FAQs

At Urban Moonshine, we aim to return the use of herbal medicine to daily life, to bring it “out of the cupboard and onto the counter” into every day life.

Safety

Are your products safe?

We strive to make products that are safe & effective. We steer clear of herbs that are widely contraindicated so that most folks can safely use our products. Be sure to stay within the recommended serving size. If you have any specific medical concerns, please consult with a holistic practitioner or your doctor before starting a new supplement regime! Also, please note our guidelines for pregnancy/lactation below and also note that most of our products contain alcohol. We are not licensed practitioners, and cannot recommend or prescribe any of our products for medical uses.

When does my product expire?

Our products are best kept in a cool, dark place.

Please refer to the expiration date printed either on the bottom of the bottle or the side panel of the label.

(Example)

*00246AW 5/22

*For Lot 00246AW 5/22, the lot # is 00246AW, and the Best if Used by date is recorded on the bottle for you, thus the expiration date is May 2022.

Our products are good for 3 years after bottling, depending on storage conditions (ideal storage is in a cool, dark place). If you have a bottle with a lot code in a different format than the above, the last 4 numerical digits of that code are the bottling date (e.g. lot 143CY0619 - the last 4 digits "0619" mean it was bottled in June, 2019, so the expiration date would be June 2023.

If you have any further questions please reach out to us directly at customerservice@urbanmoonshine.com and we can help determine the expiration date for you!

Can I use the digestive bitters while pregnant and/or breastfeeding?

Our chamomile bitters are suitable for occasional nausea and heartburn during pregnancy. Our original, citrus, maple, cider vinegar and healthy liver bitters are not recommended for pregnancy: the gentian and angelica in them are herbs that are traditionally contraindicated.

All flavors of our digestive bitters can be used with caution while nursing; please stay within the recommended dosage and consult your healthcare practitioner.

Can I use the herbal tonics while pregnant and/or breastfeeding?

Immune Tonic, Energy Tonic, Joy Tonic, Simmer Down Tonic and Chocolate Love Tonic are all not recommended for use during pregnancy. Pregnant women need to consult their healthcare provider about using Immune Zoom during pregnancy.

All of our herbal tonics can be used with caution during lactation; please stay within the recommended dosage and consult your healthcare practitioner.

Are Urban Moonshine products safe for children?

Yes! All of our products are safe for children over 2 years old, as long as the dose is sized-down according to their weight. The recommended serving sizes on the bottles are for 150lb. adults, so just divide by your child’s weight to find the correct ratio and then apply that same ratio to the serving size. For example, a 50lb. child would take ⅓ of the dose (about 10 drops of bitters, or ⅓ tsp. of Immune Zoom).

Should I take Urban Moonshine products if I am using other supplements or medication?

Please seek the advice of your holistic practitioner or healthcare provider for indications with other medications. We are not licensed practitioners and cannot recommend or prescribe for any medical conditions. If you need help finding an herbalist or naturopath in your area, check out this awesome resource: find an AHG registered practitioner.

Effectiveness

Do bitters really work as a digestive aid?

Yes! Bitters stimulate our body’s innate digestive response and optimize digestive function. They trigger the digestive system to produce the body’s endogenous digestive enzymes, secrete bile, and balance HCl levels in the stomach. To prime digestion use our bitters 10-15 minutes before you eat. For best results, take straight or spray in your mouth with our mouth spray–you need to taste the bitter flavor to get full effect. Bitters can also be used for acute needs like upset stomach, indigestion, or occasional heartburn–take them after a meal or whenever you need them

What is the difference between bitters and digestive enzymes?

Bitters stimulate your body’s own endogenous production of digestive enzymes. The bitter flavor signals your body to produce and release the enzymes you need to help digest and assimilate food. Namely, bitters stimulate the pancreas, gallbladder, and liver to release the gastric juices and enzymes that are so necessary for digestive well-being.

Our bitters are great because they don’t supply you with the enzymes from an outside source, rather, they challenge your body to do its job and produce its own enzymes–allowing your body to function the way it should. We are targeting the root of the problem and stimulating your own digestive system to work properly. Bitters have a multitude of other benefits. They not only help your body produce its OWN enzymes, they balanced acid levels in the stomach, cause the liver to secrete bile, and tone your digestive organs (such as the liver), and much more.

Digestive enzymes as a supplement just provide an outside source of enzymes to your body, while bitters cause your body to produce enzymes on its own. Think of it this way: when deciding how to get to your friend’s house a few blocks away, you can call a taxicab or take your bike. Enzyme pills are like the taxicab. Bitters are like riding your bike.

What are Tonics and how do they work?

Tonics are a class of herbs that tone the system over time. This means that, rather than addressing symptoms or diseases, tonic herbs support the best, most efficient function of the body or organ system. Tonics are an age-old category of herbs that are used to strengthen the body so it can withstand challenges with the greatest resilience possible.

Can I take Seasonal Wellness formulas for long periods of time?

Yes you can. While formulated for support when you need it most, all the products in our Seasonal Wellness category are safe to use for as long as you need them. In many cases, people choose to take just one dose, or a half-dose, when using these products for more than a week or so. Consult with your herbalist or healthcare provider for more specific advice.

Is there evidence backing the herbs you use in your products?

We pride ourselves on our herbal formulations, and use a strategy that blends the best of herbal traditions with the latest clinical research. Overall, the case for herbal medicine in the modern literature is very strong, especially when compared to vitamins, homeopathics, enzymes and other supplements. We choose medicinal plants and mushrooms with the strongest evidence base available when formulating. Read more on our information pages or the blog, or find an overview of some of the research below.

Directions for Use

What is the difference between the sizes of the products?

They are all the same formula, just in different sizes for your convenience. The 8oz large apothecary bottle is the longest-lasting and can be used to refill your smaller bottles. Our mouth spray bottle is recommended as a travel size to keep in your bag when you’re on the go.

What is the difference between the 5 flavors of digestive bitters?

Original and Citrus flavors all have the same basic ingredients with slightly different flavoring; the original is the most bitter, the citrus has some nice citrusy notes. The Calm Tummy Bitters are a little different: they are our only bitters formula that contains chamomile, and they are free of the stronger bitter roots (gentian and angelica), citrus, fennel, & essential oils, so that they can be enjoyed occasionally during pregnancy and by more folks with sensitivities. Cider Vinegar Bitters are made without alcohol and are a great-tasting and effective bitters blend for those who prefer to avoid alcohol. And Healthy Liver Bitters are a rich and herbaceous bitters blend specifically formulated to support liver health* - though some use them as their all-purpose bitters because they prefer the unique flavor profile.

Do I need to refrigerate my bottle?

Our products do not need to be refrigerated; please store them tightly capped in a cool, dark place.

How do I take your liquid products?

Most of our liquids can be mixed with water, sparkling water, tea, or other beverages. Immune tonic, with its rich earthy flavor, mixes well in grains and soup too. Though you can mix and dilute our bitters and still see most of the benefits, we do recommend taking bitters in just a little bit of water (an inch or so in the bottom of a glass) or undiluted in order to fully activate the tongue’s bitter taste receptors, for maximum effectiveness. Joy tonic, because of its high aromatic herb content, does best when it isn’t mixed with hot liquids (the heat quickly disperses the medicinal volatile compounds).

When spraying our liquids, depress the pump top fully while aiming the spray at the back of the tongue. Spray 4-10 times depending on the formula, take a second to experience the complexity of flavors, and swallow. When using the dropper, be advised that a “full” dropper, as described in our dosing directions, only appears about ¾ of the way full on smaller-sized bottles (13mL) and just a little over half full on bigger bottles (59mL). Unscrew the dropper top from the bottle, then squeeze the bulb 3-4 times to draw up a “full” amount (close to 30 drops, or 1mL of liquid). Use 1-5 of these droppers per dose, depending on product. For our syrup bottles that come with a measuring cap, use the indicator lines to measure your dose: 2.5mL, 5mL or 7.5mL as indicated by the product label.


In all cases, you can count on quick and complete absorption, and a direct sensory experience of the plants in our blends.

When should I take bitters?

Bitters are often taken ten to fifteen minutes before the biggest meal(s) of the day. This way, they can help support optimal digestive function before food enters the GI tract. However, more recent research indicates that this supportive effect occurs even if bitters are taken in the middle of a meal - the point is taking them regularly! For occasional heartburn, you can take a dose after your meal as well, though in this case regular use before meals can help too. Finally, we prefer to take about 1 dropper full (5-6 sprays, ¼ tsp or about 1mL) undiluted if possible to experience the full impact of the bitter and aromatic herbs we use; however, mixing your bitters with just a little water in a small glass works too if the flavor is too strong undiluted.

Can I mix your products? What about with water, juice, soup, tea, etc…?

All our products can be mixed together if desired, and taken at the same time (or on the same day). In some cases, they make excellent combinations together (bitters and Mushroom Immune for example) or as part of a comprehensive protocol (Joy Tonic and Simmer Down Tonic for example, to support all-around stress & adrenal health). You can also mix them with most liquids (from water to smoothies), though we recommend avoiding hot liquids for Joy Tonic (it can dissipate some of the aromatic constituents in this product), and sticking to just a small amount of water if you choose to dilute our bitters formulas.

Ingredients

Why is there alcohol in your products? Do you make any alcohol-free products?

We feel that alcohol is the best way to extract and preserve the chemical constituents of the herbs we love. We use organic, gluten-free cane alcohol. This is a traditional method of making tinctures, and it gives our products the best taste and longest shelf life possible. There is a very low amount of alcohol in each serving, when you consider the dose of the product and the percentage alcohol (1/4 tsp of the bitters at 30-35% alcohol is about 1/12 tsp alcohol – comparable to what’s found in an 8oz glass of orange juice at 0.3mL). Think of it like mouthwash or cough medicine–not an alcoholic beverage! Since December 2016 our Cider Vinegar Bitters have been available for those who would love to make bitters part of their routine and need or want to avoid any alcohol.

Is there gluten in your products?

No! Urban Moonshine Bitters and Tonics are made with 100% Certified Organic Cane Alcohol, which is naturally a gluten-free alternative to commonly used grain alcohol. We use it for its quality, taste, and extraction excellence! We’re delighted to use no Genetically Modified Organisms in our products–no GMOs!

Where do you source your herbs?

We obtain our herbs from a range of suppliers, focusing on growers in Vermont, the Northeast, and the Pacific Northwest. We attempt to source domestically (in the United States) whenever possible, though on occasion we will purchase herbs from overseas. When this occurs, we will test the vendor to ensure that there are no herbicide or pesticide residues present - even for certified organic herbs.

Learn more on our sourcing page.

Do you use certified organic herbs?

Yes! We firmly believe that diverse, organic farms are as important to our health (and the health of our environment) as the herbs that grow there. The alcohol, apple cider vinegar, and honey that we use in our products are also certified organic, as are the natural flavorings and gum arabic we use. We use two herbs that are not certified organic: the first is Usnea lichen (found in our Throat Spray), which is responsibly and sustainably wild-harvested (organic lichen cultivation is not yet viable); the second is Kava-Kava root and rhizome, which is responsibly and sustainably wild-harvested in Vanuatu. Regulations around Kava export from Vanuatu ensure that only noble cultivars, with no trace of stem or leaves, are shipped.

Why do you use Essential Oils in your Original & Citrus Bitters?

Regarding the essential oil content in our bitters, we do use certified organic steam-distilled* oils in our Citrus and Original Bitters for flavoring  (*all are steam distilled with the exception of the citruses which are pressed, and vanilla which is an extract). For reference here is a list of the essential oils found in each blend:

* Original Bitters: fennel, ginger, black pepper, cardamom, vanilla

* Citrus Bitters: orange, lime, fennel, ginger, lemon, grapefruit

We've made sure this is in safe quantities for use by the general public. We agree that the unsupervised ingestion of isolated essential oils can be an issue, however the safe usage of essential oils is a matter of a) dose and b) concentration, and the concentration of the essential oils we are using at the percentages found in our formulas are not cause for safety concern. Let us explain why:

The "essential oil" of a botanical species is a collection of volatile compounds that are naturally present in a plant and there is nothing inherently dangerous about them. The potential danger comes from the steam distillation or solvent extraction, which can concentrate the volatile compounds that make up a plant's essential oil to very high degrees.

The amount of essential oil we use in our Original Bitters, for example, accounts for 0.15% of our formula. By comparison, plants in their whole forms often contain much higher percentages of essential oil: peppermint, for example, has between 0.5% and 4% essential oil content, mostly menthol. Even a relatively "mild" plant like chamomile has between .4% and 1.5% essential oil. This means that you would consume no more essential oil in a dose of our bitters than if you drank a cup of chamomile tea!

Another place we often return to is traditional herbalism, and the history of direct ingestion of plants. Again we can reference peppermint tea, which is loaded with essential oil, because the glandular trichomes on peppermint leaf's surface are loaded with essential oil. From this perspective, we've used (highly diluted) naturally-occurring essential oils for the entire history of human herbalism. If the doses and concentrations of essential oil in a brewed tea, tincture, or oil approximate those that are naturally-occurring in botanicals, then there is no safety concern. 

Also of note is that an adequate dispersant needs to be present, too, so that droplets of oil don't coalesce and achieve locally higher concentrations that could burn-irritate the mucosa, which is why we include organic gum arabic in our formulas: as a dispersant to keep the essential oils evenly distributed throughout the blend.

Taking all this into consideration, there simply isn't an adequate concentration of essential oils in our formulas to warrant any cautions.

This is a great resource on the safety of essential oils from an informed, clinical, and manufacturing perspective should you be interested: https://tisserandinstitute.org/safety/

We hope this information conveys the care and expertise with which our formulas are intentionally crafted.

Shipping & Returns

How much does shipping cost?

We charge weight and location based shipping, and free shipping for orders over $65.

Do you offer free shipping?

Yes! We offer free shipping on orders over $65.

Do you ship internationally?

Currently, we only ship to the contiguous United States. However, there are several great online retailers that carry our products and also specialize in cost-effective international shipments, like Amazon. 

How long will it take for my order to arrive?

We ship orders on regular business days (Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm CT) from our 3rd party fulfillment center in Illinois, IN. All orders are shipped using a standard group ship service as selected at checkout, and depending on where you live, estimated delivery for standard shipping is is 4-7 days after ship date (not including processing time). Please note that we do not ship on Saturday or Sunday and orders are generally shipped within 1-2 business days, with some exceptions during peak shipping times (like holidays and promotional periods). Shipping details and tracking information will be sent via email once your order is shipped. 

When will my order ship from Urban Moonshine?

We ship orders on regular business days (Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm CT) from our 3rd party fulfillment center in Illinois, IN. All orders are shipped using a standard group ship service as selected at checkout, and depending on where you live, estimated delivery for standard shipping is is 4-7 days after ship date (not including processing time). Please note that we do not ship on Saturday or Sunday and orders are generally shipped within 1-2 business days, with some exceptions during peak shipping times (like holidays and promotional periods). Shipping details and tracking information will be sent via email once your order is shipped. 

Can I add an item to my order after it has been placed?

Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate add-ons after your order is confirmed as we ship your order very quickly after it is placed.  If you realize you’ve forgotten to order something, we recommend placing a second order.

How do I cancel my order?

PLEASE EMAIL CUSTOMER SERVICE immediately. We do our best to honor cancellation requests, but we cannot guarantee that your order can be cancelled before it ships. If your order has already shipped, then you must follow the returns protocol below.

My package arrived damaged; what do I do?

Please email customerservice@urbanmoonshine.com with 'damage' in the subject line along with your order # and a photo of the damaged box, and we will be happy to assist you with this matter.

Why are some shipping methods not showing up as available to me on your website?

We currently only offer standard ground shipping methods and 2-day shipping where applicable, depending on your shipping address.

What is your policy on returns?

If you purchased the item from a retail store please return it to the store with receipt.

If you are receive a damaged or defective item that you purchased from our website (www.urbanmoonshine.com), please email customerservice@urbanmoonshine.com with a description of the problem and your order #, along with the name, size, and lot # of the item(s). We may ask for additional details, like a photo before authorizing a replacement or a refund.

Please also note:

  • We cannot accept returns for any reason due to the safety and quality concerns with our ingestible products.
  • We cannot refund orders that are over 30 days past the delivered date. 
  • We cannot offer refunds due to buyer's remorse or dislike of products. 
  • We cannot offer refunds for subscription orders that were not cancelled before processing. Subscription terms are two (2) billing cycles before cancellation. Please do not subscribe for a single purchase.

SPECIAL WEB ORDER TERMS & CONDITIONS:

Any discrepancies or issues regarding your web order must be reported within 24 hours of receipt.

Quantity discrepancies are not eligible for return or a full refund. Partial refunds will be issued for the quantity of the product not received.

Shipping charges will not be refunded for orders that are returned due to undeliverable due to insufficient/incorrect address or flagged as unclaimed.

Any complaints about taste, the ingredients, or recipe, please contactcustomerservice@urbanmoonshine.com directly.

I got an error message while trying to order on your website; what went wrong?

The most common error on our web store is that something in the credit card information was entered wrong. Please double check the following things: 1) the BILLING ADDRESS (especially the zip code) you entered matches the information your credit card company has on file, 2) You entered all of the credit card info (#, expiration date, security code) correctly. If you are still getting an error after verifying this information, please contact us directly so we can assist you!

Can I send my empty bottle back to be reused?

As much as we love this idea, unfortunately, we are unable to reuse empty bottles at this time due to safety and compliance requirements. 

Business Inquiries

Where can I purchase Urban Moonshine products?

You can buy them right here on our website or use our store locator to find a local retailer near you! Be sure to call the store first to make sure they carry the exact product you are looking for.

Who do I contact about employment opportunities?

You can view our open positions here. Please send a resume and letter of interest to jobs@urbanmoonshine.com if you would like to inquire about open positions; we are always looking for stellar people to add to our team. If we don’t have any positions available when you apply, we are always happy to look at your resume and keep it on file!

How do I open a wholesale account?

Please submit a wholesale application here!

What is happening with Urban Moonshine?

With deep gratitude, and enthusiasm, we are excited to announce that Urban Moonshine is back in the hands of the original Urban Moonshine team and reestablishing our roots in Vermont!

From 2017 to 2022 we have had a fruitful partnership with Traditional Medicinals and are now both excited to set off on our own botanical paths.

How can I stay in the loop with Urban Moonshine updates, events, and news?

Sign up for our newsletter, follow us on Facebook, and Instagram! We post all the most important and up-to-date news on our social media sites!

Contact Info

Our Mailing Adress is:

50 Lakeside Ave

Box#118-H21

Burlington, VT 05401

Phone: (802) 428-4707

customerservice@urbanmoonshine.com

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