Herb Quality

At Spring Wind we seek out the best quality of herbs available at any given time and spend considerable resources assuring that each herb is what we say it is.

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As Spring Wind expands its lines of Organic and Premium Grade herbs we gain more direct connections with the growers of our herbs. This helps us to increase the transparency of our sourcing and aids in our goal of providing carefully grown, correctly identified Chinese herbs. The highlights of our herb program can be summarized as follows:

Correct species - We put great effort into correctly identifying the species of the items we sell. This is a science which we are still perfecting even though we have been at it for almost 20 years. Macroscopic and microscopic examinations are employed to compliment other organoleptic (sense-derived) data such as smell and taste in determining species identification. We use the Chinese Pharmacopeia for verification where the given herb is listed in that text. For the few herbs that require chemical analysis to reliably determine correct identification we rely on laboratory testing.

Quality evaluations - We purchase herbs in small batches. This insures that Spring Wind herbs are fresh. We obtain samples of each lot before purchase to ensure the quality meets our strict standards. Herbs must be clean, fresh and of good color and sapor to meet our rigorous inspection. We use herb-specific criteria when evaluating quality. For example, Niu Bang Zi (Arctium seed) is best when the seed is plump and carries no seed husk, high quality fresh Bai Zi Ren (Biotae seed) is oily and is a light-yellow color and Yan Hu Suo (Corydalis) is best if it is large, firm and its cross-section is golden-yellow. We use vacuum packing to insure freshness for herbs for which this is required.

Rigorous testing - Spring Wind has the most rigorous pesticide testing program in the industry. We accept only a ND (none detected) result on our pesticide tests. Our sulfur-free herbs (Premium, Organic, Grown without Pesticides and Low-level Pesticide Residue grades) are tested either by in-house vapor testing (limit of 1.0 ppm) or by lab titration for sulfites (ND only). We also test aflatoxin-susceptible herbs such as seeds and grains (and herbs such as Yan Hu Suo) for aflatoxins.

Customer support - Should you have a question about herb quality, preparation, proper use or anything else, please give us a call. We are practitioners of Chinese medicine and love talking about our herbs. We are practitioner-owned and run and proud to bring quality herbs and informative service to the practitioner community.


Footnotes:

 We have a few different pesticide testing protocols. About 90% of the herbs in our Premium and Tested grade programs have passed the FDA import test that tests for more than 400 pesticide residues. For organic herbs we employ the test used by our certifying agency, CCOF. This tests for 173 of the most commonly and prohibited pesticides. Occasionally, we have herbs tested in independent laboratories in Taiwan or China. These tests are for 373 and 399 pesticides respectively. Our pesticide tests are available for review on our website. We do our very best to keep them up to date with current lots, if you need one and it is not on the website please contact us and we will provide it. All of these tests require an ND (None Detected) result for the herb to be accepted.