Single Herb Ordering Guidelines
- Chinese Herbs Direct offers Single Raw Herbs in three forms WHOLE HERBS - consisting of the actual whole, single, raw herb (i.e. fruit, stem, root, flower, mineral, etc.), HERBAL POWDERS - consisting of single raw herbs ground into a powder, and 5:1 CONCENTRATED EXTRACT POWDERS - consisting of whole single herbs and herbal formulas processed into a powder extract that is 5 times more concentrated than raw Herbal Powder.
- Whole Herbs, Herbal Powders and 5:1 Concentrated Extract Powders are offered as a convenience for professional herbalists and those customers who have the experience and knowledge necessary to safely prepare their own formulas. For the vast majority of our customers, we recommend you choose one of our hundreds of prepackaged, traditional formulas available in tabs, caps or teas rather than preparing your own formula using raw herbs. You can search for every formula in our store which contains a particular herb by using our Search Tool. For best results, if the herb name consists of more than one word, you should enclose the entire herb name in quotes when using the Search Tool.
- Unlike the prepared formulas, tabs and teas we sell, our Single Herb products (Whole Herbs, Herbal Powders and 5:1 Concentrated Extract Powders) DO NOT include usage information. Chinese Herbs Direct is unable to provide any guidance on the preparation, usage or usage of Whole Herbs, Herbal Powders and 5:1 Concentrated Extract Powders. For any questions on these items, we ask that you consult a licensed herbalist or health care provider BEFORE you place your order.
- In order to offer the freshest raw herbs possible, we do not maintain a regular inventory of most Whole Herbs, Herbal Powders and 5:1 Concentrated Extract Powders in our warehouse. You should therefore expect to wait an additional 5-7 days (beyond normal delivery times) for your order to be shipped. Available products are updated regularly, but occasionally we may be out of stock of a raw herb product - in which case we will notify you and issue a corresponding credit to your account.
- Whole Herbs, Herbal Powders and 5:1 Concentrated Extract Powders are guaranteed to be fresh and of the highest quality available. However, due to the specialized nature of Single Raw Herbs, we are unable to offer our normal guarantee beyond freshness and quality (i.e. no refunds for ordering the wrong herb, changing your mind, etc.).
About Plum Flower Brand Unsulfured Herbs
Plum Flower follows strict traditional guidelines for the correct preparation of herbs (frying, baking, steaming, etc.) to ensure effectiveness and to decrease the potential for side effects. When preparing herbs in the traditional way, Plum Flower uses updated equipment and procedures to ensure stable and uniform quality. Plum Flower Unsulfured Herbs are more natural in color, texture, and venation and in some cases may look very different than conventional herbs in the marketplace due to their absense of sulfur.
Most Plum Flower herbs are sterilized with heat or high-pressure alcohol steam. Irradiation or ethylene oxide sterilization is never used. Following sterilization, the herbs are processed and oven-dried. This actually sterilizes the herbs a second time and ensures that herbs are well dried. Herbs that are more delicate or rely on essential oil components for effectiveness are carefully shade or fan dried. Other herbs are best sun-dried. Drier herbs prolong shelf life without preservatives and are lighter, giving you more per pound. To help prevent spoilage Plum Flower also applies Modified Atmospheric Packaging concepts, namely vacuum packing the herbs after drying, then injecting the outer package with harmless nitrogen to further inhibit the growth of aerobic microorganisms and molds.
Plum Flower Brand herbs are exceptionally clean. The herbs are washed in industrial stainless steel rotating drum cleaners equipped with water jets. This initial wash helps remove dirt and dust, thereby lowering bacteria and heavy metal levels right from the beginning. Herbs are also subject to a very careful grading and sorting system. Most herbs are hand-sorted to make sure there is no extraneous matter, soil, powder, pebbles or dust in the herbs you buy. Plum Flower ships most of its herbs in vacuum packed double bags, further protecting them from damage, insects, dust, and dirt during the shipping process. Plum Flower Brand herbs are carefully monitored for impurities at an in-house lab where it tests for microbial levels and sulfur residues. In addition, outside labs test for DDT and Hexachlorabenzene, two non-permitted pesticides, as well as lead, arsenic, mercury, and cadmium heavy metal levels.
Shelf Life and Freshness
Plum Flower Brand herbs have a shelf life of 24-36 months. In contrast, commercial sulfured herbs can look unchanged 5 to 6 years or longer after purchase, making it difficult to tell how fresh they truly are. The sulfur also acts as bleach, covering bruises and other signs of decay. Without preservatives, our Plum Flower Brand unsulfured herbs naturally reveal their freshness and quality. From the fields to you, Plum Flower makes every effort to provide the cleanest, safest, freshest and highest quality Chinese herbs available today.