How to Choose High Quality Herbs and Spices

Recently, as I was making soup with my three-year-old granddaughter and teaching her to pronounce galangal root, I found myself in an extended game of “name that spice.” It turns out you can get through an entire elaborate Thai soup recipe with a toddler in this way; I highly recommend it. It goes something like this: Cute toddler points at spice jar and asks, “What is that spice?” Adult says, “Paprika. Smell it, what do you think?” Cute toddler makes funny face and spies another spice that looks similar. “Is that paprika too?” Adult is impressed. “Good eye, that’s smoked paprika. Does it smell different?” And on it goes like that through the colored jars. In this way, I was reminded that I have so many jars of excellent dried herbs and spices and it’s definitely time to check them for freshness.

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Posted by Heidi

The Benefits and Botany of Amla

I would like to introduce a lovely tree that many people reading this may not have had the opportunity to see in real life. It is one whose medicine is often referenced and shared among herbalists of all levels. Many know this tree and its fruit from its role in some of the most beloved herbal formulas hailing from the Indian sub-continent and the traditional medicine cultural heritage known as Ayurveda.

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Phytochemistry For Beginners: Constituent Groups and the Menstrua That Love Them


Phytochemistry is the study of the constituents in plants that cause physiological changes (aka health benefits) in the human body. These changes are what herbalists are attempting to achieve when creating herbal remedies. We call that herbal medicine. Knowing the actions and needs of constituents and which menstrua will extract and preserve them gives the medicine maker a clear view on pairing constituents with the correct menstrua to create effective remedies. 
Menstruum, or plural menstrua, is the extractor and preserver of plant medicine. The most common menstrua are water, alcohol, honey, glycerine, and apple cider vinegar.

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Trillium Plant: An Age-Old Ally That Needs Our Help

Mountain girl that I am, trillium is one of my favorite flowers. TechnicallyTrillium ovatum, also known as Pacific trillium, is what I think of when I think “trillium” because it’s the one I grew up with in the Coast Range of Oregon. Trillium plants look simple (just three petals and three sepals), but they are actually a complex little botanical. They live for decades, so you can form long-term relationships with them and welcome them back year after year. Unfortunately, however, they are slow to develop and spread, which is a serious weakness in the face of habitat loss and rampant wildharvesting. Between land use issues, trillium collectors who dig up wild varieties, deer who love to munch its leaves, and herbalists who seek out the rhizomes to make potent formulations, wild trillium is now in trouble. Let’s take a look at an age-old herbal ally and what we can do to preserve this beautiful, fragile plant.

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Posted by Heidi

2022 Herbal Events Calendar by Mountain Rose Herbs


It is with great joy that we share this list of virtual and in-person herbal events. Whether it’s herbal festivals, educational conferences, natural product tradeshows, or wilderness conservation fundraisers, we’re excited to be able to connect with you all again! Mountain Rose Herbs is honored to be able to host, sponsor, and participate in each of the below events.

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Posted by Elise

How to Make Herbal Salt Blends + 4 Recipes

It is mighty cliché to start a health and wellness blog with a Hippocrates quote, but I am willing to sacrifice originality for truth. The old adage “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” is still worthy of repeating some 2,400 years after it was first uttered and despite centuries of medical and health advances, it is still relevant today. In this modern age, especially in America, many of us are living with nutritional deficiencies and are at a higher risk of experiencing food-related illnesses.

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Posted by Jessicka

Herbal Blend for Circular Thoughts

Circular thinking is pretty common with stress. Circular thinking starts out as if there is a linear process going on, but there’s no real end. If a problem is settled, the person may go right back to the beginning and start all over again. It’s part of that cycle of starting to question why you did or said that stupid thing, and how it could have been different. Sometimes it can be one particular instance, but in really intense periods, it can involve almost every cringe-inducing interaction that’s ever taken place. It can be pretty awful.

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Posted by Tina- Guest Writer

10 Underused Herbs for Wellness

As a reader of our blog, you may be somewhat familiar with a plant or two (or maybe a lot more than that). Herbal allies like echinacea and lavender have become household names, but what about some of the more uncommon herbs in circulation? While Mountain Rose Herbs is a purveyor of many familiar spices, we are also proud to provide an assortment of lesser-known organic herbs. Many of these underused herbs make effective substitutes for popular staples and are a fun and unique addition to the home apothecary. As always, we recommend consulting a qualified healthcare practitioner and conducting your own research before using new or unfamiliar herbs. Read More
Posted by Elise

A Beginner's Guide to Herbalism

Are you interested in learning about herbalism, but aren’t sure where to begin? Many of us grew up learning more on this subject than we realized; we drank teas when we didnt feel well, or we put our head over a bowl of steaming vapor, or we ate a dish with curry for digestion, things that our parents or grandparents told us to do without ever saying the words herb” or herbalism.” When I was growing up, my father decocted ginger root for an upset stomach and pulled out chamomile tea for sleeplessness. He gave me raw honey for a scratchy throat and sour cranberry juice for bladder health. And yet, ironically enough, years later, when I developed a huge interest in this new thing—herbalism—I thought I was clueless on the subject. A lot of people have stories like mine; they don’t have any idea how much they know, or if what they know is correct or helpful, or how to begin to find out. If you’re ready to jump in, but aren’t sure how or what direction to aim, here is some helpful information.

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Posted by Heidi

How to Season Cast Iron + Cast Iron Conditioner Recipe

JUMP TO RECIPE!

Many of us who are cast iron cooks have read reams of advice about the proper way to season our cast iron pots and pans. To use soap or not when washing, which oils to choose, using a burner vs. the oven, whether or not to add salt—this is one of those topics that people have strong feelings about. I get it, because two of my cast iron skillets were handed down to me from my grandmother, who received them as a wedding gift in 1917. She spent decades perfecting their seasoning. Those skillets came to me in mint condition and they arrived with the stipulation that I maintain their perfection for all the years of my life and teach the next generation how to continue on in the same vein. No pressure or anything!

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Posted by Heidi

Stinging Nettle Identification, Benefits, & Recipes

It’s late winter in the Pacific Northwest and signs of spring are already starting to show themselves. I’ve always enjoyed this time of year, the excitement of witnessing the Earth waking up from her wintertime slumber and the feelings of hope that brings. But despite the heartfelt joy, I often find myself struggling to move from the slower pace of winter hibernation to the quickening energy and longer days full of garden prep, housework, and other to-dos that piled up. Thankfully, I need to look no further than my trusty green ally, nettle, for support during this transition.

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Posted by Elise

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WELCOME

We offer one of the most thorough selections of certified organic herbs, spices, and botanical products and are commited to responsible sourcing.

How to Choose High Quality Herbs and Spices

The best quality dried botanicals have superior flavor, nutrient value, and food safety. Learn why product testing is key and how to test for freshness.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

May 20, 2022

The Benefits and Botany of Amla

Learn about the mighty amla tree and how its superfood status makes it a must-have staple for your home apothecary.
WRITTEN BY Sarah Wu - Guest Writer

May 11, 2022

Phytochemistry For Beginners: Constituent Groups and the Menstrua That Love Them

Knowing the actions and needs of constituents and which menstrua will extract and preserve them gives herbalists a clear view on pairing constituents with the correct medium to create effective remedies
WRITTEN BY Suzanne Tabert- Guest Writer

May 4, 2022

Trillium Plant: An Age-Old Ally That Needs Our Help

Trillium plants are an age-old herbal ally and one of the most overharvested plants in the wild. Learn what you can do to preserve this beautiful plant so it can flower for many more years to come.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

April 28, 2022

2022 Herbal Events Calendar by Mountain Rose Herbs

Looking to learn, grow, and connect in 2022? Check out our list of local and national herbalism events that we'll be attending or sponsoring. We can't wait to see you this year!
WRITTEN BY Elise

April 13, 2022

How to Make Herbal Salt Blends + 4 Recipes

Learn how to add more herbs to your diet with these easy-to-make herbal salt recipes.
WRITTEN BY Jessicka

April 7, 2022

Herbal Blend for Circular Thoughts

Try this herbal remedy made with passionflower, lavender, and valerian when you have circular thoughts and you need a way to rebalance your mind and body.
WRITTEN BY Tina- Guest Writer

April 1, 2022

10 Underused Herbs for Wellness

Explore 10 underused herbs that are little-known but wonderful substitutes for more popular herbal allies. These uncommon herbs are sure to spark your herbal curiosity.
WRITTEN BY Elise

March 28, 2022

A Beginner's Guide to Herbalism

Interested in herbalism, but don't know where to begin? Build your herbalism starter kit with this guide to beginner-friendly herbs, supplies, and more.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

March 17, 2022

How to Season Cast Iron + Cast Iron Conditioner Recipe

Learn how to properly season your cast iron skillet, how to choose the best oil to season cast iron, and how to make a DIY cast iron conditioner.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

March 5, 2022

Stinging Nettle Identification, Benefits, & Recipes

Explore the benefits of stinging nettle in this herbal deep dive. Learn all there is to know about nettle leaf and nettle root with links to safe harvesting practices and recipes such as nettle tea.
WRITTEN BY Elise

March 2, 2022