Herbal Additives to Bottled Water
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Riian Vlok
Posted on: February 11, 1999

Our company produces bottled mineral water. The water comes from a dolomitic aquafer with an excellent analysis namely high calcium & magnesium content and almost no salt. The source is very far removed from industry or any source of pollution whatsoever.

I would like to add ginseng, St Johns wort and various other herbal subtances with a proven record to the bottled water and market the water for specific ailments and indications, e.g. depressive illness etc.

Please advise where we can source the extracts or whichever procedure to follow to add the substances to the water without changing the physical properties of the water.

This is a tall order but I had to start somewhere and I thought Richters to be the experts in this field and approach you for help in the first place.

N.B. We also have the means to grow our own herbs if nescessary.

We are not experts on formulating herbal beverages. This is an art and science that beverage companies have gained from years of experience and no doubt, are loathe to reveal.

We expect that prepared herbal extracts are available commercially, particularly those used for flavouring purposes. It is likely that medicinal herb extracts are not as readily available, although we are sure that ginseng extracts are available.

It should be possible to make your own extracts. Depending on the herb and on the solubility of its active constituents, herbs can be extracted in hot or cold water, or in alcohol. After straining these extracts can be added to the water, or concentrated first and then added. It may be necessary to add preservatives, or to make sure that the water and extract are pasteurized.

Extracts can be made from dried herbs or from fresh herbs. If you are concerned about making an elite product, you will give first consideration to fresh herb extracts. That may require that you grow your own herbs.

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