Many people find delight in learning about things that surround them. Planting, harvesting and producing your own herbal products is often a good justification to savor the nature, for example, if you stayed in a mountain cabin during the weekends, you should try plant herbs on the surrounding area to understand more about herbs as useful plants. For example, you get your own rose hips by planting wild rose plants and if you have migraine, it is a good idea to plant feverfew.
Picking your own herbs is holistic and nice, but the truth is you’ll find a lot more about herbalism as you grow them. A planned herb-picking party may come to a screeching halt when you learn more about these herbs. For example, there could be specific harvest times that should be considered. You may also learn that specific drying process is necessary for the best effects and when scrutinized under the microscope you may find that your herbs are covered with animal feces, bug parts, and other unidentifiable things, also the dangerous possibility of choosing a poisonous or toxic plant. Often you may need to give up on your little fantasy of merrily harvesting your own herbs very quickly! You shouldn’t abandon picking herbs entirely, though, all you need to do is to read and follow all procedures needed in processing herbal on your own, most are easy but a few can be tricky.
Of course, you shouldn’t be discouraged from learning the fine arts of herbalism, as it is a wonderful way to steadily get back to your roots. It is also very practical if we are far from commercial availability and we need to rely on our understanding of herbs and plants for emergency and survival situations. A lot of values come from learning herbs around you. However, perhaps you should stick to purchasing your herbal products from a reputable company until you become a skilled grower and manufacturer. In essence, all herbal ads tell you that their products are the best? All natural and guaranteed! But maybe this isn’t the case. The following is a short checklist on how to find the finest herbal product available. Contact the product manufacturer to get more information and to see if they use a strict test of integrity and quality:
1. If the herbal product comes in capsules, you need to make sure that they’re not made from synthetic materials like plastic or petroleum by-products.
2. Are those products free of synthetic ingredients including artificial sweeteners, dyes, and other chemical substances?
3. Does the bottle explicitly state all ingredients and/or additives? For example, does its label lists ingredients used to manufacture the capsule? Since the FDA doesn’t require this disclosure on herbal products in capsules, those who choose to show these details on the product label maybe have nothing to hide.
4. If preservatives must be used to preserve medicinal effects and freshness, are they derived from safe organic materials (for example, vegetable or fruit)? You should be wary of hidden synthetic materials created from inorganic chemicals processes.
5. Does the manufacturer store herbal raw materials properly during production process? Any raw materials left out exposed to the elements could be contaminated or spoiled.
6. Are the herbs sprayed? It is customary in a few countries to spray plants to get rid of specific indigenous pests. Choose producers that use unsprayed herbs to prevent any chemical contamination.
7. Are the herbal products cheaper than most products? Unfortunately, cost is often an important factor in determining good herbal products. Cutting costs may mean cheating your body by using mediocre, poor or even harmful herbal products.
8. Which part of the plant that is used to make product? Again, FDA doesn’t require labels to mention whether root, stem, or flower is used in a particular product, you should be wary as there could be no medicinal value on specific part of the plant. Another thing to consider is plant age. Aloe Vera, for example, should be at least 4 years old to give you any medicinal value. Some ignorant, impatient, or greedy manufactures may use immature and ineffective plants because it doesn’t break the law.
9. Does the producer test the sample of each production batch to ensure it matches quality and safety standards? Many herbal products look like produced in bulk form. Visual difference could be nil, however even basic quality-control examination may quickly uncovered flaws. Make sure the company has a functioning and reliable quality-control department to perform these tests.
10. Are these herbal products manufactured using high heat? Heat evaporates potent essential oils, damages enzymes, and decreases herb’s potency.
11. Are these herbal products guaranteed pure? There is a huge difference between guaranteed 100 percent pure and 100 percent refund guarantee. It is better to know that you’re getting a good product than getting something that is doubtful even with a refund guarantee. Would you choose a purity guarantee rather than taking your chances on something questionable and finally get your money back after consuming a poor or even harmful product?
12. Does the producer adhere to pharmaceutical standards? Are production facilities sealed against dust? Do labors wear sterile clothes, gloves and masks? Are herbs quarantined? Are strict quality-control examinations taken before, during, and after production process, are herbs packaged properly in sealed and durable containers, etc?
13. Is the factory open to inspectors or visitors? (If no, ask why)
14. Does the producer are investing on some sort in R & D project? A team of researchers, doctors, nutritionists, pharmocognosist, and scientists indicates that the company is dedicated to integrity and quality and has a vested interest in consumers’ health. If you get an easy and straightforward answer to those questions, then you may find a reputable company.