Living clean in a toxic world: our story

by Jo Saxton October 30, 2020

A plate full of fresh edible herbs and flowers

I’ve wanted to write a blog post about why I set up Ginger Mint for a while so here it is. I’m Jo, by the way. I live in the New Forest with my partner, our son and a fun-loving whippet.

My love affair with plants started with my parents who introduced me to gardening and nature from a very early age. My professional life started with studying plant biology at university. I’m an inquisitive soul and so I continued as a science researcher to learn more about plants.

The Wild Journal book

I grow a lot of organic plants and herbs as I love to cook vegetarian and vegan food for my family, and our whippet loves them too. I use herbs for flavour and vitamins, but also for their medicinal benefits. I’m a great believer in plants for healing and it’s the family joke that I’ll have a herbal balm, a tea or a sprinkling of fresh herbs for whatever ailment they may have!

A stack of herbal books

A few years ago, our young son became ill with severe chronic fatigue symptoms, sometimes known as ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) or CFS/ME. However it wasn’t a diagnosis; it was just a label. I spent every waking hour trying to find the cause of his illness and why he could barely get out of bed – a scary scene for any parent! At the time, I was running my own successful business relating to publishing services. I had to close the business down to look after him, as I couldn't cope with heavy deadlines too.

Sadly, we were dismissed as neurotic parents and told that our son was making it all up. We had no choice but to seek private help via a functional medicine clinic. They discovered the underlying causes were Lyme disease with coinfections, and mould toxicity. His immune system was being bombarded with some of the most toxic, invasive and damaging infections known to man. Not only that, the chemicals and toxins he had unwittingly been exposed to during his short life, were also making him very ill. We thought we were already living a clean lifestyle but obviously not in the right way.

Complications included: electrical sensitivity (including Wi-Fi and electronic gadgets); severe and extensive allergies to foods, additives, preservatives, environmental factors such as dust, diesel, petrol and plastics; and sensitivities to perfumes, pesticides, essential oils, etc. Look up ‘multiple chemical sensitivities’ – it’s horrendous!

A stack of medical textbooks

We live in a very toxic world. Daily exposure to chemicals, perfumes, pesticides and plastics damages our health, leading to food allergies, skin irritation, gut problems, cancers, and a weakening of our immune systems. They also pollute the environment!

We are all born with an empty ‘allergy bucket’ and through modern life, we are exposed to lots of chemicals, perfumes, plastics and pesticides, which gradually fill up that bucket. When the body is attacked by a virus or bacteria (or a mould!), the immune system can effectively protect the body, but only if it is supported and nurtured, and protected from these pollutants. If the allergy bucket is filled to the brim – or even overflows – this adds to the chemical load on the body and directly impacts on its ability to fight off an infection, and then the whole system collapses. If someone you know has a chronic illness, and traditional treatment isn't helping them, it’s worth considering environmental factors, allergies and/or infections as a factor.

Healing Lyme book by Stephen Buhner

Is our son getting better? Yes – slowly but surely – through herbal treatment, low dose immunotherapy for allergies, lots of organic food and fresh herbs, and removing as many toxins from our life as possible. We also use low tox products, avoid plastics and perfumes, and we have no broadcast Wi-Fi in the house (ethernet cables only with TP-Links).

Toxic book by Neil Nathan

It's impossible to avoid environmental toxins, but we can reduce their impact. I set up Ginger Mint in March 2020, to inspire others to make positive changes to their life, to achieve a healthy mind, body and planet. Ginger Mint has carefully selected plant based and naturally derived, eco friendly products, to support others on their journey to a clean, healthy and happy life.

No-one is perfect and no-one can do it all, but we can make some small and simple low tox swaps in our lives which will help!

Bee on a pink echinacea flower

I’d love to hear from you if you have any questions or comments about this, so feel free to send me a DM on social media, or email me at Why not join our Facebook group – 'Healthy mind, body and planet' for tips and info on living a cleaner and happier life that without harming the environment.

Take care and stay safe.



We'd love to connect so come and say 'hi'!

Healthy mind, body and planet – our group on Facebook
UK Garden Herb Lovers – our group on Facebook 


Some useful links and organisations

Jo Saxton
Jo Saxton


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