Buying herbal supplements now seems easier than ever. Today, consumers can go online and find many online retailers specializing in herbal products and Traditional Chinese Medicine. They can also visit traditional stores where they can buy these products in-person. In fact, the availability of herbs is no longer the problem. The real challenge is assessing the quality of both your seller and the herbs they offer.
However, consumers can safely obtain their herbs in a number of ways if they are well informed. In addition, more reputable companies and practitioners are working to make the buying process easier. First, they will educate the consumer about their business history and values so customers can more easily identify ethical sellers. Second, they will offer customers full transparency about where they source their herbs and what tests they undergo.
Consumers should also approach herb buying critically. By knowing what to look for before you buy, in many cases, you can avoid purchasing lower-quality herbs. Several questions can help you find sellers you can trust, both in-person and online. Educating yourself before purchasing herbal supplements cannot be overstressed. Supplements can either help or harm the body depending on their quality.
Is it safe to buy herbal supplements online?
Online shopping offers consumers many advantages. Among the biggest of these benefits is convenience, as shoppers are able to view a wide range of products on the websites of reputable online retailers, and get an idea of costs upfront. While low cost does not always mean low quality, price should not be the primary factor considered when purchasing herbal supplements. Quality supplements have many distinct advantages over their lower-cost counterparts, and reputable manufacturers take many steps to ensure safe products reach consumers. Online shoppers can look for these indicators when reviewing products offered by e-tailers.
For example, concerned manufacturers will spend ample time with growers to ensure they comply with farming best practices that yield higher-quality raw herbs. Also, they will investigate whether purchased herbs have been ethically sourced, which protects species populations. Testing also plays a major role in producing quality herbal products. Companies committed to quality will also authenticate all herbs they buy and test for chemicals and other contaminants before using them in their products. Beware of e-tailers that do not share their product manufacturers’ practices with you.
Valuable information about TCM and herbal supplements can often be found online. This information can improve buyers’ knowledge about supplements and inform their purchasing decisions. For example, online, you can get answers to one of the most frequently asked questions, “what is this herb used for?” Yet even in this instance, the Internet provides only some of the information you’ll need. To get the best possible advice about which herbs to take for your concerns or body type, it is still important to consult with a licensed practitioner in-person and have a full exam. Based on a thorough in-person diagnosis, he or she can help you avoid problems, such as allergic reactions, and find the supplement that will benefit you most.
Is buying herbal supplements from a store a better option?
Shopping in a physical store can give consumers more opportunities to gather necessary information, whether they are considering raw herbs, granules, tea bags or other forms of herbal supplements. Potential buyers can inspect the labels of products closely for detailed manufacturing information and also ask the store owner for more background. Wherever you shop for herbs, many of the key factors that will influence your buying decision will remain the same. Where were the products sourced and manufactured? Were herbs tested, and if so, how? Buying herbs from a store does not guarantee that you will be purchasing higher quality herbs than you would buy online, however. Contaminated herbs can just as easily be found in a store as online.
Whether you purchase your herbs in-store or online, buy from reputable distributors who work with ethical and quality-focused manufacturers. For example, KPC Herbs — in addition to having among the most stringent quality-control protocols in the industry — also hand-selects its distributors. This practice ensures buyers receive not only the highest quality products but also exceptional customer service. Conversely, don’t buy KPC Herbs products from distributors who are not selected partners; the origin of the herbs, their handling and your seller’s experience all may differ substantially from an authorized distributor.
What questions should I ask when buying my herbal supplements?
By asking the right questions and looking for specific indicators of quality, consumers can select the best manufacturers, distributors and products and have a safer experience. The first step is finding a reputable company, whether online or in-person. A quality company should clearly explain their motivation behind selling herbal supplements, their business experience and, of course, where their products come from. They should also be knowledgable about each manufacturer they partner with and the herb selection and quality-control processes they employ. Additional questions consumers should ask include:
- What type of manufacturing and quality-control processes do they employ to ensure only the highest quality supplements are produced?
- What type of testing processes do they have in place to ensure their products are free from contaminants that may be harmful?
- What type of certifications do they have? Do international or government agencies verify that the manufacturer is in compliance with pharmaceutical safety and quality standards?
- Does the manufacturer provide the results of their product tests? For example, KPC generates a Certificate of Analysis (COA) which indicates the test results for each batch of its herbs.
- Does the manufacturer have a website that I can visit to learn more about their products?
KPC Makes Buying Quality Herbs and Having a Safe Experience Easier So You Can Reap the Benefits
Herbal supplements and Traditional Chinese Medicine provide individuals around the world with safe and natural ways to improve their health and wellbeing. However, like all products which we take for our health, consumers should shop carefully and, most importantly, seek out professional advice before beginning any new health regimen, even one that relies on herbal supplements. A licensed acupuncturist or TCM practitioner can teach you more about supplements, prescribe you appropriate herbs and formulas and recommend legitimate suppliers. Most importantly, they can help you avoid rare complications and use the herbs which will help you most.
KPC Herbs wants everyone to enjoy the unique benefits of herbal medicine. That’s why we strongly emphasize ethical sourcing, sustainable farming practices and stringent manufacturing and quality-control processes. Where you buy your herbs from is just as important a part of getting the full benefit of herbal supplements. By hand-picking our distribution partners, we hope to make purchasing quality herbal medicine an easier process for practitioners, who can in turn prescribe them to their patients. As always, we wish you good health!