who we are
Eclectic Institute is a naturopathic physician-founded, family-owned company located in rural Oregon. Our company is still owned by the original founder who values health above profits, and produces the highest quality supplements around. Having a pharmacist and physician as founder means our products are highly effective without compromising on quality.
Our roots are in the National College of Naturopathic Medicine (now the National University of Natural Medicine) where we started from the clinic dispensary in 1982. We grew with the profession and are now found in many natural health centers nationwide.
In order to have the best products, we do everything ourselves from growing, harvesting, freeze-drying, and packaging to shipping. On our beautiful certified organic farm, we grow many rare species of herbs and use Indian runner ducks and guinea hens to keep our crops pest-free. Our production facility is located on the historic McKinnon airpark inside a custom-fitted aircraft hanger and boasts two laboratories and extraction and bottling facilities.
Freeze-drying is the gentlest of all drying methods. It is ideally suited to the drying of herbs and other fragile medicinal plants when the preservation of intact organic compounds is paramount. Freeze-drying takes advantage of the physical property of sublimation in which a solid (ice) transitions directly to a gas, bypassing the liquid phase. The absence of liquid water during drying is critical to the preservation of plant material because almost all chemical and biological / enzymatic decomposition reactions can only occur in solution. No water = No decomposition.
At Eclectic we believe in minimal processing. We believe that a medicinal plant growing in its native environment usually can’t be improved upon, and our extensive line of fresh freeze-dried herbs is the next best thing to eating a whole fresh plant. By gently removing only the water, freeze-drying preserves plants with very little degradation of the nutritional and medicinal components. We also provide an extensive line of alcohol and glycerin extracts because there are instances where extracts are more appropriate than whole plants. Some plant components are simply better assimilated or more convenient to use as extracts.
There is intrinsic value in consuming whole fresh plants. Plants contain a bevy of nutritional and medicinal components, some of which can be lost through drying, extracting and other processing. There are literally hundreds of natural products present in any given plant – fibers, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, chlorophylls, and a nearly endless array of specialized phytochemicals. These mixtures are highly complex and often poorly understood. Words like synergy and “the wisdom of nature” are often quoted in discussions about the use of whole fresh plants, and whether we fully understand the mechanisms or not, modern research shows that diets high in whole plants can lead to positive health outcomes. Our job as a supplement manufacturer is to not ruin these complex mixtures.
Eclectic Institute is a 100% cGMP compliant manufacturing facility. The Dietary Supplement cGMPs (current Good Manufacturing Practices) describe a quality system codified in 21CFR part 111 and administered by the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration). Enforced since 2007 the code encompasses many aspects and multiple requirements, but at its core is the requirement that all dietary supplements be evaluated for identity, purity, quality, strength, and composition. Physical facility requirements include cleanliness, pest control, personal protective equipment (PPE), personnel flow, restricted areas, etc. Documentation of all manufacturing processes is another major component of GMP compliance. We maintain extensive documentation of all aspects of our processes including SOPs, batch records, training records and C of As. Analytics is another aspect of our quality systems. We have in-house microbiology and chemistry laboratories which are responsible for testing both incoming materials and finished products.