We are super excited to announce the introduction of Natural Hope Herbals to Harvest Market! They are a small, local Plain Community-based company that believes in the healing power of herbs.
Located in Millersburg, Pennsylvania, they wish to make this traditional herbal medicine easily accessible to everyone. A large percentage of the herbs used in their products are grown or wild-crafted on their own property. The rest of the herbs used are either wild-crafted elsewhere using sustainable practices or purchased from licensed organic herbal retailers. All of their products are small batch, full spectrum extracts, non-GMO and gluten-free. Their whole facility is wheat, gluten, and peanut free. They use either organic cane or corn alcohol as their tincture base, along with organic apple cider vinegar and palm glycerin. One of their core values is a commitment to providing products that are pure, potent, and reliable. They believe in quality ingredients and good manufacturing practices (GMPs).
Natural Hope Herbals creates blends of herbs that work synergistically together as well as single herb extracts, and they have an easy to follow color-coded system to guide you to your wellness needs. Their labels, with an illustration of the individual plants used in the tinctures, are as beautiful as the plants themselves. Their product line includes herbal tinctures, salves, soaks, teas, and oils, and utilizes many plant medicines to help with a variety of needs, including a children’s line. While Harvest Market does not carry everything, we encourage you to talk to our staff or visit naturalhopeherbals.com if you cannot find what you are looking for. Harvest Market will gladly special order any of their products for you.
At Harvest Market, many of our staff turn to plant medicine when needed before anything else, and much of the time, the healing process begins with the use of tinctures. A tincture is a great way to absorb the plant medicine you need quickly, as the medicinal components are absorbed sublingually (beneath the tongue), bypassing the harsh acids of the digestive tract. While they are in a base of alcohol, the amount of alcohol one ingests from a dose of tincture is as much as eating a really ripe banana, or 1/40th of an 8oz. glass of wine.
One may wonder why alcohol is used in many tinctures. Alcohol is an excellent menstruum (carrier for herb), as it extracts both the fat and water-soluble properties of the plant. Natural Hope Herbals uses certified organic cane and/or corn alcohol to ensure one is getting the most medicinal properties and phytonutrients from the plant. Natural Hope Herbals also use organic apple cider vinegar and glycerin in their formulas. As they state, “a few herbs contain high amounts of tannins and other compounds that tend to bind with other compounds in the extract and cause them to precipitate or fall out of the solution. If compounds fall out of solution, the tincture may have less of the good properties of the herb. Adding small amounts of glycerin in place of water helps to prevent this from happening.” Natural Hope Herbals uses a combination of these menstruums to best extract each herb’s particular therapeutic properties.
Another process that Natural Hope Herbals utilizes is the use of both fresh and dried herbs, depending upon the property of the herb. Some herbs will yield a higher concentration and make a better medicine when used fresh. Other herbs produce more when dried. In terms of how much herb is used to how much menstruum, the dried herbs are done at a ratio of 1:5, and most fresh herbs are done 1:2 or stronger.
Their process starts by appropriately identifying all herbs and going through a comprehensive quality assessment. This ensures you are receiving the correct product at the peak of harvest for the highest quality possible. Next, the herbs go to the blending stage. Each herb has its own extraction process and is carefully weighed, while liquids are measured precisely for consistency. The herbs then undergo the maceration process in stainless steel vessels. This is the stage when the herbs steep in the extracting liquid (the menstruum) for 2-6 weeks. A slow extraction process allows for a potent broad-spectrum extract.
The next step is pressing, where they use a hydraulic press to ensure every ounce of liquid is utilized from the herbs. Natural Hope Herbals says, “They are strained, but at times you may notice some fine sediment at the bottom of the bottles. This is typical of a full spectrum extract.” The last stage is quality testing. Here, all extracts are tested for bacteria, yeast, mold, and E. coli. Each batch is then bottled and labeled with a specific batch number to ensure traceability from the raw ingredients to the final product.
We hope you will consider adding plant medicines and folk remedies to your wellness cabinet at home. We love to support families and local communities and are thrilled about the quality and processes used by Natural Hope Herbals. Stop by Harvest Market to chat with a friendly staff member about whether or not herbal medicine may be a good choice for your wellness concerns.