Hello! Thank you for being here. It is very powerful, responsible and necessary to educate ourselves about what we welcome into our home: our bodies, safe havens, families and communities. Here you will find information and resources for learning, making informed choices and reducing harm for ourselves. At Meraki Farmacy we think it is a basic humxn right to have access to products that are safe, healthy, nourishing and affordable. We think environmental destruction and exploitation is not worth any price. We make good choices for our bodies, our families, and this planet we call home. I offer the basics, the things we use the most often for the span of our lives: soap, toothpaste and deodorant. I also offer some essentials for first aid/home health care with a focus on supporting our central nervous systems and psychospiritual/emotional development and care.
Phlox here at the Farm
As I said I make the essentials. I make the things that we use at least once a day: the basics of self care is also preventative care. Because we use these products every single day it is so very, very important that we use natural and safe ingredients. It is the incremental, daily, lifelong exposure to toxic, hormone disrupting materials that slowly and surely erodes our health. There is something called bioaccumulation; the increasing concentration of a substance as it moves up the food chain, or the humxn body. When we are exposed to teeny amounts of toxins in food AND air AND water AND skin products. we are at increasing risk for disruption and dis-ease. Our bodies absorb these hazardous substances at a rate that our body can not metabolize. Little amounts add up. Toxins used in the food, pharmaceutical and wellness/cosmetic industries are linked to diseases and disorders of the body and mind: irritable bowel syndrome, Parkinson's disease, thyroid dysfunction, depression, infertility, diabetes, allergies, asthma, eczema, learning disabilities. If you want to learn more right now, I rather enjoy the startling reality from 2007 (!) from Pamela Heyen here.
These humxn experiences are caused and affected by more than one thing. Genetics, environment, accident, diet. We can't do much about our genes, and unfortunately the conditions of socio/economics rooted in oppression and inequities in America actually prevents many from geographical mobility, access to whole foods grown without rampant chemical use . . . so we work on harm reduction as we make informed choices, invest in our communities, advocate for big, long haul paradigm shifts, share with one another and shift as much as we can from dis-ease to increased health.
My intention is to educate, advocate and create: safer spaces, shared exchanges on how to reduce harm, tangible plant filled products that hold and support, that heal and cleanse. The world is savage, but there are shifts. and there ARE choices. There are things we can do. Educating ourselves is the first step. Reclaiming safety, power, health, access. That is what we are here to do, even with soap and toothpaste and deodorant. Every little bit of saying NO to the harmful things adds up to a whole lot of YES to awareness, self love, advocating for others and transforming this way of making things. They will follow the money, right back to healthy, natural, respectful, nourishing products. We must. Whenever you start thinking your actions and choices don't add up, I hope you remember otherwise. Nothing is more vital than what you do.
Now that I have made my point (I can keep going .... ) let's break Meraki Makeries down. Please note a complete list of ingredients is found on the online store and on every product.
First up is the one and only Teeth Paste, a cleanser for a fresh mouth! In the Teeth Paste there is NO:
Instead I use * Organic mineral compounds *Coconut Oil *Certified organic essential oils
Let's review why we brush our teeth and what is needed from a product for healthy teeth and gums. We learn about the importance of brushing teeth as soon as we have some, right? We use toothpaste and brushes to remove plaque and bacteria from the surface of our teeth to prevent disease and decay. Reasonable! Oh, so very reasonable! But by what mechanisms? With what chemicals? To achieve the goal of removing bacteria and plaque to prevent disease and decay you need a few basic things that are readily, easily provided by natural, plant based materials. 1) Abrasive: you need something with a little grit, right? Something to scrub without damaging sensitive gums, something to hook those little buggers so you can spit them out! 2) Anti-bacterial: a substance that kills bacteria. 3) Something that holds it all together in a gel or paste so you can get it on a brush and into your mouth without too much effort or mess that also preferably doesn't taste awful or cause any harm. As we moved into industrialization, seeking greater efficiency, lower costs and higher profits the crafting and making of, well, everything changed. Including our toothpaste. Bigger populations, ability to ship and transport materials across the globe also changed the way we make things. I am not saying these things are bad. I am saying that something is lost when we mass produce things. I am saying mass produced synthetic chemicals are not often recognizable to their natural counterparts. I am saying some things need to be made in smaller batches by actual people with natural and safe materials. I AM saying that if we are making products for the care of our physical health, than good goddess there best not be any thing in there that is going to erode our health . . . . I am saying that I don't think we need artificial sweetener like saccharin in toothpaste. Personally, I think the addition of flouride in toothpaste at this point is far more dangerous than it is beneficial. (I highly recommend you explore this with great critical thinking and discernment, while remembering our little talk about bioaccumulation). Harsh detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate are not okay in my mouth or on my skin and hair (another chemical that is cheap, easy to use and found in allthethings). Thickening agents for that perfect only-could-be-toothpaste consistency? It's achieved by mass produced gums, colloids or synthetic cellulose. I am not convinced I need this in order to have healthy teeth and gums. I am not okay with being part of this massive machine of toxin producing, intense using of water, fossil fuel, plastics, synthetics that erodes me AND nature. Most certainly not when there are perfectly good - better than good - alternatives.
Oral hygiene is serious. We all want a healthy beautiful smile. Medical care is costly. Dental insurance is rare. Root canals suck. We don't have to sacrifice our integrity or safety to achieve oral health. I offer you an alternative.
You will notice that Teeth Paste is not white. or fluffy. or in a squeeze tube. or like any commercial toothpaste you have used. IT IS AWESOME. The primary ingredient is DIATOMACEOUS EARTH, a gray/brown organic mineral compound that consists of diatoms, tiny skeletons of little, old plants!How rad is that?! Mostly silica, it provides that abrasive characteristic we need to dislodge debris and gently scrub our teeth and gums. It also is made of calcium and trace amounts of other elements the human body needs. It is why the color of the toothpaste is not white but burnt umber. Or chocolate-y grey. It kind of looks like soil. Take a look here. It may turn some people off, but listen, just keep reading . . . Come with me while I drop some science magic! That bacteria and stuff in your mouth and gums has a positive chemical charge. The easiest way to remove them is with a negative charge. Guess what those little plant skeletons aka diatomaceous earth have?! YAS! A negative charge!
Diatomaceous earth (DE) acts like a MAGNET and grabs that yuck and holds onto it, even all the way through your entire digestive tract! Some people eat a teaspoon of DE every day for this exact reason! Some of the nasties DE attracts and retains are:
Pesticide and drug deposits
I am just going to pause for a moment and let that all sink in ...... You are in love, aren't you?! DE also solidifies tooth enamel, prevents decay, inhibits bleeding gums and gum atrophy, successfully fights ulceration of bones and teeth, and remineralizes teeth with calcium! To be totally clear, DE is food grade and perfectly safe for human and animal ingestion! Wait, I can eat the teeth paste? YES! You don't have to! But you can. And I feel really good about that. I immediately think of kids when I make it. How do we get kids excited about good dental hygiene habits at a young age? And how do we convey that it's so important and can even be fun maybe, in hopes they will form life long healthy oral care habits, and then warn them BUT DON'T SWALLOW IT! How weird is that? And here is a question kids think to ask and too many adults forget to think about: Why are we putting something in our mouth that we don't actually want to ingest? Remember, digestion starts in your mouth, with your saliva, as soon as something is in there. Seriously. So even if you aren't swallowing tooth paste, why are we putting anything in there that we would get a little nervous about ingesting twice a day? I find that suspect. So I made something that is completely safe to ingest and is incredibly beneficial for teeth and gum health. Other ingredients include coconut oil which is also antibacterial, antifungal and acts as that "something to hold it all together". I use peppermint essential oil, trace minerals and a tiny bit of baking soda for some abrasive action. I have been using it for a year and my teeth are whiter, my gums are healthy and it's rather fun to brush with tiny plant skeletons!
Are you ready for more?! Let's take a look at my 1st born, The Pit Stick, a responsible deodorant! First of all, sweating is necessary. Any product that prevents your body from sweating is detrimental to your health. PERIOD. If marketing and advertisers got you thinking sweating is BAD or somehow makes you less of a humxn being, or specifically is un-ladly-like, oh, dear, please stay awhile! We will stop that violence against you right quick. Echem. Seriously, though. Sweating is how your body regulates your temperature. We don't want to stop perspiring. It is totally okay to want to minimize wetness and funk. Let's accomplish that without potentially causing harm to our selves though.
Your armpits are sensitive skin laying on top of a major entrance ramp of the lymphatic system highway. If you shave your underarms you may sometimes have nicks and cuts, a direct pathway to the blood stream. I want to make sure anything going there is best for your skin, blood, breasts and lymphatic & endocrine systems. The Pit Stick is supportive to these systems due to the ingredients.
Parabens are a group of preservatives that prevent the growth of bacteria, fungus and yeast that are used in food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetic products. Biopsies of breast tumors show some of these parabens present. Now, many will argue that there is not evidence that parabens cause cancer or promote tumor growth, but their presence makes me quite outraged, especially if and when there are safe alternatives. From the Breast Cancer Fund's website: "Parabens are estrogenmimickers (agonists), with the potency of the response being related to the chemical structure (Darbre, 2008). Parabens can bind to the cellular estrogen receptor (Routledge, 1998). They also increase the expression of many genes that are usually regulated by the natural estrogen estradiol and cause human breast tumor cells (MCF-7 cells) to grow and proliferate in vitro (Byford, 2002; Pugazhendhi, 2007). Nevertheless, parabens as a class do not fully mimic estradiol as regards these changes in cellular gene expression, nor are the effects of all parabens identical (Sadler, 2009)." The take away? Don't use things with parabens in them!
The other scary item found in anti-perspirants is aluminum, which basically clogs your pores and prevents sweating. I trust you see why this is also not okay.
Instead I use *Plant oils and butters *Natural clays *Beeswax *Certified organic essential oils One of the natural clays I use in the Pit Stick is the lovely and luxurious kaolin clay which is very, very sweet and gentle on your skin. I also use bentonite clay to help detox your skin, especially after you maybe have been using those scary things talked about above. Coconut oil, of course, holds it together with beeswax while both lend their antibacterial, antifungal medicine. Ah! I am geeking out, I really love it, believe in it and want as many of us as possible to stop using bad, bad stuff and fall in love with the Pit Stick!
I also make SOAP which is made from fats (plant oils), water and lye. If you have never looked into soap making, or haven't since you first watched Fight Club, look into it. It is so fascinating and there is a HUGE population of craftspeople that make incredible things! Meraki Farmacy has some very special soaps. I use fats from plants - oils and butters. Often I infuse plant parts into the oils (this process takes all that medicine from the leaf or stem or flower and puts it into the oil). Most frequently I make infusions (really, really strong teas) from the organic herbs/flowers I grow here & mix with lye (necessary) to make a solution, Or coffee, coconut milk, beer or simply distilled water. I combine the plant oils with the lye solution and BAHM! We have soap! Soap that cleanses, nourishes, hydrates, HEALS.
Most mass produced commercial soaps don't use any actual plant based oils and butters. It is cheaper and easier to mimic the plant characteristics and synthetically create the acids that are used in soap to clean, condition, produce lather, make a hard bar that lasts just long enough.Check out soap labels and commercials next time you are in that aisle or watching television. Do they ever call it soap? I don't think they do! Because technically what they make is not soap. It's detergent. It's "washings". Many ingredients used are effective at cleansing skin, but equally effective at drying, irritating and stripping natural oils from skin. Your skin is your biggest organ! It is the barrier between you and the world! Why are we treating it like a pair of muddy jeans or whatever is currently scary dirty in your laundry bin . . . . .
Soap making is truly an incredible craft and a complicated science. I am always learning. I highly recommend reading this here blog post from a wicked smart maker for a thorough and well put together explanation on many of the ingredients in commercial "soaps".
In the meraki farmacy soaps there are NO: sodium lauryl sulfates, petrochemicals, phthalates, artifical dyes or fragrances, harsh chemicals, alcohols, preservatives, synthetic acids, animal fats or animal testing.
Each soap has its own recipe, but I use: *Plant oils and butters (see individual products) *Local honey *Organic flowers and herbs grown here or responsibly foraged from safe, wild spaces *Organic oats, coffee, herbal teas * Sodium hydroxide (lye)
As the plants continued to grow and I continued to learn and expand into all the ways plants teach, guide, love and heal us I began making more things. My dream and goal is to be a bridge, an initiator: through Meraki and the things made with plants we connect with each other, with choices, with the teachings from the natural ecosystems, with community and all the ways we can reduce harm and increase health.
Please check out Farmacy Market for individual items and follow along on Instagram. All these offerings are made with homegrown, organic plants or plants responsibly foraged from the wild or organic farmers: Healing salves are made with plant oil infusions and beeswax for skin and muscle conditions. Tinctures are made with plants infused in alcohol or organic apple cider vinegar for support and toning of the central nervous system, primarily. Flower essences are flowers infused in well water and alcohol, used for support and healing of emotional and psychospiritual aspects. Dried plants are available for your own making of tea or tinctures and connecting more directly with the plants.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about me, meraki farmacy, and what is possible when we explore our relationships with the things we use so often, with our relationships with our bodies, our relationships with plants and the natural world.
in gratitude, lu and the plants
calendula (calendula officinalis)
lu, beast of light
half humxn, half heliotrope
lemon balm (melissa officinalis)
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