26 – The Shakers and Medicinal Herbs

First U.S. industry in medicinal herbs was carried on by the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, commonly known as the Shakers. Begun about 1820, and commercially important by 1830, the medicinal herb industry grew, hit its peak in the 1860’s, then waned at the close of the century. The Shakers gathered or cultivated some 200 varieties; dried, chopped, and pressed them into “bricks”; wrapped, labeled, and sold them to pharmacists and physicians world-wide. Tons of solid and fluid extracts also were produced. The Shaker label was recognized for reliability and quality for more than a century.

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