Growing and Using Moringa, Comfrey, and Healing Herbs

Learn how to grow and use Moringa Trees, Comfrey, medicinal herbs, adaptogen herbs such as Jiaogulan, and herbal medicine to create vibrant health and an enriched life style. There are a number of herbs you can grown at home which is fun and great for your health. Learn Tips on feeding your pets and livestock naturally with organic greens such as Comfrey, Kudzu, plantain, and Moringa. Get back to your roots in a healthy way.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Truth Behind So Called 'Wildcrafted Herbs"

                               'Wildcrafted' is used to describe herbs and Moringa leaves.




What 'Wildcrafted' means when you see it in advertisement.  

'Wildcrafted' means that the herb or Moringa leaves have been harvested from the wild. It is grown without the use of any pesticides, fertilizers or chemicals of any kind, and has been ethically harvested.  This herb to be superior must be grown in a pollution free area, including soil, water, and in untreated, unpolluted, rich soil. 

 Are True 'Wildcrafted' herbs superior?

They can be.  Were they picked from herbs far away from pollution and chemicals.  Let say you find a beautiful field of oregano in the woods somewhere? Are the herbs found near a main road. If they are, you will find soot and chemicals on those herbs. There are very few real pure areas left in the world. India is not one of them. China is not one of them. Pollution finds it way to every part of our world. 

One of my first almost tragic lessons happened when I first became an herbalist in the early 1980's. I didn't know enough and was inexperienced to say the least. We lived out away from the city but by a road active with cars. Some fennel grew outside by the road. Not thinking, I picked that and gave it to my rabbits at the time. They got sick and nearly died.  I had poisoned them with chemicals from the cars on those plants.  You don't pick herbs unless it is several hundred feet from the road. You must be an expert in identification of wild herbs. Some herbs look very similar to others.

Questions you may not know the answer to.

Had the area been sprayed with a weed killer by the county.  How is the soil in that area. Some soils have natural lead and arsenic. Was the area used in the past for crops sprayed with chemicals? Chemicals stay in the soil for years from agriculture. You may not know that the area is polluted. It may get run off from a chemical plant nearby.

'Wildcrafted Herbs' do not grow in huge fields......but small clumps of plants.

Herbs in nature do not grow in big fields...they grow in small clumps here and there. There are not enough plants growing in one spot to supply large orders full time. That is the reality.  If you are selling herbs full time, then it is impossible to only use wildcrafted' herbs...they are not enough of them.  So most herb companies who list their herbs as 'Wildcrafted' are not being truthful. The term 'Wildcrafted' can be used by anyone in their descriptions.  It takes huge amount of fresh herbs, to make dried powder.

How can companies sell hundreds of pounds of herbs that are really 'Wildcrafted'

So most herb product advertised as 'Wildcrafted' are not....use your common sense folks. It sure sounds good when they are selling you their product.

What does 'Wildcrafted Morniga' leaves mean?  

It means that the native people go around their home areas finding Moringa trees and pick the leaves.  They do not come from a plantation but trees scattered here and there.  These trees may be growing in good soil or may not be. These trees may have been watered by pure water or may not have. The trees may be right by a main road heavy with smog and pollution.  You don't have any idea. It may take a whole day to pick enough for a wagon load. Those hours it takes to pick enough leaves for the day, are breaking down in the wagon. The product is wilting and deteriorating in quality. It takes a lot of Moringa leaves to fill a wagon.

India and third world countries use chemicals to spay areas of water to kill mosquitoes. Malaria kills many thousands each year. If the water feeding the Moringa trees has chemicals in it. Those chemicals end up in the leaves.  'Wildcrafted' Moringa leaves does not mean they are healthy. It means the growers who are selling them, have no groves of Moringa trees.

One Moringa seller who is very popular and in the top of the search engine rankings says he gets the leaves from India and other countries. Ask yourself these questions first and be honest...........

Do you really think he visits all these countries to examine the resources from whom he buys those leaves?

Do you think he has visited all those Moringa growers who supply him with leaves?

Do you really  think he knows the real quality of his leaves, when he buys them from 3 different countries?

He buys thousands of pounds a week. Even if it is just from India, it may be leaves from different areas of the country.

If you say, yes, to the above questions, you have your head in the sand. It is what you want to believe because you are eating his product.  A pretty package does not mean anything except he knows how to market his products. A pretty package makes you think less about the quality of its contents.
 
Most Moringa sellers do not have groves of trees they own and manage. How do I know this. I have emails on the subject from sellers I have asked this question. I have been doing research on this for 2 years because of the orders I lost to fraudulent dealers.

You need to think about what you are being told and not told on labels and on websites. 

This is all for now...Have a wonderful Sunday tomorrow and blessings

Kate Freer, the Herbladyisin


Please support this blog by buying your Moringa products through my website at 













  


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Friday, May 25, 2012

Moringa Organic Certificates-What Does it Mean in Reality

Hi Friends,



I get calls everyday on this question. Consumers think that having an organic certificate is a guarantee the product is safe and worth the extra money the organic product costs. You need to read this article so you know the facts about the food or Moringa you are buying.

So Many Labels.....do you know what they mean?

The terms "100 percent organic'.......'organic or made from organic (specified ingredients or food group)" or "certified organic"  must have gone through an organic application process.  Those terms should not be expressed in ads or on labels unless they have been approved. Often companies throw out these terms to their customers but are not acting legally to do so. 

These rules below are only a few of the hundreds involved:  

1) A description of practices and procedures to be performed and maintained, including the frequency with which they will be performed;

(2) A list of each substance to be used as a production or handling input, indicating its composition, source, location(s) where it will be used, and documentation of commercial availability, as applicable;

(3) A description of the monitoring practices and procedures to be performed and maintained, including the frequency with which they will be performed, to verify that the plan is effectively implemented;

(4) A description of the record keeping system implemented to comply with the requirements established in ยง205.103;

(5) A description of the management practices and physical barriers established to prevent commingling of organic and non-organic products on a split operation and to prevent contact of organic production and handling operations and products with prohibited substances; and

(6) Additional information deemed necessary by the certifying agent to evaluate compliance with the regulations.

(b) A producer may substitute a plan prepared to meet the requirements of another Federal, State, or local government regulatory program for the organic system plan: Provided, That, the submitted plan meets all the requirements of this subpart.

Organic certifications cost thousands of dollars, involve months and months of paperwork and red tape.  It is out of reach of most small companies to do that.  The paperwork on a daily basis to keep up that certificate is enough to give you a brain seizure.  Many companies grow their vegetables and trees organically but do not have the money to go through the process. They are organic but cannot state that on their products.

What is involved in getting an organic certificate?  The National Organic program states that organic crops must be grown on a field, free from pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizer for three years proceeding your growing your organic crops there.  So you must start the process several years in advance.  If your land has been used for commercial crops before you bought it, the soil will be contaminated with chemicals and commercial fertilizer.

The cost of a certificate itself is from $750.00 on up into thousands. It depends on the size of your farm, what you raise, and many other factors.

An organic farm that brings in $5,000 a year or less from sales of organic agricultural products is exempt from organic certification

You must go through an application process that may take months and get certified by the National Organic Program or NOP.

Next you will get an inspection to see your farm, its production equipment, and records. If he finds problems, you will be given a list of those issues, and a time frame to fix them.  Then there will be another inspection to see if you are in compliance. 

A few requirements ( there are pages more)  for being organic: This is from their website below:

  • National Organic Program Standards requires every single farm, ranch or handling operation seeking organic certification to submit an initial organic system plan (OSP).

    The OSP is a general management plan of an organic production or handling operation. The plan should include all aspects of the various organic handling and production methods that will be used by the operation. For example, growing practices, animal management, record-keeping policies and more are covered by the OSP.

    After becoming certified the organic farm, ranch or handling operation must submit an updated OSP annually. Additionally, OSP updates must be provided whenever operational changes are made.

    Organic Status Requirements in India. 
     
    In India, the company is initially inspected. Their fields, water source, soil, equipment are all examined. This is only performed once a year unless they have reason to do otherwise. They perform additional inspections if there are complaints.  So on the inspection all is great.

    What happens the rest of the year on these requirements?

    There is a lot of room for cheating with fertilizer, with chemicals, with the cleaning steps. Just because you put on your records that these steps were done, does not mean they were done all the time. Records are easy to falsify. 

    Does an organic certificate mean my food is pure and safe to eat? 
     One organic company I received samples from failed the FDA tests for dirt, mouse parts, and insect parts. They flagged the samples because of improper labels.

    What if the labels had been correct? 

    They probably would have sent them through. I would have been trying on myself and family, Moringa with mouse parts and insect parts. Only a microscope can see this. This was all ground up in the powder.  Each shipment may or may not be quality stuff.

    Should I only buy organic?

    Just because a company is not organic, does not mean it is not a high quality product. You need to know how the product is grown, picked, dried, ground,  and packaged to have any idea on its quality. Ask the company these questions. Ask, Ask, Ask!  

    The real truth is that a company that is not organic may be as good or better than one who is organic. It gets down to the owner, his ethics and business standards.  Organic is not a guarantee. It does let you know certain steps have been taken on that food. It does tell you that owner is being watched even if only once or twice a year. It gives you some indication of their standards.

    Next blog will be on the term, Wildcrafted and grown organically

    All for now Kate Freer, The herbladyisin

    I do have seeds for sale here folks



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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What Does 'Natural' Mean in a Label- The Reality May Shock You!

'Natural' or 'All Natural' are buzz words used by companies so you will more likely buy a product. It is a feel good term. Are natural potato chips all that good for you in reality....no.

This label is very misleading to consumers. They have the impression that it is a very healthy food. Not always true by any means. Often it contains excessive calories, fat, and clog up your arteries ingredients.

The FDA regulates label wording for the seller. The FDA only applies 'natural' or 'all natural' to added color, synthetic ingredients, and flavors. There is no requirement for food companies to list all the chemicals found in their food products.Natural foods are supposed to be processed without preservatives and additives.

So a 'natural' or 'all natural' product may contain :

pesticides,
herbicides,
toxic metals.
trace amounts of PCB's,
fluoride,
high-temperature cooking by-products,
other non-natural substances.
Always read labels on everything.
 

So What does Natural Moringa Powder really mean?

Natural Moringa Powder means it is just the Moringa leaves in the product. It may contain leaves, flowers, or pods. It would state that as well, if that is the case.

That does not mean the product is up to nutritional standards,
It does not mean that the food is not contaminated,
It does not mean the product is free of dirt, insect parts, mouse parts, bacteria, heavy metals, or other things.

Natural does not mean pure or clean.

It does not mean the product was not irradiated at some point in the system.

Some countries require labeling for treated product, but often it is not required.

Is the Company who produces the product GMP compliant?  

GMP stands for Good Manufacturing Practices in the United States.

If the product is purchased from a GMP compliant company, it means that they test their product for metals, bacteria, and other toxins. GMP is required for most supplement companies in the United States.

It is a set of standards and testing for the product, storage, processing, and final step of putting the product in capusles or bags. It regulates the equipment used to handle the products, and it costs the companies thousands of dollars to meet those GMP Regulations.....that is why many small companies are going out of business.

There are many small companies operating outside the GMP regulations and radar. GMP or Good Manufacturing Practices are a law for food and supplement businesses now.  There are GMP laws in many foreign countries as well.  Unless the company from a foreign country states they are GMP compliant, they are probably not.

If they don't state it, you have to call them to find out. GMP raises the cost of the product but makes it safer and gives you some confidence for quality. The system is not prefect either and companies may only undergo inspections two or three times a year. They are required to document much information on all their products. If there is a food poisoning incident, it is easier to locate the source for that contamination.

Where is the product packaged? 

Here or in the country of origin such as China or India? China is an example. Chinese foods and herbs have been found to contain drugs and heavy metals. Read the label. Huge difference in how that product is regulated. If it is packaged in a foreign country you need to find out the answers to  these questions. 

In the next  blog, we will go into the statements of organic and organic certified.  What that really means in reality.

I encourage discussion and questions on these topics.....This is critical information so you know more about the food you are eating including Moringa. This applies to herbs, herb supplements, and food.




Please support this blog by buying your Moringa products through my website at 







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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Why People Are Starving Where Moringa Grows

Hi Friends,



I had a man call me to ask this question. If Moringa grows in these countries, why is it then, there are still starving women and children.

David Kennedy answered this question in his book, 21st Century Greens. He stated in his book that on one of his trips to these countries, he saw a woman sitting under a Moringa tree with her starving baby. He asked her questions. He discovered, she did not know about the Moringa's nutritious leaves. It grows all over the place in many countries, both naturally and planted. She had no idea that she was sitting under the answer for her starvation.  There are many people  ignorant of its benefits. It is David Kennedy's quest and the quest of Trees for Life and other organizations to teach the people how to use it power-packed nutrition.

Ginkgo is another medicinal tree with leaves that are beneficial for mental energy and memory. The tree is used as a decorator tree in cities.  It is a beautiful tree but  90 percent of the people out there are ignorant to its benefits.

The sad truth is that there are thousands of herbs growing, native and planted, that people have no clue of their beneficial, medicinal properties. Yarrow grows in many yards as a pretty flower but has medicinal properties. Thyme, lavender, sage are all medicinal as well as beautiful. Do people use them as herbs? Most often not.

The truth is that nurseries lose thousands of dollars every year, because people don't have a clue on how to use herbs.  Herbs and medicinal plants need education. The stores that sell them either don't know how to use them or have no time to educate the customer.  The Moringa trees are new to most people in America. They have never even heard of Moringa. Those of us who have fallen in love with Moringa, know this beautiful, beneficial, medicinal tree will find its way into American life. 

The good news is that this is changing. More people are calling me to find out about the tree and its benefits. More Americans are asking for it and trying it. If you love salads and fresh greens, then Moringa leaves are your best choice for nutrition. The tea, hot or cold is refreshing and brings up your energy level.

Moringa is also a survival tree....that means you could live on the leaves if needed. Its super- nutrition packed leaves, pods, and flowers would keep you healthy and alive. That is why you should grow them, as well as have the powder included in your food storage program. Most of all you  need to use the Moringa leaves everyday, either fresh or as dry powder. This in itself will help you to be healthier and have more energy. It is a food that everyone would benefit from eating on a daily basis. I know that it has helped my energy and health since discovering it several years ago.

All for today. In my next column I will tell you what an Organic Certification really means from India. There are many terms thrown around: natural, pure, organic, organically grown, and certified organic.  But what really is the truth on these terms....do you really know or do you just think you know. You may be surprised on what you will learn.

Kate Freer, The herbladyisin



Please support this blog by buying your Moringa products through my website at 



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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Why I Want Proof from India Moringa Companies.....Disease Infested Ganges River Water



       Why we need to know how the Moringa trees are grown and how their leaves are processed. 

The Ganges River is considered sacred by the people in India. They feel because it is sacred, it cleanses itself. They don't look at the swollen dead bodies of animals and humans that float by them as they bathe and brush their teeth.

6 million tons of fertilizer are expelled into the river.

Industrial waste is 15% of the total river pollution.

Raw sewage, human waste is released into the river at 1.3 billion litters per day.  This has killed the fishing industry in India on this river.  The fish are dead or diseased.

You will find almost every kind of cancer causing chemical in the river. Facts.....

The river flows for 1557 miles and joins other rivers along the way. The sewage from the Ganges contaminates the rivers down the line. People drink from it and bathe in it along the rivers path. They wash their hands in it and water their crops with it.

How many plantations including Moringa trees are watered by this polluted river. The people bathe in this river than perhaps go pick the leaves you eat.

The world health organization says that hepatitis, dysentery, and cholera are rampantly found in the river water.
Watch these videos from U-tube on the river.

The Ganges collects large amounts of human pollutants as it flows through highly populous areas e.g. Schistosoma mansoni and faecal coliforms 




                                                                          


There are few environmental  rules in India. That is why the river is so bad. Everything is dumped into it....chemicals, urine, feces, dead bodies float in it.   

Is this the water you would want watering the herbs you eat?  

So they irradiate it....does that make the product healthy?  

There are a few companies who are modern, who have modern facilities, who do things the right way in India but there are many more who do not. 

How do you know the difference?  

It is the Ganges water or some better quality water that waters their fields....only they know. 

This is a series of blogs on why you should know where your Moringa powder come from!

Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin



Please support this blog by buying your Moringa products through my website at 








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