We carry a wide selection of herbal supplements in a variety of forms including capsules, tinctures, therapeutic teas, and loose herbs.
The potency of medicinal plants is dependent upon their growing conditions, time of harvest, methods of preservation (drying, tincturing, etc.) and storage. It is also essential that the correct species and part of the plant are used.
As quality of the final product is directly influenced by the growing, harvesting and processing stages, we only deal with herbal companies that have high quality standards and often times control every aspect of their products’ development from field to bottle.
In herbal medicine you will find whole herbs, standardized preparations, and extracts.
Whole Herbs: Whole herbs have been grown and then processed into powder for capsules, dried for tea, or made into tinctures. A tincture is made by soaking the herb in a menstrum (usually alcohol, but glycerine and vinegar are also used). The medicinal aspects of the plant are “pulled out” into the fluid. After weeks of soaking, the mixture is strained, the depleted plant material is discarded and the liquid is bottled.
Standardized Herbal Extracts: Standardized herbs have been tested for their percentage of “active ingredients.” Studies have pinpointed a specific constituent of the plant that appears to be the most medicinally active. Manufacturers then test to guarantee a certain percentage of those specific constituents in their products. Standardized Herbs are labeled as to the specific percentage of active ingredients they contain.
In the herbal community, there are conflicting feelings with regards to standardized herbs. Some people feel that the guaranteed potency of specific constituent is indicative of over-all quality and effectiveness. Some people feel that isolating a single component of the herb gives it a more drug-like nature. Herbs often have safeguards naturally built into them (for example white willow bark, the original source of salicylic acid - aspirin, contains a natural component that safeguards the stomach from the irritation). Only by maintaining the entire complement of plant constituents will you maintain these safeguards.
Extracts: We proudly carry tinctures and love working with Gaia Herbs. Learn more about their process for extraction here.