The little herb shoppe, established in 2011 to help educate the public to become knowledgeable herbal consumers who know what to look for in quality plant material. The more informed we are as consumers, the more we can demand from the manufacturers producing the medicines. Over time, we can help improve the overall quality of the botanical remedies available and the plants that give us herbal medicine are cared for and harvested responsibly to ensure their future as well as our own.
Here are some basic questions to ask to navigate the maze of herbal products in the marketplace:
Were they grown organically? Is this truly organic?
Organic standards have degraded in the past 10 years. Oregon Tilth is the highest organic standard of herbs. We offer both organic and Oregon Tilth organic herbs and oils.
Were they ethically wild-crafted? If so, how is this defined and practiced?
We follow a harvesting practice of reverence first. This guides us to how and where we harvest wild plants. The Lakota Botanical and Wildlife Sanctuary is where we offer the plants a place to thrive.
How do you know there is no adulteration?
Know your farmer. Shop local. Ask about their practices.
How does a company ensure that there are no heavy metals/pesticide residues in the plant material?
This can be through testing the soil and/or plant material. Knowing where to harvest plants on land that haven’t been contaminated, or cultivating one’s own using organic methods.
How were the constituents extracted?
Even though the plants may be ‘natural’ – some extraction processes involve harsh chemicals and solvents that are not at all natural – especially in the case of oils. It can be particularly difficult to find out information about this – and confusing to try to interpret what company’s claim on their websites. Ask a company what processes they use or ask herbalists and practitioners you respect to recommend brands. Our herbalist vets and personally uses every product in our store, if we don’t make it ourselves.
Social and Ecological Sustainability
Are those growing and harvesting the medicines receiving a fair wage?
When we don’t grow or harvest our plants, we source Fair-trade plants and oils.
Are the plants harvested in ways that enhance their long-term viability and health?
Absolutely! Every product and ingredient in our apothecary is harvested in ways that ensure this.