We know that the quality of our products rests largely on the freshness and vitality of the plants that find their way to our production facility. Our extensive knowledge of optimal harvest times and processing techniques (passed down to us directly from herbalists, wildcrafters, and apothecaries from an array of Western and Eastern botanical traditions) translates directly into superb herbal extracts. Over the past 20 years, we have developed a network of organic growers and conscientious wildcrafters who are willing to pick herbs at the peak of their potency and get them to our laboratories directly from the bush or farm. Our combined efforts result in fresh plants, harvested and processed with care, placed under menstruum within 24 to 48 hours of harvest.
Reducing Our Environmental Footprint
As a manufacturing facility, Heron Botanicals has always maintained a commitment to mindful energy use and otherwise minimizing the impact we have on the natural environments upon which we are so wholly dependent. To this end, we have worked diligently over the past few years to find farms and gardeners throughout the United States to replace the raw materials and products we used to import from Europe and China. On one hand, this cuts out intercontinental shipping traffic and expenses, but more importantly this allows us to obtain fresh North American herbs harvested at peak quality rather than dried European and Chinese herbs that lose potency as they age, or that are treated with potentially harmful preservatives. As always, we continue to develop sources both to support community-based farmers and also to ease the burden on the herbs used regularly within the commercial nutraceutical industry (which often occurs at great cost to those particular herbs and the ecosystems that support them).
At times, adhering to these values means that we carry species that may, at first glance, seem unfamiliar. For example, we currently stock Pulsatilla occidentalis instead of the more familiar Pulsatilla vulgaris. We often encourage the use of Oplopanax horridus (Devil's Club), a popular Pacific North West tonic herb that functions well as a substitute for Panax ginseng (Asian ginseng). Rest assured that any time we have substituted a less commonly known species, decades of traditional and clinical experience are consulted in the process. We encourage any practitioners who've found success with our Sustainable Alternatives to Herbs of Commerce (S.A.C.H.) herbs to submit testimonials here.
To help us in our aims, we ask that you consider advocating for botanical extracts manufactured with ecological considerations in mind. Your clinic or practice could champion a more accessible substitute to the traditionally popular commercial products made with Hydrastis canadensis (Goldenseal), like Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon Grape) for example. If you need the astringency of Goldenseal (lacking in Oregon Grape), one could combine another common and locally-harvested herb, such as Rubus discolor (Himalayan blackberry) root, with the Mahonia aquifolium, resulting in a mindfully crafted and effective pair that serve as an alternative to Hydrastis canadensis.
Arguments about sustainability of wild populations of this herb aside, in order to be economically viable we have to supply the products you demand. We can only fully implement our desired ecological changes if you, our customers, are willing to support them with your buying habits. We retain experienced wildcrafters and formulators on-staff, and we are happy to provide access to our 100+ custom, ecologically considerate formulae. Our experienced staff of herbalists and naturopathic doctors can even help you set up a full dispensary for your practice. Ultimately, our hope is to feature plants from wherever 'local' happens to be for you, so that together we can empower others in the quest for radiant health. Anyone with questions about formulating and/or ecological substitutes should not hesitate to contact us here.
Who is Heron?We are a small producer of artisan-quality herbal extracts. We use local species and fresh plant material whenever possible, and sell direct to naturopaths and other holistic practitioners across North America.
Heron BotanicalsPO Box 196
Indianola, Wa 98342
Orders Fax 360.779.9882
Toll Free 888.282.7136
More contact information
Maintaining Tradition, Mastering Science