Well it didn’t get dark till after five o’clock last night, so we are starting to creep towards the lighter nights – and for this we are well pleased. We need sunlight to provide us with Vitamin D and so we thought that we would start this newsletter by writing a bit about how important this is for us.
Vitamin D is made by our body under the skin in reaction to sunlight. It facilitates normal immune system function and it helps to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, the nutrients we need to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy. From about late March/April to the end of September, most of us should be able to get all the vitamin D we need from sunlight on our skin, but in the winter months when the sun disappears behind the rain clouds we need to think of supplementing our supply and this is where regular intake of oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel, red meat (in moderation), liver, egg yolks and fortified foods such as most fat spreads and some breakfast cereals come in handy. In the UK, cows’ milk is generally not a good source of vitamin D because it isn’t fortified, as it is in some other countries but our thoughts are that a balanced diet where we have a little bit of everything is the secret.
The Moss-Grove story
We have great thanks to you our loyal customers who buy the products that we make, but we don’t suppose that many of you know where we came from or why we started making these lotions, and so we thought that in this newsletter we would tell you a bit about us.
Prior to 2004 when Moss-Grove began, we (Jim & Sheila) worked in our clinic in Cathcart in Glasgow where we practiced a form of therapy that proved to be very effective at treating people who suffered with back pain. The clinic ran for 16 years. Jim had suffered for many years with crippling back pain and had gotten to the point where it was so bad that his doctor, who could no more for him, suggested that if things got worse, he may have to consider life in a wheelchair. Jim decided that this was not for him and started to trawl the world looking for a therapy that could basically save his life. With a bit of luck, he came across Bowen therapy that had just arrived from Australia. After just a few treatments he could feel a difference.
Jim pestered the therapist who treated him with all sorts of questions – how does this work – why does it work – who invented it? Eventually the therapist suggested that Jim should go and learn the therapy himself and open his own clinic. What followed was a return to college to study anatomy & physiology (Jim wanted to know how a human being worked) and a journey to Australia to learn the therapy and eventually as he did, to qualify. Lots that can be written about Bowen and how Jim refined his technique at the clinic, and indeed much has been written about it in the book that he published ten years ago – Getting Your Own Back. There are no printed copies of this available (well you may find some copies on Amazon) but thankfully the whole thing is available on-line. So, if any of you have an interest in this, and have access to a computer, if you write us a note or call the office, we will be happy to provide the link that will allow you to read it.
The only sad thing about this is that the therapy as Jim had improved should be part of every-day life in the NHS. Regrettably despite writing repeatedly to the Scottish government asking that they at least look at the success stories from the clinic, it fell on deaf ears. Eventually in frustration, Jim gave up. Moss-Grove had started to expand, combined with the fact that Jim was probably fed up of driving in heavy traffic every day to the clinic in Glasgow, allowed that reluctantly, he concluded that it would be better to concentrate on Moss-Grove and nothing else. The clinic closed about two years ago, but not before Jim had found other well-educated therapists who could take on his patient’s.
Sheila trained many years ago as a nurse at the now demolished Kilmarnock Infirmary as did her sister and indeed Jim’s sister and his mum, who were all staff nurses. The family tradition in medicine continues with two GP’s, a surgeon, a specialist in mental health and an occupational therapist, but Sheila comes from an aromatherapy background where she had an interest that began many years ago. Jim was a bit sceptical about essential oils and couldn’t really understand how so little oil could at times have such an effect. In all honesty, he didn’t believe in their use, until one day after borrowing a pair of previously-owned socks to wear in his capacity as touch-judge for Kilmarnock rugby club, that left him with the horrible itchy problem of athlete’s foot. Jim tried all sorts of powders and such from the chemist – that didn’t work and suffered terribly until he begged Sheila for some help. Thus, our Foot Repair product was born – and of course Jim’s athlete’s foot problem disappeared. From this point, Jim was a convert to essential oils and being the fellow that he is, he decided to search the world for every bit of information that he could find about how and why essential oils. Thus his library of books, some going as far back as the first-world war (where the doctors treated syphilis with Lavender) and many that he has had to translate from French has grown.
France of course is where we find a greater use of essential oils than we do here in the UK. A doctor in France may prescribe oils when he deems it necessary and indeed sometimes he will prescribe it to be taken internally under medical supervision. The oils have to be ‘plant-based therapeutic quality’ and not like some of the oils such as peppermint used to flavour toothpaste, that is produced in a factory and has never seen the sun. Essential oils are dangerous and should under no circumstances ever be taken internally here in the UK. A small teaspoon of neat oil has the ability to do serious damage to a child. Thankfully though, the occasions of this have been very rare. Of course, the amounts of oil that we use in our products are not great, but they are included in the correct proportion that they need to be to make the products work – and they are well-dispersed into the sunflower oil and water that is the base.
Jim & Sheila have continued to utilise their knowledge in the uses and applications of essential oils to help research and develop our products with the result that eventually, Joint Ease was born. A natural skin lotion that helped to reduce the pain of Jim’s back and allowed him to regain the mobility he thought he had lost. Typical of so many of the Moss-Grove Natural Products that have been developed, Joint Ease allows us to introduce people to plant-based essential oils that speak directly to their own human organism and that has existed since the dawn of life on planet earth.
Big Pharma, the people who make skin-care and health-care products that are often packed full of chemicals that we can’t pronounce and certainly don’t understand why they are being used, can’t patent an essential oil, and so they are free to be used by us and indeed anyone. However, we have found that in times of short supply or in the case of the Scottish essential oil – Bog Myrtle – that is equivalent to Tea-Tree that we buy from Australia, the whole supply is snapped up by of or other of these giants. Thus, we are left to trade with small-scale essential oil producers, but in this we are happy as we can trace the product from when it grows on the plant, to when it is harvested, through steam distillation and eventually to certification of purity and delivery in the bottles that are sold to us. In a way, we are using God’s plant-derived little miracles.
As a family based skincare business from Ayrshire in Scotland, we have grown our little seed from its humble beginnings. Working tirelessly in the laboratory to develop and improve, we sell our natural products to thousands of happy customers worldwide. In all, we are happy in what we produce. We hope that you agree.