Extraction Service

buddingherbalistNovember 21, 2007

Hi, folks. I'm new to this forum; thanks for bearing with me. And before anyone gets their knickers in a knot, this is NOT an attempt to advertise a business. You'll notice that there's not even any contact information in it, and that I clearly state that no business exists--yet. I'm just curious to know what people think about an idea.

In the past half-year or so, I have become intensely interested in plant-based medicine. For 30 years or more I've been very involved in natural approaches to good health generally (for myself, and in helping others on a strictly non-professional basis), but recently have begun making my own medicines from plants I grow, or purchase from reputable sources. To most of you, this is no new idea.

As you might suspect, I have spent a lot of time and money acquiring expertise and equipment to produce such "medicines" (who knows what the FDA would call them!). Now, having made that investment, I'm wondering whether anyone would be interested in a service, if I created such, where I would take plants or plant parts that you would supply to me, or which I would purchase on your behalf, and produce an extract or medicine from it for you.

Initially at least, it would be strictly a way of paying for my habit(!), so there would be no profit in it; it would be strictly to cover my cost--no more. I have to admit, though, that if it really became popular, so that it started taking time away from my real job, it might someday turn into a "real business". But for now, it's just an idea, and will be a not-for-profit endeavor if I do start doing it.

Granted, making basic plant medicines can be fairly easy, and doesn't have to require a lot of investment in equipment or time. But I have found that the basic methods have their limitations, and being a scientific type anyway (by profession an Engineer in a major communications company that you've all heard of), I've been having myself a good time learning about all this stuff. And buying entirely too much equipment to make specialized things, like hi-concentration extracts useful, for example, in making therapeutic salves or skin creams, or a multi-herb formula.

So... Would anyone be interested in such a service as I am describing if indeed I did start offering it?

Thanks for your thoughts.


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I would not buy from such a business.

A big problem with herbal medicines and supplements today is lack of standardization and quality control (tests have shown that for a variety of products, quality varies a lot between products with some having negligible or none of the active ingredients they claim to).

This applies to medium to large supplement companies. I'd be even less likely to trust a product from someone just getting started in a home business, however knowledgeable they were said to be. Some of these products are potent medicines, and problems could be costly.

My inclination is either to pick and use fresh herbs I grow (or dry) myself, or seek out a product from a firm with a reputation for, or even better, evidence that it adheres to testing/purity standards.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 3:11PM
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And consider some of the legal ramifications if anyone were to get sick (whether or not it could eventually be proven to have any relation to your products).

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 4:30AM
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It's an interesting idea, not for me but somebody might have a need eventually.
It might matter which herbal products you wanted to start with. I'm assuming you weren't going to bite off the whole USP at once.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2007 at 12:46AM
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limhyl(z8 NC)

My gut reaction is to say that herbal medicine is the people's medicine. If someone is going to take the time to grown their own herbs for medicine then they are going to take the next easy step and make a tea, tincture or compress with them. It's been my experience that you don't need complicated or expensive equipment to take care of the health needs of your family. Some 'high tech' herbal users may feel differently but I feel that the simpler the better.

Honey Thyme Herb Farm

    Bookmark   November 24, 2007 at 7:06AM
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Okay, say there is a HUGE mint farm, they want to make mint oil for sale. I think they'd save a lot of money if they did it themselves on site. For the small farmer such as myself, I doubt I could grow enough to make eo's out of it, which has frustrated me before. :o) I am limited to making tinctures and teas and poultices, but even then, I make more tincture than I can use in one season.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2007 at 11:47AM
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I would love to know of a service as you describe. I am an avid user of herbal teas, and now considering where I could find reliable extracts and tinctures of particular herbs I have researched. I would rather these products came from an individual with a true interest in the herbs than a corporation interested in marketing. One component in herbal preparations is the energy of the preparer and their love of the art of herbal healing. I would at least try that person once, and if all went well, many times thereafter.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 3:12PM
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