- Farm grown or wild herbs?
- Is there any difference between grounded herbs sold in tea bags and herbs sold in whole leaf or flower form?
- What kind of filters does “drogi organic herbs” use?
- Why herbs do not require a doctor’s prescription even if they have medicinal action?
- Is there anything that you need to be careful of when taking herbs?
- Who are the “specialists” that can safely recommend herb use?
- I purchased two “drogi organic herb” packages of the same herb, but they taste different. Why?
- Do drogi organic herbs have an expiration date?
- Can I reuse the filters contained in the packaging?
- How can I sell drogi organic herbs in my establishment?
- Where can I find drogi organic herbs?
In terms of quality, the difference between farm grown herbs and their wild counterparts can be anywhere from negligible to enormous. The same applies when comparing farm grown herbs amongst themselves, as well as herbs growing in the wild. This occurs because the composition of the soil where the plant is growing, watering methods, season and method of harvesting, drying and storing are all important parameters which can vary greatly and thus have an effect on the quality of the final product, whether that is the result of cultivation or a wild herb that has been collected.
However, farm grown herbs are in an advantageous position when compared to those found in the wild, given that the grower can regulate various stages in the plant’s development as well as the soil in the field where the plants are growing and watering among others, and consequently safeguard, provided that s/he possesses the necessary knowledge, the most ideal environment for the development of the plant in question. As a result, steadily improved herb quality is attained year after year.
By contrast, a wild herbs collector has no room for intervention during the stages of plant development and therefore cannot fully guarantee the quality of the product s/he provides, since these products do not grow in a stable, controlled environment. As for wild herbs, one must also take into consideration the toll that their over-collection is having on the wild herb population as well as on the environment in general, not to mention the lack of control over production thereof: Who is collecting? When? Using which methods? Who monitors the final product? These are but a few of the uncertainties which give farm grown organic herbs an undisputed advantage.
The answer depends on three factors: the environment and the protection thereof, the qualitative attributes of the product in question (taste, aroma, active ingredients), and final cost to consumer.
Better for the environment
The ecological footprint that a product consisting of unprocessed herb leaves and flowers makes is far smaller in comparison to a product made of processed plant parts enclosed in sachets. Unlike herbs sold in tea bags, loose leaf herbs are sold according to their weight, their disposal is easy and moreover they are biodegradable. In addition, they do not require complex packaging and, in contrast to ready-to-use sachets, they better fill the packaging they are placed in, creating less wasted space.
Better taste –better quality
Ready-to-use sachets contain herbs that have been crushed, or at the very least, undergone some form of processing prior to being packaged. As a result, their quality is compromised, in that a certain degree of their natural aroma, taste and active ingredients has been lost along the way. Whole leaf or flower herbs however, maintain their aroma, taste and active ingredients intact until the consumer is ready to use them by gently crushing them in their hands.
The price of whole leaf or flower herbs depends on the respective product weight (just one to two grams are needed for a cup of tea), which consequently makes their cost much less than their packaged, ready-to-use equivalents, whose final price is not based on the actual weight of the product that the packaging contains.
Drogi uses only certified, high-quality disposable filter-bags which do not affect the active ingredients or taste of the herbs they contain. They are biodegradable and have been bleached without the use of chlorine, made of abaca pulp, cellulose and special sealing fibers without the use of glues, while the filter bag expands and gives ample room to the herb to fully unfold so as to release its flavor and aroma.
For more information, click here.
Use of medicinal herbs has increased sharply over the past 30 years, since herbs were classified as nutritional supplements by the American Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) in 1994. Being listed as a dietary supplement means that herbs do not require a doctor’s prescription to be taken, as opposed to pharmaceuticals which cannot be made available on the market if their safety and effectiveness has not been clinically proven. Nevertheless, dietary supplements (including packaged herbs) must adhere to strict rules and regulations at all production stages, while their use under specialist supervision is recommended for more effectiveness.
If taken correctly and under a doctor’s supervision, herbs can effectively treat a number of unpleasant ailments with fewer side effects than those experienced by patients taking conventional medicines. However, due to the fact that herbs are not subject to the same rigorous controls as conventional pharmaceuticals, they could contain ingredients/elements not listed on their packaging and consequently one should pay more attention in their consumption. Some herbs imported from Asian countries, for example, have been known to contain traces of even heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. Moreover, there are herbs whose use in combination with conventional medicines can be extremely dangerous, even fatal. Consequently, herbs taken without medical supervision, even by healthy individuals, could potentially be unsafe, and therefore should not be consumed in high doses or for prolonged, unsupervised periods of time.
Herbal therapists, chiropractors, some homeopaths, pharmacists, doctors of traditional Chinese medicine as well as western medical doctors can safely recommend herbs and herbal remedies, doses and usages for the treatment of certain illnesses.
The most likely reason is that the herbs contained in the two packages are products of different harvesting dates. As with all farm products, herbs also often have slight variations in their organoleptic characteristics, which are usually the result of weather conditions during harvesting as well as of harvesting techniques.
Herbs do not expire per se, however they do lose their beneficial properties over time, while taste and aroma are also compromised if they are not consumed within two years since the harvest procedure. At drogi, we package our herbs as soon as possible after the drying stage and recommend that they should be used within 12 months of the date of packaging (stamped on the packaging back).
We would not say no to give it a try. To be exact, we ourselves are constantly experimenting with our herbs and their preparation. Filters in each package vary in size according to the herbs that “accompany” them, but having said that, even the smallest filters fit enough product for 2-3 beverages (3 cups water to 1 filter per preparation). Of course, you could just place enough herb quantity for one cup in the filter, keep it and reuse it for your next drink. The intensity of your second herbal beverage will of course be lighter and naturally have a different taste from the first, but it is certainly worth trying. In our opinion, the most effective method involves using a pot specially made for infusion preparations.
If you own a café, restaurant, delicatessen store, hotel, pharmacy, shop that sells organic foods or a health food store and would like to add drogi packaged organic herbs to the range of the products that you sell, please contact us (link to contact). We would be happy to inform you about our products and discuss a possible future collaboration.
- Pantopoleio Thessalonikis (Thessaloniki centre, 12 Komninon St. tel. +30 2310 244684)
- Pharmacy of Efi Efthymiou (Toumba, 10 Paraskevopoulou St. & Vasilissis Olgas Ave., 54640, tel: 2310 824366)
- Pharmacy of Maria Sifalera (14th May St., 69100, te.l: 25314 00676)
- “To Masali” Café (39 A. Chrysanthou St., 69100, tel.: 25310 84416)
- “To megaro” canteen (32 X. Trikoupi St, inside Komotini Court of Justice, 69100, tel.: +30 25310 60440)
- “Barosi Art Café” (8 N. Tsankli St. 69100, tel.: +30 2531 033037)
- “8” bar-café (8, Vasileos Pavlou St., 69100, tel.: 2531 026086)
- « Marmelada Wine Bar » (18, N.Zoidi St. 69100, tel.: 2531 100360)
- “Zea” healthy food restaurant (7, Vitsi St., 66100, tel.: 2521 031619)
- “Caravel Spices & Teas” (4, Milogianni St., 73135, tel.: 2821 302135)
- “Organics Boutique” (3 Canevaro St., Old Harbour, 73200, tel.: 00302821111478)
- Importer/Distributor: Maltby&Greek (76 Druid Street, SE1 2HQ, Bermondsey, www.maltbyandgreek.com)
- “The Greek Larder” (King’s Cross, 1 York Way, N1C 4AS, tel.: +44 20 3780 2999)
- «Food Philosophy» (106 George St, Marylebone, W1U 8PB, tel.: 020 7487 2557 and 4 Lower Belgrave Street, Belgravia, SW1W 0LJ, tel.:020 72590200
You can also find drogi organic herbs at:
- e-shop www.mycoffees.gr
- “Roxani” canteen (archaeological site of Aiges- Vergina, tel.: 2331092902)