Friday, October 20, 2017

Sustainable Spikenard

I have been reading a lot recently about the lack of sustainable Spikenard.  We know Nardostachys
Spikenard Roots
is on the CITES list of endangered plants, and we are concerned about our sourcing.

I have had long discussions with our Nepalese supplier about the issue of sustainability.

Our Spikenard comes from an area high in the Himalayas. The producer is setting up 2 distillation units in very remote parts of Nepal. This area was badly hit by the earthquake of 2015. This six minute video shows the terrain, the villages and villagers.

After watching the video, I asked, "Based on the video,  the village that you are working with is just now starting to harvest the abundance that surrounds them.  But how can you or do you prevent over harvesting? This is a question that I often see debated, and I would like to be able to give those who ask your answer to it."

And the answer came.  It makes sense to me, and I hope will for our clients and friends, as well.
Dear Marge,
Thank you so much for your compliments on the youtube video.
I totally understand your concerns regarding the sustainability of Spikenard. It is true that the material has been over harvested and most of the time it is being smuggled to India.
But in our case it is very different. Below are the basic 5 points why we are different.
1.       We do not buy raw material with vendors, we involve communities. We work with the communities and they are aware of the disasters of over harvesting. They protect their asset without letting other enter their territory.
2.      We only distill about 100 KG oil which is only 25% of our allotted amount from the government.
3.      We use most advance distillation equipment that utilizes only 15% of firewood compared to other distillation and has 20% more yield on the oil recovery.
4.      We conduct trainings and workshops on good harvesting practices and sustainability of herbs in the community.
5.       We have invested so much on the equipment as they were imported and airlifted to the site, therefore we plan to work on the facility for more than 20 years. Without herbs and its sustainability we will lose our business. We are concerned.

I loved the answers I was given, and hope you will, as well. And, for another video, taken three years earlier, just an overview of the beauties of Nepal, watch here.

Enjoy!   (Of course you may read more about, and purchase, our Spikenard Essential Oil on our website.

No comments: