Saturday, March 14, 2009

Golden Path Alchemy

This post is about two friends of mine who have begun a remarkable company which revolves around organic, all natural, preservative-free, botanical skin care.  Their products have changed the way I look at the largest organ in the body, the skin.  What I have learned from them is that the skin absorbs 60% of what is put on it.  So the body absorbs any phthalates, parabens, sulfates, etc. where they travel through the blood stream to the liver and are filtered.  This is fine, every once in a while.  But when we use products that include more chemical ingredients than actual working ingredients, our livers become overworked, clogged and stagnant thus causing disease to ensue.  What is difficult to admit in this realm is the fact that "We've been using these products for so long and everyone is fine.  What is the big deal?"  Are we fine?  More and more research is being done on the effects of these chemicals, which abound in many of our favorite skin and beauty products with cheap cosmetics serving as the greatest culprits, and the results of these studies report haunting evidence.  Cancer, respiratory problems, endocrine system problems, reproductive diseases and more have all been linked to the 'common' chemicals found in our everyday beauty and cleaning products.  When I learned this, I made a huge effort to change this aspect of my life.  I now no longer wear makeup, unless I have a special occasion that calls for it, and the makeup I do wear is composed of completely organic plant-based materials while lacking parabens, phthalates, and other toxic chemicals.  I even have mineral-based mascara!  Nonetheless, I have also converted our shampoo supply, hand soap, dish soap, body soap and household cleaners to those which are composed of organic materials with little to no preservatives.  This can be done for just around the same price (sometimes cheaper!) as the old products we used to use.  And it makes a difference in the clarity of our skin.  What I have learned is that our skin is an outward display of our internal alchemy, our internal organs.  If we have dirty skin, acne, dryness, oil, usually it stems from our livers begging for a breath.  Of course many other organ systems come into play but from a TCM perspective, all organs are connected and the Liver is often guilty of causing diseases to present like phantoms where a direct link to this organ cannot be seen.  In TCM, we say the liver is 'responsible for smooth flow of qi.'  What this means is that the liver is responsible for the proper synthesis of hormones, the adequate production of adrenal, pituitary, and thyroid hormones, the filtration of blood, the synthesis of vitamins and many many other things.  When we consume unnecessary chemicals (unsafe cosmetics, inorganic food, alcohol, smoke, OTC medications--many of which can be safely replaced with herbs--and household cleaning products) our livers must move the normal jobs they were given to the back burner in order to abate the actions of the chemicals from these products.  Multiply this effect by years and years of use and our livers begin to look like remarkable little organs who have excelled at even keeping us alive, but our bodies are screaming help.  It's the only organ in the body that can regenerate itself, which is why we can go on drinking binges for days at a time without dying.  However skin, our largest organ and most beloved protector, can also regenerate itself.  By supplying the skin with products containing properties to aid in this regeneration it is much happier, healthier, more supple, younger, and less toxic.  I have included a link to the title of this post where, if you are interested, you can order products from Golden Path Alchemy, my friends' company.  I currently use the purify and refine lines, but I have sampled all of their other products and can attest to their utterly satisfying efficacy.  These products are all made fresh, with no preservatives, by these two women out here in California.  They pride themselves in belonging to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, PETA (the organization for keeping cosmetic products cruelty free--my personal peeve), and they have recently been approved by Green America which is an organization that recognizes companies who exemplify the promotion of social justice and environmental sustainability.  How does this relate to the baby blog you ask?  Ashley and Minka, these two remarkable entrepreneurs, have also made me a custom belly oil that I rub on my belly every day to keep the skin supple, relieve itching, and reduce the possibility of stretch marks.  Based in olive oil (the only oil that penetrates all seven layers of the skin) and sweet almond oil, it also includes neroli, frankincense, geranium and lemongrass essential oils which all contribute to sustaining the healthy quality of the skin.  Frankincense and Myrrh are actually widely used in traditional chinese medicine to aid in wound healing, combat postpartum uterine hemorrhage, and stop pain.  Those wise men certainly knew what they were bringing Mary and Joseph.  Ashley is also a homeopath and I have been seeing her for many needs during pregnancy when something occurs and I do not want to take an OTC med.  There are so many remedies and I am learning so much about this wonderful medicine.  Check out the GPA website and see what you think!

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