What is the shelf life of our products?
Alpine Botanicals teas, skin & body care, and bath products are produced in a licensed commercial kitchen facility located within our shop at 92 East First Street in Nederland, Colorado. We produce all of our products in small batches to ensure freshness and potency.
- Body Care: Both our Sunshine & Alpine Butters are whipped face and body butters, produced without any water or water-based ingredients. Water and oil emulsions, such as with any lotion and some creams, generally have a shorter shelf life due to the risk of contamination by microbes or oxidation. We choose not to add water to any of our skincare products, and instead encourage our customers to apply our butters and infused body oils to damp skin or skin spritzed with our Luminous Skin Spritz, or another plant hydrosol. If stored out of light and away from heat and moisture, our butters can last up to a year once opened. Always apply with clean and dry hands (or a clean metal spoon or cotton swab) so as not to expose your butter to water, even a small amount.
- As noted on the label, body butters may soften or melt at above room temperature.
- Refrigeration (below 40° Fahrenheit) can also help to extend the shelf-life of herbal products as bacteria grow more slowly in cold environments (United States Department of Agriculture, n.d.).
- Teas: The dried organic and Biodynamic herbs that we work with to blend our teas are best consumed within a year of purchase. During that window of time, the herbs will have a stronger aromatic quality and effects. If herbs and blends are kept more than a year, one will usually notice a decrease in flavor and aroma. As with all herbal preparations, how and where you store your tea makes a huge difference in its shelf life. Store your tea bags, or jars, in a dark and cool location of your kitchen or home apothecary. Glass mason jars are ideal for storage, but paper bags also work well if kept inside of another impermeable container like a food-safe plastic bin. Keep all ingredients and blends away from moisture and humidity (yes, even the steam coming out of a freshly run dishwasher).
What does "biodynamically grown" mean?
Biodynamic agriculture is a topic and methodology we are extremely passionate about. Here’s a quote from one of our monthly newsletters that summarizes what Biodynamic agriculture means and how we grow our herbs.
>> Biodynamic agriculture goes beyond the more commonly known organic methods. In addition to promoting a no-till approach to keeping the soil microbiome intact, Biodynamics incorporates the phases of the moon, the position of the planets relative to the moon and Earth, and the use of specific herbal preparations combined with animal manures and specific animal parts such as the horns and organs of Biodynamic cows, to bring the highest level of fertility to the soil. Of course vital soil creates the conditions for vitality in plants, and we have witnessed this on a direct level.
Some folks actually refer to Biodynamics as “soil worship”, seeing as it lends a very powerful spiritual component to the practice of land management, and the cultivation of vegetables, fruits, flowers, herbs, and the raising of animals for meat and dairy. Articulated in the 1920s by Waldorf School founder Rudolph Steiner, Biodynamics has grown into a worldwide movement committed to not just sustaining the current organic model but actually regenerating, rebuilding, and rehabilitating land, much of which is disturbed or outright wounded. The spiritual component is key to this process and creates a palpable magic in the way that it fosters community at the same time that it fosters heath on the farm. You should see how giddy we all get at the garden in discussing these methods. It has truly brought a different level of vitality to the space and to the people that enter into it.
Our garden crew actively sprays all eight of the biodynamic preparations that Rudolph Steiner prescribes in his lectures. In addition to the biodynamic preparations, we brew up our own compost teas and build special compost piles and pits. We are continually incorporating medicinal plants, and perhaps less desired plant species or so-called “weeds” into potent sprays that help build resilience within the land, as well as helping to close the nutrient cycle and keep imported nutrients to a minimum. <<
What does "ethically sourced" or "ethically wildcrafted" mean?
When an herb or product ingredient is ethically sourced, it means that all considerations were taken in order to ensure that the herb was sourced in a way that is not harming the environment in any way, considering both short and long-term impacts. Ethical sourcing also ensures that all of the people involved in gathering or producing the product, ingredient, or herb are treated safely and fairly, fostering a sustainable and responsible relationship.
"Ethically wildcrafted" only applies to herbs or or natural plant-based materials which have been harvested in nature. When an herb is ethically wildcrafted, this means that all considerations have been taken to ensure the longevity of the plant stand where the herb was harvested from. This includes but is not limited to: harvesting no more than 1/3 of the plant stand at a time, harvesting the herbs from a variety of different plants throughout the plant stand (not just one concentrated area), scattering seeds around the plant stand after harvesting, ensuring there is no contamination or environmental pollutants affecting the area prior to harvesting, and researching the worldwide potential endangerment of an herb prior to harvesting.