You’re ready to start making herbal remedies but you don’t know where to get the herbs.
So you are ready to dig in and start creating your own herbal concoctions? Do you have all your supplies gathered and your plants picked out? Recipes chosen? But wait…it’s Winter…it’s cold… and brown (no snow here.) There isn’t a plant awake in sight. All of your excitement may have just come to a screeching halt! Don’t worry you have options.
I strongly recommend growing your own herbs or wild crafting. There is something about knowing the plant from ground up that becomes important to your remedies. Knowing the plant before you use it allows you to know if it is really the right plant for you. There are also many herbs out there that have been harvested nearly to extinction. (More on this in a later post.)
In many cases, I like to pick a plant or two and bring it home to my garden. This allows me to work with the plant everyday, in my own back yard. It also means that as the years go on I can nurture this plant into more plants to use and I won’t have to take plants from the wild allowing them to continue to grow and multiply. This reduces the risk of them being over harvested.
There are however plants you may want to use that are difficult to find or grow in your area. It may take some time and skill to get your own supply of a particular herb. In this case you can find a supplier of dried herbs.
USING HERBS FROM A BULK SUPPLIER HAS MANY BENEFITS.
You can see what the dried herb looks like. You can test it out in your remedies to see if it’s even an herb you want to take time to grow. You can buy a large amount if you just haven’t grown enough to do what you hoped to do with your herbs. Some remedies work better with fresh herbs so that is a setback when purchasing from bulk stores.
FINDING A QUALITY SUPPLIER IS IMPORTANT.
It’s wise to find a supplier that sells quality herbs that are processed in the best way possible. It’s important to find a supplier that respects the plants. If you can find a supplier that grows their own that is wonderful! Over harvesting to sell can very quickly put the wild plants in danger. You don’t want chemicals on the herbs you plan to use so organic is preferred.
There are many many wonderful suppliers out there. If you haven’t found a trusted supplier of your own, I’ll give you a list of suppliers that I’ve used or plan to try out.
SOME ONLINE STORES TO GET YOU STARTED!
Mountain Rose Herbs
If I have to purchase herbs, or want to try out an herb that I don’t have on hand this is where I get them. I love what they stand for and how they give back to the community! They sell organic or as close to organic as you can get. Everything I have received from them is high quality. I feel like the prices are great for what you get.
Mountain Rose Herbs run their business with important issues in mind such as zero waste and energy efficiency. They are mindful in how they package their products and they give incentives to their employees for choosing to carpool or bike to work. That’s pretty awesome!
They work with their farmers to ensure quality plants or if they must they wild craft in a sustainable way! It is a larger company but that allows them to focus on giving back to the community and their employees!
The Bulk Herb Store
I have not purchased directly from this store so if you chose to, I’d love to hear how it goes. I’m in the process of communicating with the business to get a little more information on where they source their herbs from. I would love to support this company. They appear to be a smaller, family owned business with long roots in herbalism which is amazing! As a small business gal myself, I love to support other small businesses. I look forward to sharing with you the information I receive from them and telling you all about my experience with this business!
(Update) I received a reply from The Bulk Herb Store. Their herbs are organic, wild crafted or conventionally grown using no chemicals and they are non GMO. I’ll be putting an order in with them very shortly!
Update: I made my first purchase from The Bulk Herb Store. The quality was great and the shipping was quick! In fact I ordered from two herb suppliers on the same day and the order from BHS showed up a week before the other! I ordered yarrow and it came packaged in a resealable bag that was protected from light. I just put in another order for one of their many tea blends! I’m pretty excited!
A company that has been in business for over forty years, sells organic and processes in-house. They boast on quality customer service. They direct source their herbs from all around the world to bring them in-house for processing. They do their own blending and processing so they have control over the quality of the herbs they sell. They do lab testing of all the herbs they process to sell. I have not purchased from them but after reading over their site I believe I will.
Now this was a gem that I stumbled on to while doing some research! They have been in business for many years and they farm a large portion of what they sell. They also work with other farmers that meet their standards of growing. They are Certified Organic. Coolest thing I found, they will overnight you fresh herbs! So that’s pretty sweet! They do have a $50 minimum on shipping for dried plants and you have to call to order fresh. Still this is a pretty amazing resource and I look forward to trying them out!
They are also involved with United Plant Savers, an organization I plan to go into more detail about in a later post.
A business owned by many other businesses. You can read the story of how frontier started out in 1976 and how they got to where they are today on their site. They are a co-op owned by the many businesses that buy and resell their products. They are run by an elected Board of members. This Board helps them stay true to their values, helping them to maintain a quality business, selling quality herbs and products.
I love the idea of how this business is set up. When it comes to the herbs they sell this is what they have to say “We travel around the world to work directly with growers to ensure the highest quality product and achieve organic and sustainable production.” These are the type of stores you want to purchase from!
WHEN I JUST STARTED OUT, I HAD NO IDEA WHAT QUALITY EVEN MEANT.
I was all about what I could afford but it’s about so much more than that. Maybe you are lucky enough where you live to have a lovely herb shop you can walk into to do your herbal explorations. If not then I hope these sites help you begin to find herbs to work with if you don’t have any of your own just yet. These businesses take pride in what they do. I hope as you begin to grow your own herbs you are able to understand what the phrase quality herb really means through experience.
After doing some research I realized that some of the places I’d been purchasing from were not as great as I had hoped. Their are many other options out there. I am very excited to get out there and test out some of these companies! Ultimately when choosing a place to purchase herbs from, slow down and take the time to read their about page, check out their story.
See how you feel about their business practices. Get in contact with them if you have questions. It only takes a short while to get acquainted with them. Once you receive the product, decide if it is the quality you had hoped for. Is it fragrant still? Does it still retain good color after being dried? Does it still taste good? How was the packaging?
Practice makes perfect and the more plants you grow, purchase and work with the more you will understand. Don’t expect to be great at this when you first start out. It takes time to get to know herbs whether you grow them in your own backyard or you purchase them from someone else.
If you have ever worked with any of the businesses I’ve named here, please comment on your experience! I would love to hear about how it went!!