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

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 :

toxic metals.
trace amounts of PCB's,
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 

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 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 

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 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Exposing Facts About Moringa Quality Including the Color of the Powder

Hi Friends,

Exposing Some Facts about Moringa Quality .........................    ................................................
How do you know the powder is good quality?
What color should the Moringa powder be?
How do I know if it has been irradiated?
Is there a problem with buying from India?

Over and over I get calls on this subject. 

I have not been able to answer those questions properly. Most of the product is not grown and processed in the United States. So I have been researching to give you answers to those questions.

Over the past year, I have contacted many sellers of Moringa Product. I asked for specific facts on how they pick, dry and process their Moringa leaf. I asked for pictures of their plantations. This has taken  a year or so. They often don't reply to questions quickly or at all. I have been researching the methods of drying and how it affects the nutrition of the leaves.

I am sad to say most would not respond back to me with this information. Only one sent me pictures. Several said it was not needed since their product went through customs. They did not have to prove the quality of their product to me.

I have had first hand experience with the problem of buying quality Moringa powder. I lost over $1500 on Moringa shipments two years ago. I have not bought Moringa powder personally to sell since then. So I speak from experience. I do not have money to personally visit India and see these people. I do not have the money to test all these samples at a lab. So I must look at how these companies grow, pick, and process their products. If they do have a legal organic certificate, that tells me something. Organic certifications are not all equal. It depends on the country that issues them and their standards. So their statement that they don't need to prove anything to me....does not fly....why?

I lost one shipment through fraud two years ago .....the company Tam Herbs was using a stolen organic certificate from another company. This was proven. He had gotten away with this for several years. It happened that the import people got two complaints, one from me and one from a German company at the same time. No other companies buying from this man had bothered to check out his organic certification until that point. How many thousands of people bought his products thinking they were organic certified

The Real Facts on the Testing of Product:

Another company sent me samples that were lab tested by the FDA and were proven to contain mouse parts and insect parts. These were samples from India with organic certifications. So the organic certification may mean nothing in some cases.

Not every package you buy has been tested. The FDA requires a test on a shipment of Moringa or herbs. Lets say there is 100 pounds in this shipment. They sample test it folks. 50 pounds of this shipment may be great. The other 50 pounds may be awful. They cannot test every pound of that shipment. So it comes down to the overall company practices, their procedures, their quality checks, and steps to have quality product.

After researching this and reading the emails received from growers recently in India, I have made the decision to discontinue selling or promoting any products from companies that will not give me precise information on their products and how they process and dry their Moringa leaf products.  

Companies must give me proof now before I will support their products on my website:  Any companies who will not show me proof, will not be supported by me. ...end of story.

They may be great companies but I want to see proof, not just their word. The overwhelming evidence suggests that is necessary after what I have learned.

So if you ask me about a company, I cannot give you an answer unless I know this vital information from the company itself. They may have a clean facility and process the Moringa leaf the right way but how am I or how are you to know that? 

Leaf Powder Color: Light Green or Dark Green?

Some of you will not agree with this blog and that is ok.  But facts are facts. I have recently consulted with  some experts on the subject including David Kennedy, an expert on leaves, their growth, nutrients, and how processing affects the nutritional value. His information and website is listed at the end of this article.

Moringa is a green leafy food.  It it known that you should eat dark, green leafy vegetables each day. It is not stated to eat light green leaves but DARK leafy green vegetables. That should give you a hint there.

Web MD states this," "Greens are the No. 1 food you can eat regularly to help improve your health," says Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, a culinary educator in Northern California and the author of The Veggie Queen. That's because leafy vegetables are brimming with fiber along with vitamins, minerals, and plant-based substances that may help protect you from heart disease, diabetes, and perhaps even cancer. Even so, Americans are not eating as many vegetables each day as dietary experts recommend."

What makes greens like Kale.... dark green? 
Chlorophyll which gives the green color to leaves. Most leafy green vegetables are green not another color because of their content of this substance. When your lettuce plant leaves turn yellow...that is a bad sign. It says I have a problem and I am sick.

What good is chlorophyll?

Chlorophyll benefits the body in a number of distinct and unique ways. It is known to be a green element that helps to cleanse the body of harmful toxins. It is also an active agent that the body uses to fight infection. A regular and recommended intake of chlorophyll keeps the circulatory and digestive systems much healthier. To further assert its significance, chlorophyll is included in many of the natural nutritional supplements because of its benefits to the body

When a plant leaf has problems it will turn less green or even yellow.   A Moringa leaf when brimming with vitamins is a dark green color. So healthy Moringa leaves are dark green folks. The more Chlorophyll they contain, the darker green they are. If the powder is brown, don't use it. Send it back. Light green powder does not mean it is healthier. That is a misconception out there.

Sun Drying:  There are many problems when Moringa leaves are sun dried. Chlorophyll is reduced in the process. Sun drying  destroys Vitamin A and Vitamin C levels.  Folic Acid, B1, B2 are among the nutrients lost by sun drying. That is just fact.

If it is not dried in a clean place safe from flies, gnats, bugs, and have contamination again by these elements.

Sun dried Moringa leaves will turn a lighter green....loss of chlorophyll which makes the product less nutritious....not more as some think.

Again, I will state, that lighter green colored Moringa powder is NOT better but less nutritious.

This is a fact according to David Kennedy who is an expert on the subject of drying herbs and vegetables and how drying affects the nutrient content of the food.  Sun drying causes a lighter colored powder product...a lighter green color...means less chlorophyll.....with loss of certain nutrients. This applies to many leaves you ea

Shade Drying:

Shade drying takes place over a week to 10 days.

Unless the shade drying area is in a clean, enclosed building, this process may subject the leaves to bugs, rodents, animals, dust, and disease.

Even in shade drying, there is enough sunlight to destroy some Vitamin A in the leaves.

The drying over days subjects the leaves to mold, mildew, bacteria, and salmonella.  Read about is on page 85 of his book.

Unless the shelves it is dried on are properly cleaned and disinfected, each shipment could contaminate the next batch of leaves.

Shade drying offers many problems and is not the healthiest way to dry herbs or Moringa leaves.

How Moringa and Herbs Should Be Dried:

In his book, he states drying should take place in a special solar oven, oven in a clean facility or house, or dehydrator under low temperatures ( less than 130 degrees) and over a short time of several hours not days. Excessive heat will also kill the nutrients in the powder. Page 84 in his book. I have read this elsewhere as well.

The cleanliness of the oven is extremely important for the quality of the product. How the oven is cleaned, by what method, is one important factor.

Chemicals to clean the oven can end up in the product.

Most of the India companies have told me they shade dry their product. This buildings often are open and dirty.

What's wrong with traditional processing methods in India? 

One prominent seller of Moringa products  wrote me and I quote this directly from his email," Leaves Powder – Leaves are selected and hand picked at maturity.  Then cleaning by manual (not by water) and shade drying for about 4 to 6 days."

Notice not cleaned by water. This means you manually take off the dirt seen, bugs, aphids, and other contamination with your hands. They process thousands and thousands of leaves every hour. How well can they do that?  That leaves all the contamination not seen, not able to eliminated by hand cleaning.   

Some companies wrote me they use chlorine bleach to disinfect the product, some use salt water, and some use the sacred Ganges river water with dead bodies floating in it. They feel the water is Holy and cleanses itself.  Yes, there are really dead bodies floating in the river. It is sick and polluted.

Most often in India, Moringa leaves are  picked by hand, cleaned by hand, and separated by hand.

Some of those hands are children's hands. Child labor folks.

 Hands can be dirty. Hands can be contaminated.  This is not safe food folks.

Cleaning by hand does not take mold, mildew, bacteria or samonella off  the leaves.

Hands that contain TB, Strep, Staph, and bacteria. On many of these plantations, there are not adequate restrooms, or the ability to wash their hands on  a regular basis. They do not have health permits from the health dept maintaining their health is free from TB, AIDS, or other diseases.

Workers are often poor, uneducated on health, and just trying to survive and not starve to death.  That Ganges river water polluted with bloated human bodies is the same water that may be irrigating the Moringa trees in India. You don't know!

The quality of a product depends on water quality, soil quality, weather conditons, when it is picked, how it is picked, how it is transported to the processing area, how it is processed, by what method, and how it is packaged for sale.

How does it pass customs?

Recently, I was told by an insider than almost all India herbs and Moringa leaves are gamma irradiated.  They do not disclose that I was told. They have to because of the contamination. I thought it was required to state that on the package, but it is not or it is hidden.  Many countries do require that to be stated on the package of food.

So most Indian spices, herbs, and Moringa leaves are irradiated to kill germs and bacteria. That also causes a loss of nutrients. That means the bugs are still in there but not dangerous to eat.  How is the quality of powder after that? Probably compromised nutritionally.

21st Century Leaves, by David Kennedy.
Leaf Vegetables in Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture

This book is on many leafy vegetables including Moringa leaves. He does not sell or have any interests in Moringa leaves profit wise.  He is an expert on dark, green leafy vegetables, the growth, their nutrients, their processing, and helping others to be healthy.

You can download the book for free or buy the book below

 "Who is Leaf For Life  and Why Are they Important?

Leaf for Life helps people improve their health by showing them ways to make better use of vegetables, especially leaf crops, in their diets. Since 1986 we have worked on nutrition projects here in the United States, and in Bolivia, Brazil, El Salvador, India, Mexico, and Nicaragua. We show children, parents, and health workers the relationship between diet and health, and offer simple and creative ways to encourage children to eat more dark green leafy vegetables. We link our work to the worldwide movement "5 a Day for Better Health." Much of our current work is focused in two locations where diet-related health problems are prevalent: near our base in Eastern Kentucky and in southern Mexico (with our sister organization Hoja para la Vida).

Our Web Site

Our web site ( is a place to find information about leaf crops and about the people working with them. There is a leaf library, full of useful and hard-to-find information, including manuals in both English and Spanish. You'll find out which are the best leaves and how to grow or buy them, and how to prepare or preserve them. There is also plenty of information on how to make your garden a better source of the nutrition your body needs. Educators can find puzzles and games related to nutrition. We hope this web site will become an open forum that you can join by sharing useful experiences you've had working with vegetables and sending us ideas, recipes, and articles."

The above information is taken directly from their website. 

I am going to close for now.  Have a beautiful Sunday tomorrow.

Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin

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

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Moringa IS Worth The Effort to Grow the Trees

Hi Friends,

I had a nice reader comment that she started the seeds, then planted them in her garden and they got waterlogged from rainfall and then died.  She asked if it was worth it to try again.  I just lost all my 2 year trees this past winter. I cried a lot. But I love fresh Moringa leaves so now I have new ones started. They are an amazing tree with leaves you just pick off the tree to eat or use in salads or teas. All of us have had plants die or be eaten by rabbits or other little animals.  Moringa leaves are pure nutrition that you know is clean and pure. You know the leaves were picked with clean hands and are fresh...right off the tree. Plant more seeds and try again.  Let me know how you do this next time.

A Few Tips:

Always plant the trees with wind protection and in well draining soil. Moringa roots rot. That is one of the most critical factors in raising them.  Add amendments to heavy clay soil. If the area tends to pool water when it rains, give the area a drain away from the roots. Keep the trees in one gallons until they get big enough to be transplanted. Put a hard wire cage around the trees. Don't transplant them until the temperature is generally 70 degrees or higher.

All for now, Kate Freer, The herbladyisin

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

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Are Gnats in Your House Plants Driving You Crazy? Learn how to deal with them without nasty chemicals!

 Hi Friends,

Moringa trees are growing everyday by the windows.

With warm weather and lots of plants in the house, you end up with a gnat problem. I do not use harmful pesticides on any of my plants. So then how do you get rid of them?  Here are some suggestions on how to deal with the problem:

You need to kill both the adult gnats and their eggs laid in the soil. They are really annoying and can really damage the health of your house plants.

One of the main problems is over-watering. Let the plants dry out between watering.  Wait until the top few inches of soil are dry. This will kill the eggs in the soil. Don't let water sit in the saucers underneath either. It is also helpful to replace the top 1/4 inch of topsoil with sand.  This gets rid of the moisture and organic matter on the top that the bugs like to lay their eggs in.

One of the recipes that I have found successful it to mix one tablespoon of dish soap and a tsp of white vinegar in the water you put on your plants. This also works with Aphids.  This idea is not mine but came from one of Jerry Baker's books. Leaving a dish nearby with wine or apple cider vinegar will draw the gnats to the fermentation but they will drown in the liquid. You can get some really cheap wine that is not worth drinking but sure will help with the gnats.

Another solution is to buy a product called Gnatrol that is a natural bacillus thuringiensis
toxin that you add to water. Its used as a drench on the soil around the plant.  This drench kills the larvae.  You must treat the plants for 6 weeks.  

Neem is another solution to kill bugs on your plants. You add it to water and spray your plants.

One of my customers wrote me that she puts 1 to 2 moth balls in the dirt around the plant. I have not tried this one, but I know it works on a number of pests. I worry about the chemicals contained in the moth balls and the problem of a cat or dog eating them. I would not use this method until other things did not work.

One method I employ to get rid of any flying gnats is the yellow gnat traps. Their yellow color and the bait on them draws them to the trap and soon they are gone.  Some people object because they don't look pretty with the bugs stuck to them but I use them any way. If we are going to have company, I take them down temporarily.

In my trash cans with the growing young Moringa trees, I only water around  the roots, and let the rest of the area stay dry. When we first brought the cans into the house, they were wet and we did have a huge gnat problem until I employed the soap-water-vinegar method and the sticky traps. I had also mulched them with straw because of the rough winter. Straw mulch really is a great medium for gnats. It also keeps the top of the soil wet and moist. One of the first things I did before bringing the cans in the house, was to remove all that mulch. This is not good for the Moringa roots.  That is one of the mistakes I made the winter with the Moringa trees. In trying to keep the roots from freezing, the roots stayed too wet and that caused root rot. In climates, like ours they must be kept in a heated green house or in the house on a warm, sunny porch or living room. That is just the reality.

Some people spray around the pots with Raid but that is nasty stuff for your health, your lungs and your pets. EcoSmart makes insecticides that are made from essential oils. One of their products is called EcoSMART Garden Insect Killer. Even this product will  burn sensitive plants and leaves. Do not spray on new plants, new cuttings, plants stressed by drought, or when it is really hot. It should be used around the pot not on the plants them selves. It is a much healthier and less dangerous alternative to Raid. We used to live in a house with a horrible ant problem. We used that on the ants and it was effective. We sprayed it around window sills and door frames to keep the black ants out. We found this product in Pet Smart and Home Depot. 

I hope this all helps in your war with the gnats. Let me know if you use any of these suggestions, and how they worked for you. Please leave that feed back at the end of this article in comments. It will benefit others.

Again, I do have seeds for sale again at the below link:

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

Monday, May 14, 2012

How to Grow Moringa Trees As A Seasonal Crop

Hi Friends,

Many of you live in climates where Moringa trees cannot live year round. Here is Nevada is one place as well, where they will not live the winter out. Here is a plan so that you can still produce fresh Moringa leaves.

How to Grow Moringa Trees  As a Seasonal Crop:

Start your seeds in the house in Jan.  Put them in the warmest room with the most sunlight. Plant them in 1-gallons like you would tomato or pepper seedlings.  Keep them in the house until after the last frost in your area.

When you are ready to take them outside, transplant them into huge pots or 20 gal containers with soil that drains well. Make sure the container has plenty of holes for drainage. Moringa trees grow long, deep tap roots. They need a tall container to do well. So if you have a container that is deeper than wide, it is better. That is why I plant them in large trash cans. Then over several days get them used to being in the direct sun....harden them off.

If you live in a windy area, set them out where there is a windbreak of some kind.  An example would be in your front yard with the house blocking the winds. Where you place them depends on how the winds hit in your area. Stake the trunk as well to help it withstand wind.  Protect the trunk with a hard wire cage from rabbits, rodents and  deer. Little creatures love Moringa trees including house creatures like Cats. Several people wrote me last year their cat ate their Moringa seedling. Put Moringa leaves or Moringa leaf powder into your dog or cat's food. It will help them live longer and healthier.

Moringa trees need water in the beginning. Adult trees with established tap roots do well in dryer conditions. Do not plant them in soggy, heavy clay soil. Do not let their roots get waterlogged. Their roots will rot. They need good drainage and organic fertilizer.

When it is hot, they should grow like crazy. Cut off the tops when they reach 4 feet. This will cause them to produce more branches from the base with more leaves. It will create a bush effect rather than a tall tree. You will need 3 to 5 trees depending on your family size and the amount of leaves you will use. If you can't take them in the house when winter hits, well you will just have to start over in spring.

People in winter-rough-areas do this every year with their traditional garden plants. Moringa can be grown this way as well. I have my new babies who are being raised in the house by my windows and others will go outside here at the end of the month. I will keep 6 trees in the house on a full time basis. They will grow slower than the ones outside but should stay in leaves for a length of time after winter starts. We also have a small wood stove in the living room, we can use to warm the living room this winter.

My house Moringa trees will live in 33 gal trash cans with deep dish saucers under them to protect the floor.  This house with its living room arrangement should be a perfect in-house environment for them. Along with the Moringa Trees, I have 15 Ginkgo trees that must be kept indoors for a year. They can eventually be planted outside or sold. 

All for now...Kate Freer, the herbladyisin

Buy USDA Organic Certified Moringa Powder, Tea, and Capsules from Ecuador. The products are tested and shipped from a US/GMP compliant lab in Connecticut. 

Visit Nature's Sunshine Herbs, Essential Oils, Flower Remedies, and so much more here