Do you remember the thrill of the first snowflake that you caught on your tongue as a child? Do you remember the way cold air rushed into your mouth, the way you over strained your tongue to make sure you caught it and the way it tingled on your tongue once it landed? It was spectacular! Like so many joys of childhood and life, really, it is a very simple thing. Or, is it?
It is always snowing somewhere in the world and as a result, we take snow for granted. If we consider what it actually takes for snow to form at a molecular level, it’s not so simple. In fact, like many of the things we often consider “simple, ” they are actually somewhat miraculous. The fact that we understand the nature or mechanics of a miracle does not make it less miraculous.
It is the inquisitive part of our nature that drives us to understand the miracles in our lives. Understanding the “miracle” gives us a sense of control over our environment. We like that. We like it so much that we often rush to understanding. The rush to understanding is where we get into trouble.
Often, after we can reproduce the results that we are interested in, we move on to decipher the next “miracle. ” Nature does so many things well and there is always someone ready trade on its name. What manufacturer hasn’t raced onto radio and television and told us about the benefits of a miracle botanical they use in their “new and improved” product? If we assume that the claim regarding the botanical is true, what we must ask as thoughtful consumers is whether or not the botanical in question is really in the product?
We know what chemical components make up many plants. With all the research and with all that we know, we still can’t originate life. It is only the fact that we cannot produce the result that limits our hubris in this area. Does that seem like a harsh statement? I refer you to the genetically engineered crops that are growing on so many corporate farms across the United States. We believe that we understand the component elements of crops so well that we can change them genetically to suit our needs. And, we can. What we don’t spend a lot of time on is what else happens as a result of the genetic modifications. You may remember the sudden wave of allergies to bread that popped up about the same time genetically modified wheat made its way into the mainstream grocery store.
It’s a personal fascination of mine; things that work and we don’t know why. The efficacy of chicken soup has been my favorite mystery. The fact that we don’t know exactly why something works doesn’t stop us from tinkering with it and then extrapolating that we will command the same results as the original compound. We do this even when we know we don’t know what role the other compounds that we consider to be “inactive” play. We assume they are just there…like a placeholder… like an appendix. What do you think the chances are that our appendix has absolutely no function whatsoever? That’s our hubris again.
We don’t know what it is for, therefore, it doesn’t do anything note worthy and we don’t really need it.
Consider all of the “extra” stuff that is left out of botanical derivatives in their various incarnations like hydrosols. The truth is we know that hydrosols have virtually nothing effective in them. Still, hydrosols are a favorite of manufacturers because they are inexpensive. They are ridiculously cheap and that is why they are a manufacturers favorite. These same manufacturers have no hesitation in charging premium prices, trading upon the name of efficacy without providing, well, efficacy.
In short, (I know it’s a little late for that) as consumers we must be vigilante that we receive the ingredients and their commensurate benefits that we expect and pay for.
Dawn Worthy, owner of Fresh From the Farm, offers a complete line of biodegradable, vegan friendly, organic botanical soap. What is in the soap is good. What isn't in the soap is better. There are no artificial ingredients. There are no manufacturing, coloring or fragrance additives. It's simple, Aunt Ann's Garden Soap is naturally good. We invite you to see for yourself at http://www.FreshFromtheFarm.Us