Our Quality Grades

organic grade


Organic herbs are grown without chemical pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Spring Wind is certified by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) and all their organic products are compliant with the USDA NOP (National Organic Program). Their organic herbs also go through an independent pesticide screening. We whole-heartedly support organic farming not only for the purity of the herbs but for the benefit it provides for the people doing the farming and for the environment in general. We feel the holistic approach to healing that characterizes Chinese medicine begins with an attitude that treats the earth with respect and the realization that the health of the environment and the health of the body are not separate.

premium grade


Spring Wind Premium Grade herbs are high quality herbs that meet the following requirements:

  • No detected pesticides. (They test for at least 135 pesticides and in many cases over 250 pesticides). They only accept a reading of ND (none-detected) they don’t feel they should be in the postion of determining a safe level of pesticide contamination.
  • Each lot is tested and tracked. Testing is done by an independent laboratory in either the US or Germany.
  • Sulfur dioxide – they test each lot for SO2 via vapor sampling and accept only readings of 1.0 ppm or less. The choice of this level of testing is to allow naturally occurring SO2 (a natural result of decaying plant matter) yet rule out added sulfur gassing. Some of their suppliers do titration testing for sulfites. They also accept a non-detection result from this test for their Premium Grade herbs.
  • If they have any reason to suspect contamination by other substances, they test for them as well.


No detected pesticides. (Spring Wind tests for at least 135 pesticides and in most cases over 250 pesticides). Each lot is tested and tracked. Testing is done by an independent laboratory. For herbs that they discover frequently contain pesticides not included on their extensive screen, they add the suspected pesticide to the general screen. Herbs in this category did not meet their sulfur test limit however, they generally reject herbs that smell of sulfur as not meeting their quality standards.

Wild Crafted

Occasionally, we carry herbs grown and harvested in the wild.

Low Level of Pesticide Residues

These products fall within the Tested category, but have shown a low level of pesticide residue.

Conventional (aka Standard)

Conventional herbs are not tested for pesticides or herbicides. The varieties of herbs that we carry in this lower quality grade are those that are difficult to obtain in higher qualities, or herbs that are less commonly used. It is impractical to put uncommon herbs into one of Spring Wind’s testing programs. For example, testing an herb of which they sell only five pounds a year would require them to increase the price of each pound by at least fifty dollars.

Note on CITES

Herbs marked with the word “Cites” are rare products that have been acquired with the proper permit. More here about how Spring Wind Herbs (our main supplier) obtains these permits in the USA.