By Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster, The Herb Society of America
What began as a small herbal business to supply quality herbs to students at the California School of Herbal Studies in the late 1980s — Mountain Rose Herbs — is now a top supplier of herb and herb-related materials . The Oregon business has 180 employees and is a business member of The Herb Society of America.
We recently gathered information to introduce the supplier.
Q. What is Mountain Rose Herbs?
A. Mountain Rose Herbs makes and distributes sustainably harvested, organic, herbs, spices, and botanical products. We are a mail order company and ship directly to our customers who include home herbalists, natural food stores, restaurants, breweries, and food manufacturers.
Q. What are the product categories?
A. We have four general categories: health and wellness, culinary, body care, and DIY supplies. More specifically – herbs, spices, resins, seaweeds, teas, essential oils, aroma sprays, hydrosols, butters, oils, clays, waxes, tinctures, capsules, salves, glass bottles, tins, plastic containers, kitchen tools, pet supplies, merchandise, and books.
Q. What’s the most popular product or product category?
A. Herbs and essential oils are top sellers. Top-selling herbs include nettle, rosebuds, elderberries, marshmallow leaf, damiana leaf to name a few. Lavender and eucalyptus are top essential oil sellers.
Q. What’s the most unusual product?
A. Probably Soap Nuts, which are actually the husk of a Chinese soapberry. Found in both eastern and western hemispheres, they are native to India and Nepal. Soap nuts have recently become a popular alternative to chemical detergent, and are a gentle option for those with allergies to chemicals in regular detergents. Soap nuts contain saponin, a natural detergent. The soap nut shell absorbs water and releases the saponins which circulate as a natural surfactant in the wash water, freeing dirt, grime, and oils from clothing. There is considerable discussion as to what variety of Soap Nuts is preferable for use as a laundry soap alternative. Any Soap Nut from the genus Sapindus will work just fine as they all have Saponin producing properties, hence the genus name Sapindus.
Just a few nuts (4 to 6) in a cotton muslin bag should work for an entire load. There will be little or no bubbles during the wash cycle, and it will smell lightly similar to apple cider. They can be used several times and then composted afterwards. They will look mushy and grey when they need to be changed. They can also be used in a powder form as a cleansing cream by adding a small amount of water
Herb Society of America members get a 20% discount on purchases. Members need to go to the HSA Website Members-Only section to get the discount. To join HSA visit herbsociety.org.