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 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 plants, gardening and nature from a very early age. In fact, my great grandfather was a head gardener on a country estate in Northumberland, so plants are obviously in my genes. My professional life started with studying plant biology at university. I’m an inquisitive soul and so I continued as a researcher to learn more about plants. (I’m currently studying medicinal herbs and herbalism in general so I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you in the future.)

The Wild Journal book

I started growing my own plants and herbs when I bought my first house with a garden – bliss! Spending time outdoors or in the garden was always my mother’s way of coping with depression, something which I also find helpful during difficult days. 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! I do use organic essential oils occasionally but in moderation. A lot of essential oils are 'chemicals' and are artificially manufactured in an industrial plant, rather than distilled or extracted from organically grown plants. I find people over-use them (see below!) and often overlook the benefits of the plant itself – and its plant power! 

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. My researching skills took over and I spent every waking hour trying to find the cause for why he could barely get out of bed – a scary scene for any parent! We discovered through private testing that the underlying causes were Lyme disease (and coinfections) and mould toxicity. (I don’t talk extensively about my private life but if you’ve read some of my posts, you’ll know that I’m trying to raise awareness of Lyme disease through discussion.) His immune system was being bombarded with some of the most toxic, invasive and damaging infections known to man. 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, 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 via a specialist clinic, low dose immunotherapy for allergies, lots of organic food and fresh herbs, and removing as many toxins from our environment as possible. Organic food and products, no plastics or perfumes (a few organic essential oils for therapeutic purposes), and no broadcast Wi-Fi in the house (ethernet cables only with TP-Links)!

Toxic book by Neil Nathan

It is because of this whole journey and my love of plants that I created Ginger Mint in March 2020. It encapsulates everything I now understand about the toxic world in which we live in, and how to maintain a healthy mind and body. 

Ginger Mint will always strive to offer you the best brands in organic, plastic-free, skincare and self-care products, free from chemical nasties and unnecessary additives. We want to inspire you on your journey to a cleaner and healthier life. We want to nourish your mind, body AND soul!

Bee on a pink echinacea flower

I’d love to hear from you if you have any questions or comments (especially about chronic illnesses), so feel free to send me a DM on social media, or email me at Why not join our Facebook group for a holistic approach to allergies and chronic illness?

Take care and stay safe.



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

Allergies & chronic illness – holistic support group on Facebook 


Some useful links and organisations

Jo Saxton
Jo Saxton


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