A couple of weeks ago, I posted about my new love affair with herbs. I had purchased a few herbs and have been trying out some various recipes including some herb infused oils, salves, lip balm, tub tea, and drinking teas.
Well, I loved them so much, I bought myself an early Christmas present of more herbs. 🙂 My husband’s gift was that he didn’t complain about the money I spent on the herbs. (LOL). No, just kidding, he isn’t really much of a complainer about my craft spending, anyway.
I thought I would share my impressions and experience about the company I bought from because I think they are a lesser known company (at least I haven’t seen the mentioned often) and so far I am very happy with their product. Most of the herbal articles I see recommend Mountain Rose Herbs or Starwest Botanicals, or some more obscure (and expensive) specialty herb stores. I have seen mixed reviews on some of these companies, but could not find much about the company I did eventually buy from, which is Glenbrook Farms. So I decided to give them a chance.
I am not being paid or endorsed in any way by Glenbrook Farms. I am just reviewing my recent purchases from them.
I found a very large variety of herbs at Glenbrook Farms. No, they didn’t have everything I wanted, but I was very impressed with the selection that they did have available. Their prices are reasonable (cheaper than Mountain Rose), and the herbs I received seemed fresh and of good quality. The chamomile smells absolutely beautiful — almost like a bucket of apples.
I chose them for a few reasons. One was that they are in Kentucky, and I am in Michigan, so the shipping is reasonable, and I receive the products quickly once they ship, which is usually in about 2 days, although my first order was shipped the next day. Another is the price, and the final reason is for the variety (I’m a one stop shopper).
The description on their website claims the their herbs are tested for a variety of things such as ecoli, salmonella, heavy metals, pesticides. While they prefer to use USA grown herbs, they do carry some imports, but their imports go through rigorous testing in Germany (which has very strict guidelines). They work closely with the FDA, USDA and Homeland Security. So, to me, it seemed safe enough to try their herbs. Many of them are not labelled as organic, however, it does say they are tested for pesticides.
I also like that they offer a big variety of size choices. In most cases, you can order 1 oz, 4 oz, 8 oz, 16 oz, and in some cases, even more. With herbs, it is hard to know the volume of herb you are getting for the ounces. For example, 1 ounce of dandelion root is a much smaller bag than 1 oz of butcher’s broom. A size comparison would be a nice-to-have, but might not be practical since they sell a large variety of sizes.
One other thing I love!!!! The labels on their bags are taped on with some kind of tape that releases easily from the bag and sticks firmly on to a canning jar. I wish I had noticed this when I bought my first batch of herbs from them. I threw all those labels away that time. This time, I noticed it and it saved me a bunch of time to not have to make the labels for each jar.
I wish they had more information on the product pages. Some pages don’t have any information about the herb at all, while others do have some information. For example, I bought some green tea powder to use in soap, but I have no idea what kind of green tea it comes from. Is it Matcha? Is it Dao Ren? Sencha? Did it come from China? Or Taiwan? Or ??? Since I was buying it for soap coloring, I didn’t care much, but if I were buying it for drinking, I would like more information. I would like to know the country of origin for the herbs I am buying. It won’t likely impact my purchase choice, but if there were a choice between USA and China, for example, I would pay more for the USA in some cases.
The positives definetly outweigh the negatives, and overall my experience with Glenbrook Farms has been great. I love the prices, selection, and quick shipping. The herbs seem to be good quality, and I will definitely continue to order through them.
I am building my herbal apothecary so I am buying a lot of herbs right now, but I suspect many of them will last me a very long time. I think I will go through a lot of chamomile because I have really been enjoying a cup of chamomile tea with honey every night.
My new order consisted of these herbs. Some of them I chose for making drinking teas (tisanes), some are for soap making or other bath/body projects, and others are for medicinal tinctures and salves.
|Acai Berry Powder|
|Bilberry Fruit Powder|
|Butchers Broom Root|
|Echinacea Angustifolia Root|
|Red Clover Flowers|
|St. Johns Wort Herb|
|Wild Yam Root|
|Dandelion root Roasted|
I have been haunting the Mountain Rose blog lately, looking at the “The Sunday Steep” articles for ideas on which herbal teas I would like to try, and I have been reading Rosemary Gladstar’s book “Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health”. I really like that she explains the chemistry and science behind some of the herbs so that I can decide if the herb has any basis in truth, or is simply a folk remedy.
My main goals right now are for finding remedies for sleep, relaxation, allergies, headaches, and general well-being. I would also like my teas to taste good, or at least be tolerable, which might be a bit of a stretch with some of the herbs.
I tried a few teas out already and here are my impressions:
- Chamomile tea with 1/4 tsp honey – YES, repeat!
- Chamomile tea with honey and dried apple – Didn’t need the apples. Fine with just chamomile and honey.
- Nettles, Peppermint, Lemongrass, Orange Peel, Lemon Verbena, Rosehips, Hibiscus – Yes – it’s OK. Minty. Needs less hibiscus.
- Hibiscus and Rosehip Tea with honey – NO – terribly sour. Beautiful color (as it poured down my sink drain).
- Oolong Tea (bags) – Yes – Delicate. Tastes like summer clover flowers smell. Good unsweetened, or with a little bit of honey.
- Nettles, Calendula, Peppermint, Chamomile – Yes – it’s OK but it needs more body.
Are you an herbal tea drinker? What are your favorite tea blends? How do you blend some of those awful smelling herbs (like valerian or ginkgo leaf) into a tea that is tasty?