Eat, drink, use and choose 'Organic' this September!

Eat, drink, use and choose

We are delighted to be supporting the Soil Association's Organic September campaign (including Organic Beauty Week from the 19-25 September) - hoping that we at Base Formula are doing our bit to raise awareness. It seems the perfect month – my birthday month – to write an article about why I personally am a passionate advocate of growing organically – whether that be growing organic food, or plants that produce essential oils and other beauty products.

September is such a season of plenty for all those of us who grow our own food and to do so organically is an additional joy.

  • You are harvesting produce that is clean and chemical free.
  • It is seasonal and nutrient rich (as the food is so fresh, and natural mulches/compost have increased the fertility of the soil naturally and in a sustainable way).
  • It is also environmentally friendly as it's carbon neutral – grown and picked on your door-step.
  • You are growing food that has been grown with nature and our natural world in mind – not at the cost of our environment. Creating gardens whilst enhancing and conserving bio-diversity (like we do at Greener Growth) also increases your produce i.e. more wild pollinators = more pollination = more food.

We have seen a huge increase in farm shops and people interested in buying food that they can't or don't grow (or raise themselves) that they know is locally produced. More and more of us see the sense in supporting our local farmers, in more humane ways of raising live stock and being able to trace its journey – from “farm to fork”. We are beginning to understand that many traditional farming methods were actually sensible and ethical – animals travelling locally are less stressed which effects the taste of the meat. The stress hormones that the meat contains will be lower, which will a healthier option for us too, apart from the obvious ethical considerations. I would much rather eat less meat but eat better quality, locally sourced food – including game – which is organic in many respects too. The huge swing in the direction of fresh local produce – organically produced or “free range”, shows that more of us are understanding every penny we spend is also a vote in how we want our farms to produce our food. It is also a statement on how we are beginning to understand better the impact that farming methods have on our country-side in general, and our precious wild-pollinators in particular. Hopefully, these changes and their impact on conservation and bio-diversity enhancement are coming just in time for all of us, and our next generation.

When it comes to thinking about what we put on our skin and use in our daily beauty therapy and washing routines, keeping those synthetic chemicals as LOW as possible is absolutely vital in my opinion. There is a certain amount of pollution in the air we breathe and the water we drink – of that none of us can be in any doubt. To include a greater strain on our health and wellbeing than is absolutely necessary, by constantly assailing our systems with additional pressure seems to make no sense at all. Many of us still labour under the misapprehension that all beauty and hygiene products on the market – if sold in chemists or supermarkets – must be safe. I wholeheartedly disagree! Whilst most chemicals are tested for safety and toxicity in isolation – no one is ever going to test the cocktail of chemical combinations that many of us use on a daily basis. When you consider the range of products most of us use every day the list could include

  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Shampoo
  • Soap
  • Hair conditioner
  • Hair Spray
  • Deodorant
  • Body moisturiser
  • Face cream
  • Makeup of various different types

Then there's nail varnish and removers, tanning products, and more hair products, the list is almost endless.

It makes sense to either review the synthetic chemicals that these products will almost invariably contain – which can be a mystifying and confusing process, with a huge list of product names that can be difficult to decode or decipher. This has probably been developed with such difficulties in mind – so we don't find it easy to understand what chemicals we are putting on our bodies. Alternatively – we can simply blend our own products or use those that are definitely safer – where the work has been done for you. Consider shopping with companies like Base Formula and Health Food Shops – where you know there are products that “Free from Parabens, SLS"  etc or certified “Organic” (labels can be misleading however so always read the small print!). I have brought products that have stated ORGANIC in capitals with 15% in tiny writing!

So – to give you some organic inspiration – here are some wonderful ideas that you can make from ingredients in  your kitchen cupboards and our selection of organic products – to further add to your natural health and wellbeing. Spread the word – then hopefully Organic September and Organic Beauty Week may soon spread out through the whole calendar year – for more and more of us who can hear, see and taste the sense. The more of us who vote with our purse – the more affordable it will become.

Organic skincare recipes to try at home

Strawberries & Cream Organic Fruity Face Mask:

Whilst strawberries are abundant – try mashing 2-3 with 1 tbsp Ultra Fine French Green Clay, and 1 tbsp organic pin head oatmeal (or ground organic porridge oats) and bind together with a little cream. Add 2 drops Organic Rose Geranium essential oil, 2 drops Organic Ylang Ylang and 1 drop Organic Lemon. Mix well and apply for 10 minutes, washing off with cold water.

Strawberries are rich in natural fruit acids which gently exfoliate the skin. The oats and clay will gently remove any impurities, unclogging pores and helping to smooth/soothe the skin. The organic essential oils will help enrich the blend adding extra moisturising and balancing action.

Organic Body Lotion Moisture Boost:

Take 120ml of Base Formula's Organic Moisturising Lotion (99% natural and 90.85% organic ingredients). Add 10ml Organic Jojoba Oil and 5ml Organic Hemp Oil, 15 drops Organic Rose Geranium essential oil, 10 Organic Lavender and 10 Organic Sweet Orange. Shake well and apply regularly after a bath or shower for a wonderfully scented moisture boost!

Organic Face Cream Soother:

If your complexion needs a little soothing as well as that moisture boost – try this lovely gentle, yet rich recipe.  Mix 80ml Base Formula's Organic Moisturising Cream (99% natural and 90.7% organic ingredients), 10ml Organic Coconut Oil, 5ml Organic Hemp Oil and 5ml Organic Borage Seed Oil. Add 2 drops German Chamomile, 2 drops Rose Otto, 10 Organic Lavender and 10 Organic Rose Geranium. Mix well and enjoy the scent, the purity and the effect.

SLS Free Bath & Shower Gel:

SLS – Sodium Lauryl Sulphate - is a foaming agent best avoided with a few serious question marks around its possible cancer causing effects – it is certainly to be found in numerous commercial beauty and hygiene products – including most toothpaste and shampoo! Although not organic, Base Formula's SLS Free Bath & Shower Gel offers a safer alternative. Take 120ml, add 10 drops each of Organic Lavender, Organic Bergamot and Organic Rose Geranium with 5 drops of Patchouli, for a wonderfully citrussy, refreshing and naturally antibacterial body wash.

Organic Body Scrub:

Take 3 tbsp Ultra Fine French Green Clay, add 1 tbsp fine ground Himalayan Pink Salt (grind in a pestle and mortar), 2 tsp dried or fresh lavender flowers, 2 tbsp Organic Sweet Almond Oil, 4 drops Organic Lavender essential oil, 3 Organic Juniper and 2 Organic Lemon. Mix into paste (adding a little Orange Flower Hydrolat if required - not organic but it is 100% natural with no nasty additives) and massage into the skin using circular motions. Shower off for wonderfully smooth and naturally clean skin.

Joannah Metcalfe
Consultant Aromatherapist

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