Freshly harvested yellowdock
Aesclepias in bloom
We get our herbs both from the wilderness and from local growers. Extracts made from plants in the wild generally tend to be stronger than their cultivated counterparts, but since our wild populations are rapidly becoming rapidly depleted due to overharvesting, we are opting more and more to buy the majority of our herbs from local organic growers. Because many of the herbs that we make our extracts from are native to California, it is easy for local growers to grow potent plants. They don't have to be babied in order to thrive, which always creates less potency. While it takes us away from the joy of being in the wild, buying from growers is a win/win situation for everyone. It creates community connections while supporting the local economy, eases the burden on the wilderness, and ultimately makes it easier for us to get the products to you.
However, there are some herbs that are incredibly abundant here in Northern California, and we will always enjoy our wildcrafting trips to include them in our products. Our wildcrafted herbs are only gathered from pristine lands that support an abundance of plants. We follow the United Plant Savers guidelines, taking only minimal amounts of top cuttings from established plants, and don't return to the same land for several years so that it can fully recover. Roots are usually ordered from growers, as our belief is that the less the native soil is disturbed, the better chance that area has of remaining intact. Many invasive species have airborne seeds that settle more easily into a disturbed environment, quickly displacing the native plants that create a balanced ecosystem. When harvesting from the wilds a conscious connection is made with the land and we work with the plants in a respectful and loving way, offering thanks for their gifts. When the land will not support us taking the quantity that we need, we opt to buy from the growers. Each year seems to bring an abundance of some plants and a scarcity of others, so we work with what is happening and take it as an opportunity to be flexible and practice non-attachment!
Our goal at Herbal Allies is to have a product line that is 100% certified organic. However, in the earlier years of the company the only alcohol available for small manufacturers like us was grain-based and non-organic. In 2004, organic alcohol sourced from grapes became available and we happily made the decision to switch to this beautiful tasting product. It's smoother, and it tastes, feels, and IS better for our bodies! It is also a perfect fit for our environmentally sensitive customers and those who are celiac diagnosed or suffer from other reactions to grain based alcohol.
Since our remedies have a shelf life of seven years and we are still in the transition phase of this change, some of our products do not yet contain the organic alcohol.
Similarly, many of the ingredients that we use in the creams were also not available in an organic form in the earlier years. At present, the creams are made in small batches and are at least 72% organic. The remaining ingredients are either organic and/or unrefined but have not been certified as such yet, or are not available yet. As more and more demand for organic products creates greater supply, we are pleased to switch to these higher quality ingredients as they become available.
Our general policy is to use ingredients in their most natural state. We steer clear of highly processed items; if the true impacts of their complex molecular structures on the human body are not yet known, then we would rather not participate in the experiment. Therefore, the creams do not contain the following: synthetic or additional colors, artificial fragrances, PABA, or parabens. They also have not been tested on animals, do not contain animal products, or products derived from animals. They DO contain very high quality oils, essential oils and floral hydrosols. They are blended with plant-derived emulsifiers, and preserved with anti-oxidant oils, vitamins, and food-grade plant derivatives. Your skin will thank you for using these creams with radiance and suppleness!
Spring in Northern California
The farm at Napa Valley Botanicals, one of the growers we buy from
Julia harvesting yellowdock