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Frequently Asked Questions

Allergen and Ingredient Information

Gaia Herbs products do not contain gluten, dairy, meat, peanuts, sesame, shellfish, yeast or eggs.

Gaia Herbs processes fresh Black Walnuts in our facility. They are found in the Black Walnut Fresh Green Hulls Liquid Herbal Extract and Wormwood Black Walnut Supreme Liquid Herbal Extract. All equipment is cleaned between manufacturing lots per GMP requirements.

Products made by Aboca for Gaia Herbs do not contain any tree nuts. Tree nuts are not used in Aboca’s facility.

Most of our products are vegan; all Gaia products are vegetarian. The following Gaia Herbs products are not vegan because they contain honey or other bee-derived ingredients:

  • Bronchial Wellness Herbal Syrup
  • Echinacea Goldenseal
  • Propolis Throat Spray
  • Echinacea Goldenseal Supreme
  • GaiaKids Black Elderberry Syrup
  • GaiaKids Bronchial Wellness for Kids
  • GaiaKids® KidsDefense Herbal Drops
  • Hawthorn Solid Extract
  • PlantForce™ Liquid Iron
  • Propolis Extract
  • Throat Shield™ Lozenges
  • Vitex Elixir for Women

The L-Tyrosine in Thyroid Support is derived from non-GMO corn. The citric acid in PlantForce Liquid Iron is derived from corn (glucose). There are trace amounts of corn in Eleuthero root, Mental Alertness, Energy Vitality, Gingko Gotu Kola, Elderberry capsules, Immune Shine, Turmeric Boost Restore, Turmeric Boost Uplift and Throat Shield Lozenges and Spray and Sleep and Relax Tea. No other products contain corn-derived ingredients. As of May 2019 Vitamin C, listed on the label, (derived from corn), was removed from Vision Enhancement and is no longer listed on the label. The xanthan gum that is used in our products is produced by bacterial fermentation.

As of May 2015, we use 190-proof non-GMO sugar cane alcohol for all products extracted at our facility in Brevard, North Carolina. Those new labels list “alcohol USP” or “organic alcohol USP.”

For products made before then, we used 190-proof alcohol derived from corn and wheat. The alcohol used for extraction is distilled and certified gluten-free by the manufacturer. The distillation process eliminates proteins (gluten is a protein).

As of 2016, Gaia Herbs products are soy-free. In 2015, Gaia transitioned to non-GMO sunflower lecithin. This exclusively replaced our previous lecithin, sourced from non-GMO soy (labeled as non-GMO soy lecithin). The new labels read “lecithin” to allow flexibility to use a different type of non-soy/non-GMO lecithin in the future.

Gaia Herbs does not use any gluten containing ingredients in our products. Our products are tested annually for gluten by a third-party lab using the ELISA test method for gluten, with a detection limit of 5 ppm. All of our products have tested below the federal limit of 20ppm gluten for a ‘gluten free’ claim, with the exception of Milk Thistle Seed liquid alcohol extract (not the Milk Thistle capsules) and Gas & Bloating tablets.

We use oat seed (Avena sativa) picked during the milky stage of growth (called Oats Milky Seed) in a few of our products. Our oats are processed within 48 hours of harvest and are not cross contaminated with any gluten containing grains and have tested gluten free. Oats are a gluten free grain unless cross contaminated with other grains that contain gluten, however, some very sensitive people avoid even gluten free oats.

Please contact info@gaiaherbs.com for further info about gluten testing in our products.

As of May 2015, we use 190-proof non-GMO sugar cane alcohol for all products extracted at our facility in Brevard, North Carolina. Those new labels list “alcohol USP” or “organic alcohol USP.”

For products made before then, we used 190-proof alcohol derived from corn and wheat. The alcohol used for extraction is distilled and certified gluten-free by the manufacturer. The distillation process eliminates proteins (gluten is a protein).

Gaia Herbs’ glycerin is derived from a blend of non GMO rape seed oil (also known as canola oil), non GMO sunflower oil, and sustainably certified non GMO palm oil. Glycerin is a distilled product and therefore does not contain any protein derived allergens.

Gaia Herbs hypromellose capsules are the same vegan and gluten-free Liquid Phyto-Caps® that we have always used. With recent labels we have changed the wording on the label to be more accurate with labelling requirements. Other companies are also following suit, and you will see this occurring on many more product labels in the upcoming year. Gaia’s cellulose capsules are made from HPMC (Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, also known as hypromellose), which is derived from cellulose from pine trees. Hypromellose is semi-synthetic, meaning that the ingredients are naturally derived, but there is a processing step in the lab to break down the cellulose and rebuild it. The capsules have passed third party testing for residual solvents according to USP guidelines. Some grades of HPMC do have polymer plasticizers mixed in, however Gaia Herbs has chosen a capsule which contains only the cellulose from pine trees mixed with water. There is no danger of phthalate consumption with Gaia Herbs capsules.

Purity, Integrity, and Potency

Yes. Gaia Herbs uses ICP-MS to test for arsenic, mercury, cadmium and lead. ICP-MS stands for Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry. This instrument is the centerpiece of Gaia’s heavy metals testing. This powerful technique is capable of observing a wide range of metal at quantities as low as a nanogram of metal in a gram sample. The ICP-MS allows Gaia to obtain precise and sensitive data for all materials in a high speed manner. The plasma vaporizes the sample and ultimately breaks it down to the atomic level. The mass spectrometer is then able to detect all atoms of interest.

Gaia tests for purity using an analytical method called Gas Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry, or GC-MSMS. This testing is used to check all raw herbs for pesticides.

Gaia Herbs conducts DNA testing of raw materials to ensure that adulteration is not possible. Our standard reference material is DNA tested by a third-party laboratory. Incoming samples are compared with these validated botanicals. We combine DNA-validated reference materials with highly sophisticated statistical analysis. That data over time can be used to monitor potency and integrity. When appropriate, herbal ingredients are received in a whole form for freshness and ease of identification.

Supercritical CO2 extraction is an environmentally friendly method of extracting oils from plants. It is usually reserved for herbs that contain higher amounts of oils, such as Oregano, Ginger, Holy Basil, Saw Palmetto and Turmeric. This extraction method involves putting the dried herb in a vessel (a bit like a pressure cooker) with carbon dioxide. Then a supercritical temperature of 31 degrees Celcius (or above) is applied, as well as a vacuum. Under these conditions, the CO2 turns into a solvent and extracts the naturally occurring oils from the plant material. After the extraction process is complete, the pressure and vacuum are brought back to normal, and the carbon dioxide evaporates back into the atmosphere.

Supercritical extraction avoids the use of chemical solvents such as acetone or hexane. Supercritical extracts are broad-spectrum oil extracts; in other words, they contain all the compounds in the herb that are oil-based, including but not limited to volatile oils. For example, this process is used to extract the Carvacrol, found in Oregano leaf.

Alcohol-based extracts have a 5-year expiration date and alcohol-free extracts and elixirs have a 3-year expiration date. Our Liquid  carry a 2–3-year expiration date. This is based on the date of manufacture. They do not need to be refrigerated, but they do need to be kept out of direct sunlight.  Liquid Iron, Sleep & Relax Herbal Syrup, our Black Elderberry syrups need to be refrigerated to stay viable, and all syrups must be used in the specified amount of time.

We use a size 0 capsule for all encapsulated products.

You can reduce the amount of alcohol by adding the Liquid Herbal Extract to 3 ounces boiling water. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before consuming. This will allow about 60% of the alcohol to evaporate.

If you are sensitive to alcohol, consider taking our Liquid Phyto-Caps or alcohol-free liquid extracts.

Product-Specific Questions

California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, more commonly known as Cal Prop 65, is a law that applies only to the State of California. According to California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, Cal Prop 65 “was intended to protect California citizens and the state’s drinking water sources from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and to inform citizens about exposures to such chemicals.”

Under this law, companies are required to place a warning label on any product sold within California if it exceeds the perceived safety levels the state has set for various elements. California’s OEHHA website reiterates that a “Proposition 65 warning does not necessarily mean a product is in violation of any product-safety standards or requirements.”

No chemicals are ever used to make Gaia Herbs products, and no chemicals are found within our raw materials. However, the State of California defines lead, which is a mineral that can naturally occur in certain soils, as a chemical.

Gaia Herbs evaluates all of the ingredients in our products for both safety and efficacy. This includes, among other things, testing for various elements that fall under the Cal Prop 65 law. California, through Cal Prop 65, has indicated the safe level for lead is 0.5 mcg/day; by comparison, the USP (United States Pharmacopeia) limit for safe daily consumption is not more than 5 mcg/day. A cup of organic carrots may contain up to 12 mcg of naturally occurring lead, for example. The amount of lead found in any Gaia product with a Cal Prop 65 label falls within the USP guidelines for daily lead intake.

Heavy metals like lead can naturally be found directly in certain soils and then transferred into plants, even when the herbs are grown in a Certified Organic environment.

Due to the higher concentration of herbs in our products, the constituents of Milk Thistle will not stay in suspension in a pure glycerin solvent. It will precipitate out and give uneven amounts of the herb. We allow a small amount of alcohol (less than 8%) in this extract to keep the extractives in an even suspension, allowing for a consistent serving.

For more support while doing this whole body herbal detox program, please visit our Cleanse Support Center.

Can I take vitamins and other supplements while cleansing?
Although it is best to discontinue the use of supplements while cleansing, there would be no harm in continuing to use supplements while doing these cleansing programs.

Should I fast while cleansing?
It is not recommended to fast. Eat simple, wholesome foods —fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains and plenty of warm water.

Does the Daily Cleanse Fiber in the Supreme Cleanse kit act as a laxative?
No. This is not a laxative formula. Its primary function is to improve the digestive and eliminative processes of the body.

Can I use my prescription medications, such as birth control and high blood pressure medications, in conjunction with the cleanse program?
This would be best to discuss with your physician. Although the cleanse programs are very safe and gentle, in order to anticipate any possible side effect or interaction, it would be in your best interest to discuss with your doctor.

Can I do a cleanse program during an immune challenge?
No. Immune challenges are not a good time to cleanse, since the body needs to focus on providing support for that.

Can I use the program for longer than 2 weeks?
You may continue the Supreme Cleanse Kit program for up to 4 weeks. It can be used at the beginning of each season.

How does the Supreme Cleanse Kit work? Which areas does it cleanse?
The Supreme Cleanse Kit works by supporting the natural elimination and detoxification mechanisms of the body. The herbs support digestion and optimize the healthy functioning of the liver, which filters and cleanses the blood. It also supports the lymphatic system — which transports toxins away from the blood — the intestines and the kidneys. This is not a laxative kit.

Can I take the Daily Cleanse Fiber in something other than water?
You can add lemon or lime juice, plus stevia, if desired to your water. You can also take the powder in a small amount of water and then drink water with lime or lemon juice or herbal tea.

Can the cleanses be used during pregnancy and lactation?
No. Pregnancy and lactation are not the time to cleanse; it is a time to nourish the body.

What kinds of foods can I eat while cleansing, and can I eat meat?
Each person will have their own dietary needs to take into consideration. But as a rule, eat wholesome, fresh, unprocessed whole grains, fruits and vegetables, organic if possible. The healthier you eat, the deeper the cleanse will work. The less processed the food is, the better. Meat can be eaten, preferably at lunchtime. It is best to avoid red meat and eat fish, organic chicken or turkey. Drink warm water throughout the day to facilitate the cleanse.

Can I use the Supreme Cleanse Kit during my menses?
It is much better to cleanse at a different time, rather than during the menses.