Our Process: the whats, whys and hows of it all

Our concentrated Chinese Herbal Liquid Extracts are produced using the highest quality raw herbs from our trusted sources. We use certified organic or wildcrafted herbs whenever available. Sometimes the ingredients we need are not available as such and in this situation we turn to our trusted suppliers and get the whole story on the particular herb in question to ensure it meets our standards and we see that thorough testing is done. The USDA organic certification can be cost prohibitive for small companies and farms and often is bypassed even when organic practices are used. For this reason, we are not certified organic and cannot exclusively purchase certified organic Chinese herbs but we maintain our commitment to high quality, pesticide free ingredients that you can trust.

 

To confirm the quality of our herbs they are tested for any possible contaminants or adulterants.  They go through identity, assay, heavy metal, and microbial testing according to the industry standard Chinese Pharmacopae Commission publication CP2010, using Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS), Organoleptic testing, gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and thin layer chromatography (TLC). This gives us confidence that each product contains exactly what it is intended to, and nothing more.

 

Once we’ve sourced our ingredients, our expert herbalist and licensed Chinese Medicine Practitioner, Hayley, gets to work in the herb lab. She has created our Over The Counter line of classical herbal formulas based on her clinical experience and the Chinese herbal medicine master texts, Shang Han Lun and Jin Gui Yao Lue. This line currently includes 13 different formulas that are traditionally used for common ailments in everyday life. She has carefully chosen and formulated these products in response to a void she found in the Chinese medicine market in the United States. These concentrated extracts are made using formulas traditionally applied to the most common complaints that Hayley encounters in her clinical practice. This line is ever-expanding to encompass more of your needs as Estuary Herbs grows.

 

The potency of our formulas is precisely calculated using the classical dosage from the aforementioned master texts, upon which the art of Chinese Medicine rests. We believe that it is important to adhere to the experience and wisdom of our mentors and predecessors and do not find value in diluting our formulas to accommodate marketability and lower price points. There are many ways to arrive at a suggested dosage of herbal medicine, but it has been our experience that many herbal preparations sold “over the counter” are recommended at a below-effective dose. This can be for a few reasons, one might be that the company wants to remove themselves from any liability and ensure they do not endorse a dose capable of creating change in the body. Another possibility may be that the dose was intended to make the product appear less expensive by allowing the customer to believe it will last them much longer than it would at a stronger effective dose. At Estuary Herbs we strive to gain our customer’s confidence in our products, philosophy and herbal experience by allowing the results to speak for themselves. This means honest pricing that can appear a bit higher than the average herbal supplement, but with it comes uncompromising potency, expert formulations and personal responses from our licensed practitioner if questions should arise.

When creating our extracts we start with our raw herbs, measure and grind them in the proper amounts, then use our Chinese Herbal Decoction Machine to pressure-decoct them in the most efficient way possible. This uses a method that blends the efficiency and scalability of technology with traditional practices to produce a fantastic final product. The herbal preparations described in our Chinese Medicine master texts are created primarily using a method of decoction (boiling) to extract the active constituents from the raw herbs. We choose to adhere to this traditional practice so that our processed herbs embody the same characteristics described in these texts allowing us to reliably predict to effect of the formula within the Chinese Medicine framework. The liquid then is pressed from the plant fiber and separated. We then reduce the decoction liquid to the appropriate concentration.

Thanks to scientific investigation, we also know that many valuable components of these raw herbs are insoluble in water, and can only be extracted with a different kind of solvent. To accommodate this we turn to 190 proof non-GMO cane sugar alcohol and make a tincture of the same herbal formula. With this method we gather the polysaccharides, carboxylic acids, triterpenes, beneficial oils and other medicinal plant constituents that are alcohol soluble. At the end of the process the tincture gets mixed together with the decoction, acting a boost to the action of the final product as well as a preserving agent. Each formula ends at 30% alcohol by volume, leaving it shelf stable and powerful, so it's there for you when you need it. This double extraction system is the best we’ve come across and we’ve experimented and tested many different methods.

 

Every single one of our products is hand crafted by our team in small batches and monitored for quality control with personal accountability. We operate in a cGMP facility and adhere to all FDA standards and regulations for food and supplement processing.

 

For us, this is a labor of love and is all about quality, accessibility and health. We are honored to help facilitate your journey toward finding your best health and are committed to doing everything we can to support you along the way. You are showing up for yourself, and so are we.