Yerba Prima History

Yerba Prima has pioneered significant advances in health enhancing products, including natural dietary fiber, internal cleansing and standardized herbs.  Here’s how it all got started.

bldg3In the late 1970’s, an increasing number of health conscious individuals in and around Oakland, California, were learning about the benefits of internal cleansing.  Herbalist Robert Gray, author of the best selling Colon Health Handbook, was teaching classes about the use of herbs and dietary fiber for cleansing.  People who followed his advice were excited about how much healthier they felt.  As more people heard about the benefits of internal cleansing, it was clear that there was a need for a ready to use, high quality formulation of herbs and fiber.

The roots of Yerba Prima go back to August 1980, when an herbalist first prepared the original Kalenite® Cleansing Herbs formula in her home and sold it to health seekers in the Oakland area.  As sales grew by education and word of mouth, an informal partnership of educators and herbalists developed a small line of five products, including Kalenite and Psyllium Husks Powder, which are still sold by Yerba Prima today.  This was the first whole body Internal Cleansing Program to be developed in the U.S. natural products market.

Between 1983 and 1994, the Company introduced nine new dietary fiber and internal cleansing products.  These products were based on published medical research, clinical experience and traditional herbal wisdom.  Among these were the first complete fiber formulas to offer all five fiber types and a balance of soluble and insoluble fiber.

Internal cleansing was only the first of many Yerba Prima advances in health enhancing products.  Yerba Prima’s President and Quality Assurance Director traveled to Europe in 1985 to meet with producers of Echinacea and other pharmaceutical quality herbs.   After this trip, Yerba Prima was the first company to introduce a Commission E standard Echinacea product (called Echinace®) to America.  With Echinace®, Americans for the first time had access to an Echinacea product that was backed by years of published clinical research.

Yerba Prima’s contacts with leading European herbal medicine companies soon led to additional breakthroughs.  In 1988, Yerba Prima became the first company to introduce a line of pharmaceutical quality standardized herb products in the United States.  Among these products was the first Milk Thistle Seed (Silymarin) extract in the U.S. natural foods market to be standardized for consistent activity and formulated to published clinical research.

Yerba Prima standardized herbs were then upgraded further to offer the first herb line with “Just Once Daily” convenience and the assimilation boosting benefits of patented Bioperine® extract.  Our Extra Strength formulations of Ginkgo, Milk Thistle, Bilberry and Echinacea include these new benefits.

Supporting the internal cleansing process, the powerful body detoxifier Great Plains® Bentonite was introduced.  This Yerba Prima product is made with the purest pharmaceutical quality bentonite that is chosen specifically for maximum activity and benefits in the body.

Yerba Prima was then the first company to introduce the powerful odor cleansing benefits of a patented mushroom extract to America, in the product Odor Cleanse®.  Odor Cleanse actually neutralizes odor-causing substances in the body, to help reduce breath odor, body odor and fecal odor.

In 1991, Yerba Prima moved from Northern California to beautiful Ashland, Oregon.  Ashland is located in the Rogue River Valley of Southern Oregon, known for its fruit, its salmon-filled mountain lakes and rivers, and its rugged natural setting.  Ashland, Oregon is also the home of Southern Oregon University and the renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival.  With our emphasis on natural products and healthy living, Yerba Prima is a natural fit with this beautiful setting and vibrant community.  Yerba Prima is only minutes away from major trucking routes and an airport, allowing us to easily ship our products nationwide and worldwide.

Yerba Prima products are now distributed throughout the United States and internationally.  Within the United States, the Company’s products are sold primarily in natural food stores nationwide.  You can find a store near you with the Store Locator on our web site.