Herbal Purity

August 6th, 2009 · 2 Comments · Herbs for

Many of you who have taken classes at the Peaceful Meadow Retreat may have heard me talk about the importance of quality and herbal purity when it comes to herbal remedies.  Today I want to talk a little about adulteration, what it means and what can be done to prevent it.

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     The Power of Purity in Herbs

When we take herbs for our health we have a certain expectation that what we are taking is the best, most potent botanical available. This is not always the case. One problem that occurs is misrepresentation of the correct species. This often happens when a cheaper more readily available species is substituted for the correct one.  There have been concerns recently about Black Cohosh Root coming from China that is not Cimicifuga racemosa but another variety that does not have the same properties. It is one of the reasons that I only buy domestic Black Cohosh for Hanna’s formulas.  Another tool I like to utilize is buying our herbs in whole or partially cut form. If the herbs are bought in powder form they cannot be properly identified through sensory tests such as sight, smell, taste and touch.  This is known as organoleptic testing.  Also powders can have chemical spikers added to them that can make them appear to be the real McCoy even to a detailed chemical analysis.

Of course knowing your vendors makes a huge difference as well and after putting Hanna’s recipes together for the last twenty years I have been able to find plenty of trustworthy and reliable sources.  I like to pass this type of information on to people so they can feel comfortable taking Kroeger formulas and know that even though these adulteration issues are now becoming a concern for people, we have been aware of them all along and it is nice to see the rest of the industry starting to take it seriously as well.

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