Fall 2021 Newsletter
Autumn is a great turning point in the yearly cycle, when we harvest the bounty of what we’ve planted in the spring and summer, and prepare for the projects and challenges of the cooler seasons.
We’re very grateful for the continuing growth in our business, for all the growers and vendors, who supply us with high quality organic herbs, like the Ginkgo and Damiana shown in these photos, and for all of our customers, here in the USA and around the world.
Our wholesale shipments to tea producers and other vendors are making a tremendous difference in the volume we’re handling. Building solid business relationships is a truly rewarding experience.
We’re looking forward to meeting the wholesale and manufacturing requirements of our entrepreneur customers, as well as the health and body care needs of our beloved retail consumers!
As we explore new sources of bulk herbs, we’re finding a need for independent testing to assure the quality of some some samples which arrive without the certificates of purity that accompany the others that we purchase. Fortunately, we now have a local lab doing that work for us.
Due to widespread issues in glassware supplies, we’ll be using amber jars for some of our two- and four-ounce salves. The amber glass doesn’t offer the same immediate visibility of the jars’ contents; on the other hand, it provides better protection of the product against sunlight, and so improves shelf life. We’ll continue to deliver the products you love, as we navigate the unpredictable covid-impacted supply chain!
Essential oils have become mainstream in a big way in recent years, and we have long offered a range of essential oils, almost all distilled from organic or wildcrafted plants (diagram at left shows a basic essential oil steam distiller setup).
However, many herb users are far less familiar with herb-infused oils, which include some of our favorite shop-made products.
So, what are the differences between essential and infused oils?
Essential oils are isolated aromatic fractions extracted from plants. For many plants, these fractions may be the most significant medicinal components. Their effects are often closely tied to their powerful fragrances, in addition to direct action against microbes, anti-inflammatory activity, etc.
Essential oils are highly concentrated and almost without exception must be diluted in other oils to be applied safely to the skin. In general they can be significantly toxic to take internally, and should never be ingested without consulting a knowledgeable practitioner.
Infused oils are made much more simply, extracting a much wider range of plant constituents (including many which are left out of the steam distillation process), and don’t need to be diluted! They can be used—straight from the bottle, or diluted—as massage oils, or applied topically for skin conditions, sore muscles, superficial wounds and abrasions, and so on. Like essential oils, they're suitable for topical use only.
And they are a perfect complement to essential oils, as they make wonderful carriers for diluting the "essences," adding their own healing properties to the resulting blends.
Speaking of herb-infused oils, Fresh Comfrey Leaf infused oil is a perennial favorite in our catalog, available seasonally as supplies permit. Comfrey’s ability to support tissue repair has made it a prized ally of herbalists for centuries. This year we’re especially pleased to be infusing batches of organic Comfrey (photo of plant above), cultivated for us just up the road in Lynden, WA.
The farm is also harvesting a beautiful crop of multicolored Calendula Flowers, suitable for a starring role in your potpourris or other projects, where their amazing hues will really shine!
May your fall be fruitful and colorful!