About Heron Botanicals

Heron Botanicals, Inc. was founded under the name Botanical Pharmaceuticals by Dr. Silena Heron in 1982 to provide the highest quality herbal preparations for use in her own practice as a naturopathic physician. It was then renamed Elan Botanicals (meaning vigor and liveliness) to emphasize the importance of quality in the company’s philosophy and actions. Dr. Heron sold the company in November 2001 so she could focus on her health. At that time the company was acquired by her student Dr. Eric Yarnell and herb farmers Jeff and Liz Bodony, which they then renamed Heron Botanicals in her honor.

Heron Botanicals has retained its identity as what amounts
to an extensive private apothecary producing tinctures in small batches. We share these products with a circle of discriminating practitioners who rely on a wide variety of products with uncompromised quality and vitality. Instead of offeringthe usual 100 most common herbs, we carry over 200 species, including many that are not available anywhere else.

Our practice has its roots in the vitalist tradition. We know that the quality of our extracts depends upon the vitality of the raw material. Over the past 30 years, we have developed a network of organic growers and conscientious wildcrafters who are willing to pick our herbs at the peak of their potency and quickly ship them to us. Dr. Heron and Dr. Yarnell’s extensive knowledge (derived from Western, Native American, and other perspectives on botanical medicine) of when herbs should be optimally harvested translatesinto superb herbal extracts. Our plants are usually under menstruum within 24 to 48 hours of harvest.

In most cases, fresh unprocessed plants provide the best source for extraction of the complete range of active constituents of an herb. All fresh plants are so designated throughout this catalog. They are extracted without heat, assuring retention of glycosides and other fragile constituents. In a few instances, plants must be dried and then extracted to prevent dilution from excessive water weight in the fresh state.

A growing body of evidence suggest that whole plant extracts are more active, more broadly active, or safer than their constituents in isolation. For example, the flavonoids of Artemisia annua (sweet wormwood) have been shown to potentiate actions of artemisinin, though the flavonoids themselves are devoid of such activity in isolation. Constituents in Zingiber officinale (ginger) interact to reduce one another’s toxicity- zingerone decreases the mutagenicity of 6-gingerol and shogal seen in vitro. Flavonoids in the fruit of Mahonia aquifolium (Oregon grape) potentiate the action of berberine found in the root. Many other examples could be cited.