The Quality of the Herb Source is as Important As the Herb Itself!
The quality of herbs is a bit like the quality of foods, their phytonutrient profile will very much depend on how they are grown. Health-conscious people today know that commercially produced foods with pesticides, herbicides, poor soil and other conditions all add up to food that can look the part but does not deliver nutritionally. When we go shopping we know the majority of stuff displayed on the shelves is junk. We learn to source our foods, look for certain specifics to be met. When we go to farmers markets we ask questions such as is it organic, did it get a full season to grow or was it picked prematurely, is it wild natural, locally grown, etc. And some of these questions also apply to herbs.
Not All Herbs Are Created Equal, Even When It’s The Same Herb!
That not all herbs are created equal is an understatement when it comes to quality. Sourcing herbs that have the strength to heal is important and sadly most herbs off the shelf mass produced commercially will not have the strength to heal. Yet there are good online sources of organic and wild natural herbs if you know where to look and even that weed in your garden if it has not been sprayed with Roundup could work just fine.
Good Quality Herbs Saved My Life But Poor Quality Herbs Didn’t Work
I can give an example from my own experience. A good quality circulation tincture literally stopped my heart pain, gave my heart the strength to pump strong through the night so I didn’t wake up having to run my legs up and down to get the circulation going, gave my arteries the strength to be able to lie down on a pillow at night, I could see the immediate benefits all round. [I give a little insight into my illness here] And these good herbs worked when there were no medical options. Yet I was doing Gerson Therapy and my supervisor was a medical herbalist who didn’t like one of the ingredients [Ginger was not allowed on the Gerson Therapy protocol] so she made up the exact same formula using all the same herbs and leaving Ginger out – within a few weeks a lot of scary symptoms had returned and I feared I was on the verge of having a stroke. I’d been keeping a symptom diary and was barely strong enough to read back through it, but I slowly went back through the days and noticed 4 weeks prior to my scary symptoms I had gone off the good herbs and onto the poor quality herbs. So I immediately ordered in the good quality herbs again and immediately those scary symptoms went away again! My life was in the balance there all because of the QUALITY of the herbs and the ignorance of a rather snooty practitioner not doing her job right!
Now, it was not the absence of the Ginger, but the quality of the other herbs that was the difference between these herbs working or not working. Also notice two things:
a. There were no medical alternatives here, medicine had caused my circulation problems and had given up on them as ‘incurable’, so herbs are not alternative medicine, they are medicine.
b. Of interest, I used the good herbs for a time to support and repair and after a few years did not need them, they are not addictive or managing a health condition, they supported me and helped me go up a level of health.
Medical Herbalist vs Master Herbalist
Another thing to notice was it was a Medical Herbalist that gave me the poor quality herbs. She said she had lectured at a training college, was high up, yet the sourcing of quality herbs was NOT even on her radar!! It was actually a Master Herbalist tincture that worked for me, that person sourced her herbs organically and wild natural and went to a few other rounds to make sure they were optimal for healing. her belief was to get them maximum potency so a person could heal and then not require them forever.
Anyone can train as a Master Herbalist without going to college or getting a degree, so sometimes they can be looked down upon, but it all comes down to two things:
- Which Master Herbalist school they went to.
- How closely do they practice according to the rules of their training.
The person who makes the excellent quality herbs is Jill Davies in the UK, she was a student of the legendary Dr. Christopher of the School of Natural Healing. She also has a PhD and trained in horticulture, so she knows a thing or two about both herbs and soil. And the SNH only use good quality herbs, preferably wild natural and if they can’t get wild they use organic. They certainly have nearly a century of people getting fantastic results.
Be Careful of Labels!
It is not as easy as saying ‘all medical herbalists are bad and all master herbalists are good’ NOT AT ALL! With herbalists too you have to know your sources, just as in all walks of life, the degree or credentials don’t actually say it all, it comes down to the person.
Where to Buy Organic Herbs Online
These are some of the sources I use and have found actually get results:
- Jill Davies herbs, her website is herbshandshealing.co.uk
- Dr. Christopher’s Original Formulas and there are a number of outlets for these:
- The best prices for bulk would be the Dr. Christopher Shop itself, and if you are a student you get 25% off, and if you are a graduate of the School of Natural Healing you get 50% off.
- The best priced place for regular orders is iherb.com
- Wholistic Botanicals are the company that supply Dr. Christopher, and they deal mainly in wild herbs. They also lab test the herbs and refuse any batch that is in any way compromised. I’ve heard the herbalist Kevin Spelman say that the sign of a good herb company is that it may run out from time to time, precisely because they are fussy about their herbs, and this company is a good example of that. Wholistic Botanicals are available for wholesale too.
*Note: if anyone [even one of these people] recommends to you a ‘liver flush drink’ do NOT take it, it nearly killed me. I have trained as a Master Herbalist myself and I know Dr. Christopher himself did not teach that drink, but those who come after him can stray a bit from his original work.
*Note: Jill is best friends with Dr. Richard Schulze, he is in favor of that ‘Russian Roulette liver drink’ and his own protocols are amped up more aggressive versions of what Dr. Christopher recommended – I do NOT recommend Schulze if you are in any way physically weak, though I admire him personally for the way he has healed himself. With my particular circulation issues [that affected the lining of the veins] I could never use his protocols, however another person may get on well with them. Everyone is different. But Jill Davies and Dr. Christopher have better formulas themselves, they are high potency but are not aggressive on the body.
*Option: Schulze has a Superfood, it is mirrored on the Dr. Christopher Vitalerbs, when I was really ill I could not take the Schulze but could take the Vitalerbs. I’m sure Schulze Superfood is fine, but if you are really weak and react to things then go for Vitalerbs, which is a multi-mineral but done with whole foods.
My Personal Top Herbal Supplements
The things I use and have found give me the most energy and immediate results are:
- Vitalerbs I have literally revived myself with that, just kept taking 6 at a time.
- Jurassic Greens [no longer available at iherb, have to go to the SNH for that]
- Adrenetone [used to be in bulk at iherb]
- Energirevive – from herbshandshealing.co.uk
- Complete Tissue and Bone also available in bulk
- I also use Herbal Calcium and other things like bowel cleanse, gut healing herbs, organ support herbs from the Christopher Original Formulas or Jill Davies herbs – whatever I happen to need or be working on in myself – more on what I use under my options/’conditions’ section later.
Another good brand I’m familiar with is Herb Pharm, which has a number of sources including at iherb, who have very low shipping costs internationally. There are other good brands too, I’m only currently listing the ones I’ve experience with. I can also testify to the power of the Gold Coin Grass tincture for gallstones at sensiblehealth.com
What About ‘Practitioner’ Grade Herbs?
This is actually a bit of a grim joke. It is a play on the part of some people to remove herbs from people’s access and put them in the hands of ‘licensed’ practitioners who will both charge a fee for consultation and hike up costs on the herbs because they now come through some sort of neutraceutical / pharmaceutical channel.
They may make marketing claims like ‘it is to standardize herbs’ or ‘it is for your protection’, but who are they kidding! Herbs were the medicine of the people since the beginning of time, and now the people need a nanny state? Well, anything to make a profit those guys!
European Law since 2004 – Takes Away Your Right to Choose
In 2004 certain regulations came into Europe which meant those circulation herbs I described that saved my life – well the brochure [and label] describing them as ‘circulation herbs’ was banned ‘to protect us’ which means if I had got ill after 2004 I would not have been able to make the decision myself to take those herbs, and I wouldn’t be here today. The right to choose has been lost folks! What next? Did you even know?
Do Herbs Need to Be Standardized?
Answer 1: No, not if the purpose is to heal and help people. Just take a look at the work of Dr. Christopher and the history of herbs.
Answer 2: Yes, if the goal is to make a profit off people. Just look at the history of medicine and the pharmaceutical industry.
Herbs Can’t be Patented – So Big Pharma Makes Drugs!
Seems crazy, eh? Or pure genius on the part of Big Pharma – they can’t charge huge money for a herb that works all along so they notice the herb is working and make an extract that is a billion times more potent and has side effects but it is now their invention so they can charge you! One example is white willow bark and aspirin, but there are a lot of examples!!
An Attempt to Patent Herbs?
It has come to my attention that there is someone calling herself a Master Herbalist and teaching doctors and functional medicine doctors all across America that only one source of herbs actually works – a standardized source of herbs and that source is the brand that she promotes: Standard Process / Mediherb. Now, maybe that brand is good and maybe it isn’t – who knows, because only ‘licensed practitioners’ can order it! That is insulting to the entire history of herbs! However I’ve just shown you there is MORE than one brand of herbs out there, there are a number of excellent sources that work. However, the list is actually quite small compared to the list of actual herbs on sale.
More than One Good Herb Source
The name of the person incorrectly teaching that other herbs don’t work is Ronda Nelson. She is often challenged on this point and tends to back down for about 30 seconds until she is repeating /teaching that statement again.
The sad thing is she just states all the regular protocols that Dr. Christopher taught all his life – the herbal protocols of the Western Master Herbalist tradition – all the regular protocols you and anyone else can learn if you train with the School of Natural Healing, and using accessible inexpensive organic and wild crafted herbs and with great results. How dare anyone come along and teach doctors today that only her brand works, especially when she is plagiarizing the work of other older herbalists!
Another eerie thing is she seems to attribute all these protocols to the founder of Standard Process labs! Now, it is easy to trace the history of Dr. John R. Christopher, but the history of that guy…hm, these formulas did not originate with him! In fact, I was appalled how Nelson admitted to not even knowing about certain herbs until she looked them up in Standard Process sales brochure – so that really leads me to question her ‘Master Herbalist’ training, as I certainly heard about the full range at the SNH.
Master Herbalism Combined with Functional Medicine Training
Nelson does also do functional medicine tests, so in that sense she can show the before and after of using the herbs. Obviously any Master Herbalist could up their own game by doing this and by learning the functional medicine tests, this allows the herbs to be used specifically in difficult cases and monitor the progress. That said, one of the amazing things about Master Herbalism is the great understanding of how simple the body works, how to get results with herbs, and hence less testing [if any] is needed – something experienced functional medicine doctors actually testify to – they test less with time and experience.
Do Herbs Grown on US Soil Work?
Ronda Nelson has actually taught this in a lecture – ie is teaching new integrative physicians that regular good quality herbs don’t work, she’s even said herbs grown on US soil don’t work! An example of the depth of her depravity is when she quoted a study on St. John’s Wort which is proving within clinical trials to outperform SSRI’s AND THEN ADDED that only the St. John’s Wort made by her brand worked for this! The clinical trial was actually about the herb, not her brand!
- Well hopefully my article has shown you how wrong anyone is to try to claim that only one brand of herbs works and they must be dispensed by practitioners.
- There truly is an issue with herbs but it comes down to knowing and learning your sources.
- And herbs do NOT have to be manufactured or processed or dispensed by licensed practitioners or doctors if it is about healing, only if it is about profits.