Herbs of Grace has progressed a great deal since the inception back in 1976. One thing that has not changed however is our core and enduring passion for sourcing quality medicinal herbs.
In the early days of Herbs of Grace we primarily sold our herbs in 2 oz (50g) powder sachets along with a small packet of DIY empty capsules for the client to prepare their own herbal formula . We continue to offer this valuable bespoke service and without exception feel that making ones own herbal medicine under guidance is a very laudable but somewhat time consuming pursuit. These days we do many things more to ensure superlative quality.
Our expertise in sourcing and making available a broad spectrum of medicinal herbs has developed somewhat from those early days. But our special emphasis to quality control has remained steadfastly the same. It is essential for the herb user to have an active and vital herb for any therapeutic benefits to be experienced. Herbs of Grace takes this responsibility for you. We want to show that modern herbals if correctly used can and will improve ones quality of life.
It all starts quite simply. A visual inspection. Does the herb look good? See for yourself. Which of the two recently received samples of the popular herb Ginkgo biloba shown below would you choose?
We rather hope you have selected sample B! Both the illustrated herbs were being marketed at the same time by reputable suppliers, Sample A was somewhat cheaper than the vibrant Sample B. Naturally Sample B was our choice. It visually exudes extreme care in the drying process and more importantly the leaves have been harvested at an optimum time. It looks good and that is the best start, but how good?
This is where science meets nature and tradition. All of the quality testing detailed here is undertaken under one collective roof. The following is a guide to the procedures that add as required critical analysis to the all important visual inspection.
If the herb stacks up to the exhaustive testing that follows then this is when we offer it to you.
Botanical Identification......Pointless working with the incorrect genus.
1. Macroscopic: Evaluation of a sampled product based upon inspection of the products visual characteristics - texture, size, etc.
2. Microscopic: Evaluation of a sampled product based upon visual inspection, with the aid of a high powered microscope, of cells, cell walls, cell structure and characteristics, etc.
3. HPLC: Stands for High Pressure (Performance) Liquid Chromatography. This test provides verification of product identity as well as quantitative determination of active constituents when tested against a reference standard.
4. GC: Stands for Gas Chromatography. This test provides verification of product identity as well as quantitative determination of active constituents when tested against a reference standard.
5. TLC: Stands for Thin Layer Chromatography. This test provides verification of product identity when tested against a reference standard.
1. Appearance: Samples of each product are evaluated based upon their general appearance and uniformity and are compared, to ensure conformance, to a known standard.
2. Colour: Used to identify products based upon conformance, of color, to a known standard.
3. Aroma: Used to identify products based upon conformance, of aroma, to a known standard.
4. Flavour: Used to identify products based upon conformance, of flavor, to a known standard.
1. Particle Size: A sieve analysis is used to measure the total particle size distribution of a prepared sample. Whether the product is in the form of a powder, cut and sifted, or tea bag cut, particle size analysis can help a customer judge whether a product is suitable for their application.
2. Foreign Organic Matter: Measures the amount of a prepared sample that is of a foreign organic nature. This is a measurement of the purity of the product and, thus, the quality of the product.
3. Foreign Inorganic Matter: Measures the amount of a prepared sample that is of a foreign inorganic nature. This is a measurement of the purity of the product and, thus, the quality of the product.
4. Tapped Density: Measures the density of a prepared sample (g/ml). This test can help one discern packaging or encapsulation requirements.
1. Moisture Content: Measures the amount of volatile matter (water) driven off of a prepared sample under specified conditions. Elevated moisture content can increase the likelihood of microbial growth.
2. Steam Volatile Oil: Measures the amount of water insoluble steam volatile oil present in a prepared sample. In many products, volatile oil is an indication of product quality.
3. Total Ash: Measures the amount of carbon-free ash present in a prepared sample. This test can give an indication of the quality and purity of a product, as all organic material will burn off leaving dirt, silica, etc.
4. Acid Insoluble Ash: This test measures, after total ash, the amount of acid insoluble ash present in a prepared sample. This test gives an indication of the quality and purity of a product.
5. Heavy Metals: This test measures metallic impurities in a prepared product sample. No product may exceed the tolerances that have been set for each specific metal.
6. Pesticides: This test measures the amount of pesticide residue that a prepared sample contains. No product may exceed the tolerances that have been set for each specific pesticide.
1. Total Aerobic Plate Count: This test allows for the detection and enumeration of aerobic microorganisms. This test gives an indication of the cleanliness of a product microbiologically.
2. Yeast and Mold: This test allows for detection and enumeration of yeast and mold microorganisms. This test gives an indication of the cleanliness of a product microbiologically.
3. Coliform: This test allows for detection and enumeration of Coliform.
4. E. Coli: This test allows for detection and enumeration of E. Coli bacteria.
5. Salmonella SPP.: This test allows for detection and enumeration of Salmonella Bacteria.