Herb Sourcing

MediHerb is the largest purchaser and processing plant of herbs in Australia and since the beginning we have actively sought the best quality herbs from around the world. Our long-standing relationships with herb growers include technical assistance on how best to grow herbs. This includes information on:

 

  • Varietal selection
  • Climatic and soil requirements
  • Time of harvest
  • Harvesting techniques
  • Drying parameters
  • Storage requirements post-drying
  • Providing feedback to growers on herb quality

 

By working with herb growers in this way, we have been able to increase the level of knowledge and awareness of issues affecting herb quality.

 

Wherever possible we aim to source organically grown and wildcrafted herbs, and also work with growers to help cultivate endangered species, for example Golden Seal. We are very fortunate in Australia to have healthy soils and a wonderful climate for herb growing, so many of the herbs used in MediHerb products are from local growers. We also source herbs from overseas where the climatic conditions and specific handling requirements are the optimum, for example Devil’s Claw from the Kalahari Desert and Cat’s Claw from Peru. It is particularly important for these indigenous communities who depend on the income of the herb crops for their well-being that they understand the quality issues and how best to grow or sustainably harvest the herb. Together we can ensure that they will sell their crops and provide income for their community.

 

Our Policy on Endangered and Threatened
Medicinal Plants

MediHerb takes steps to avoid medicinal plants becoming classified as endangered species and has developed a system of identifying and classifying the 'threat' to particular herbs. 'Threatened' is not an official classification, it is determined by MediHerb based on information received from independent, reliable sources such as CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), TRAFFIC (Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network) and United Plant Savers.

 

When a wildcrafted herb is classified as 'threatened' by MediHerb, steps are taken immediately to find alternatives to overcome or reduce the threat.

 

Listed below are guidelines MediHerb has developed to reduce the threat of extinction of medicinal plants:

 

  • Where the threatened status of a herb is specific to a region or country, MediHerb does not acquire the herb from that region or country, eg Bearberry in parts of South-East Europe
  • MediHerb uses cultivated herb sources of threatened herbs, where available, eg our Golden Seal is always from a cultivated source
  • Where no cultivated source is available, MediHerb seeks to establish cultivation in conjunction with herb growers, eg Black Cohosh, False Unicorn Root
  • If 2 and 3 are not options, MediHerb then investigates the wildcrafting techniques and protocols to ensure they are conducted sustainably and ethically, eg Devil's Claw
  • In certain cases, substitution of the threatened herb with a medicinally interchangable species will be possible. This option requires technical and Research and Development involvement, eg Arnica
  • MediHerb actively promotes using alternate herbs in place of endangered herbs by educating health professionals, eg using Shatavari and Wild Yam rather than False Unicorn (see MediHerb Professional Review No 77)
  • Where a threatened or endangered herb is part of a tablet or liquid formulation, MediHerb will reformulate the product to include a different herb
  • When a herb is listed in CITES Appendix II and a cultivated source is not available, MediHerb ceases to use that herb and deletes the product from the range, eg Pygeum

 

For further information on endangered medicinal plants visit:

www.cites.org
www.traffic.org
www.unitedplantsavers.org

A selection of herbs