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FAQ

Why are your products Organic?

We are Organic because of our deep respect for the Earth and sustainability. It's a statement that we respect all life on our planet. Growing organically is simply better for the Earth, better for the consumer, better for our neighbors, and better for those living and working on the farm. It is a joy to grow high quality medicinal herbs while also nurturing and healing the Earth.



What are Liquid Extracts?

Liquid extracts are primarily created by combining herbs with a mixture of purified water and alcohol. The liquid component in the extraction procedure is called the menstruum. The ratio of plant material to menstruum varies depending on the herb chemistry. The valuable, naturally available, bioactive medicinal chemistry is then concentrated into the liquid menstruum.



Why do you specialize in Liquid Extracts rather than Capsules or Pills?

The medicinal constituents within an herbal liquid extract are much easier to absorb and assimilate because the plant material has been "predigested" through the extraction process. Herbal medicine enters the body through the blood stream in an alcohol/water extraction medium, increasing and accelerating absorption. Our herbs are kept as whole as possible until the day that they are put into extraction; assuring that the herbs potency goes into solution and is not lost through the oxidation process.

Herbs are ground to a fine powder for the process of making tablets and capsules. Capsules and tablets are subject to oxidation and subsequent loss of potency throughout the shelf life of the product. Capsules and tablets also enter the body through the digestive system. Even in a fine powder form, many herbs are hard to digest. People with health problems, or poor digestive systems, may not be able to fully absorb and assimilate the herbal properties within a capsule or tablet.



Why do you use Alcohol in your Liquid Extracts?

We use organic alcohol in our liquid extracts for three reasons:

  1. Alcohol is a fantastic natural preservative. It helps to retain the integrity and potency of the extract for up to five years.
  2. Alcohol is a very effective edible solvent for extracting medicinal chemistry from the herb material into solution.
  3. Taking herbal medicine extracted in alcohol allows for the absorption of the medicinal constituents directly into the blood stream, bypassing the digestive system. This greatly increases the bioavailability of the active constituents, along with accelerating adsorption.



How much Alcohol is consumed when taking Liquid Extracts?

The amount of alcohol consumed when taking a standard dose of Shining Mountain Herbs liquid extracts is actually quite small. The amount of alcohol used in each extract varies depending on specific herb chemistry, however, alcohol content of one dropperfull (1 ml) of Shining Mountain Herbs liquid extracts will typically be between 1/50th to 1/75th of the range of alcohol within one can of beer. This equates to approximately 1/2 of a teaspoon of beer.



I am Alcohol Senstive, can I evaporate off the alcohol?

You can evaporate off most of the alcohol by placing the appropriate dosage of the liquid extract into a hot cup of water or tea. Wait a few minutes for the water or tea to cool and drink. Do not boil the extract as this may cause protein denaturization and lessening of the efficacy of the extract.



How Long do Liquid Extracts Last? What is the Best Way to Store Them?

Our liquid extracts retain their medicinal potency and effectiveness for up to five years because they are extracted using organic grain alcohol, and are packaged in dark glass bottles. The best way to store our liquid extracts to optimize their shelf life is in a dark location, away from direct sunlight and heat. Although it is not necessary to refrigerate our liquid extracts, avoidance of fluctuating hot and cold temperatures is recommended.



What is the Best Way to Take Liquid Extracts?

The best way to take liquid extracts is in 2 to 4 ounces of water. Room temperature water is best for absorption.

There are five tastes: sweet, salty, bitter, sour and astringent. Each herb, properly extracted, will retain its unique flavor. Brain chemistry actually recognizes distinct flavors resulting in a cascade of responses to the herbal formula based on the taste. Diluting the liquid extract in water, rather than juice, retains its original flavor, thereby accentuating the body's response. A prime example of this is with our Rocky Mountain Herbal Bitters. Salivation occurs immediately upon taking our Bitters. This is the start of the digestive process, signaling to the digestive system that food and nutrients are being ingested. Diluting our Rocky Mountain Herbal Bitters in juice would mask the bitter but tasty flavor. Replacing the bitter taste with a sweet flavor will lessen the overall digestive strengthening properties.

However, for people with sensitive systems, you can dilute herbal liquid extracts in tea or juice. This may be necessary for particularly strong tasting liquid extracts or when giving liquid extracts to children.



Can I Give Liquid Extracts to Children?

Published literature indicates you can give liquid extracts to children. You may want to evaporate off the alcohol in hot water, tea or juice, and you will need to adjust the dose. The standard dose is calculated for a 150-pound individual. Therefore, if the child is 75 pounds you would give them 1/2 of the dose stated on the label. For example, if the label indicated that the dose was two ml-three times per day, the proper dose would be one ml-three times per day. You will also want to check the caution statement on the label of each herbal liquid extract to be sure that use with children is not contraindicated.

Please see our section on Children in the Symptom/Category section for more dosage information.



Can I Take your Liquid Extracts if I am on Prescription Medications?

Generally a person can take our liquid extracts if they are on prescription medications, however we recommend that our customers consult their professional health care providers before taking our liquid herbal extracts if on prescription medications.



Why Don't You Standardize Your Liquid Extracts?

Herbology is an ancient art that is nearly as old as the human species. Humans have been using and eating whole plant material since the beginning. The use of whole plant material honors and acknowledges the incredible complexity of nature. Our bodies have evolved with the wisdom to detect and extract from whole plants the herbal medicine needed for healing.

There is a chemical "dance" that botanicals inherently possess that makes every one both unique and powerful. We at Shining Mountain Herbs believe deeply in the wisdom of Mother Nature and in the time tested honorable tradition of whole plant herbology.



Part of Your Phiolosohy is to Cultivate Herbs that are Threatened or Endangered in the Wild. Why?

Many valuable medicinal herbs have become threatened or endangered, and some extinct, by land development and over harvesting. Part of our mission is to help wild stands remain where they belong—in the wild. With the growing popularity of herbal medicine more herbs are becoming endangered by unsustainable over harvesting.

Growing herbs that are threatened or endangered is a labor of love, as many of the plants that are threatened in the wild are threatened because they are not competitive, are slow growers, and have poor germination. Unfortunately, this means that growing these plants is time consuming and costly. We feel, however, it is worth the effort and is one way we can give back to Nature, and also supply our needs and those of herbalist's throughout the Country for high quality medicinal botanicals.