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 wonderful 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.)
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 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!
We live in a very toxic world full of too many unnecessary pollutants and chemicals. We are all born with an empty ‘allergy bucket’ and through modern life, we are exposed to lots of chemicals, pollutants and irritants, 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.
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)!
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. It also indulges my love of design and crafts which stem from a creative upbringing and influences from my 'crafty' mother and grandmothers.
And why 'Ginger Mint' as a name? Well, it's a culinary herb with lots of qualities – it's refreshingly minty, has a hint of zesty ginger, and has a mildly spicy note on the back end. It's also an uncommon and unusual herb. I think it sums us up quite well!
Ginger Mint will always strive to represent the best brands in plastic-free, organic skincare and well-being products – free from chemical nasties and unnecessary additives – and eco-friendly makers who love plants and nature as much as we do. Our bodies need to be protected from as many chemicals as possible and our planet deserves more kindness!
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 email@example.com.
Take care and stay safe.
We'd love to connect so come and say 'hi'!
Some useful links and organisations