Essiac Circle of Friends
HARVESTING SHEEP SORREL ROOTS
Growing, harvesting and processing sheep sorrel roots is very labor-intensive which makes our Essiac products more expensive than others. There is no herbal company or farm that sells sheep sorrel roots on the internet because it cannot be correctly harvested with farm equipment. Therefore, the roots must be hand-clipped from the tops to establish an exact percentage of roots.
The picture below shows how we must first loosen the soil with a large, heavy broadfork in order to carefully lift the sheep sorrel roots from the soil.
Next the roots are hand dug from the loosened soil and mulch.
Sheep sorrel roots must be washed in cold, unchlorinated water to remove the mulch, soil and any extraneous roots.
Then comes the very time-consuming process of clipping the tops from the roots which requires much patience. By hand clipping we are able to offer an exact percentage of sheep sorrel roots in our products. We were the first company on the planet to offer this very important service so that our customers know exactly what they are getting.
The trimmed roots are then briefly rinsed and then set out on screens out of direct sunlight for the initial drying.
The sheep sorrel roots are now ready for the final drying. We do not use propane or catalytic driers. Only electric fans and low heat are used on the roots.
One of the problems with harvesting sheep sorrel roots is that it kills the whole plant. It has taken us three years to plant, grow and harvest just one crop of sheep sorrel roots. Three years growth is required to achieve enough potency or medicinal value.
We grow our sheep sorrel roots on mineral-rich soil that has never been farmed. Sheep sorrel likes well-drained soil that is composed of gravel, sand and silt. Our soil here in north Idaho is a result of thousands of years of glacial flooding that has washed in many different types of rocks from the surrounding mountains.
In addition to all the minerals already present in our soil we add certified organic humic shale which contains 75 different plant-based, colloidal minerals. We also add certified organic kelp which is harvested from the pristine, mineral rich fjords of Iceland. This adds iodine and other sea-based minerals that may not be present in sufficient quantities in land-based farming.
We have mulched the soil with a thick layer local fir wood chips for organic material that encourages beneficial fungi, (e.g. mycorrhizal fungi) that make it possible for plant roots to absorb the minerals.
Modern farming methods do not replenish minerals (or mycorrhizal fungi) in the soil which are so important to the health of plants and the people who eat them. Without minerals plants cannot make vitamins and other life-giving substances.
Modern farming practices and even in some cases even organic farming do not replenish the minerals in the soils. There is no requirement by the federal organic standards to provide all minerals in the soil necessary for optimum health. Therefore, we believe our sheep sorrel is superior to the government-dictated organic standards.
We have watered our sheep sorrel with natural, mineral-rich water from a deep well that does not contain any additives such as chlorine or fluoride or other toxic substances. Add to all the materials, time and labor the ever-increasing cost of good land to grow organic herbs. In short, you get what you pay for and it doesn't get any better than this.
Click here to read more about our Essiac Herb Quality.
BUYER BEWARE: There are websites that claim they include sheep sorrel roots. But herein lies the rub:
An unethical company could only add a pinch of powdered sheep sorrel roots to a pound of sheep sorrel leaf and legally say that the roots are included. Obviously, such an insignificant or small amount of root will have negligible effect health-wise.
Therefore the only ethical way to prove that roots are included is to state the exact percentage of roots in relation to the total sheep sorrel content and disclose with pictures how the roots are separated from the top of plant. Essiac tea should contain at least 10% sheep sorrel roots. That translates to a minimum of 1.6 ounces of roots in every pound of sheep sorrel herb.
Standard farm machinery cannot accurately separate the roots from the tops. This can only be done by hand in a labor-intensive, time-consuming effort. Therefore it is very expensive to grow and harvest the roots. Due to the high labor costs and smaller root size sheep sorrel roots are more than twice as expensive as ginseng* or goldenseal roots. However, it is not practical or affordable for an organic farmer to employ many workers to hand-trim the roots from the aerial part of the plant. For this reason you will not be able to find a credible sheep sorrel root supplier on the internet.
There are plenty of cheap "Essiac" imitations on the internet. They are cheap because they do not add sheep sorrel roots (in spite of what they may claim on their website). Since Rene Caisse stated that sheep sorrel roots are "very essential" to the Essiac formula, they are falsely claiming it is Essiac.
If sheep sorrel roots are not included in sufficient amount, it is not Essiac.
We are aware of at least one Essiac website that fraudulently claims to have included sheep sorrel roots. Therefore they do not tell you how they grow and harvest them and show pictures of their operations like we do.
Also, several websites claim that Essiac tea has eight herbs instead of four. This is false information that has been disproven with legal documentation from Mary McPherson and Sheila Snow. Click here for more information about these eight-herb teas.
For more information on why Essiac tea with sheep sorrel roots is more expensive visit the Health Freedom Info website on this page.
*Ginseng was plentiful in north America until it became more valuable than gold. Therefore, it was over-harvested and it is now very rare to find it growing wild in north America.
Essiac Circle of Friends
Essiac NorthWest, Humbleweed, HerbGoddess and many others have all contributed to the Essiac Circle of Friends, a natural society of like-minded people continuing traditional native herbal healing in the spirit of the Seven Fires Prophecy. The Essiac Circle of Friends is a cooperative effort to provide the highest quality Essiac tea herbs on the planet. It is not in itself a corporation or business but some of the people involved have started their own retail outlets to provide these high-quality herbs to the public. We are the people who plant, grow, harvest and supply these high-quality herbs to those in need. The Circle has evolved over the past decade with various people contributing to it and then moving on in the ever-changing ebb and flow of life.
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