My Herbs Blog
Not all herbs are created equally, or rather not all plants grow with equal strength. It really is like people.....Human beings are all different based upon many factors, and largely shaped by the nutritive condition of their parents before conception and especially by the mother during pregnancy.
A plant is greatly influenced by the soil, and other weather conditions of where it lives and grows. The seeds that a plant makes can be "less than," if the plant had poor soil; it can even fail to produce seeds. Saying that Basil is good for you, or Peppermint is used for stomach distress, is only part of the story. What is not being said, is that not all basil, not all peppermint is created equally.
You can buy dried basil from the grocery store, and be getting very little nutritional or medicinal benefits. You could then grow your own basil, enrich the soil, compost, and have Basil that IS GOOD FOR YOU. Maybe you are new to herbs, and just trying to figure out how to make tea, or make a simple remedy. Maybe you have tried some herbal remedies and have found them lacking.
The reason may be in a lack of quality of the herb you are using. Let's look at it another way. Is there not a difference between cheap diner food (sorry I know some diners are great, maybe I should say food from a gas station that has been on the heat rack all day, and food prepared at a fine dining 5 Star restaurant? YES! Of course! Your herbs are like that comparison. Your big box store, or chain store is going to have a lesser quality herbal product that a small shop, small company or local herbalist. Usually - and this isn't 100% of the time, small herbal farms, or herbal product producers put a lot of care, time and love into their herbals. I have found that small batch herbal products are usually great.
That being said, there are two companies that do not disappoint when I want dried herbs. I grow a lot and wild-craft (that is collect from the wild or from neighbors who don't use their herbs). Since I run a business I order a many extra herbs. My two favorites companies are Mountain Rose Herbs and Starwest Botanicals. This banner links to Mountain Rose Herbs and I am an affiliate of this company. I have always loved their herbs. They are bright, vibrant, colorful, full of flavor and scent. This is what you want from your herbs.
I also love Starwest Botanicals herbs. I personally have a Wholesale account because I run a business, but you can buy Starwest herbs on Amazon. I really am happy with their herbs, and they are sourced from many farms or wildcrafted. The color is vibrant, and the herbs definitely work. Just like when you decide to cook a meal, homemade is often the best way to go. Making your food from your own ingredients will give you a fresh meal, and hopefully a tasty one too. The herbal companies I am suggesting have the "ingredients"- herbs that can be bought in ounce amounts. They typically are broken down into 4oz., 8oz. or 16oz. (1lb.), and sometimes a more rare herb will be offered in 1 oz. amounts.
I have a number of blog posts, and many videos that show you what to do with these ingredients. I also do sell some of my own formulas, but even though I do and would love sales, I have to say that a properly made tincture at home, or salve made at home will be a bit more energetic because it has gone through less, less shipping, less movement, less handling. Now- of course an "expert" herbalist can make a product that is amazing and not easily replicated. That is like saying just because you make homemade cookies, they will be better than someone who is a baker. The person who bakes for a living will more than likely have a tastier cookie.
However- part of my goal as a teacher of herbs, is to teach people how to have a bit more freedom and take care of simple, every day needs with herbs on their own. (**Just a side note, Rosemary Gladstar says that if an issue is not resolved is a few days or in a reasonable amount of time with herbs, then you need to head to the doctor. I am not referring to emergencies which need prompt handling, but something simple, a rash, bug bites, headache, bumps and bruises. )
Feeling confident with the simple things will give you confidence to try more with herbs. There are many home remedies that make life happier, healthier and more fulfilling. First though, you need to start with good quality herbs. I have given you 2 places to purchase. Mountain Rose Herbs- (See banner below in Footer), or Starwest Botanicals on Amazon. I do want to encourage you to also seek out local community herbalists that may have herbs that you can buy. I am very big of supporting local small business, especially this year! Also, Dr. Christopher taught that herbs, and food from your own latitude are better for you than from some far and distant land.