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Flora Health has been manufacturing and distributing organic health products since 1965 and is a recognized pioneer in its fiel.

Flora Health has been manufacturing and distributing organic health products since 1965 and is a recognized pioneer in its field.

Based in Burnaby, BC, the company started out importing European herbal remedies at a time when alternative medicine was almost unknown in Canada.

Flora later moved into manufacturing and became Canada's first producer of herbal therapeutic teas. Its products are now available in health food stores across Canada, and are sold in 30 countries.

Thomas Greither, the company's owner, says Flora's goal is to improve the overall well-being of society by focusing on preventative health care.

"We spend so much money trying to make sick people better, instead of trying to keep people from becoming sick in the first place," he explains. "We don't look at what we eat. We don't look at our attitude toward life. We don't get enough exercise. These three things are really what's most important if you want a healthy society."

Product quality is important as well. "We use natural plant based products from nature's pharmacy," says Thomas, "and we're GMP and QAI certified."

Flora is also the sole Canadian distributor of health products created by Salus Haus, a German company founded by Thomas's grandfather, Dr. Otto Greither, in the 1920s, after a simultaneous clogged colon and a toxic build-up in his leg almost resulted in the leg being amputated.

When a simple enema treatment cured him, Dr. Greither began to rethink his lifestyle. He became a vegetarian, which in 1920s Germany was almost unheard of, and he established Salus Haus, a clinic that offered herbal detoxifiers and helped patients learn how to live healthier lifestyles.

He passed the company on to his son, Otto Jr., who then bought Flora from its co-founder, Siegfried Gursche (who later started Magazine). Even though Otto Jr. was based in Germany, he continued to run Flora from abroad.

Meanwhile, Otto Jr.'s son, Thomas was becoming very interested in alternative medicine. In 1979, he came to North America to study human nutrition at the University of Vermont. When he graduated, he opened his own health food store in Vermont.

"It was a different kind of health food store," he laughs, remembering. "I had very few supplements for sale, but had all the ingredients you need to make whole grain bread. I even taught cooking classes on how to prepare whole food meals."

In 1986, Thomas's father asked him to takeover Flora, which was still relying heavily on imported products. With Thomas at the helm, the company switched gears and went full-speed into flaxseed oil production at a time when most people had never even heard of omega-3 fatty acids.

The company expanded and today offers a comprehensive line of organic vegetarian supplements, as well as the popular Udo's Choice Oil blend, Flor-Essence liquid herbal detoxifier, and a selection of probiotic blends.

Thomas is always looking for new ways to bring quality health products to the public. Flora recently went into partnership with Schneider Foods to create a line of protein-rich vegetarian "meat" products, available in major grocery stores under the Schneiders' "Au Naturel" label.

After 40 years of innovative health products, Flora continues to be a leader and a pioneer in its field.

For more information about Flora and its products, check out the company's website at florahealth.com.

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