My mentor told me a sad story about the effects of modern agriculture—he said that indigenous people are now falling ill from chemicals showing up in the foods they have eaten throughout history. From pesticide-sprayed fields and roadsides to factory runoff contaminating water sources that feed their plants and fish, indigenous people (and wildcrafters alike) are in danger of serious disease from foods that have served as natural medicines for generations. A little research and the Journal of Indigenous Well-Being confirmed that unfortunately, this is happening all over the world.
That’s why when I read about this month’s We Heart, Sanandi, this story came back to me and knocked me off my feet (literally, I found myself laying on the couch in the office with a pen in my hand, writing fervently about this company). Hearing about contaminated waters and healing plants that are hurting breaks my heart, but the story of Sanandi gives me hope because they prove that it’s possible to restore our planet, create healing spaces, and do so sustainably.
When we fall in love with a company we automatically want to share them with you. But before we do so, we vet them for honesty and transparency as well as purity of products. We were so pleased to discover that Sanandi is the absolute of pinnacle those things, so we invited them to join our little We Heart Family. This company is truly inspiring and they are absolutely wonderful to work with.
The Sanandi Story
In Western medicinal philosophy, “healthy” is synonymous with “the lack of disease” and doctors often help to remove illness rather than increasing health. Dieter le Noir, MD was working as a Western physician when he realized that he wanted to help people to live healthily—not just cure disease. So he went back to school in Germany and Switzerland to add holistic and naturopathic knowledge to his healing practice (Can you imagine choosing to go back to med school after med school? Wow, this is passion) and then he went back to his roots in Mexico to start Sanandi.
The word “Sanandi” is derived from the Latin word “sānus”, which means “sound in body or mind” as in “healthy, in a state of wellbeing.” Health is the crux of all things Sanandi, so this name fits perfectly.
Sanandi has a few different far-reaching branches that touch thousands of people. At the center of everything is the Valle la Paz (Spanish for Peaceful Valley). Dr. Noir and his brother purchased this land in 1998 and set to work reforesting using methods in permaculture—they even banned machinery in their valley so that everything could be tended naturally.
The valley is fed by a mature natural spring that comes from snowfall on the top of a volcano. The water moves through the rich earth, being filtered naturally over hundreds of miles to bring pure, crystal-clear, pH balanced water to the land.
The brothers landscaped their fields with their goal to create a biodynamic farm, Rancho la Paz, complete with natural irrigation lakes and soil that tests completely chemical free. The farm includes its own organic and biodynamic seed bank, has over 40 medicinal plants growing, and they even have their own apiaries (beehives) so that they can be sure that every ingredient in their products fits their mission of bringing health and wellness to every part of our planet.
In the vetting process, I specifically asked about ingredients that are sourced rather than grown at the farm and the response I got was outstanding, “whenever we source an ingredient from another farm, Dr. Dieter le Noir verifies that it is Organic and Biodynamic, and respectfully grown.”
The Sanandi team worked at a slow but steady pace to build the perfect organic and biodynamic space, and in 2010 they launched their herbal products along with an educational program to promote and integrate holistic healing and sustainable agriculture with the key driving principle of being part of the Economy for the Common Good.
The provide education for other farmers to help them become organic and biodynamic, along with helping them become self-sufficient rather than having to rely on GMO seeds or chemical pesticides. They also work with other farms to provide free, hot breakfasts to children in the surrounding communities and sponsor agriculture, music, and health classes in schools.
In addition to all of this, Sanandi runs a low-cost, public-run clinic for the people living in the surrounding areas that previously did not have access to health care—both due to funds and because they had to travel hours to the nearest doctor.
In 2016, they expanded to create SanandiUSA so their products are finally available in the United States. We are really excited to announce them to our community! They have a lot of really amazing products and it was difficult to choose just one to spotlight but for brevity’s sake, we had to.
It’s incredibly rare to find a company that harvests herbs, drys them, and then creates a product with them in the same place—you can't get more pure than that. Like all of Sanandi’s products, their Respiratory Balm is handmade in small batches in the lab located on their farm.
The impressive organic ingredients include Almond oil with Calendula Essential oil, Almond oil with Giant Hyssop Essential oil, Beeswax, English Plantain, Eucalyptus Essential Oil, Mezcal, Pine Essential oil, Pine Resin, Thyme.
And because we can’t say it better ourselves, here’s what they have to say about their balm:
Our Respiratory Balm provides soothing relief to your respiratory system! It is formulated to work on multiple levels: from helping you enjoy a wonderful sleep of relaxed breathing, to providing relief to your respiratory system when the temperature is cold, when congested, or when experiencing coughing or shortness of breath. Made with all-natural ingredients, it contains organic and biodynamic extracts and essential oils from numerous medicinal plants and flowers, and is handcrafted using USP and German Pharmacopoeia grade processes to guarantee potency, quality, and effectiveness.
If any company falls under our scope of Wild. Beautiful. it’s Sanandi. We are absolutely thrilled to welcome this company into the States and share them with you!
We know we can’t change the world alone, so every month we highlight another amazing company in the clean-living community that we’re creating! We share transparent companies with integrity, that we’ve fully vetted because we believe we’re all stronger when we work together to create a cohesive Earth-based, sustainable society.
Do you know of a company you think fits with our values? Write into us and we’ll get the eco-friendly party started!
Aub is a certified clinical herbalist and content strategist/creator. She is the co-founder of Dandelion Branding, a digital marketing company that works with brands that are focused on revolutionizing their industries. When she's not working on a project, you can usually find her nosing about in the forest or giving congratulatory high fives to every plant in her house for growing.