Repeated testing ensures that you receive the safest and highest quality products.
On average, our herbs must pass 15 tests before reaching you.
Additionally, independent third party testing are performed in the U.S. by various laboratories to verify product safety.
|Lab Tests Performed by Evergreen Herbs||Sole Acceptable Outcome|
|Organoleptic Visual Check||Pass|
|TLC Active Ingredient Check||Pass|
|Total Heavy Metal Test||Pass|
|Total Yeast and Mold Test||Pass|
|Loss on Drying Test||Pass|
|Acid-Insoluble Ash Test||Pass|
|Individual Heavy Metal Tests
(Lead, Cadmium, Mercury, Arsenic)
|Aristolochic Acid Test*||Pass|
|Microscopic Cellular Identity Check||Pass|
|HPLC Potency Level Test||Pass|
|Total Aerobic Microbial Count Test||Pass|
|Enterobacteria & Other Gram Negative Bacteria Test||Pass|
|Total Ash Content Test||Pass|
|Dilute EtOH Extract Test||Pass|
(over 100 pesticides tested)
(Organochlorine and Organophosphorus)
*These tests are performed on herbs when applicable.
"Seed to Shelf" Consciousness, promoted by Dr. David Eisenberg of Harvard University, is an approach to tracking herbs and maintaining accountability from the origin as seeds, through planting, maturation, harvesting, processing, and testing, until the herbs are delivered to you. Evergreen Herbs employs the following safety processes and checks to assure safety, quality, and ultimately, clinical efficacy. These processes and commitments are why Evergreen Herbs are good for you and why medical professionals choose Evergreen.
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Raw Material
Quality products begin with premium raw material. We seek out growers who routinely test both the soil and water for quality and freedom from contamination. We select whole, medicinal-grade herbs with abundant phyto-nutrients and medicinal potency. By supporting farmers that follow Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), we help to ensure sustainable farming of high quality Chinese herbs.
We take geo-authenticity seriously. This means we obtain herbs that are indigenous to a specific region because when grown there, they will yield the best medicinal results. For example, Chuan Bei Mu (Bulbus Fritillariae) should be grown in the Sichuan province for the best results, as the soil and climate of Sichuan produce the highest development of its therapeutic components. In addition, we select the appropriate therapeutic portion(s) of the plant and pay careful attention to the method and timing of harvesting in order to maximize and preserve their effectiveness.
Our senior herbalist, qualified to perform organoleptic identification, starts the process of confirming the authenticity of the herbs via taste and visual comparison. Criteria such as correct color, freshness, and appearance are taken into consideration in selection of the best raw material.
Because many herbs look and taste similar, we further ensure authenticity by using electron microscopy to examine the cellular structure of the herb. The cellular structure of each herb is unique, much like a fingerprint. While many companies do not take this extra step, which results in inappropriate substitute herbs and substandard subspecies being in the market, this is one test that we, at Evergreen, consider absolutely necessary to verify and ensure authenticity and quality.
Advanced Testing to Ensure Quality and Safety
After visual inspection, laboratory tests are performed to detect what cannot be seen or tasted. Evergreen uses Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) to identify the unique component makeup of an herb to further guarantee its authenticity, and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) to ensure that the bio-active constituents are present in proper concentration. Together, the TLC and HPLC guarantee accuracy in species and maximum deliverance of active ingredients in our herbs.
Protection Against Heavy Metals
After ensuring authenticity and active ingredients, our herbs are tested for safety. We have increased our standard of quality control by testing for safety against EACH heavy metal (arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury) - rather than just the total heavy metal amount.* Most suppliers test only the total heavy metal amount, which means variance of one heavy metal above its individual limit may be offset by a low level of another heavy metal. Total heavy metal level can be up to as high as 200 ppm (parts per million) in some companies. Though taking on this difficult task means rejecting many batches of herbs that do not meet the Evergreen standards, we believe it is still necessary in order to deliver the absolute safest herbs to you and your patients.
Our heavy metal tests are performed using scientifically validated methods, in accordance to the US Pharmacopoeia and the World Health Organization (WHO) standards.
*See Lab Test chart for detail
Evergreen herbs are safe from pollutants, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and pesticides. Our on-site lab and independent labs test at-risk herbs for a total of over 100 different types of organochlorine and organophosphorus compounds.
Safety Against Bacteria
We insist on microbial tests following the guidelines of the US Pharmacopoeia. Scientists in our full-scale microbiology lab test our herbs for Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp., Enterobacteriaceae, and other gram negative bacterium; for total bacteria count, and for total yeast and mold counts, to ensure you receive the safest product on the market today.
Careful extraction of premium raw material is what makes Evergreen herbs better than the rest. Quality is an integral part of every step in our manufacturing process. Extraction is not a crude process, but a refined art and science that requires oversight by master craftsmen and craftswomen at each stage in every process.
We wash our herbs repeatedly and rinse them in fresh running water to remove dirt and other impurities. Each type of herb and all individual pieces of each herb are then processed in particular ways to expose maximum surface area for further processing and to facilitate the highest extraction of active ingredients. For example, seeds are crushed open and tonic roots are thinly sliced diagonally to insure extraction of essential herb components. Like a chef preparing food in a kitchen, the proper preparation before cooking can make the whole dish.
Our herbs are prepared according to a unique Pre-Extraction Methodology, during which time the herbs may be roasted, baked, stir-fried, or even wine-fried, according to traditional methods to yield the maximum therapeutic effect. Some herbs, like Dang Gui (Radix Angelicae Sinensis), contain key alkaloids that are soluble in alcohol rather than water. In order for these active ingredients to be released, the wine-frying procedure must be performed prior to water extraction, or the therapeutic effect would be compromised. Knowing this and committing to these details are what makes our herbs more effective than others, so that you can see the difference in therapeutic results.
High-Pressure Low-Temperature Extraction and Granulation
Our herbs are extracted in sealed, temperature-controlled, clean rooms. The only water that is used in extraction processes has been softened and purified to high standards. Our herbs are not subjected to heavy metals from tap water, or to industrial solvents such as acetone or hexane, which are used by some manufacturers to extract one specific standardized active ingredient.
Our high-pressure system maximizes extraction of active ingredients, and the low-temperature approach ensures that phyto-nutrients and active compounds are not destroyed by heat--thus yielding a more potent finished product. This principle is much like cooking vegetables. The right temperature and time must be used to retain vital nutrients. If cooked for too long, or over high heat, all the vitamins and healthy ingredients are destroyed.
Finally, one herb at a time, the extracted ingredients now in paste consistency is turned into the final granular product. This process is carried out using vacuum-dry evaporation and granulation in a completely enclosed chamber to protect against cross contamination with other herbs and from any other potential contaminant. In addition, to ensure stability and prevent caking, excipients may be added during the granulation process (non-GMO corn starch for Classic herbs and formulas, non-GMO potato starch for Collection formulas, and in some cases, maltodextrin for the Western herbs).
The tracking process that began in the fields with the selection of herbs, continues throughout the many processes, as each batch of granules is sealed and labeled, including lot number tracking information, prior to leaving the manufacturing process.
From "Seed to Shelf," Evergreen ensures purity, safety, and potency in our herbal extracts by following standards and guidelines set forth by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) of the United States, Japan and Taiwan.
Efforts put forth by our team of experts in chemistry, microbiology, and Chinese medicine result in a Certificate of Analysis (COA), which guarantees that practitioners receive the highest quality product that is safe and effective. We take all the extra steps to bring you the very best herbs. It’s the right way, and the only responsible way to process and produce herbal extracts. We thank you for using Evergreen Herbs and your support of responsible herbal medicine practices.