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Frequently Asked Questions


What is the purpose of the alcohol, and how much will I actually be taking?
Nearly every plant constituent can be extracted with either alcohol
or water or both. Some plants, like the very resinous Black Cohosh are
hardly soluble in water at all, and need a higher proportion of alcohol
in extracting. The alcohol is important in extracting, and then in preserving
the extract for many years. Most dried herbs lose their potency in only
a couple of years. Alcohol also helps speed the delivery of the herb
through the system.

Some people react to tinctures as though they would be taking a whole
shot of booze with every dose. The actual amount ingested is very small.
An average dose contains the alcohol in 1/85th of an 8 0z. glass of
wine, or about the same amount the body produces when digesting a banana.
Of course, it is much less than the drink or two a day that some medical
researchers suggest for preventing build-up in the arteries. Recovering
alcoholics, for whom the thought of any alcohol is objectionable, may
wish to try other forms of herbs. Some use the tinctures well-diluted.

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How do they compare to other forms of extracts?
The following is our own opinion. We feel that these fresh herb extracts
best represent the potency of the whole plant. The low or no-alcohol
extracts are tinctures that have been evaporated and then reconstituted
with only enough alcohol to preserve or with other preservatives. We
feel that valuable plant constituents may be lost in these processes.
Glycerine extracts are available, but glycerine is not a very good extractor
or preserver of many plant constituents. At best, larger doses are needed
to obtain the same results.

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What about standardization and standardized extracts?
We feel that the whole question of standardization to be a dis-service
to the wonderful healing potential Mother Nature placed in the whole
herb. Plant research is still in its infancy, yet herbs are now
looked at to find an active ingredient that an herb can be standardized
to. In many cases levels of so-called active ingredients in an herb
are boosted with extracts of one chemical, sometimes extracted with
such things as benzene. Other plant chemicals, that have never been
studied, are stripped away, to make a standardized product. The result
can be more like a borderline pharmaceutical than an organic herb; and
without certain balances and buffers in the whole herb, may even prove
to have certain side-effects. The more herbs are researched, the more
their healing potentials are found to lie in a balance of many constituents.

We feel there is no need for standardization of an herb that is harvested
fresh at the peak of potency, grown or wildcrafted in its optimum environment.,
and properly extracted. Such an herb should have a healthy balance of
everything that makes up the healing potential of the whole herb.

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What are the advantages of fresh herb liquid extracts?
Fresh herb extracts take the guesswork out of wondering if an herb has
lost its potency after sitting around too long in a warehouse; or after
being ground, when herbs can rapidly begin to break down.

Liquid extracts go right into the bloodstream, so that the process
of digestion is eliminated. With capsuled herbs there is a question
of some herbal properties and constituents being lost in the process
of digestion; particularly for those with poor digestion and assimilation.

The dosage of liquid extracts can be carefully controlled by the drop,
for those who are sensitive to the actions of herbs. They are also easy
to administer to children and pets (See FAQ: "What About Giving Fresh
Herb Extracts to Children")

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How do I take fresh herb extracts?
The desired number of drops are put into a swallow (about 2 to 4 ozs,)
of water and taken. Water is the best medium, but a small amount of
diluted apple juice is O.K.. Citrus juices aren't recommended. The extracts
are generally taken before or a while after meals; in other words, apart
from food. The times herbs are taken depend on what the herb is taken
for (i.e. a dose or two before bed for insomnia; early morning for the
liver, etc.)

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How long should I take herbs?

This is a big question to tackle here. Herbs to aid in chronic and long-standing
conditions are taken for a longer period of time. Milder and more nutritional
type herbs can be taken over a longer period. With herbs that are considered
strictly medicinal a break of a few days should be taken after10 to
14 days of use. An herb like Golden Seal, which some take regularly
as a preventative, should actually be reserved for acute type conditions,
or only taken in small doses otherwise, and breaks should be taken in
use. Herbs can also be alternated with other, possibly milder herbs
for periods of time.

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What about the taste?
The many tastes of herbs can give us a valuable connection to the Earth.
The taste of an herb is a part of its energy. For instance, it has been
shown scientifically that the bitter taste on the tongue strongly activates
many of the glands and organs involved in digestion, assimilation and
elimination. These properties are lost if the herb is taken in a capsule.
However herbs aren't only bitter, they run a whole gamut of tastes to
help bring those of us whose taste only runs from sweet to salty into
balance with the healing ways of the Earth.

The taste of the herb is only momentary with the extracts. For true
herbal taste wimps the herbs can be placed in a little diluted apple
juice, or a small nibble of something can be taken after the herb. We
also sell a ½ 0z. bottle of Flavor Enhancer, a few drops of which can
be added to other extracts to improve taste. Most of the herbs have
mild and interesting flavors; and all can be gotten used to in a short
time by most people.

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What about giving fresh herb extracts to children?
Not all herbs are appropriate for children. The mildest herbs are given
first. Mild does not mean ineffective, just work mildly with the body.
Children are usually much more responsive to mild therapies than are
adults. Often, an herb that will mildly calm them (i.e. Catnip) is all
that is needed to help their own amazing healing powers come into play.

The liquid extracts are probably the easiest form of herb to give
to children. The drops are placed in a teaspoon, and enough extra drops
of water are added to fill the dropper back up. The diluted herb can
then be quickly placed in their mouth (especially if a big deal isn't
made of it). Or, they can be given the diluted drops from the spoon.

Dosages for children, very generally, is about 1 to 2 drops per year
of age. After age 12, doses nearing that of the adult dosage can be
given. Remember, most childhood problems should only be aided with the
mildest herbs.

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