"Herbs and Supplements Under Attack"
Desert Bloom Herbs, participated in thwarting the attempts, in 1996, by a formal commission, under the G.A.T.T. treaty. (the Codex Alimentarius Commission), which was working with the United States F.D.A., to "harmonize" (to make the same) United States regulations with more restrictive European laws,
regarding the uses and claims for herbs (including lowering potencies for minerals, supplements, and fortified foods). This would have had chilling effects upon the herbal industry around the world.
Now, in 2004, (ten years after the first blatent failed attempt to manipulate our abilities to obtain high potency herbs and suppliments, another wave of concerted efforts by the same folks are attempting to force restrictive regulations to become law in the E.U. . This new wave has already effected everyone living in Australia, where restrictive regultions have already been clamped into place.
Here in the United States, we could have seen "TREATY LAW" supercede the "free voices" of United States citizens, in our own country! However, we were successful in getting the G.A.T.T. treaty representatives and committees in the House of Representatives, (thanks especially to Representative Ron Paul, of Texas), to remove this requirement, and save our "rights" to use these health-giving gifts of Nature... herbs.
The preceeding is an example of exactly why so-called "Free Trade Agreements" aren't really the best way to go about creating real fair trade between nations. These types of treaty agreements rob us Americans of our abilities to set higher goals for international trade, such as "Dolphin-safe" tuna, the harvesting of which requires the use of sonic buoys or other dolphin-repellent technology... and which has saved many with in the dolphin populations from inadvertant death.
If we allow our government to become too heavily involved in these types of treaties (which DO supercede our rights as U.S. citizens), we may well find our selves with the same low level of freedoms as are present in other countries with whom we make these agreements. We need to retain the ability to make legislation and policy with concern, care and heartfelt regard for our one and only environment.
In the last 6 months, we have begun closely watching the rule-making process (again) with renewed interest, since we know that the F.D.A. intends to implement new restrictions soon (which it calls "Good Manufacturing Practices Guidelines.")
These are guidelines for the manufacturing of all sorts of things, from foods to pharmaceuticals, ... (herbs being in the continuum somewhere near foods). Simply put, these are proposed restrictions on producing and selling herbs. Many of these rules could be prohibitively expensive for small companies to implement, and even if compliance could be reached, the costs would drive the prices for herbs through the roof!!
Though the F.D.A. says these guidelines will protect consumers, they may well drive all but the largest manufacturers out of business, due to the high cost of compliance. We will continue to bring you the latest information regarding the formulation of these new rules, being created by the F.D.A. and various trade organizations, such as AHPA, (American Herbal Products Association) and others.
We have been told to expect the new guidelines to be issued within a year. (it is currently November, 2004, at the time of this writing). If we feel the guidelines are too strict, (when they are issued), or see that they have the result of restricting your access to herbs or our ability to continue to provide you with the highest quality plant medicines, (rather than protecting anyone), then we will work with other herbalists and trade representatives to create a huge public outcry and social movement to remedy the situation. This is not only our right, but our duty in this free society.
For those of us who use herbs to affect our healing, and to whom drug medications are seen largely as a temporary "Frankensteinian anomaly" in the ages-old, tradtional practices of using natural plants for human healing, this is a time for real cooperation, hard work, and bridge-building. It is a time similar to those before elections, where we must pay close attention in order to avoid unintended consequences. We must heal our differences with one another, so that we may stand united against the real enemy.... (unbridled corporate power)
(KILL YOUR TELEVISION!!)
In order to help reverse this trend of losing our herbal traditions...(our freedoms), to continuing legislation, and overregulation, and to help organize those citizens throughout the United States, who wish to continue to use herbs and raw herb extracts as their primary form of medicine, we have begun "The Herb Guild Project", which has already served to educate the interested people about how to grow and use herbs, so they can begin to use them safely and effectively, as medicines. Then we can re-integrate this precious knowledge back into our culture.
We also would be pleased to see this organization begin to act to organize others to repeal the new F.D.A. rules if the results of this process were really to drive most herbal manufacturers out of business, and make it difficult to obtain high quality herbs and herbal products.
We ask you to look at the article about the Grant County herb guild and then try to organize a similar group in your local area. We encourae you to e-mail us about the process of organizing and setting up your own local herb guild, including establishing guidelines for the processing of material into medicines, and for growing the herbs themselves.(We use the materia medica by Michael Moore for technical specifications).
We insist upon keeping our herbal traditions intact, and allowing YOU the freedom to make your own choices about which type of healing modality you wish to use.
"Miscellaneous Liner Notes"
Our specialty is making high-quality Green Medicines!Our high-quality extracts are made from plants which we usually collect ourselves. If we do not collect a plant ourselves, we go to great lengths to obtain it through a networkof organic growers and ethical wildcrafters from whom we obtain the highest quality herbs.
From these herbs, we make our extracts using techniques of extraction from the late 1800's Materia Medicas, Formularies, Dispensatories, and Pharmacopias of the United States. This time period was the peak of herbal usage and formulation in the U.S.
In 1910, the Flexner Report* was issued, and the Pharmaceutical companies and the A.M.A. began to systematically replace the traditional medical educational system...(Herbology, Homeopathy, and Naturopathy) with their new "allopathic", reductionist-based medical system. They replaced non-patentable herbal medicines with patented DRUG medications. (which is the main underlying reason that drugs are so extremely expensive today.)
In contrast, non-patentable herbs are MUCH less expensive, and are, in MOST cases less dangerous, as there are fewer unwanted side effects associated with the use of herbs.
This is still the current situation, which we find ourselves trying to climb out of today. It's a mess of bogus health care legislation, and is heading even more rapidly in the direction of pharmaceutical drug dependence.
(Many of these drugs, which are not removed during sewage treatment, have the quite surprising (and unintended) gender-altering effect of changing male fish into females, and act to interrupt the hormonal cycles of many species, (as to many already banned pesticides classified as "hormonal modulators". Pharmaceutical drugs are, without exception, toxic to the environment.)
So, why is it that as a species, we've chosen the path I just related above? We seem to prefer the pursuit of technological "quick fixes" instead of learning the truth about how valuable and precious these herbs are, from the other 70 % of theworlds population who use herbal medicines as their PRIMARY
forms of medicinal treatments...(a World Health Organization Statistic)/
Perhaps what we need is to "remember" how very important it is to use these gifts of nature, as a vehicle to rediscover our rich "world herbal heritage", and our true connection and relationship to the Natural world.
It is my most sincere wish that as a culture, we may begin to integrate these herbal medicines into our daily lives, and through them, regain our cultural health. I found that shortly after I began to use herbs, for teas, and such, I began to wonder where they actually came from. However, it wasn't until after my educational introduction at the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine, (Silver City, circa 1991), that I began to collect herbs seriously. In the next 13 years of gathering my own herbs, making high quality herbal extracts, and practicing my herbal trade in my own herb store in Silver City, I have become aware of what a great gift herbs embody, for the human species, and really, for all life on Earth.
I began to relate to the natural world with even more awe and deep respect than ever. By relating to, and using the plants, I began to glimpse the "unseen web of life" which connects us to all other life. You see, the plants have become my own vehicle for maintaining my health, and they also help me realize the need to keep the environment clean, so we can ingest what grows out there. This care which we must give the environment, will in turn allow us to use the plants as the medicines they were intended by Nature to be.
I think that it is a much better idea to GROW and harvest our own medicines,than it is to be forced into dependence upon pharmaceutical drugs for our health. (and so do a growing number of us). Similarly, we should GROW our own fuel, making ethanol from increased organic corn production, in order that we can break free from dependence upon foreign oil sources OR corporate manipulations.
Luckily, Nature and the herbal healing traditions which are thousands of years old, have really made it possible for all humans to learn this knowledge, and then begin using it to whatever degree each person feels is correct for them. The average person can rest easy, since this knowledge is not difficult to understand, but it is extensive.
In reality, we live on a planet where the dominant form of life is the PLANT Life! We are, in fact, living on a PLANT PLANET !! It really is an empowering experience to grow and gather all the herbs you need to keep yourself healthy for a year, and then to do just that. And, as the ability of the current health care system to address even simple problems becomes overwhelmed; as the costs continue to rise, and as the availability of actual treatment options becomes less and less, you will discover that knowing about herbs has become a survival skill, which will help you through difficult times...Or, herbs could help bring you the vibrant, energetic, stamina ... the wonderful feeling of balanced, good health, (which their micro-nutrients support)... even in great times.
Now.....On to brighter things....
We also make some wonderful, all-natural specialty products, such as:
Our strong, fragrant Wild Yam Cream, Several varieties of Fragrant Herbal Soaps , Beautiful Herbal Photo Cards with our own field photographs of Medicinal plants, and Highest quality Ear Candles you will find anywhere.