Amos and Linda Stoltzfus founded Natural Hope Herbals in 2010, with the goal of combining rich herbal traditions of the past with current scientific knowledge to create quality herbal products. Today their son, Ben Stoltzfus, runs the operation, which includes an organic herb farm in Klingerstown, PA and a processing facility in Millersburg, PA. Read on for an informative Q&A with Ben to learn more.
Tell us how Natural Hope Herbals came to be.
Natural Hope Herbals was founded in 2010, from the need to provide herbal products to the Amish and Mennonite communities. Through some health issues in our family we met Rachel Weaver a mother of ten, herbalist, and midwife who provided the inspiration Amos & Linda Stoltzfus needed to start an herbal company. Since 2011 we have had the privilege to have Herbalist Rosanna King’s expertise in formulating and advising. The name “Natural Hope Herbals” stems from the “Hope” that herbs can bring if we choose the natural path to wellness.
Where are the herbs processed?
All the herbs are processed, mixed and bottled in our FDA-inspected CGMP facility in Millersburg. The facility is located on an 80 acre certified organic family farm.
Tell us how the herbs are processed.
We use the traditional folk method of maceration, where the herbs steep in the extraction liquid for two to six weeks. No big sophisticated equipment – rather, old fashioned time-sensitive extraction methods, coupled with hardworking hands, and a labor of love are our keys to high quality herbal products.
What types of herbal products do you make?
We make herbal extracts, salves, oils and teas. All made using clean, simple ingredients. If not certified organic, our ingredients are pesticide free and grown in a natural way.
Who works on the farm?
David Oberholtzer and Rick Hess manage the herb farm along with three employees. At the facility we have six to eight workers daily.
From where do you source your herbs?
For herbs we do not grow, we partner with some of the best growers and wildcrafters in the USA. Wildcrafters include Pharmacopia Herbals, Friends of the Trees and MoonBranch Botanicals. Local Pennsylvania growers include Lancaster Farmacy and Barefoot Botanicals. Pacific Botanicals and Oshala Farm are West Coast growers, and Vermont Herb Growers Co-op is another supplier from the East. Getting the highest quality herbs is extremely important and that is only possible by partnering with the best growers and wildcrafters in the industry.
How are you involved with United Plant Savers?
We are members of United Plant Savers (UPS) and support their mission of sustaining wild herb populations that are threatened and at-risk.
What are “At-Risk” herbs?
Currently UPS has about twenty herbs on the “At-Risk” list and about the same amount on the “To-Watch” list. These are herbs that are declining in numbers due to reasons such as over harvesting and unsustainable harvest practices, and also the expanding popularity and shrinking habitat and range of theses herbs.
What do you wish people knew about herbalism?
Herbalism is really getting back to the roots of medicine. Before big pharma came along herbalism was first nature but now it’s been given the back seat. People can do so much for themselves if they just know. Herbalism is not complicated, it just comes down to knowing about herbs and simple remedies. Herbs are not only great medicine but also great food. So many edible herbs are nutrient dense, with more value than the veggies from our gardens.
Look for these quality products and more at your local Kimberton Whole Foods! Natural Hope Herbals’ “Tasty” line is perfect for introducing young children to the benefits of herbs: try Tasty Attention, Tasty Calm, Tasty Elderberry Immune, Tasty Sweet Dreams, and Tasty Wild Cherry Compound. For the upcoming cold and flu season, stock up on Elderberry Honey Syrup, Immune Stim, Mushroom Immune, Throat & Tonsil, and Respiratory Aid. As always, ask a team member if you need assistance finding a product that is right for you!
Top two photos courtesy of Natural Hope Herbals.