Mother Earth Living

Herb Basics: Best Herbal Extracts

By The Herb Companion staff
November/December 2001
Add to My MSN

Content Tools

Related Content

In the News: Olive Leaf Extract Lowers Blood Pressure

A new study shows that olive leaf extract may lower blood pressure.

Make Medicinal Vinegar Extracts

Medicinal vinegars are potent and easy to make at home. A strong alternative for children or those w...

Journey Toward Healthy Hair: Organix

Read this Herbalista's review on the Pomegranate Green Tea shampoo and conditioner from Organix and ...

Have You Heard of This Herb: Szechuan Buttons

Delve into the research behind another unusual herb from across the globe. Szechuan buttons are elec...

When deciding to purchase an herbal extract, is it best to purchase one made from fresh herbs or dried herbs? In his book, Therapeutic Herb Manual, herbalist and Herb Pharm co-owner Ed Smith writes that many people assume that a fresh herb extract is superior, but that this is not necessarily true. Rather, the quality of the extract depends upon the unique biochemical, biophysical and energetic properties of the herb being extracted.

For example, some herbs—such as shepherd’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) and corn silk (Zea mays)—do make superior extracts when used fresh. However, other herbs, such as hops (Humulus lupulus) and grindelia (Grindelia spp.) make a better extract after the herb has been dried. Some herbs are best extracted when semi-dried, such as saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), or when fermented, such as wild cherry (Prunus serotina). Still other herbs, such as buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) and cascara sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana) are toxic when fresh and must be aged for one year before they can be used safely.

Source: Smith, Ed. Therapeutic Herb Manual. Williams, Oregon: Ed Smith, 1999.

Post a comment below.


7/1/2015 6:36:58 AM
This article is really fantastic and thanks for sharing the valuable post.

7/1/2015 6:31:45 AM
Thanks for post this helpful post - Please visit for More information about -

Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.