Herbal extracts, loose-cut whole herb teas, or powdered herbs: What’s the difference, and how can you choose?
First and foremost, they’re the three forms of the main plants we sell to support body and mind health:
- Phyllanthus niruri (Chanca Piedra, Stone Breaker)
- Cistus incanus (Rock Rose)
- Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi, Holy Basil)
- Semen cuscutae (Dodder Seed, Tu Si Zi)
- Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi)
- Cistanche tubulosa (Rou Cong Rong)
- Paeonia lactiflora (White Peony Root)
- Polygala tenuifolia (Seneca)
- Terminalia chebula (Haritaki)
- Vaccinium uliginosum (Bilberry)
At Linden Botanicals, our primary focus is on you – on helping you optimize your health. It’s the driving philosophy of our business. And we want you to understand the value of these special plants and the different forms in which they can be consumed.
What’s the Difference Between Whole Herb, Powdered Herb, and Herbal Extracts?
Loose-cut whole herb and powdered herb are simply different grind levels of the same plant material. If you like making a slow brew decoction and like to see the morphology of the plant (the structure of its stem, leaves, and flowers), you’ll prefer the loose-cut form. A finer grind makes it more convenient to make single servings. If you want to take advantage of the faster brew of a fine grind, you’ll most likely prefer the powder form.
Herbal extracts, or concentrates, on the other hand, are created when we extract the active phytoconstituents from the plant matter and then dry the extract. Each plant has a specific extraction method. Most of our extracts are ratio extracts which means that the full spectrum of what the plant has to offer is captured. A 20:1 ratio extract is created by using 20 kg of plant matter to get 1kg of extract. The ratio numbers do not reflect in any way on the potency or relative merit of a concentrate. But they do show how far we go to make sure the herbal extract has all the relevant bio-active components. In some cases we offer a standardized extract.
For example, Paeonia lactiflora is standardized to 10% total peony glucosides (TPG). TPG is recognized as the most active part of a peony root extract. Our standardized extracts still contain the full spectrum of what the plant has to offer, but we make sure that the recognized most active component is in at least 10% of the concentrate. In the case of white peony root, we chose 10% because it offers a good balance between content and palate. Much more than 10% TPG becomes too bitter to take.
Why Do We Sell Whole Herbs and Herbal Extracts in Bulk?
First thing’s first. As mentioned, we sell only a handful of highly curated plants from around the world. They’re the plants we believe best support body and mind health.
The next thing that’s important to know is that we offer the herbal extracts and whole herbs that we sell in bulk. Our quantities start at 200 grams for extracts and 250 grams for loose-cut whole plants. Sure, we could have made 1 gram packets. But we didn’t because the effective amounts for each serving are in the multiple gram range.
By offering you bulk plants, we give you the most effective amount of the plant (the amount you actually need), all while saving you money and saving the environment from lots of extra wasteful packaging.
An advantage of buying in bulk is that you can create your own customized blend. For example, your research might show that for your purposes it would be interesting to blend Paeonia with Phyllanthus. In this case, you can use just the amounts of each that make sense for you. In essence, we’re recognizing and supporting the truth that every person is different and their needs are equally unique.
We strongly encourage both independent research and consultation with an integrative health provider both before choosing to buy and after in customizing the serving suggestion to your unique body chemistry. This is the best path to optimizing your health.