Grow Your Own
The best way to find high quality, sustainably sourced herbal medicine is to grow and prepare your own. After several years following herbs through the supply chain, that’s my main conclusion. Growing your own solves problems of heightened FDA regulation, issues relating to adulteration, sustainability, social equity, and quality control. Not only do you know what you are getting when you grow your own, you know what you aren’t getting: pesticides drifting over in the wind, heavy metals lingering in the soil, high microbe counts from poor drying practices, poorly paid collectors, inattentive processors. There is some really good herbal medicine out there (more on that below), there is a lot of really bad stuff out there as well. If you grow your own, you know for sure what you have.
How to grow your own
Unlike vegetables, herbs don’t require much soil and many, as weeds, thrive on our lack of attention. So it isn’t that hard to get started. But it does sometimes help to have guidance.
By growing and harvesting your own medicinal plants, you’ll also quickly learn what it takes to produce high quality herbal medicine. Knowing first-hand how much work is involved may be the most powerful way to begin raising awareness about why high quality, responsibly sourced herbal medicines cost more. More on that in the future.