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Herb Business

Cancer Salves - Discussion Forum » Herb Business  

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This topic has been created to discuss some of the economic and environmental aspects of the herb business. Please feel free to comment and to ask questions.

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Posted on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 10:41 pm:   

Okay, it must be time for me to say a bit about what is on my mind.

A dear friend named Gabriel Howearth consults internationally on biodiversity. He told me some time ago that genetically modified crops are encroaching on conventional agriculture at the rate of seven miles per year. He felt that biodiversity could best be preserved by people planting urban gardens near schools, clinics, hospitals, and other public and private places. While this would serve to preserve species from possible genetic modification due to pollination by GMO crops, it would not help much to provide the simply enormous quantities of safe food and medicine needed by all creatures on this Planet.

Gabriel rocked my boat and triggered a simply unbelievable avalanche of realizations that resulted in my moving from New Mexico to Washington State and committing to obtaining some piece of land worthy of preservation. This hasn't happened yet.

Also, while it might well have been anticipated by others, I did not realize the extent to which my life would be changed by having a book in print. I simply kept my focus on writing and then on responding to inquiries and eventually on developing the products that the book described. Absolutely any more worldly person than myself would have predicted this, but I hadn't given it much thought.

With the demand for products comes the need to make them as perfectly as possible. This means networking with growers, wildcrafters, manufacturers, and eventually probably label and packaging people.

With discussions over availability of plant material, environmental impact, medicinal efficacy, possibilities of improving formulas, etc., etc. come questions about exactly what would constitute a perfect product for given situation. So, naturally, I want to assist those who could conduct clinical trials.

Then, with all this comes a lot of long days and not much time for play. I'd love to find the balance I write about!
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Posted on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 12:41 am:   

Here's the release on kava kava:

Merck recalls kava products over safety concerns
By Josephine Cumbo
Published: November 28 2001 11:20 |
Last Updated: November 28 2001 17:33

Merck, the German pharmaceuticals group, has permanently removed from sale its products containing the herbal extract kava after the organic preparation was linked to adverse side effects in consumers.

Merck said it was "induced by the current discussion of risks" to withdraw its two products containing kava, kavadura 120mg and Kytta-Kava, from its sole German market from November 29.

Merck said there were no indications that its products had been causing the side effects, but it had made voluntarily recall as a precaution.

It said that it had not been pressured by authorities to make the withdrawal, but said the products would not be returning to market.

24 cases of suspected liver damage have already been reported to German authorities by people who have used kava products.

Kava is obtained from the root of a shrub grown largely in Polynesia and was traditionally used for ceremonial, social and medicinal purposes. However, it has gained wider commercial popularity as a herbal alternative to sedatives such as valium.

Merck said that annual sales of the two products amounted to less than E250m ($220.9m) and the withdrawal would not hurt the company.

"These kind of products based on plants, with no standardisation, are not part of our core activity," said Hartmut Vennen, Merck spokesman."There is no potential for us in the area."

Merck inherited the kava product line through its acquisition of Kytta, a German company specialising in herbal products. Merck's shares rose 2.2 per cent to close at E41.80 in the lower German market on Wednesday.
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Posted on Friday, February 08, 2002 - 12:49 am:   

What I would like to say is that while the kava- kava may have been organic, the products containing the herb could have contained just about anything so exactly what caused the side effects is anyone's guess. Basically, the only side effect I ever saw from this herb is that it brings on the giggles if you drink water afterwards. This lasts for 48 hours, but it won't happen if the herb is of an inferior quality.

More importantly, while this decision seemed to be approved by stockholders, it was only hours later that the Environmental News Network published the report on artemisia that holds so much promise for patients. Here the emphasis was on the affordability of the treatment . . . which is why we need to stay focused on humanitarian concerns and distance ourselves from the issues that motivate multinational corporations.
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Posted on Wednesday, May 01, 2002 - 03:17 am:   

I take Estroven and there is kava in the product.

I have read about liver damage????

It has 100 mg should I use it? thanks so much
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Posted on Thursday, May 02, 2002 - 10:27 am:   

I don't think there is really a problem with kava kava but rather with the design of the study which involved men who were alcoholics.
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Posted on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 03:11 pm:   

Hello Ingrid,

It is frightening how many people don't know or understand the ramifications of pesticides and modified crops. For years now I have subscribed to Organic Gardening magazine with the belief that organic gardens can indeed feed the world (contrary to popular belief); and feel very strongly that more people need to be informed about the things they eat and purchase.

As of now I have an acre sized organic garden; I grow my own vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs. On the side I sell herbal products(lotions, soaps, salves etc) made from my organic herbs. My customers love knowing exactly where their purchases have come from, plus the added benefit that they are completely home made and made to order. Perhaps if more people would take the time to support their local organic farmers and read more about herbs and their benefits (like your book) the world would begin to fend for itself.
I shudder to think of a world where everyone is reliant on some big corporate "herb" company that doesn't have a clue what the herb can actually do.
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Posted on Wednesday, October 16, 2002 - 11:06 pm:   


You are absolutely right. I am a passionate advocate of supporting organic farmers and am a supporter of countless ethnobotanic movements.

People are overwhelmed and do not take the time to understand what they are eating or what they are using as medicine. I have for a long time thought of forming an online co-op for small producers such as yourself, giving you an outlet beyond the local and usually seasonal farmer's markets, but I don't know how to address the issues of consistency and so forth. Nevertheless, I think it's a brilliant idea. I actually started with the name International Association of Medical Herbalists and figured everyone could just become a member and see what happens.

Maybe it's a digression but one patient said to me once, "I don't want a Xeroxed whatever." I asked what on earth she was talking about. She was trying to explain the difference between handmade, unique, and one of a kind and Walmart same and everything else. She made her point and I have never been able to separate this statement from the torment she personalized into her disease, one of great sorrow for the plight of our Mother Earth.
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Posted on Thursday, November 21, 2002 - 01:14 pm:   

Dear Ingrid, I am looking for an herbal treatment for sleep apnea. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks. Chris
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Posted on Thursday, November 21, 2002 - 02:52 pm:   

I would start with all the Ayurvedic strategies for balancing the energetics of the body. See my other site:
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Posted on Friday, December 06, 2002 - 01:01 pm:   

Hi Ingrid,

Thanks for your words of support. being a small time producer it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the big companies out there. I think your idea of a big conglomerate for people like me would be fantastic, sign me up!
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Posted on Tuesday, June 10, 2003 - 02:16 am:   

dear ingrid,
this is aralia.
I am interested in meeting the woman who moved from N Mx. to Waahington state to set up a farm. Her letter resonates with my mind. IE- I live on a very large piece of land, 400 acres, and would like someone to come here and share study, and life with me. I am also growing my own vegetables, etc. \
I know Washington state. I homesteaded there in l980. It can be constrictingly conservative, backwards, out in the hills. My guess is that she is already burned out on Washington.
I have not posted my e mail yet. Is there any way that you could have her look at the post i made tonight, and mention to her my "situation". If she is interested, she can post her e mail , and I will contact her, or if she has a POB i can contact her, or whatever would work.
Thanks, Aralia
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Posted on Tuesday, June 10, 2003 - 02:35 am:   

Dear Ingrid,
This is Aralia again. I realize that this message board is not for romance, but who knows?
I thought I would give this woman a drop more information about myself.
I am 61. I am from Pa. I wandered on foot for almost 3 years around Europe and Mexico. I am tall and thin. As i mentioned in the long post earlier i have been diagnosed with oral cancer, which I have been self treating for 16 months. I am in daily pain, though I still expect to "conquer"this.
My living situation is unusual.
I am in love with my cat, Mama Pussycat-also called: Mama PussyChrist, who is 4 and 3/4. I spoil her tremendously, so a woman would need to accept that Pussychrist eats human tuna and mackerel almost daily, has her own bed, though she prefers mine, sometimes even eats at the table with me, watches the computer screen too. She is extremely intelligent. Recently i put out a tee shirt with her picture on it.
Also, I will not listen to others concerning how to treat myself. IE- my acupuncturist is frustrated cause I will not take her advice and go to Hippocrates Health Institute in SanDiego and spend $500. aweek to learn how to eat wheat grass, rejuvelac, and be at peace.
The water pipe land man is angry cuase i don't give a local "Yogi" $100. an hour cause "people come from all over the world to consult with him."
Everyone ik now is frustrated with me for not doing what they think i ought to do.
How I see me: I am extremely intelligent, a gifted children's book writer (100,000 copies in print) , an incredible herbalist , al la Paracellsus, with a similar personality, and an shamanic persona with strong interests in the world of Alexander Shulgin, and South American trance vines.
I am in the process, between the pain, of building a very small cabin. Unfortunately; the view is horrible; however, turn around, and the view of the land (400 acres) is incredible. The contractor has a mind of his own and placed the front in the worst position.
We have deer who are absolutely unafraid of man. 40 or so.
Horses, cats, and so on.
My situation is unusual, but intriguing, as am I. I am seeking a woman who is unafraid of loyalty, and is interested in being with me only, even though many people feel somewhat aggravated by my personality.
I do not groove in any one else's groove. Only my own.
I don't follow the advice of all the people i know who are frustrated because I am not rushing off to thier "cure".
I have committed 16 months to remaining alive and I believe this is going to go away.
I have absolutely no intention of leaving my cat and driving 1,000 miles of freeway in order to learn how to eat wheatgrass.
I do not believe that the cavitation thing, the mercury thing, is the problem.
I believe that this is internal imaging, emotionalism.
I believe this is in God's hands.
A woman who could be loyal, love cats, and love deephouse techno music would be a treat.
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Posted on Thursday, June 12, 2003 - 06:25 pm:   


I suspect you are asking to contact me and I am wondering if the way to contact me is illusive to those using this bulletin board. There is a link on the web site for sending email, and, for the record, besides whatever software Big Brother might be using to monitor email, I am supposedly the only one reading mail addressed to any of my web sites.

So far as independence and choices and so forth go, I have to say that I have referred people to the Optimum Health Institute for years, many years now, and not a single person who acted on the recommendation has regretted going there. This said, I know many who said the same thing as you, "Isn't $500 a week a lot to spend on wheat grass?" It's not just what one eats, it's the entire experience and there is hardly any place I can think of north of the border where you can have meals and lodging for $500 a week.

If, however, the premise of the individual is that the disease is not related to diet or toxicity, then, obviously, Optimum Health Institute will not hold any allure. I am a hugely flexible person so I try to support all choices, not necessarily because I think they are the safest or wisest but because I believe more in personal freedom than in authority. I try not to use my experience in an authoritarian manner, but as I say again and again in posts, I often walk a delicate line. The deepest part of me is a healer so when I am challenged by not knowing whether to support the individual or the individual's health, I dance a very difficult dance to rhythms that are jarring to me.

I have been doing what I do for 30 years, actually for many lifetimes. At times, I am pushed to the conclusion that "it" is not always about getting well but about moving through the experiences we need to have. However, as a healer, I choose to work with those who share my beliefs because were it otherwise, I would be in the position of entering into a deep personal schism in which my compassion and my knowledge are not working as a team.

Lastly, while dental issues may or may not be related to your personal situation, they are often contributors to conditions such as you have. Therefore, those who are urging you to explore the possible links are giving you good advice even if it is unsolicited. However, I always urge people to follow their inner truth; so, if you believe your emotions and internal images are contributing to your illness, it would be in your best interest to explore the issues. My experience is that emotions are self-maintaining so to transform them, you need new experiences and insights and understanding that allow you to overwrite the existing patterns. While some very dedicated and sincere people manage to do this work by very serious connecting of their own masculine and feminine forces, most people benefit from professionals who can speed the process of self-regeneration.

Best wishes,
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Lois J. Wetzel
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 09:39 am:   

I came to this site looking for poke root tincture, as I failed to harvest the root and make my tincture this winter before the leaves and stems all disappeared in the wild. I have a couple of cancer patients who need it, plus the usual allergy sufferers who use it occasionally. And then I started reading here...

Yes, generically modified crops are a horrific danger to the food supply of the world. There is a certain multi-national corporation which is sueing farmers whose crops are accidentally cross pollinated with the GMO seeds (dropped by the side of the road?) and winning. They are winning the ownership of all profits from the farmers crops. There is specifically a case in Canada where the farmer is appealing the ruling. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that M***anto is trying to take over ownership the world's food supply. If they get profits from all the rapeseed (canola oil) for example, or all the rice, or the corn, they can charge whatever they want for it. We could all become their slaves. Yes, it is really important for everyone to have a little plot of land wherever they are that is planted with food or medicinal plants, and/or grab up some "heritage" (non-genetically mutated) seeds and store in a safe place.

Being aware of this kind of thing is the first step to thwarting the efforts of people like the multi-national I mentioned.

Lois J. Wetzel
Houston, Texas
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Posted on Saturday, January 10, 2004 - 07:02 pm:   


Hope you found the poke you were seeking.

I agree with the sentiments expressed in your post and would like to suggest that people examine what the word "natural" ought to mean in the context of the new technologies and their desire to dominate the world.
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Posted on Tuesday, January 13, 2004 - 03:21 am:   


There is a company in Ontario, Canada that sells herbs, seeds etc. There web site is
you can find anything there. I buy all my herb seeds and some tintures also.


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