There are A LOT of hand made herbal product out there these days. (Have you seen ETSY lately?!) So what makes one product better then the other? Or does it matter?
There are several things to consider when purchasing these products.
1. Who is making them?
Everyone and their dog these days seems to think they are a herbalist / natural product innovator. (Insert HUGE eye roll). Most have little or not training or experience. They attend the university of GOOGLE and use you for their product testing. Most actually have very little idea about the medicinal properties of herbs & essential oils, let alone how to create a formula that is synergistic. Did you know that citrus essential oils are photosensitizing? (which means your skin will burn easier if they are applied topically). No? Well apparently either do many natural product makers. Orange essential oil in sunscreen??? Really??? (Insert another eye roll)
I, on the other hand an a Clinical Herbalist, and I formulate ALL our products. I was top of my class during my 3 year full time study Herbalist Program. I did my practicum hours (300) mostly with Dr. Terry Willard. I went on to manage his herbal dispensary. Then I moved to Vancouver Island and opened my own Wellness Centre where I have been seeing clients for the past 8 years. My products are formulated using my knowledge and extensive experience in the natural health field
2. What ingredients are they using?
A quick google search for diy body lotion brings up About 5,920,000 results. The ingredients ranging from very simple to very complicated. But where do you get the ingredients from to make this diy stuff? Order online maybe… probably. I can’t think of a place to purchase locally things like cold pressed argan oil, or coco butter. So most herbal product makers order from who knows where (*Cough* Amazon *Cough) and getting who knows what quality of ingredient.
Here at The Medicine Garden, we have an intimate relationship with our ingredients. Our little herb farm supplies us with some of our ingredients (grown with organically with lots of love) and we source the rest from organic and or ethical wildcrafted. We follow our ingredients from seed to our doorstep. Making sure each step in the process is up to our standards. Click here to see the full criteria for our herbs & miscellaneous ingredients, and here for our awesome essential Oils.
Speaking of Essential Oils. One question I get a lot of is “Are your oils Therapeutic Grade?” This question is usually from the Pyramid Scheme Oil buyers (aka Young Living, Do Terra etc)
I have nothing against those oils. In fact they are quite nice. Nicer then some I’ve seen in the health food stores. What I have a problem with (aside from their business model) is they throw around the words “therapeutic grade” like it means something powerful. Well it doesn’t. In fact it means almost nothing. There is no standard for essential oils. So any company can call their oils therapeutic grade, or magical fairy dust grade, or whatever.
These big MLM companies create their own standard, and then they self govern. For example from the Do Terra Website:
Without an accepted standard for essential oil quality, doTERRA created its own testing process, calling it CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®. The CPTG process certifies that there are no added fillers, synthetic ingredients, or harmful contaminants in their essential oils that would reduce their efficacy.
Focus on the – “DoTERRA created its own testing process.
So now that we’ve cleared that up, yes my products are therapeutic grade hahahaha. My products meet the standards of these companies, and in some cases exceeds them! Because yes, we verify using science (gas chromatograph etc). But we have other important criteria as well. It must be good for the earth and all who call her home. Ethical, Organic/Biodynamically grown, ethically harvested, energetically good. Please read our post about our Essential Oil Criteria. Or feel free to shoot me a message, and I’d be happy to discuss it with you!