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

Osha: A Supportive, but At-Risk Plant Ally

Photo courtesy of Susan Leopold, PhD, Executive Director at United Plant Savers.

Osha root (Ligusticum porteri) has been in use as an herbal medicine, incense, food, and for ceremonial purposes for thousands of years. When European colonists arrived in North America, osha was already being widely used by First Nations People in the American Southwest and Mexico to treat a variety of conditions, particularly those involving the upper respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. The Zuni people chewed the root in healing rituals and the Tarahumara people used it ritualistically in protection ceremonies. This herbal ally has been generously gifting itself to humans on our continent for millennia, and its renown has spread to other parts of the world. Unfortunately, this increasing popularity has shined a light on osha’s one significant problem—virtually all commercial osha is wildharvested because this independent herb doesn’t do well as a cultivated crop. This limitation combined with the ever-increasing demand for osha has many herbalists concerned about the viability and long-term sustainability of this precious botanical. Let’s take a deeper dive into osha.

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Posted by Heidi

Why Organic Seaweed is Important

In the last couple of years, the global demand for seaweeds has skyrocketed. Its no surprise, as seaweed offers a stunning array of nutritional benefits and packs a unique salty and umami punch due to its high glutamate content. Seaweed is also used in a variety of non-food applications, including cosmetics and beauty products, scientific research, traditional medicinal applications, biofuels, fertilizers, and more. Considering all the uses for these aquatic plants and the increase in demand for such products, it is more important than ever to consider best practices for harvesting and processing these precious materials. It is this consideration that drives Mountain Rose Herbs to work closely with our harvest partners in offering organically certified seaweeds.

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Posted by Katheryn

Organic Herb Sourcing: The Bigger Picture

In 1987 Mountain Rose Herbs was founded on a commitment to sustainably source all of our botanicals, and since then we’ve made every effort to uphold that commitment. One of the most important aspects of keeping that promise is ensuring transparency in the supply chains for each lot of material that we receive in our warehouse. Maintaining this requires a close relationship between Mountain Rose and our farm partners, and this relationship is managed by our Procurement team.

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Posted by Katheryn

Yaupon: Rediscovering America’s Forgotten Tea

Sooner or later, everything old is new again. This saying has been sneaking into our day-to-day a lot over the last couple of years as people are rediscovering “old” methods of being more self-sufficient and resilient in these challenging times. One of our favorite old-new “discoveries” is yaupon tea. When our Mountain Rose Herbs tea team was introduced to yaupon, we—like most Americans—had no idea that there was a naturally caffeinated tea plant native to North America. This fact is astounding when you consider that yaupon tea was the drink of choice for literally thousands of years. This delicious tea is supremely sippable and, thanks to plentiful theophylline and theobromine (as well as a host of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc.), provides a smooth caffeine boost and focus without the jitteriness that can come from coffee.

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Posted by Heidi

Organic Farming in the “Off Season”

There’s no denying the enchanting lure of harvest time. The plants soak up long stretches of sunlight and integrate the photons via complex biological mechanisms into helpful and radiant biomass, until that splendid moment in which they are gathered and thoughtfully prepared for your cabinet.     

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Posted by Katheryn

Farming as a Labor of Love

Foster Farm Botanicals has been a valued partner of Mountain Rose Herbs since 2016. They make it easy to supply our customers with a wide array of the high-quality organically certified botanicals that people have come to expect from us season after season. In August of 2019, a few of our team members had an opportunity to visit this special farm and get to know more about its history and the inspiration behind the operation.

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Posted by Katheryn

A Still Life: Hydrosol Distillation with Our Organic Growers

Hydrosols are pure botanical extracts produced by distilling fresh leaves, fruits, flowers, and other plant material to create aromatic waters. Although they have similar properties to their essential oil counterparts, they are more delicately scented. These high-quality flower waters are loved for their ease of use and versatility in aromatherapy and body care formulations. Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with the husband-wife team who craft our certified organic hydrosols. During a brief lull in the harvest season, they graciously took a moment to tell us more about how they create these delightfully fragrant waters.

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Posted by Jana

From Farm to Bottle: The Story of Our Hops


For over 30 years Mountain Rose Herbs has taken special care to curate our relationships with trusted farmers and partners to provide only the freshest, highest quality, locally sourced botanicals. We are intentionally located in the verdant Willamette Valley so that we may optimize the opportunities for sourcing as much local abundance as possible. These botanicals are the foundation for our line of expertly curated extracts and tinctures.

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Posted by Katheryn

Endangered White Sage: Procuring Organic Cultivated Salvia Apiana

Mountain Rose Herbs has been in a years-long process of shifting our procurement policies steadily away from wild-harvested botanicals. This policy shift is in direct response to the increasing impact of overharvesting on wild stands of some of the most beloved herbs and spices around the world. White sage (Salvia apiana) is one example. In the past few years, white sage has come under a dual attack. The arid regions that are home to wild stands of Salvia apiana have been badly impacted by climate change, which has caused wildfires and other devastation. At the same time, there has been a meteoric rise in the commercialization of smudging, which has created a lucrative market for illegally harvested white sage, much of it taken from public lands. It is for this reason that Mountain Rose Herbs made the decision in 2019 to procure 100% of our loose-leaf white sage from a special cultivation project in the rocky hills of San Diego County’s North County region. We consider ourselves fortunate to have the opportunity to support such an important project.

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Posted by Heidi

Organically Grown Stinging Nettle + Nutritious Infusion Recipe

In our neighboring state of Washington lies one of our organic farms—650,000 acres of herbal splendor amidst an otherwise desert landscape. Thanks to the pristine Columbia River, this region has an unlimited supply of the highest quality water any agricultural operation could desire. Here, head farmer Phil has the space and resources to grow one of our most popular herbs: stinging nettle.

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Posted by Raychel

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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

Osha: A Supportive, but At-Risk Plant Ally

Learn more about osha and how you can help take pressure off this important, at-risk herbal ally. 
WRITTEN BY Heidi

February 23, 2022

Why Organic Seaweed is Important

How can seaweed become certified organic, why it's important, and what that process looks like.
WRITTEN BY Katheryn

January 6, 2022

Organic Herb Sourcing: The Bigger Picture

Procurement is more than relationship building. A good buyer takes into consideration the whole picture, from geological happenings to the quality of the final product, and everywhere in between.
WRITTEN BY Katheryn

December 8, 2021

Yaupon: Rediscovering America’s Forgotten Tea

Have you tried a cup of yaupon tea yet? Yaupon is the only naturally caffeinated tea plant native to North America. Learn about this American classic.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

April 15, 2021

Organic Farming in the “Off Season”

We all love the magic of harvest time, but farmers don’t get to rest when the crops are done. Learn what it takes to get your herbs from the farm to you.
WRITTEN BY Katheryn

December 17, 2020

Farming as a Labor of Love

Learn how farmers Annie and Peter work in love and harmony with each other and the local ecosystem to produce its vibrant herbs and spices.
WRITTEN BY Katheryn

November 9, 2020

A Still Life: Hydrosol Distillation with Our Organic Growers

Learn how one of our family farms honors its heritage, natural environment, and future generations by crafting hydrosols from local, organically-grown herbs.
WRITTEN BY Jana

November 2, 2020

From Farm to Bottle: The Story of Our Hops

We take special care to curate our relationships with trusted farmers and partners. Learn how organic hops go from the farm to the bottle in your hands.
WRITTEN BY Katheryn

September 22, 2020

Endangered White Sage: Procuring Organic Cultivated Salvia Apiana

Mountain Rose Herbs sells only organically certified cultivated white sage. Find out how disaster created opportunity for this overharvested, sacred plant.
WRITTEN BY Heidi

September 18, 2020

Organically Grown Stinging Nettle + Nutritious Infusion Recipe

Meet the Pacific Northwest farmers who grow our organic nettle leaf, an herbal powerhouse perfect for nourishing infusions and more!
WRITTEN BY Raychel

April 9, 2020