Natural Products Expo West 2016: My choice
I continue to tell you about the best companies from Natural Products Expo West. I’ve interviewed some of them and gathered a few facts you may find interesting. Healthy reading!
Zhena’s Gypsy Tea
This company was created by a woman entrepreneur Zhena Muzyka. Zhena’s grandmother was a Roman gypsy from the Ukraine and taught her that botanicals could heal everything: body and soul. She carried on her passion for herbs and studied herbal medicine throughout college and beyond. She needed to support herself and her son and at first started with selling her teas and blends off the cart. Now it Zhena’s Gypsy Tea is a multimillion-dollar fair trade tea company.
This is our quick chat at the EXPO:
Why are you products different?
Our teas are organic, fair trade, kosher certified and non-GMO. Apart from having tea bags versions we also created full leaf versions, unlike many other companies. We are a socially responsible business and we offer workplaces to the handicapped to give back to our local community. Handicapped pack a lot of teas for us here in LA. We are socially, economically and environmentally friendly. Tea comes from all over the world but as our tea is a fair trade, we work directly with the plantation in Sri Lanka, it’s a fair trade organic plantation. We are trying to make the life of people who work there better. There are 500 kids that go to school on that plantation and we did a Robin Hood project for them by collecting a hundred laptops and sending them to the kids. We are trying to change the world from the inside out rather than from the outside in. Our next step is to get more people to buy organic and fair trade products in the US.
Why is it better to drink tea than coffee? Usually, it is because of the acidity levels of coffee. Disease lives in acidity more than it lives in any other form in a body so the more you keep your body alkaline the better. A lot of teas are more on an alkaline scale. Also, the caffeine level is a lot lower in tea than in coffee. Caffeine drains minerals from the body so too much caffeine can drain too many minerals from the body.
Dr. Woods Soaps
Dr. Woods Soaps is a US based company. Their line of products includes soaps of different sorts: black soaps, Castile soaps, triple-milled soaps and facial cleansers. They are all natural and all have their star ingredient – fair trade shea butter that provides moisturizing qualities. You can buy it at iherbs online shop.
This is what they told me at the Expo: Our claim to fame is that we’ve taken the purest shea butter and found out the way to put it into a soap effectively. Our Castile soaps (liquid soaps with a vegetable base) are probably the first competitors to a famous Dr. Bronner’s soaps. They have held this position for over 65 years and now we’ve created products to compete. You can’t just be the same so we’ve found our difference in adding shea butter. It helps to moisturize at the same time as it cleanses. As you probably know, Castile soap could be drying, not with ours. Shea butter is one of the most nurturing and moisturizing ingredients in the whole world. In countries like Ghana, Burkina Faso, Senegal and Nigeria they use shea butter like we use olive oil, you can even cook with it. Our soaps are totally vegetable based. The base here is hemp oil, olive oil, and coconut oil. They are very competitively priced and more and more people are choosing them understanding that it is as important what you put on your body as what you put in your body.
OM Organic Mushroom Nutrition is a Californian brand offering their customers mushroom powder they can use in shakes, salads, soups, hummus and cooking. OM is not an abbreviation but also a nod to a familiar mantra many of us practice in the morning. Mushrooms are the newest superfoods in 2016, so it is all worth paying your attention to!
OM had a recent rebranding and launched at the Expo with the new name, logo and packaging. Their fancy new line includes mixes called Fit, Immune, Restore, Beauty, Cordyceps, Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Turkey Tail, Chaga and Maitake. OM’s new website www.ommushrooms.com is alive but not finished yet.