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There are many places to buy dried herbs online, but which ones are the best? Although I am a big proponent of shopping locally whenever possible, sometimes the only way to find dried herbs is to look online. These companies are the ones I use the most. They offer a good balance of quality and selection. They are also knowledgeable about herbs, which is extremely important. Using a supplier that specializes in herbs helps avoid problems with mislabeled or incorrectly identified plants. It also helps guarantee that the herbs you receive are fresh and potent.
My favorite places to buy dried herbs online
I’ve never lived near an herb shop with a good selection of dried herbs. My garden provides a lot of the plants I use, but when I need something I can’t grow (or a quantity I don’t have room to grow) I turn to my favorite online suppliers. At this point, I have used many different companies! The ones I mention below have always sent high-quality dried herbs. In the rare chance of a mix-up with my order, each company also provided excellent customer service.
(Full disclosure: I purchase herbs and supplies regularly from all of the companies listed below. I am also an affiliate of Mountain Rose Herbs and earn a commission from any sales made using my Mountain Rose Herbs links.)
Mountain Rose Herbs
Top of my list is always Mountain Rose Herbs. Their selection and quality are unrivaled. They are definitely an example of premium products = premium prices, but I’ve never had a single problem with faded or dusty (read: stale, old) dried herbs from them. Their shipping prices were a drawback until recently, but they now have flat rate shipping tiers that make placing small orders more affordable than previously. I’ve also noticed sales newsletters from Mountain Rose Herbs in my email inbox lately.
Also, I’m an affiliate of Mountain Rose. This means I earn a commission from sales made using my links. The income I earn from commissions goes toward my goal of purchasing land for a community herb farm. You can track my progress here!
Elk Mountain Herbs
Every time I’ve ordered from Elk Mountain Herbs, I’ve been super impressed. They carry a good selection (although fewer, more seasonal offerings than other companies) and the quality is very high. Their level of customer service is also great. Shipping is reasonable, and I always like supporting a small herbal company whenever I can! Elk Mountain also carries a line of herbal extracts.
From time to time, I order dried herbs from Frontier Coop. Herbs from Frontier come in mylar bags. Not the most eco-friendly, but it does help protect the freshness of the herbs much better than the usual plastic bags used by other companies. Quantities offered are usually larger than other companies, so it helps if you have a friend to split the order. Their shipping is the most affordable. It’s free for orders over $39.
This company specializes in Ayurvedic herbs and has a good selection of hard-to-find botanicals. I also keep them in mind for spices and herbs common to Ayurveda, and even some herbs that are used in both Ayurveda and Western herbalism like licorice and hawthorn. Banyan Botanicals offers free shipping for orders over $60. The line of Ayurvedic formulas carried by Banyan Botanicals is also great.
I haven’t ordered from Starwest Botanicals in a few years, but used them occasionally in the past. They carry a good selection of organic options and offer free shipping on orders above $75. Like Mountain Rose Herbs, Starwest Botanicals has a full product line that includes essential oils, herbs, spices, and teas.
How to tell the quality of dried herbs
Once you’ve made a purchase and your order arrives, you’ll need to check your dried herbs for freshness! In my experience, herbs ordered online are almost always of higher quality than herbs from a local shop. This is because the temptation to display herbs on a shelf in clear jars is too much for most shops. It’s also true that the demand for dried herbs is not as high in a health food store, so they may sit on the shelf for a long time. (I used to manage a health food store, so I can speak from first-hand experience here).
As they age and are exposed to light, humidity, and oxygen, herbs degrade and lose their potency. Companies that specialize in herbs are more likely to store their herbs in a manner that preserves freshness for as long as possible. Curious about how to know fresh herbs from stale herbs? Here’s more info on how to tell the quality of dried herbs.