We’ve been asked about what exactly an herbal mala is; since it’s herbal, customers have wondered if it’s sturdy or will disintegrate over time. This is a very good question! And the answer is simple: The malas are made out of fragrant seeds or some other natural product such as sanded sandalwood.
This is what earns them a title of “herbal malas.” This may sound a bit confusing to Westerners, but malas made out of natural products in the places that handcraft them (such as Tibet, India, and Thailand) call them by this accurate name.
In short, many modern malas are made with plastic beads, but none of those malas have the authentic feel of a natural herbal mala has. And this is exactly why we are very particular about the malas we offer here at the shop; unless we can use them in our meditation routines, we won’t offer them.
Hope this helps, and as always, if anyone has any questions, I almost always answer them personally and post the most helpful ones here in our Answer Center. – Bodhi