Our Newsletter

Become an In2Herbs member today. Its Free!

News | Special Offers | Savings




worldwide shipping

Raintree Plant Harvesting Programs

 Green_Tea_Fields.jpg

Raintree's Harvesting programs
The Leading Supplier of Rainforest Botanicals

Purchasing a high quality rainforest or South American botanical in the marketplace today can be quite tricky for the average person, professional or even manufacturer. Unfortunately, in South America, there is little control over sustainability, product quality, and/or species verification. Brokering medicinal plants into the U.S. market from South and Central America is a growing profitable industry with many participants of varying experience, knowledge and ethics. This surge in business and growing demand has created many problems in the industry which many Americans are unaware of.

In South America, plants are usually harvested by independent untrained locals using only the common name of the plant known by the locals. They are generally poor fishermen, farmers, peasants and squatters trying to feed their families and earn some extra money by selling some plants to someone who goes up and down the rivers collecting harvested plants. This means sometimes 3 or 4 different species of plants are harvested and sold as the same plant of commerce without proper identification or species verification. Many of these local harvesters trying to eek out a living in the jungle have little regard to sustainability issues and collect plants wherever they can find them for the money they bring; unfortunately too often in an very unsustainable manner. Locals then sell them to intermediaries in small towns who travel the river and who transport them to larger companies in cities like Lima, Peru and Manaus or Sao Paulo, Brazil. By the time a load of plants arrives into an export city, various harvesting and transportation methods have been employed as well as various cleaning and sanitation methods due to the length of time it takes for the plant to come from the jungle and into the city. These larger big city brokers buy the plants and don't know or care that locals and intermediaries may have used cheap chemicals like chlorine bleach, gasoline, kerosine and others to clean the mold and fungi from the plants for a better presentation and price.

South American city manufacturers and exporters who buy these plants then normally use fumigation with various toxic chemicals or irradiate the plants in order to pass microbial tests required for fungi and bacteria prior to exporting them to a U.S. manufacturer or U.S. based plant brokers who supplies manufacturers. By the time a South American plant is finally put into a U.S. manufactured product, it has probably changed hands about 4-6 times and no one is asking questions like how and where it was harvested, how was it sanitized or cleaned or how do you verify it is even the correct species of plant or what it might be adulterated with. Sadly, too many US manufacturers only demand a Certificate of Analysis (which can be prepared by anyone) for their own liability and the cheapest price. And as with most industries, the cheapest price usually means the cheapest quality.

Raintree is vastly different than other bulk suppliers who source their botanicals through various companies and brokers since we set up and control our own plant harvesting programs in the Amazon and South America. Raintree sets up wild-harvesting programs with local river communities and co-ops, with Indigenous Indian tribes and with NGO and governmental land management organizations. We first start with a land management plan to determine the sustainable yield the forest land can provide of which specific and species-identified plants. We then train the local harvesters on the best methods for harvesting, processing and storing of plants prior to pick up and pay them a fair wage for harvesting which is tied into our final sales prices. With some plants, locals are growing seedlings and replanting back into the jungle as they are harvesting these plants to ensure sustainability and to increase sustainable yields.

Raintree's botanicals are harvested to order as needed to ensure freshness and potency, then transported quickly into the export cities (Lima, Peru and Sao Paulo, Brazil). The plants are then cleaned and sanitized in ozonated water and Citricidal (a natural grapefruit seed extract with antimicrobial properties), then dried in low heat driers. Finally, the plants are ground into powders, tested and certified with independent microbiological testing, and then triple sacked into 25 kilo bags to be exported to the U.S. All of our imports to the US are by air-freight rather than by sea to further ensure the quality and freshness of our botanicals. Sometimes it can be as little as 30 days or less between the time that the plant was actually growing in the jungle and when we ship it to you.

This entire process allows us to control the quality of the plant from the time it is growing in the jungle until it arrives to the U.S. for sale to other manufacturers and consumers or processed into a Raintree product or proprietary formula. This process also keeps as much of the income and profits as possible in the country where the plant originated from, which is an important aspect in encouraging rainforest conservation locally.

The end result of these critically important methods and procedures is a complete line of high quality rainforest medicinal plants that professionals, manufacturers and consumers can be assured that:

  • They are the correct species of plant.
  • They are wild harvested sustainably (without pesticides or fertilizers).
  • They are processed without irradiation or harmful chemicals.
  • They are the freshest and most potent plants the rainforest has to offer.
  • They are part of the solution to rainforest destruction.

We know we aren't the cheapest, but we think we are the best if you demand a efficacious, ethical, sustainably harvested high quality product. Ask your current herbal supplier if they even know where or how their plants were harvested; then check out our bulk plant list below and see the pictures of our plants growing in their natural habitats in the Amazon rainforest. Then check out our Peruvian wild cultivation program of Jergon Sacha, on Raintree director, Leslie Taylor's home page or our harvesting program of Cat's Claw with Shipibo-Conibo Indians of Peru or our maca cultivation program in the Andes.

Does your current herb supplier compare?
Are you part of the solution or part of the problem?

Please don't purchase unsustainably harvested South America plants since it just perpetuates the problem. Ask questions. Ask your herb supplier to verify his harvesting methods and sustainablity. Demand only the best. Demand only sustainable products. There can and will be a "trickle-up" process and the market will react to the demand you create by insuring the quality of their products and verifying sustainablity. Be part of the solution!