Potion or poison?

The Nude Alchemist

The Nude Alchemist is a women-led family business passionate about supporting family health with the help of nature’s medicine cabinet. The range of products is rooted in the art and science of aromatherapy and herbalism. The Nude Alchemist is most popularly known for its award-winning Teething Tamer, a gentle externally applied balm that has soothed many teething children (and their parents!) nationwide.

With young families in mind, using clean botanical ingredients on little ones was at the forefront of this purpose-led business. Establishing the company in 2016 whilst on maternity leave, Sara began looking into what was in children’s products and was concerned for the future generations and illnesses associated with these toxins. Uncomfortable with the lack of natural options, Sara looked to nature – after all, Mother Nature has a knack for providing humankind with many answers.

With her 6-month-old as her muse and her close-knit antenatal and coffee groups by her side for initial feedback, Sara set to work to bring New Zealand a range of ethical and natural products that parents could trust and safely use on their little ones.

The past decade has seen a resurgence in the popularity of natural modalities, which suggests consumers are becoming more mindful of what they are putting onto their bodies and skin, as well as on their little ones. This is something to celebrate but also a cautionary tale.

With the ongoing battle of the Therapeutic Products Act in New Zealand (and now thrown out of parliament for the umpteenth time, much to the joy of the majority), regulations remain light, resulting in many products on the market that are incorrectly formulated and unsafe to use for the intended age. To date, no governing body in NZ oversees formulation practices. There has also been an increase in essential oil use, driven partly by large, competitive multi-level marketing companies that have sold millions of dollars worth of essential oils to individuals and are known to make unsubstantiated claims about essential oils that ward off illness and provide cures for all sorts of conditions without scientific evidence-based research. These business structures are driven by money and greed and cleverly structured to dodge liability for any claims their representatives may make. It is clear that safety does not come first for these giants, and unfortunately, this trickles down to the end consumer using essential oils without the correct knowledge.

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