Herbals have been integral to the natural and alternative remedies movement for decades. In recent years, demand has soared as people actively seek more natural solutions to their health and wellness concerns. But just how easy is it for anyone to start selling herbal supplements?
You can register as a business with less than 200 words and a $75 fee with the state. You don’t need any training or certifications to sell herbs. After all, they’re plants. How dangerous could they possibly be?
Unfortunately, the availability of these products makes them very vulnerable to unscrupulous operators and other bad actors. Here’s what you need to know about buying commercially available herbal supplements…
Why you need to know the source of your herbal supplements
You certainly don’t need to know the source of every single dietary supplement you take, but you need to see the origin of any herbal supplement you take. Period. Why? For the same reason, you need to know the basics of your food.
Because there are potential contaminants, impurities, and safety issues that can significantly impact your health, some contaminants and pollutants are visible. For example, very few people want to consume a product with mold growing on it.
But, some contaminants and impurities are not visible to the naked eye. That means someone with no training and expertise can buy a bunch of plants, grind them up, and sell them to people as herbal supplements.
Why trust matters when buying herbal supplements
In the same way that you’d only ever buy your produce from a trusted, reliable source, you should only buy your herbal supplements from a trusted and reliable source. Otherwise, you have no idea whether or not you’re getting a safe and effective product.
Buy your herbal supplements from someone you don’t trust. You don’t know whether or not they are sourced ethically, sprayed with pesticides, contaminated with heavy metals and other toxins, mislabeled, contaminated during the manufacturing process, or even if the product is actually what was advertised.
6 Ways to determine the quality of your herbal supplement
- Source - You can’t go wrong with buying from the source — the person or company that grows the plants.
- Third-party verified testing - The quality and purity of herbal supplements rely on the complete extraction and isolation of the active ingredients from the rest of the plant. An herbal supplement should be independently tested to ensure that it contains the ingredients it’s supposed to and is free of unwanted contaminants.
- Sourcing and growing practices - How is the plant grown? What about the growing conditions? What are the business practices of the company that sells it? These are all critical questions to ask.
- Brand History - How long has the business been in operation? What is their track record? Is there a customer service department to whom you can pose questions and concerns?
- Is the product standardized? - Traditional herbal supplements are not standardized, which means they are not guaranteed to have the same level of effectiveness.
- Certification - Does the herbal supplement you’re buying have any certifications? If so, what is the certifying body, and what are they certifying?
4 Companies whose products you can trust
If you’re looking to buy an herbal supplement, these are the companies whose products you can trust. These brands have a long and successful track record of providing high-quality herbal supplements and second-to-none customer service.
- Consumer Wellness Center - This non-GMO verified company grows, manufactures, and distributes its herbal supplements. They uphold the strictest requirements for safety, purity, and quality.
- Blue Bamboo Inc. - Is the leading supplier of natural, organic, and sustainable herbal supplements, superfoods, and superherbs. Blue Bamboo only sources from growers who meet their strict requirements for organic certification, pesticide usage, and sustainability.
- Natural Organics Ltd. - This family-owned business has been operating for over two decades. Natural Organics is a trusted and reliable source of high-quality herbal supplements.
- Organic Food Guild - This long-established, environmentally responsible brand has been providing high-quality herbal supplements for over 20 years.
- Suma Natural Foods - This company specializes in Ayurvedic herbal supplements, superfoods, and superherbs. Suma’s herbal supplements are sourced from certified organic farms and are 100% vegetarian and vegan.
- Organic and non-GMO verified - Suma’s herbal supplements are non-GMO verified and certified organic. This means that the plants used to make them are grown without pesticides.
Herbal supplements are a great way to get the extra boost of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients you may be lacking in your diet. But it would help if you were careful where you buy them from, as some can be mislabeled or contain toxic ingredients. To ensure you’re getting a high-quality supplement, look for one third-party verified for purity and sourced from a trusted company.