Herbal products: top 4 quality considerations

August 28, 2019 | 12126 views

Quality can be relative term. It can also be a highly specific term in regards to purity and efficacy of herbal products, which is why everything we stock in the Kerala Ayurveda Apothecary undergoes rigorous testing and validation.

We know that you care about your health or you wouldn’t be reading this. We care about it too, so we put together our top considerations when shopping for herbs and supplements.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Trust the source

When the Vedas — the ancient Ayurvedic texts — were written thousands of years ago, the earth was quite a different place. As far as we know, cell phones didn’t exist, or social media ads promoting online goods shipped from thousands of miles away. An herbal product likely came from within several miles, or was passed hand-to-hand. People lived closer to the earth, which enabled the average person to be more familiar with the plant world and capable of observing the nature and quality their plant medicine.

Since many of us depend on others to produce our plant goods, it’s crucial to make sure you choose names you can trust. A product is not an isolated entity, but may pass through many hands before it arrives at your doorstep. The quality of this process tends to go hand-in-hand with their ethos. Any company with integrity will be more than happy to share all of this with you.

For example, the Amla or gooseberry we source comes from a wild variety, which is the most pure and potent when compared to domestic varieties. It takes more time and effort to secure a large enough quantity, though we hold production until the right batch arrives. Each arrival of raw Amla is inspected by touch, taste, feel and smell in the traditional fashion, as well as analyzed on a microbial level. Every ingredient has its own story.

The Amla pictured above is from a tree in our herbal gardens at AyurvedaGram Heritage Wellness Resort, hand-picked for our India Immersion tour.

Seek verified compliance

Always choose producers who follow Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) and posses a Certificate of Analysis (CoA) for each product. Together, CGMP and CoA verify the identity, purity, ingredients and expiration date.

Additional benchmarks of quality which you find associated with a product may vary based on location. For our U.S. product line, we adhere to the requirements of California state’s Proposition 65, which is more rigorous than federal standards.

Invest in your health

Every dollar you spend on self care is not just an investment in the company you choose, but also in you. You deserve to receive maximum return on this investment.

This is a two-fold principle:

  1. To get more, you may have to spend more: it costs more to product a higher quality product, plain and simple.
  2. But you shouldn’t have to spend too much more: a higher end price doesn’t necessarily guarantee a higher end product.

Many factors go into the price of your herbal product, including, but not limited to quality. At Kerala Ayurveda we are transparent in the fact that our higher quality production methods impact our price, though we strive to offer the lowest price we can to make our products available to you. If you choose to invest in us, we promise to invest in you with a product we believe in.

Tradition in Ayurveda

When it comes to Ayurvedic products specifically, we have to consider authenticity. Awareness of Ayurveda is increasing today, which is tremendously exciting. What truly constitutes an Ayurvedic product is something of debate, due to the fact that the wellness science was developed thousands of years ago and deals in natural ingredients not limited to Ayurveda itself. When you use the spices documented in the Vedas like cumin and turmeric in your tea, does that make it Ayurvedic tea? There’s no right or wrong answer, here.

With to Ayurvedic formulations, it is a bit more black and white. The remedies documented in the Vedas include specific preparation methods, including ingredient lists, cooking and blending. Kerala Ayurveda Apothecary specializes in following these traditions, not for the sake of tradition, but because there is science in them. The energetics of each ingredient, combined in a specific way with others, yields a specific result.

While modern science has helped us develop some adaptations of the original recipes, such as our signature, classically-inspired products, our core repertoire is designed to do what the Vedas tell us, because it is most aligned with the brilliance of the Ayurvedic system. When the right ingredients, prepared in the right way, are taken at the right time by the right individual, the maximum benefit is possible. Ayurveda is designed to restore balance sustainably and harmonious, and has been practiced for over 5,000 years because this method works.

You have the best potential to benefit from Ayurvedic products when they are utilized as originally designed. As the root Vedic texts are still used to train contemporary practitioners, the classical formulations also best support the Ayurvedic provider, who is trained to understand and recommend them.

Nature is inherently, authentically balanced. Likewise, it’s our prerogative to maintain balance within this system of Ayurveda through tradition. It wouldn’t just be a bit of a misnomer to call an oil “Eladi Thailam” if it doesn’t actually contain all the ingredients of Eladi Thailam. The actual properties of the product would change, which means an Ayurvedic practitioner cannot rely on it to yield the same results. And that means you wouldn’t get the real deal. Maintaining balance within the system means you reach your maximum potential in health, and that’s what we care about most.

The most important factor in quality is authenticity. You cannot make an informed decisions without being informed. If you have a question, ask. The more questions we ask and the more we choose products of genuine quality, the greater our shift into sustainability as a humanity.

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