Quality of German Herbs vs. Canadian Herbs
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Mary Ann Crevier
Posted on: March 20, 2002

I would like to know what the origin of your seed stock is? Is it german? We presently order our herbs from Germany and find them of a quality that is not found here in Canada. I don’t know if it because of their techniques, but they seem more kind to the system than the comparable herbs from here. For example, I use valerian and I have tried the tinctures as well as the tea bags that you find in health stores and find them very harsh. They taste like they are still green, this is not the case with the german herbs. Maybe you can explain the difference and if your product is what we are looking for.

Our seeds come from all over the world, wherever we feel we can get the best quality. Valerian, for example, comes from Germany. Our dried herbs do not come from the same sources as the seeds because seed and dried herb production are completely different businesses and growers specialize in one or the other and rarely both.

The differences you are experiencing, we believe, comes from the manufacture of the finished products, not from the herbs themselves. In fact, the major German herb manufacturers all buy significant amounts of raw herbs from North America.

What might the German manufacturers be doing differently that you are noticing? Could be simply the result of years of experience. German herbal manufacturers have developed processes and quality controls over the years to a high level. Herbal manufacturers in North America have not been in business as long.

However, some professional herbalists would dispute the notion that German herbal products are superior to North American ones. They would contend that at least some German products are actually weaker or ineffectively formulated. A case in point are echinacea products. The German herb industry uses the above ground parts of Echinacea purpurea, while the North American industry uses the roots of Echinacea angustifolia. Professional herbalists will tell you that good E. angustifolia has a noticeable "bite" when you taste the root, a "bite" that E. purpurea does not have.

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