Ingredients & Safety
My first priority is the quality and safety of my ingredients. I use certified organic, wild-crafted and/or sustainably harvested products. Quality sourcing of ingredients is one of the reasons I started making my own products. All batches are tracked by lot number so the original source for ingredients in any bottle of product can be instantly traced. Lot numbers on Angelica & Peony Products also indicate the month and year they were made, so you can easily see how fresh any given bottle is.
I source Chinese herbs exclusively from Mayway and Spring Wind. I'm fortunate to live in the Bay Area where both these importers are located, and the herbs are 'fresh off the boat." Both companies do extensive and documented testing for pesticide, heavy metal and other contaminating residues. Eventually I'd like to use locally grown herbs from the Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm in Petaluma, but unfortunately that's not yet feasible.
Western herbs, carrier oils, vitamin e and glycerin, and essential oils are mostly sourced from Mountain Rose Herbs in Oregon. They are known for their high product quality, and I settled on them in early days as the quality of their products, especially carrier oils, was so high. Their essential oils are also of consistent, reliable quality.
I occasionally source organic Western herbs from StarWest Botanicals, another Northern California company. Just recently I have begun getting my organic jojoba oil from a farm-direct supplier, Oro de Sonora, and have been very pleased. Their lot numbers indicate which field the seeds came from!
I also monitor dilution levels for the essential oils in my blends to keep them at 2% or lower, considered safest for skin care use. In all my supporting materials, I stress the need for allergy awareness, especially for practitioners. As someone with a tree nut allergy, I have unfortunately had allergic reactions due to practitioner application of herbs or massage oil that contained my allergens. Always ask about allergies - even for topical applications!
I use glass bottles and jars, never plastic - inert, recyclable, and they look nice! There is some concern that essential oils could precipitate leaching of plastics into product, and I avoid this concern by using glass dropper bottles in place of plastic pumps or applicators.