North American Herb & Spice Turns 15

Buffalo Grove, IL—Wild oregano expert North American Herb & Spice, based here, is turning 15. Founded in 1999 by Judy Kay Gray, M.S., the company now offers over 200 unique product formulations sourced from fruits, herbs and spices from around the world.

The company’s flagship products come from wild, handpicked spices, such as the oregano it uses in its Oreganol P73. The phenolic compounds are removed from these whole, raw spices through steam distillation, and then emulsified in extra-virgin olive oil at ratios suited for “power and palatability,” says the company. This proprietary process, invented by Gray, allowed for the growth of the spice extract market in the United States after adulteration issues held it back. The resulting products are free of pesticides, chemicals and solvents, and adhere to the company’s idea that nourishment from raw whole foods is the key to maintaining optimal health.

The company also emphasizes its environmental values by supporting conservation efforts and spreading awareness about the “power of raw foods, and the power that uncooked vitamins, minerals, nutrients and enzymes possess.” One of North American Herb & Spice’s latest efforts is a product line sourced from the Amazon rainforest, including items that are staples of the Peruvian diet.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, July 2013