Natural Living

By Laura Peterson

an image

“Love is like a willful bird, do you want it? It flies away! Yet, when you least expect its bliss, it turns around and it’s here to stay.”

Have you ever stood in the shower, squinting to read the strange phrases written on a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap with baffled delight? You know you have, and you also know you’ve brought it up amongst friends or family and they’ve laughed and shared your confusion – “Yeah, what heck is that about?”

What it’s about is this – Dr. Emanuel Bronner was a third generation master soap maker from an orthodox Jewish family in Helibron, Germany. As a rebellious young man in the late 1920′s, he walked away from his family and fortune to come to the U.S. In 1938 the Nazis took over his family’s business, and his parents and most of the rest of his family were killed in the Holocaust. By the late 1940′s, Dr. Bronner was making his own ecological castile soaps here in the states and labeling them with messages of peace, born out his family’s tragic fate. Each label contained over 30,000 words reflecting his life work of searching every religion and philosophy for “full truths that can be summed up in two beautiful sentences.” Dr. Bronner’s “Magic Soaps” complete with “All-One” message resonated well with the culture of the 60′s and 70′s, and that’s when Dr. Bronner’s became an icon.

Though Dr. Bronner passed away in 1997, his family-run company continues his message of charity and peace, giving back to “spaceship earth.” In the past five years, the company’s charitable gifting to social and environmental causes has nearly matched their post-tax income! Recipients of the Bronner family’s generosity include: fresh water wells in Ghana, orphanages in Haiti and China, organic farm projects, and the donation of over 1,200 acres of land to the San Diego County Boys and Girls Club. They have also given large amounts of soap to homeless shelters, Phoenix House and many other worthwhile projects. Dr. Bronner’s supports sustainable agriculture, farm worker health and ecological processing methods by using only organic oils in their 8 and 32 oz. Soaps.

So, “To Simplify & Enjoy Life More,” pick up your favorite scent of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, and believe in the magic his legacy has made possible around the world…. and “Don’t Drink Soap!”

* Liquid Soap scents include: Peppermint, Almond, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lavender and Baby-Mild.

You can buy Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps through natural food retailers and drug stores all around the city, as well as through their website: www.drbronner.com/index.html

Originally published August 2005
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