Product Guide

INGREDIENTS

Fresh…? Don’t you use dried herbs?
Yes, our herbs are dried. But just like fresh vegetables, dried plants lose their colour, flavour and goodness with age. Fresh is Best because the beneficial compounds degrade. We put freshness first which is our trademark.

How do you guarantee freshness?
Our products cannot be bought off-the-shelf, all our foods are packed to order to ensure they reach you in the very best condition. We ensure our wholefoods are stored under optimum conditions and use the very best life-extending packaging.

Are all of your products Organic?
We source certified organic or wild-crafted ingredients (herbs harvested directly from the wild) wherever possible. With the largest range of botanicals in the UK exceeding 400, it’s not always possible for us to find organic producers. We do guarantee that all our foods are non-GMO, they have not been genetically altered or irradiated.

Do your products contain food additives/preservatives?
No. We use zero of the 300+ approved EU additives.

What do you mean when you say your products are pure?
When we say natural, we mean natural. When we use the word ‘pure’ it is in the literal sense. Absolutely nothing is added to our products to enhance shelf-life, taste or colour. We do not use additives to make more profits. What you get is exactly what Mother Nature intended.

What’s wrong with using additives?
Even if you don’t mind consuming antifreeze and talcum powder, there are other reasons to choose additive free supplements. Evidence shows that common food additives can interfere with absorption. One study demonstrated that magnesium stearate found in capsules and tablets reduced absorption dramatically compared with the same product that didn’t contain any.

HERBS AND HEALTH

What herb should I use for…?
As a rough guide to wholefoods, herbs, botanicals and their associated uses, you can download our Phyto-Wellness Chart.   This was developed for information purposes only and is not a substitute for advice from a qualified nutritionist or herbalist.

We always recommend you seek advice from a qualified herbalist or your GP before using supplements. After your consultation, a herbal practitioner will be able to make you out a prescription remedy based on your individual needs.

Why can’t you tell me what to use?
By law, only a licensed herbal doctor can prescribe herbal remedies to treat any ailment or illness. We are more than happy to help you with wellness, lifestyle and nutrition questions. If we cannot help then we’ll point you in the right direction. Please use our dedicated email address advice@mountainfresh.co.uk

Are herbal products safe for me to use?
See our Supplement Smart Guide or Download a PDF version

How long do herbs take to have an effect?
This depends on many factors such as age, gender, weight, and diet. Generally speaking you should notice an effect within 2-4 weeks.

HERBAL CAPSULES

What is the difference between a raw plant and a plant extract?
When we use the term pure, we mean a raw/unrefined/unprocessed wholefood. An active-constituent extract is made by isolating bioactive ingredients in a laboratory. Examples of this are Capsicum from cayenne pepper, EGCG from green tea and Anthocyanins from bilberry.

How much active ingredient is contained within the herb?
The whole point of isolating a plant extract is so it can be administered consistently in standardised doses. With unprocessed foods, bear in mind that the amount of a chemical compound in milligrams is only what would be contained in the raw product. There is natural variance in this depending on how plant is grown, harvested, and processed. No product, even from the same batch or brand will be 100% consistent.

Will an extract give me a superior/higher strength product?
Yes and no. Extracts provide a concentrated amount of the active ingredient. However, there is evidence that natural nutrients are absorbed more effectively in their plant form. An example of this is green tea catechin EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), research has proven poor bioavailability when taken orally.

The real plant is perfectly balanced in nature, with many compounds that work in synergy. Science has proven the efficacy of some concentrated extracts regarding specific actions. However, in many areas not enough research has been carried out to determine which plant compounds do what, so potentially important substances can be left out.

Natural Vitamin C vs. ascorbic acid is a prime example of this. In addition to ascorbic acid, Vitamin C from an orange contains rutin, bioflavonoids, Tyrosinase, Ascorbinogen and other compounds. If these parts are missing, is the vitamin C the same?

For these reasons many nutritionists and herbalists believe that wholefood supplements are in fact more effective and have less side effects than modified extracts.

What do you mean when you say your capsules are 100% pure?
Our capsules do not contain ANY other ingredients.

Ingredients list for a popular mass-produced brand of milk thistle capsules:
Milk thistle extract
Microcrystalline cellulose
Magnesium stearate
Silica colloidal hydrated
Maltodextrin
Hypromellose capsule shell

Mountain Fresh product contains:
100% Ground Milk Thistle Seeds
Vegan cap shell made from plant fibres.

But it’s not quite as cut and dry as all that. Companies don’t want to put all these chemicals into their products. They do it because they have to. The additives are a combination of anti-caking, flowing, bulking agents used in food manufacturing. If a capsule is machine made, it will contain these ingredients. They act as lubricants and prevent the formation of lumps to aid the machine process.

How are your capsules made?
Mountain Fresh capsules are produced manually, using hand-held capsule makers made to GMP standards. There is no heavy machinery, every pack is made-to-order by our operatives who are food manufacturing hygiene certified. While this process is time consuming (and of course costly), it is the only way to make truly natural capsules.

Are there any disadvantages to this method of capsule making?
It is not 100% exact. A machine can exert a precise amount of pressure consistently to push the powder into the capsule. For this reason, sometimes there can be a minute variance in the amounts contained within the capsules. Generally, this is + or – 5%.  We can promise that our staff are highly trained and our quality measures are second to none to ensure that we deliver the greatest level of acheiveable consistancy.

LIQUID EXTRACTS

What is a liquid plant extract?
Plants and herbs contain energy and beneficial compounds within their cells. Unless you wish to consume a bag of apples, a punnet of blueberries or a bowl of green tea in one sitting, you need to make a concentrate. A liquid extract is a concentrated solution made by extracting the chemical constituents out of the raw plant fibres with a solution of alcohol or glycerine. A good extract should preserve the aroma, taste and biological activity of the plant.

What is a tincture?
A tincture is a herbal extract, commonly made with alcohol. Concentrated extracts offer a convenient alternative to herbal teas because you only need to take a few drops diluted in liquid. Herbalists use them as base ingredients in prescription formulas. Tinctures are used extensively in the food industry as functional ingredients and flavourings. They are also used as active ingredients in cosmetics.

What are your extracts made from?
We offer vegetable glycerine based extracts and tinctures made from organic apple cider vinegar.

What is glycerine?
Vegetable glycerine is a natural oil derived from plants. It an excellent solvent of herbal constituents and a preservative. We use high quality food-grade glycerine, kosher, non-GMO, and allergen free.

Why are your extracts non-alcoholic?
Traditionally, tinctures are made using ethanol. While we do respect this tradition, we believe it’s not ideal for today’s diverse marketplace and health-savvy consumer. For a plethora of reasons, many individuals do not wish to take alcohol products.

An individual with health issue or someone taking medication, may have been advised to abstain. Many people do not consume alcohol because it is against their religious beliefs. Animal owners who prefer herbal products do not want to give alcohol to their pets.

We want to offer herbal wellness products that we feel 100% good about, with safe, non-toxic ingredients that raise no negative concerns. To this end, we felt compelled to offer the wellness market an alternative which could be universally accepted.

What about extracts in cosmetics?
Extracts are a simple way to add herbs to cosmetics. A significant area of our business is supply to the cosmetic market. Glycerine is invaluable as a natural cosmetic ingredient with emollient-like properties which can soften and soothe the skin. It is a water miscible ingredient and adds emollient characteristics to creams improving texture. Just as it does for dry skin, vegetable glycerine’s moisturising benefits work for hair products too. Similarly, organic apple cider vinegar tinctures are ideal for use in facial toners and hair rinses. Both are naturally hypoallergenic, antibacterial, and act as natural preservatives.

Are there any disadvantages to glycerine?
There is a belief that glycerine is an inferior solvent to alcohol. However, this is a dated understanding. Modern research conducted into glycerites and the manufacturing process has proven that these extracts are just as potent as their alcoholic counterparts. They also have other advantages. Alcohol has a sterilising action that kills bacteria and contaminating organisms, however this action also affects the ingredients being isolated. Glycerine has the same sterilising action but it works in a different way, contaminants are deprived of water which neutralises them. Thus the plant constituents are preserved and the end product includes the entire spectrum of ingredients.

What is the difference between normal and max strength?
Our standard version is a 1:2 glycerine extraction.  This is made from 24% glycerine and 76% sterile water at a ratio of 1 part herb to 2 parts liquid. Our max strength version is a 1:1 extraction, this is extracted in 100% glycerine at a  ratio of 1 part herb to 1 part liquid. Therefore it is twice as strong, with an additional 12 month shelf life.

What is the best way to take liquid herbal extracts?
You should always dilute glycerine extracts into water or juice for consumption. You can also add to warm (not boiling) tea and other hot drinks.

I am worried, your product tastes sweet…?
Though it tastes sweet, glycerine is not sugar – it metabolises differently therefore does not raise blood sugar levels, or cause tooth decay.

What are the advantages of apple cider vinegar extracts?
While vinegar doesn’t break down some plants quite as effectively as other methods, it does have unique advantages. Traditionally, apple cider vinegar was preferred for tonics. The solvent is very effective in extracting vitamins and minerals. As it is less potent it can be used more liberally and for longer periods of time. This is ideal when you are looking to achieve long-term health and wellness goals. You can incorporate organic ACV into your daily lifestyle very easily. Use as a normal vinegar, on salads, to make dressings, with vegetables.

How should I store your extracts?
In a cool, dark place out of reach of children.

What is the shelf-life?
In general, the shelf-life of our extracts ranges between 2 and 3 years. Please check the bottle.

Can I give extracts to pets or other animals?
Our extracts are made using human grade ingredients. Generally they are safe for dogs and cats, but you should always check with your vet first. Animals can react very differently to herbs and foods that humans consume without issue. Our best advice is to follow the normal safety guidelines, especially if you’re giving your animal other medications. If your vet has confirmed the safe use of our product, start off with a very low number of drops and slowly increase.

WHOLE BOTANICALS

How do I use loose herbs at home?
We offer a huge variety of whole herbs to give you the freedom to experiment and take control of your own health and wellness. There are many ways which you can use our botanicals to enhance your well-being. Here are just a few:

Make a herbal infusionSee teas and infusions below. Herbal teas can be enjoyed warm or cold, they’ll keep for a few days in the fridge. You can use cold infusions to give your smoothies extra herbal benefits, for example add some of your ginseng infusion to a pre-work-out protein drink and reap the benefits on the treadmill.

Make a compress – or poultice. Form a paste by mashing up herbs with warm water or natural oils. This can be applied directly to the skin and covered with a piece of cloth. Or, depending on the herb, wrapped between 2 layers of clean cloth before applying.

Create your own tea blends – order up a mix of ingredients and find a herbal tea the perfect for you based on your wellness goals. Whether that’s detox, weight loss, energy, vitality, or immunity. Discover what combination works for you.

Make a herbal syrup – mix a cup of your herbal infusion with a quarter of a cup of raw organic honey. Take a spoonful first thing in the morning or before bed, depending on the herb. It’ll last up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Broaden your culinary horizons – herbs such as lavender, elderflower, fenugreek, asafoetida, and Irish moss can be used in cooking. Do a little research online, you’ll find a myriad of ideas.

Design your own shampoo – a simple recipe is to mix together 1/3 of a cup of herb or flower with 1 cup of distilled water, then add 1 cup of baby shampoo. Herbal hair and scalp tonics can also be made from apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.

Have a facial – a herbal facial steam is an easy way to get starter with great results. Herbal face masks can be made with yogurt, cucumber pulp, mashed bananas and oatmeal.

FOOD/HERB POWDERS

How do I use a Herbal Powder?
Herbal powders are very easy to take. Your chosen method will probably depend on what you’re taking. Some of our fruit powders taste delicious, but spirulina is not pleasant.

Powders can simply be mixed with a water, milk, fruit or vegetable juice. For best results, use a powder shaker (see below) or blend with a smoothie. Make a herbal shot by adding liquid to the powder until you get your desired consistency.

You can make herbal infusions with powders, in the same way as you can with loose herbs. Just use muslin cloth to strain.

Powders can be packed into capsules. You can either do this by hand, or use an encapsulating machine (a simple, inexpensive capsule filling device).

How well do your herbal powders dissolve in water?
We do not use any additives, all our powders are pure botanicals. Some will dissolve easily in water naturally, others don’t. Unlike other suppliers, we do not use chemical maltodextrin to help to make the powder dissolve well. We only supply 100% pure ingredients.

What is a shaker?
A cup that contains a wire ball which removes lumps when mixing a powder with a liquid. The cups are popular in sports nutrition, allowing you to mix support, recovery and meal replacement powders anywhere with a quick shake.

How should I store herbs and powders?
Dried herbs and powders are sensitive to air, light, humidity, and temperature. The best possible container is an airtight canister. An ideal storage location is a dry cupboard with a storage temperature no greater than 75 degrees.

What is the shelf life of herbs and powders?
Herbs and spices have a shelf life of between 1-2 years. Check the packet. For best results we recommend you only purchase what you will use within a short period of time.

HERBAL TEAS

What is a herbal infusion?
The terms ‘herbal tea’ and ‘infusion’ are often used to mean the same thing. A herbal infusion is the traditional name for steeping leaves or flowers in water to extract the beneficial properties. Harder herbs like roots, dried berries and barks are traditionally simmered/boiled not infused, this is known as making a decoction. Infusions can be either hot (steeped for 10-15 mins) or cold (left overnight).

Does herbal tea taste nice?
If you have tried pure herbal teas before, you’ll know what to expect. If not, we won’t sugar-coat it. Our teas taste exactly how Mother Nature intended. We do not try and mask natural tastes with sweeteners and other artificial flavourings. With some herbs such as dandelion, raspberry leaf, or chamomile, the taste is perfectly pleasant. Yet, other herbs like valerian root, used for its relaxation properties, are very pungent.

Why should I choose your herbal teas?
• We offer a TRULY natural cup of herbal tea.
• Every single ingredient we use is grown naturally: non-GMO, non-irradiated.
• We do not use ANY artificial colours, synthetic flavourings or sweeteners.
• All our products are packed-to-order and heat-sealed for security to ensure your tea reaches you in the very best possible condition.
• Our tea pouches are re-sealable to keep your tea fresh for longer.
• We give away a FREE BALL INFUSER with every purchase.

How do you flavour your teas?
Our teas are flavoured naturally with 100% pure fruits and flowers. Bear in mind that natural flavours do not taste the same as synthetically produced flavourings. For example our lemon flavour is pure dried peel from Spanish lemons. This does not taste the same as artificial lemon flavouring.

How do I use the free tea ball infuser?
To make 1 cup of herbal tea: Open the ball infuser. Scoop 1 teaspoon of dried herb into it. Close it, pushing down the catch. Put it into your cup and brew the tea.

How do I brew the perfect cup of leaf or flower tea?
Place your infuser into a cup.
Pour hot (not boiling) water over the herbs.
Steep for 3-5 minutes.

How do I brew the perfect cup of root or bark tea?
Place your infuser into a cup.
Pour boiling water over the herbs.
Steep for 5-10 minutes.

How should I store herbal teas?
Dried plants are sensitive to air, light, humidity, and temperature. The best possible container is an airtight canister. An ideal storage location is a dry cupboard with a storage temperature no greater than 75 degrees.