San Diego, California, USA
Handcrafted Soaps, Herbal Balms & Candles
Crafted in the Wise Woman Tradition
Our Ingredient Suppliers
When I first came into this craft & business almost three decades ago, one of the first lessons I was taught by fellow soapmakers was, when it comes to your hard-earned and long-researched product recipes, ingredients, and supplier resources, (to quote Gandalf the Gray) - "Keep it secret! Keep it safe!" But the fact is, I'm very proud of the carefully-sought ingredients and suppliers I use and have built trustworthy relationships with, so why not share? I'm proud to boast the purity and honesty associated with them. So here's to one more layer of honesty in what I offer you...
Below is a list of every ingredient I use and where I obtain it from. Sometimes I have more than one supplier in case one happens to be out of something I need. You can click on each name below (corresponds to each product's ingredient list per it's product page), be taken to that supplier's website, and see exactly it's full description, it's INCI name, what quality certificates each holds, if any, including organic, non-GMO, *RSPO (Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil), fair trade, and kosher, .....and for most, what attributes each possesses.
The base oils for all of our soaps are:
Rice Bran Oil
Some of our soaps contain (as per their ingredients listing):
Hemp Seed Oil
(Some of these essential oils are used in soaps only offered seasonally, not year-round.)
Mountain Rose Herbs
Lemon Balm Leaf
Plantain Leaf & Cocoa Pod Ash
(Obtained from a variety of suppliers on Etsy, who obtain it from Africa.)
Pine Needles - from my own tree
Botanical Powders as Colorants:
Mountain Rose Herbs
Alkanet Root Powder
(Clays are not "agriculturally grown", there is no "organic" version of them. People ask.)
Mountain Rose Herbs
Brazilian Purple Clay
French Green Clay
Yellow Brazilian Clay
Mountain Rose Herbs
Pink Himalayan Salt
(Obtained "top-grade" from a variety of sources on the internet.)
Sourced from my local grocery store.
Sourced from my own organic lemon tree.
Sourced from Amazon or local grocery store.
Shay and Company
Sodium Hydroxide (lye):
USPS Flat Rate Boxes (made of recycled materials)
We also re-use all packing materials (bubblewrap, packing noodles) in shipments sent to us.
Biodegradable jute twine
RE: Palm Oil
*As per RSPO (Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil), there has been much attention in the news re: palm oil, how it's planted./harvested, how workers who grow/harvest it are treated, animal habitat affected, and overall climate effects of the clear-cutting/burning, growing and harvesting of palm oil....an ingredient in countless food and other products nowadays, including soap and bath products. My main supplier offers RSPO palm oil and this is what we have used in the past. The RSPO is a group striving to ascertain responsible/sustainable growing and harvesting of palm oil. It's a work in progress, gaining everyday. From my own study, I find that there are still areas where certification of sustainable practices are still difficult to consistently ascertain due mainly to a lack of manpower, and lately, also affected by Covid-19 restrictions. So I am cautiously and watchfully refraining from using palm oil until I see more reliable, provable certification. Many manufacturers have their own opinions on this issue. This is mine.
Read more about palm oil HERE, or conduct your own Google research.
IUCN RED LIST of Endangered Species: https://www.iucnredlist.org/
Established in 1964, the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species has
evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global extinction risk status of
animal, fungus and plant species.
Endangered Essential Oils:
Common plants/trees/essential oils used in soapmaking, perfumery, incense and other bodycare products:
Frankincense, rosewood, sandalwood, spikenard, agarwood, and cedarwood atlas all make amazing essential oils, but not worth purchasing at the cost of species survival. Research has shown stories of overharvesting, human exploitation, and lost habitat that has cost these plants dearly.
Frankincense resin of the Horn of Africa is fraught with corruption and exploitation.
Rosewood has been stripped in Brazil and has spread to Madagascar.
Sandalwood, with a valuable history to the economy of India, may be overprotected by the government to the point that it discourages farmer cultivation. Multiple species from Australia to Hawaii have gone extinct or are in serious danger.
Spikenard export has been banned, resulting in a heavily adultered essential oil.
Agarwood has a threatened genetic diversity, with a lack of variation affecting the species.
Cedarwood atlas has seen its conifer forest habitat shrink drastically.
The solution to saving these plants can start with the consumer. Stopping the purchase, especially from the regions listed, sends the message to the supplier that no oil is worth the cost of losing a species.
OTHER OILS OF CONCERN:
In Morocco, Argania spinosa is “Endangered” and its genetic diversity is severely threatened.47 In
addition, Aquilaria malaccensis is “Endangered” and protected worldwide by CITES since 1995.12
Buchu Oil from
Lucrative for its camphor components, buchu oil has many medicinal uses. It is primarily
harvested from the wild, but cultivation is providing more supply to go along with the increasing
international demand and to help the poor local population earn income. However, sustainable
harvesting is an issue due to the local practices of poverty-stricken people and poor legislation.48
Calamus Oil from
This ginger-like plant has become “Endangered” in Pakistan, rare in India, and listed as a VU
Threatened Medicinal Plant in S India.11 Highly sought for the medicinal value of its root, it was
banned from export during 1997 to save the crop from extinction in the wild.49 Multiple Calamus
species are on the 2017 IUCN Red list (1).
pentandrus & H. kurzii
Chaulmoogra is “Vulnerable” on the First Red Data List for S. India and CIMAP, 1997.11 In India,
the seed oil is used to treat many ailments, with loss of habitat and unsustainable collection.50
Coleus is “Endangered” in India, and is a member of the mint family whose roots are collected for
Asian healing methods.51
Gugguli from multiple
Multiple Commiphora species are on the 2017.1 IUCN Red List, 2010.1 Unsustainable harvesting
of the gum, called Guggulu, which is used for medicinal purposes, causes death of the plant.
Located in India and Pakistan, the Indian government has banned export of the species.50
Costus Oil from
This “Critically Endangered” plant is on the 2017.1 IUCN Red List1 and harvested for the medicinal
value of its roots.5 It is also listed in the Wildlife Protection Act of India 1995.11 Habitat loss,
illegal harvesting, and uncontrolled yak grazing has threatened the species.62
This plant had a status of “Vulnerable” on the 2017 IUCN Red List.1 It is highly regarded in Europe
for use to reduce skin wrinkles and to soothe muscles.
This fir species was on the 2017 IUCN 2010 Red List.1 Northwestern Turkey has experienced a loss
of mature trees due to illegal logging, acidic rain caused by sulphur dioxide from a nearby power
plant, habitat degradation, and fire, with a decreasing population trend. Excessive visitors to the
National Park, especially during the annual Sarikiz Festival and around Mt. Olympus have caused
further issues for the trees.52
Galbanum or Giant
Multiple Ferula species are on the 2017 IUCN Red List: F. caucasica and F. latpinna are listed as
“Vulnerable,” F. sadleriana as “Endangered,” and F. mervynii as “Critically Endangered.”1
G. kurroo Royle
Gentiana has many of its 300 subspecies identified as “Rare” or “Threatened.” G. kurroo Royle of
Northwestern Himalaya is “Critically Endangered” and the roots are used as a bitter tonic for many
Gurjun from multiple
This balsam tree of India has many species listed as “Endangered,” “Critically Endangered,” and
“Extinct” on the 2017 IUCN Red List .1
Hinoki wood is highly prized for holy buildings but suffers from excessive logging with slow
growth.54 As an essential oil, it has a spicy lemon scent. C. formosensis is on the IUCN Red List as
“Endangered,” while C. iawsoniana and C. obtuse are “Near Threatened.”1
Ho Wood Oil from
Ho wood oil, coming from a blend of Cinnamomum camphora subspecies trees, has been
blocked from cutting in China as of 2007, and is listed as “Vulnerable.”11 The camphor tree of
South China is a valuable timber for furniture, artwork, and architecture and as an oil used in
medicine and perfume.46 In the past decades, this tree was overharvested, but recent reforesting
activities have improved quantities. However, most of the seedlings planted were from low quality
trees and higher quality breeds of camphor trees need to be planted to improve quality.46 Many
Cinnamomum species are listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List.1
Holy Wood from
FL & Central America
Holy Wood (Guaiacum sanctum) is listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List.1 G. coulteri
and G. officinale are also listed on the 2015 IUCN Red list.1 Found in Florida, North and Central
America, G. sanctum is also listed by CITES.12 Bursera glabrifolia, a variation of the plant in
Mexico, was almost locally extinct in 2003.11 Bulnesia sarmientoi is an additional species listed by
CITES12 and Bulnesia carrapo is listed on the IUCN Red List1 as “Endangered.”
North West Himalaya
Inula racemosa is a “Critically Endangered” alpine herb of the Himalayas, which is used for
multiple medicinal purposes. North West Himalaya has seen a huge increase in illegal extraction
of its medicinal plants, causing an over-exploitation that has drastically decreased populations of
K. rotunda, and H.
Galangal or galgant spice lily is an aromatic ginger medicinal plant of tropical Asia facing
extinction.56 Hedychium spicatum Smith is a very highly valued medicinal plant with a status of
“Vulnerable.” It is of the Indian Himalayan Region and is also called Kapoor or ginger lily.57
Auracacia Oil from
Neocallitropsis pancheri, known for its Auracacia oil, has been heavily overharvested for its resin
used in perfumery. The total population of this plant is under 10,000 and decreasing, and is listed
as “Endangered” on the IUCN 2017.1 Red List. Fires and mining activity have also been a key threat
to its existence.1, 58
– Multiple Species
Origanum is a small spicy shrub with some species endemic to the Middle East classified as
“Vulnerable” or “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List1 including O. cordifolium, O. dictamnus
and O. ehrenbergii. Commercial plantations of palm oil have threatened multiple species.11
Panax ginseng C. A.
Korea & America
Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer is wild forest ginseng of Korea, and used in pharmacological products.
It is believed to be endangered in Korea, and the American ginseng plant was listed on CITES to
protect it from extinction.59
Norway spruce is on the 2011 Norwegian Biodiversity Information Center’s Red List.60 Additional
varieties of spruce are listed on the IUCN Red List.1
Multiple Pinus species
Pine has over 100 subspecies marked as “Threatened,” including Pinus halepensis Miller, P.
cembra L., P. roxburghii Sarg., P. merkusii Jungh & De Vriese, P. radiate D. Don, Pseudotsuga
menziessi (Mirbel) Franco, P. pumila (Pall.) Regel, P. silvestris L., P. sibirica Du Tour, P. elliottii
Englm, P. strobus L., Pinus kesiya, and Pinus merkusii .11
Ravensara oil of Madagascar is excessively overharvested for its stem bark by one particular
essential oil company to the point of threatening the species.11
Southeast China and
Siam wood or Fujian cypress is on the IUCN 2017.1 Red List as “Vulnerable.”61 Its timber is heavily
prized in Vietnam for its aroma and weight and its roots are distilled to make oil for cosmetics and
Nepal & Pakistan
Valeriana jatamansi of the Himalayas is “Endangered” in Pakistan and “Vulnerable” in Nepal.11
Several Valeriana species are harvested for the medicinal properties of their roots and are
threatened by forest degradation. V. asterothrix, V. buxifolia, V. cernua, V. coleophylla, V.
leschenaultia, and V. secunda are on the 2015.2 IUCN Red List.50
White sage of California is on the “To Watch” list by United Plant Savers.27
India, Java, Nepal, and
Wintergreen oil (Gaultheria franrantissma Wall) of India, Java, Nepal, and China is considerably
depleted according to S. India CIMAP
Credit: Autumn 2017.3 NAHA’s Aromatherapy Journal
December, 2019 Updated: Click here for more information about threatened essential oil species: Aroma Apothecary Healing Arts Academy Blog Article