I want to talk about organic and why I believe so deeply in using certified organic ingredients in my products. The use of organic ingredients goes to the very core of my soul. I was raised on a small ranch in Southern Oregon before there was a "thing" about organic. Everything the animals ate, everything we ate was organic, meaning no herbicides, no pesticides, all grass-fed, no antibiotics. I did not know how great it was. Eventually, I left home and ate food from the grocery store, thinking it was handled like my parent's made it.
Fast forward 15 years, and suddenly I was getting sick. My hair was gray at 35, my body was developing cysts, and one was inside my spinal cord, making me spastic, which without the surgery conducted by a very talented surgeon, would have landed me in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. My diet was one of processed food with a side of sugar daily. Then, about 15 years ago, I read Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser (Schlosser, 2001) where he let Americans know what was in the food they were eating and how our food was processed.
Before long, I went back to school to learn about Herbalism and Aromatherapy at the American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS). I learned a lot more about the terms “organic” and “toxicity” too. While taking Anatomy and Physiology, I learned how our body works and became a total organic advocate, and then I took classes in Nutrition and learned how our body processes and integrates the food we eat.
What is a Toxin?
Haas (2012) tells us that “a toxin is basically any substance that creates irritating and/or harmful effects in the body, undermining our health and stressing our biochemical or organ functions.”
So, along the way, I learned how toxins from mysterious additives and synthetic ingredients in our food do not easily assimilate into our digestive and elimination systems and can create toxic elements (free radicals) in our body (Vasey, 2006). We also acquire toxins from the external environment by breathing them or through contact with our skin or mucous membranes. Through pharmaceuticals, intestinal bacteria, foreign bacteria, yeasts, and parasites producing metabolic waste and through thoughts, emotions, and stress increasing biochemical activity, we produce even more toxins (Haas, 2012).
It is not the occasional introduction of a foreign substance to which our bodies necessarily react because our body can handle certain levels of toxins; rather, it is the excessive intake and production of toxins that contribute to illness. The body uses specific processes to change nutrients into the chemicals our body uses, processes that do not recognize changes to the base genetics of the nutrient chemicals that mad scientists develop or the trace amounts of pesticides or herbicides which our food carries unless it is certified organic.
What Happens to the Toxins?
As toxins do not break down so easily using our natural processing system, they are attacked by our immune system. When our immune system cells are unable to destroy the toxins in our body (due to a large number of toxins), well, then what?? Our body does what any good recycler does and wraps it up and stores it in the least important cells of our body for “later processing,” in the fat cells and/or the lymph nodes (Thibodeau, 2012).
Now I am healthy again, 15 years after reading Schlosser’s book (2001). I still have the remnants of the cyst in my spinal cord, and it still occasionally flares up in the form of nerve pain, especially when I don't eat right. But, by eliminating the majority of toxins that I can control from entering my body, my pain and inflammation have reduced immeasurably. I am vibrant, energetic, and healthy.
I want you to be healthy also, so I don't introduce you to any herbicides, pesticides, additives, or other toxins through my products. Essential oils are either certified organic, or they aren't. There is no in-between "natural" state. Essential oil molecules enter our skin, our respiratory system, and our brain through their minuscule isotopic molecules. They can carry toxins with them if they are processed with them (Tisserand, 2014, pp. 8-11). Not a chance I want to take for my customers!
Be safe in this world, and buy organic where possible. By the way, you will get a wholly organic product in my Wonderful Aroma shop whenever possible.
Haas, E. M. (2012). The Detox Diet. New York: Ten Speed Press.
Schlosser, E. (2001, January 21). Fast Food Nation. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Thibodeau, G. A. (2012). Structure & Function of the Body. St. Louis: Elsevier, Mosby.
Tisserand, R. Y. (2014). Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Ed. New York: Elsevier.
Vasey, C. N. (2006). The Acid-Alkaline Diet for Optimum Health, 2nd Ed. Rochester: Inner Traditions, Intl.