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The Arkopharma Story

The Arkopharma Story

The Arkopharma Group has its own inspiring story to tell. It all began back in 1980. That year, Doctor Max Rombi, a passionate believer in phytotherapy and co-founder of the Virbac veterinary laboratory, decided to devote himself entirely to his passion for herbal medicine and share the benefits of these natural remedies with the general public, by marketing a range of plant-based products in an innovative way.

From plants to capsules

Arkopharma pharmaceutical laboratories came into being thanks to the avant-garde ideas of Dr. Rombi who, long before everyone else, was convinced that most health problems are caused by a poor diet and that plants and natural substances can prevent and relieve most of our everyday health complaints.

We mustn’t forget that in the early 1980s, phytotherapy was considered quite old-fashioned, and tended to be synonymous with formulations such as herbal teas and decoctions that were not easy to ingest.

So in 1982, Dr. Rombi was the first to introduce plant-based supplements in capsule form onto the market, with his “bean husk” Arkogélules: by replacing loose herbs with pre-dosed forms that are much easier to use, the phytotherapy market started to take off.


Dr. Rombi threw himself into this adventure with his characteristic entrepreneurial spirit, inspired by his passion for plants, research and innovative processes.

Innovative processes

And so it was that, several years later—in 1985—he was also the first to adapt the cryogenic grinding process to phytotherapy, making it possible to offer plants in powder form, which enhances their efficacy and the bioavailability of their active ingredients.

During the cryogenic grinding process, plants are crushed using liquid nitrogen at very low temperatures, which preserves all of their active ingredients and results in a very fine powder that is easy to assimilate.

This is how we obtain what is known as the plant totum or INTEGRAL TOTUM, in other words, a concentrate of all the active substances contained within the plant, that will work together in synergy. In short, the interactions between the various constituents increase their efficacy: so they are stronger together!

In 1997, ARKOPHARMA also made a name for itself by offering the first 100% plant-based product range, thereby establishing its status as leader in the field of phytotherapy.

That year, in the midst of the “mad cow” health scare, the gelatin traditionally used for the outer envelope of capsules was replaced with a plant-based natural substitute: a derivative of cellulose (cellulose surrounds and protects all plant cells).

For the first time, consumers had access to capsules that were truly 100% plant-based.

Phytotherapy: a recognized science

It was in 1986 that the French Ministry of Health officially recognized phytotherapy as an independent branch of medicine, by classifying certain plants as “medicines”. This decision was based not only on their traditional usages, but also on numerous scientific studies.

Arkopharma developed its first plant-based medications and went on to obtain its first marketing authorization with “Butcher’s broom” Arkogélules.

There is little doubt that the concept has gone from strength to strength since then, and the healing power of Phytotherapy has been backed up by numerous scientific studies around the world. Thanks to its health benefits and its natural dimension, phytotherapy has become part of our daily life.

For more than 40 years now, Arkopharma has been striving to transform the wisdom of plants into healthcare solutions, through a sensitive combination of science, creativity and respect for the environment.

 Consult the Corporate presentation of Arkopharma Laboratories.