Eating strawberries is cool … again.
That makes me happy but then I always thought strawberries were awesome.
A college course I took in marketing one time gave me a 1-liner that has stuck with me for many years. “There are no coincidences in marketing. Everything is intentional.”
That message comes to me when I see product ads and walk around stores these days seeing all the “new” natural products. There is such a purposeful use of words like simple, organic, fresh and natural used in ads and on the labels of these types of products. Even the way they are presented and spoken of are well-thought out and very smooth. It is done in a way to invoke feelings of health, well-being and even happiness that can be captured and bottled like the sun itself.
We often fall for it too. That hope in a bottle. If it has that kind of promise to make us feel better, lose weight, have energy, sleep well, and it comes in a non-animal cruelty packaged label we buy it. This type of marketing and packaging off too helps us overcome cost objections because it appeals to our sense of environmental consciousness and helps us out too.
If we move past the labeling, messaging and packaging though is the product actually any good? Will it actually deliver on those results for our own health or that of the environment?
What is a Natural Product?
Natural products can mean a variety of things depending on brand. It can be the simplistic labeling used to make it seem organic and simply made. There are unique aromas that also lend to that experience of it being homely and good for you. Even the store position on the shelf can serve as a natural spot you’d expect to find such a thing. It creates that feeling this is a product we must have and need in our lives.
In truth though it is none of these things that actually tell us if the product will work. It is an illusion painted by marketers and advertisers to sell you that product.
A natural product is one that is made using natural processes, ingredients and packaging as to support environmental, lifestyle and nutritional factors. It does not contain plastics, synthetics, man-made or manufactured ingredients. It comes from nature itself and is in its most natural form with minimal processing required for you to use and enjoy it. A simple example would be an apple or carton of eggs you buy at the farmer’s market. When it comes to cleaners it could be a packaged mix of naturally derived ingredients in a recyclable or reusable container. Anything more than that definition and it is not a natural product but a stand-in that may be more or less natural but is not in itself all natural.
Natural health care is also a product and service. It is field of study, philosophy and system of health that encompasses different modalities aimed at achieving wellness. This health care system focuses on non-invasive support to the body-mind-spirit that supports our needs and providing self-healing aligned with natural, organic substances and techniques. This support is provided by natural health practitioners and produces directly from natural sources. You may hear it called alternative or complementary care but in truth it is not alternative at all.
When it comes to natural health care products, the distinct difference with them and over-the-counter medications is the source, quality, effectiveness, price, result and purpose. When you consider natural health is aimed at preventative care and support of self-healing you quickly realize the vast difference in health care approach from any other model of health care available.
These characteristics become what marketers use to substitute for natural products in order to sell what they consider comparable or similar products. Since most natural health products are not regulated as medications and pharmacy goods, it does become a buyer beware situation in knowing what a good brand is from a fake.
Natural Health Care Product Shopping
Walking down any grocery or big box store these days will show you plenty of more simple, organic, greener brands available. This should be a sign we are evolving as humans to understand our use of products has an impact on the environment and our health. Unfortunately though, money still dominates and most of the products sold are not as pure as one is led to believe.
When selecting a more natural version of a product is important to read the label. There are also plenty of apps available that you can use to scan a product to get labels deciphered. Specifically though you are looking at the ingredients to target indicators that tell you it is not a naturally derived, made, or packaged natural product. Consider these points:
Packaging promotes recycled materials used or reusable containers
Packaging that does not use plastic or is minimally packaged
Aromas and fragrances that are synthetically made and not natural at all
Ingredients that are chemical based or manufactured for longer shelf-life
Dyes, coloring and artificial textures
Natural and artificial flavoring
Sugars and sugar alternatives
You get the idea that reading the label and finding the hidden clues can often times identify the fake natural products that you can then avoid.
Price is not helpful in these situations unfortunately.
Natural Health Services
When it comes to working with doctors and natural or holistic health practitioners here too we can easily fall for less than natural product recommendations. Understanding what to expect in your natural health services and trusting your practitioner only uses reliable, highly bioavailable products is essential.
Many vitamin and supplement companies allow for private labeling of their products to practitioners. Even in these cases, you should still read the label, research the company and know what you are buying and how to use. Always follow the dosage recommendations on the label.
It is also important to know a few practice techniques and their uses so you can understand what a natural health practitioner can provide you. A natural health practitioner can specialize in all these methods, a select few, or other modalities not listed.
Aromatherapy typically uses essential oils naturally derived from plants, trees, roots and flowers to activate our sense of smell, which is closely connected with brain function and memory. Essential oils can be diffused, used topically or taken internally if they are high quality and pure.
Essential oils are considered supplements. Some brands, such as doTERRA, have pharmacy graded oils that are also considered medicinal.
Iridology focuses on the story the eye can tell. This modality studies the eye to determine what organs or systems may need support.
Different parts of the eye relate to certain structures in the body. For example, if a spot is identified, a practitioner can then recommend a corresponding natural health support.
In natural health, nutrition represents a means to feed yourself for supporting vitality and health. Nutrition is highly emphasized and will typically include recommendations for whole real foods and plenty of filtered high quality water.
Vitamins and supplements fall under the category of nutrition because they are considered food. This is why it is so important to use a high bioavailable natural supplement.
Flower essences, not to be confused with essential oils, are a branch of natural health that uses the nature of flowers and plants to support emotions and personality traits.
Herbology relies on the use of herbs to support the body. In this field, herbs are used topically and internally for nutritional support that encourages relief to the body and optimizes functions. Its applications are vast and flexible enough to meet the needs of many. Herbs such as rosemary, sage, and peppermint are also accessible and relatively easy to incorporate into your daily life via supplementation, food, and teas.
Natural health takes a whole-person, holistic approach to fitness. This means that a person’s mental, emotional, social, spiritual, and physical states are considered when supporting the physical activity needs.
Spiritual and Religious Practices
Belief in a higher power and connecting with the essence of life and creation is a powerful practice for promoting well-being. Religion and spirituality not only connect us to God and our Creator, but also one another, nature, and ourselves.
Prayer, meditation, service to others, religious practice, self-care and reflection, taking a walk in nature and more can promote well-being, connection, and peace. These practices can also provide us with stress management support, encouragement, comfort and hope.
Reconnecting with Our Health
Moving past the labeling, pretty smells and marketing of products helps us uncover many options to taking care of ourselves. What was used thousands of years ago can still be found today and be beneficial to our needs. Using natural products and natural health care empowers us to own the responsibility for our own health. It creates a channel for us to reconnect with ourselves and support our vitality in a much more direct way that can even compliment allopathic are.
With the guidance of a natural health practitioner, natural health care and natural products can help us achieve results and solutions to our needs. To work with me, please book your consultation service at dragonspitapothecary.com/book-online