Welcome to The Herbal Consumer blog! This blog was created for consumers who are interested in herbs and who are looking for information and resources to help them navigate the herbal marketplace. When we are herbal consumers, we have a process that we go through as we choose what products or services we want. We do the research and collect information, we process the advertising, marketing and media messages, we decide what product attributes are important to us, we decide how much we want to spend, etc. To be able to fully engage as effective consumers, we need easily accessible and reliable information. This blog is my attempt to help provide that for you.
My own experience and frustrations with trying to navigate the herbal marketplace is what pushed me to create this blog. I want to share with you what I’m finding so that we can all become empowered herbal consumers.
When I refer to navigating the herbal marketplace, I’m talking about understanding the ins and outs of the different components that in one way or another make up and influence this marketplace. Here are a few of its components as I see it:
- Individuals and businesses who grow, collect and/or process the herbs for sale and/or who grow the plants for sale,
- Governmental agencies and elected representatives that regulate and influence the regulation of the production and commerce of herbs and herbal products,
- Companies that manufacture and distribute raw herb materials and that create, manufacture and advertise the herbal products,
- Businesses and stores that sell herbs, products made from herbs, products that include herbs and/or services using herbs,
- Health care practitioners who use herbs as a part of their practice,
- Agencies, educational institutions, scientists, enthobotanists, etc. that research, record and provide information about herbs,
- Media outlets that write articles, produce segments, programs, etc. about herbs and herbal products and the issues and information surrounding them,
- Authors who write books about herbs, and, last but not least,
- YOU, the consumer, who influences the marketplace by what you want, what you buy, how you make your choices, how much you understand about how the marketplace works and how you use your political influence as a citizen and voter.
There’s a lot going on here and it can seem overwhelming. But like most things, if you take it piece by piece, you build the knowledge and experience that helps you take advantage of what this marketplace has to offer.
One thing before we go any further. I want to point out that I am not an herbalist, doctor or other healthcare professional, nor am I a botanist, biologist, research scientist, etc. I do have a degree in Consumer Studies from Syracuse University. That makes me a herbal consumer who has a Consumer Studies degree and a penchant for consumer rights and advocacy.
One more thing – I encourage you to do your own research. Don’t stop here – keep going, keep your eyes and ears open, and dig in.
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