Our approach to herbalism and what we make at Wild Origins is informed by the folk practices of our ancestors. As much as possible, we use whole plants that grow around us in our bioregion.
Our face and body oils are slowly infused with resins, flowers, seeds, leaves, and roots. Much of what we use is grown or harvested by us, or people we know, or by people in our region. While we aren't always able to do that (frankincense resin and vanilla beans are two things we always need to get from afar) we aim to work as much as possible with the potent plants that live around us.
And by infusing our face and body oils with plants instead of adding essential oils (which are composed of volatile oils alone) we’re able to include a wide range of beneficial chemical compounds beyond volatile oils. We use small amounts of essential oils sparingly and intentionally in four of our offerings - body butter, dream oil, awakening oil, deodorant. Enormous amounts of plant material are needed in order to produce a small amount of essential oil so the impact on the earth is far greater than when using whole plants.
According to herbalist Richo Cech, fixed oils like olive, sunflower, or avocado can “easily extract gums, resins, and oleoresins while partially extracting volatile oils, mucilage, alkaloids, and other active constituents” from plants. And because we use an intermediary in our extraction process, we’re able to pull even more constituents beyond those out of the plants we work with - resins, acids, and even more alkaloids and volatile oils. Our products may have a milder smell than those that use essential oils (though still noticeable!) but they are infused with a far wider range of compounds.