lemon balm
Nasturtium officinale
Olea europaea
Rhodiola rosea
Sambucus nigra
Elderberry, European elder
Serenoa repens
Saw palmetto
Siraitia grosvenorii
Luo han guo, monk fruit
Stevia rebaudiana
Taraxacum officinale
Trifolium pratense
Red clover
Urtica dioica
Nettle, stinging nettle
Vangueria agrestis**
Bakin gagai (Hausa)
Vitis vinifera
Withania somnifera

*Common names are as listed in AHPA’s Herbs of Commerce 3rd Edition, the definitive guide to proper botanical and fungi labeling.

** Not listed in Herbs of Commerce

Several of the materials on this list are making a repeat appearance, including Eleuthero, Lion’s mane, apple, monk fruit, nettle, grape, ashwagandha, and the botanical that saw the most failures in 2023, elderberry.

 “We encourage brands to be especially careful sourcing these materials, and make sure they are tested by the most competent labs,” Elan said. “ We also suggest that anyone involved in raw material sourcing familiarize themselves with the Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program (BAPP) and have a policy for in place dealing with serious quality issues before they need it.”

For specifics on methodology, please contact your rep at Alkemist Labs.

About Alkemist Labs
Alkemist Labs is an ISO 17025 accredited contract testing laboratory specializing in plant authentication, botanical ingredient identification, quantitative analytical services and contaminant screening for the Food & Beverage, Nutraceutical and Cosmeceutical industries. Located in a state-of-the-art facility in Garden Grove, California, Alkemist Labs offers clients a wide range of specialty research services to evaluate the identity, purity, and quality of botanical raw materials, dietary ingredients, and finished products. DEA registered 1, 2, 3n, and 4 for over 20 years, Alkemist is also approved to be on California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) list for hemp testing. Alkemist Labs also produces a complete line of Composite Reference Botanicals (CRBs), critical tools for botanical identity verification. Since it was founded in 1997, Alkemist Labs has become the ideal “Partner for Quality” to companies interested in producing high quality natural products requiring independent, third-party analysis, Stability/Shelf-life studies, Certification of Analysis, and cGMP compliance.

Suzanne Shelton, The Shelton Group
Cell: 847-922-545

Join the Alkemist Newsletter