Herbal Extracts and Natural Remedies: How Not to be Fooled by Snake Oil

I’ve been a proponent of natural and herbal remedies for as long as I can remember. You could say that it’s my main passion in life. I’ve used countless herbs, natural remedies, tinctures, and supplements with great success.

Not everyone in my family however, has always agreed with my thinking. Take my dad, for instance. A health advocate in his own right, he’s an avid cyclist, takes a daily multi-vitamin, and even uses fish oil. But he’s always been a bit of a skeptic when it’s comes to natural remedies and alternative therapies. Many times, he warned me about the products I was using, asking how I could be sure that they weren’t just snake oil?

I’ve always wondered why my dad and so many others seemed so quick to label natural remedies as snake oil, without even truly knowing what was in the product and how it might help. And what is snake oil, anyway?

Chinese Water Snake
Chinese Water Snake

To make a long story short, many years ago, a group of enterprising American businessmen thought they could capitalize on a Chinese formula that eased the symptoms of arthritis and bursitis. This original snake oil actually contained the oil of the Chinese water snake, which is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation. These men replaced the Chinese remedy with oils from American snakes, which weren’t rich in omega-3s, and consequently didn’t work like the Chinese formula. To make matters worse, some American salesmen began making and selling products labeled “snake oil” that didn’t contain any snake oil at all. Needless to say, this practice raised concerns and people became skeptical of natural remedies; hence, the term “snake oil” was born.

These days, there are thousands of natural remedies on the market. And while many of them are legitimate, high-quality products with verified ingredients, there is always the chance that some may be nothing more than snake oil.

At The Vermont Country Store, we have a long history of providing our customers with high-quality products that do what we say they’ll do, and our natural remedies and health solutions are no exception. Before we put any remedy on our shelves we carefully evaluate it to ensure it is made of the highest quality ingredients available and is formulated with the exact ingredients listed on the label. To evaluate the effectiveness of any supplement, we look at two key factors: 1) the quality and purity of the ingredients and 2) the formulation. Once a product meets these criteria, we feel confident in offering it to our customers.

Oil of Oregano
Oil of Oregano

One of my personal favorites is our Oil of Oregano. Literally a medicine chest in a bottle, it’s known as “one of nature’s strongest antibiotics” and is my personal go-to for staving off nasty colds and infections. We searched long and hard to find this blend, which comes from Wild Mediterranean Oregano and is certified organic. It’s steamed distilled to help preserve the high percentage of active compounds and is blended with pure organic olive oil.

Strength of the Hills Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic
Strength of the Hills Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic

Another favorite of mine is our very own Strength of the Hills. We reformulated this daily tonic to ensure it contains only the highest quality ingredients available. We make it in small batches for quality control and use only unpasteurized cider vinegar from local Vermont apples for the base. We then add prized herbs, such as genuine American Ginseng and fresh ginger root, which are steeped whole, never powdered. We package it in amber glass bottles to preserve freshness and potency. I like to start my day with a shot taken straight out of the bottle; it’s a quick pick me up, helps clear my head and readies me for the day.

Super Black Cherry Juice
Super Black Cherry Juice

Of course I couldn’t leave out our amazing Super Black Cherry Juice. Studies show that cherries lower levels of uric acid in the blood, the most common cause of gout pain. But we didn’t stop there; we supercharged this formula with acai, noni, and pomegranate, which help to boost the effectiveness of cherry juice. It’s preservative-free and comes in liquid form, which increases absorption so you know your getting your money’s worth. And we have thousands of customer testimonials reporting positive results from taking this super (and great-tasting) tonic, so we know it works!

To me, it’s this attention to detail that separates an effective remedy from something that is nothing more than snake oil. We’re proud to offer you high-quality supplements and remedies that do what they say they do, and always contain what they say they contain! We stand behind this commitment, offering our 100% money-back guarantee on every product we sell. If at any point you are not fully satisfied, just return it to us for a full refund. It’s that simple.

And so I welcome you to try our natural health remedies and supplements, resting assured that you’ll never find any snake oil here – that is, unless we decide to revive the original Chinese formula.

Gardner Orton, Proprietor and Certified Holistic Health Counselor
Gardner Orton, Proprietor and Certified Holistic Health Counselor

By Gardner Orton, Certified Holistic Health Counselor and a Proprietor of The Vermont Country Store

 

 

 

 

 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using any of the products in this article.