Herb Buying Guide

Use a trusted retailer

Not all herbs or supplements available to purchase online are of the quality you would demand. Some aren't genuine, may contain inferior or expired ingredients, or may even be contaminated with harmful substances.

It's not always easy to know which products are genuine, but choosing a trustworthy and respected online retailer is a good starting point. Don't be fooled by a website that looks professional, even though you don't recognise the seller's name. If in doubt, do some background research to make sure the company you're buying from is legitimate. Also, ensure you check if any warnings or alerts have been published regarding a particular product.

Look for a contact number on the retailer's website and call them to find out more information. If you can't contact them, or they're vague when you ask them questions, purchase elsewhere.

Know what you're buying

Although you can't visually inspect herbs when purchasing online, a good retailer will include the list and amount of ingredients on their website. Scrutinise this before making a purchase. Some herbs may have botanical or Latin names, so familiarise yourself with these so you know exactly what you're getting. Avoid products that list ingredients as 'proprietary blends' as this is too vague and doesn't tell you what's included.

Quality assurance

Don't just rely on the ingredients list. Find out if products have gained third-party approval from any health professionals or regulatory bodies. This may be shown as a logo or safety hallmark next to the product information, and often signifies that the product has passed quality tests or standards.

Make sure you know the origin of the product before you buy it. As a general guide, herbs or supplements made in the USA or EU may be subjected to tougher regulations compared to other countries like China or Mexico.

You get what you pay for when purchasing good quality herbs or supplements, so be wary of those retailers who sell supposedly superior products at rock bottom prices.

Unrealistic claims

Be cautious of online sellers who make promises or guarantees about the effects of their products. If in doubt, consult your GP for expert advice, or look for scientific evidence to substantiate these claims.