Greensong's Story

So you may be wondering just who and what Greensong Botanicals is. Well, my name is Lisa Parker. I live in Kapa'a on the island of Kauai. I began working with herbs and oils a long time ago. My family is one that is plagued with asthma and allergies. My father, brother and sister all suffer from severe asthma. I, on the other hand, manifested that particular gene in another way acute, chronic eczema. I have had eczema and various allergies my whole life. When I was a kid I was taken to various dematologists who poked and pricked and prodded. They put me on special diets and suggested various creams and lotions. They told me that I was basically allergic to my own dry skin and extremely reactive to water. I was told not to swim or bathe. To clean myself I was supposed to get damp with tepid water, use some sort of non-soap cleanser and rinse off as quickly as possible. Then to cover my entire body with some kind of lotion.

This was not good news to a kid who loved to swim like a fish and to someone whose spiritual practice is the bath. So as the years went by and I got frustrated by dematologists who could never offer me anything but a big bill and a tube of cortisone I embarked on a path to heal myself. I knew that somehow it was possible. I began to check out books from the library on herbs and nutrition. I read and studied and read some more. I sought out various herb stores (this was the early 80's so there wasn't a bulk herb section on every corner) and began making bitter brews of burdock root with marshmallow. I steeped, decocted, tinctured, and blended. I read Jeanne Rose's Herbal Body Book and slathered my face with honey and avocado.

Over the years I experimented and explored as I had the time in between grad school, teaching and waitressing. I went to adult ed classes on herbal beauty treatments and on home medicinals. I grew things in my garden and experimented with teas, tinctures and various dietary changes. Eventually, I felt the need for more specific information and deeper guidance. I signed up for Rosemary Gladstar's home study course. I worked through each lesson carefully trying all of the recipes and exploring all the variations. I grew plants and watched their cycles, I dried them and consumed them all the while trying to find those things that would heal my skin. For many years I've been making herbal potions for myself, family and friends. I've studied intensively with various teachers and spent many hours in the garden and concocting in my home lab. And I am happy to say I have been successful for the most part in alleviating myself of my eczema. Outbreaks now are very rare and usually short lived. I swim and bathe with joy and abandon.

What I learned is that your skin is integrated with the rest of your body. The health of the inside of your body affects your skin and vice versa. In fact, the skin is the largest organ of your body and it is a permeable membrane. Like the inside of your body the skin takes in nutrients which it's cells need to function properly. There are several layers beneath the surface of the skin that also receive nourishment or toxins from what comes through the surface of the skin. If what is coming through the skin is oils that have been transformed through chemical processing from plants that have been heavily pesticided that's what the cells get to work with as their basic building blocks. Natural oils, on the other hand,  are often rich in vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and essential fatty acids (EFA's) which the body requires for maintaining cell membranes but cannot produce by itself. If you do not get enough of them you will become ill in some way. EFA's must obtained through your diet and through your skin. The majority of foods do not contain Essential Fatty Acids so using natural oils that do is an excellent way to bring them into your body.

Body care products made by hand with food grade ingredients, intention, and great care feel good to the skin and the body just like eating a fine meal. There is also an integrity and accountability with handmade products that is not the case with mass produced commercial products. Because the maker is selling directly to the buyer you know that the quality of their products is important to them. After all, we want people to come back, we want people to be happy and we are doing this because we care about people's health and the health of the planet. With a small scale, hand made product you can see, smell and feel the wholeness, the beauty and the goodness of ingredients and the intention of the product. In my opinion, good food and good body care products are both a health insurance program and healing daily practice.

So that's how Greensong came about. These are the products I have been making for my own skin. Now I am sharing them with you. Please feel free to share your experiences with me. I welcome feedback, comments and criticisms. All information is helpful to me to refine the products and to develop the things people need and want. It is also possible for me to formulate special and specific things for you so please don't hesitate to contact us. And if you feel inspired please write reviews or testimonials that we can post.

Mahalo Nui Loa and Aloha,