Sourcing Herbs – Where & How Herbs are Grown Matters

When it comes to using herbs for medicinal purposes, the most important thing to consider is where and how they are grown. Organic is best, so you can get all the power and potency of the herb with no pesticides or other chemical compounds.

Grow them yourself

You can of course grow them yourself. Small window boxes are suitable for an apartment. If you have a garden, you can grow an array of fresh herbs you can use any time you wish.

Source them locally

If you don’t have a green thumb, consider buying them at a local farmer’s market. Chances are they are being grown organically (but do ask) and will also be a lot fresher than anything you can get in a supermarket.

When choosing the herbs, make sure they do not look yellow, curly or wilted. Know before you go by looking up pictures of the herbs you want to buy so you can see what they look like fresh.

Check the smell. It should be lively and fresh. Take a taste. If it is full-flavored, it should be fresh.

Source them online

There are a number of companies that sell organic herbs and botanicals in bulk online at reasonable prices. They will often sell them in different weights of packages as well, so you can buy exactly what you need as freshly as possible.

Starwest Botanicals, based in Sacramento, California, has been selling high-quality organic herbs since 1975. You can buy their herbs directly at:

or through Amazon.

The Frontier Co-op, based in Norway, Iowa, has been in business since 1976 and sells herbs and botanicals in bulk. The co-op also sells the Aura Cacia line of pure essential oils. You can buy directly through their site:

or via Amazon:

Essential oils

Essential oils are highly concentrated oils made from plants and botanicals in order to capture the “essence” or healing effects of the item. While essential oils are usually used in aromatherapy and simply inhaled, some are applied to the skin, and some are also eaten. This being the case, it’s best to look for an organic oil which is edible-grade and kosher, in order to ensure you are getting the highest quality product.

Reading labels

When you’re in a health food store considering the dazzling array of products available, a few items of information can help you narrow down your choices. Look for the word organic, and/or a logo that says USDA certified organic. Check the date on the bottle. How far forward is the use by date? Finally, look at the country of origin. Try to source your herbs from the US, Canada and the European Union, rather than China.

Follow these simple guidelines and you should be able to source safe, healthy herbs.