Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Aromatherapy & Essential Oils

Botanicals & Herbs

Organic Products

FDA Labeling Requirements

Business Ethics


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. ~ What ingredients are considered natural colors?
A. ~ The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the arm of the federal government which regulates the use of color additives in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics. “Natural” color additives are classified by the FDA as “Exempt from Certification”. These colors come directly from plants or animals such as seeds (annatto), roots (turmeric), vegetables (red cabbage, beet juice), algae (beta carotene), insects (carmine), fruits (grape juice), etc. These exempt colors are regulated by the Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 Part 73. There are 28 such natural colors permitted for use in cosmetics.

Q. ~ What ingredients are considered artificial colors?
A. ~ Coal Tar Dyes, FD&C and/or Lake Colors are considered artificial colors. Mineral pigments are not considered artificial colors.

Q. ~ What about ingredients that don’t fit the NIRC “Natural” Criteria, because while they are originally made from natural raw materials, they undergo significant processing or refining?
A. ~ Those ingredients are often called *naturally sourced*; “as having come from, in part or in whole, a natural organic source at one time. These ingredients are far from natural, but they may have naturally derived components as their original source.” [Reprinted with Permission; Essential Wholesale]. “Naturally sourced” ingredients don’t count toward the percentages of natural ingredients in a natural product since they more closely fit the definition for synthetic.

Q. ~ Is there such a thing as “Natural Soap”?
A. ~Please refer to our article Is there such a thing as Natural Soap?

Q. ~ Is glycerin a natural ingredient?
A. ~ It depends. The glycerin formed during the process of making soap, is the result of the saponification process. In cold and hot process soap making, that naturally occurring glycerin is left in the raw and finished soap. That glycerin would be considered part of the “true soap” rather than a separate ingredient. It occurs as a result of the natural biological process.

However, the process necessary to remove glycerin from raw soap, is not considered minimal processing. It requires more processing that that which could take place in a household kitchen, stillroom, on a farm, or vineyard. Glycerin removed from raw soap and sold as a single ingredient, is not natural, however it would be considered naturally sourced.

Aromatherapy & Essential Oils

aromaplantThe Aromatic Plant Project is an educational organization and assists people in finding the correct essential oil and hydrosol distillers and distillation equipment for their needs. They are a non-profit educational organization here to support American Agriculture and its natural products.


Your Source for Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Information
Your Source for Aromatherapy and
Essential Oil Information

AromaWeb offers over 250 pages of aromatherapy and essential oil articles, essential oil profiles, recipes, as well as important safety information. A very important web site to visit to learn more about the safe use of essential oils!

agoraAGORA – The Aromatherapy Global Online Research Archives is a unique non-commercial, website, contributed to by about eighty people world-wide. Their mission is to promote the serious, intelligent and SAFE use of essential oils for healing the body, mind and spirit.

National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy
National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy

NAHA – The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy is a member based non-profit association devoted to the holistic integration and education of aromatherapy into a wide range of complementary healthcare practices including self care and home pharmacy.


Read a wonderful article about aromatherapy in this article which originally appeared in Vegetarian Times [PDF, reprinted with permission]:  Scent of a Woman: Aromatherapy comes of age by Barbara Tunick

Botanicals & Herbs

American Botanical Council

American Botanical Council. At the American Botanical Council, we are passionate about helping people live healthier lives through the responsible use of herbs, medicinal plants. We are an independent, nonprofit research and education organization dedicated to providing accurate and reliable information for consumers, healthcare practitioners, researchers, educators, industry and the media.



A Modern Herbal
first published in 1931, by Mrs. M. Grieve

Free online Index of more than 800 varieties of herbs and plants, word search of the text, recipes, and an index of poisonous plants.

European Union monographs European Medicines Agency – European Union herbal monograph comprises the scientific opinion of the Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC) on safety and efficacy data concerning a herbal substance and its preparations intended for medicinal use. The HMPC evaluates scientifically all available information including non-clinical and clinical data but also documented long-standing use and experience in the European Union.

nihNCCIH Policy: Natural Product Integrity

NCCIH is committed to the rigorous scientific investigation of natural products used in complementary and alternative medicine. This Policy establishes guidance on the information required by NCCIH for different types of products used in both mechanistic and clinical research including complex botanical products, complex animal products, probiotics, refined products, and placebos.

irtInstitute for Responsible Technology

The most comprehensive source of GMO health risk on the web.

gmoBefore the FDA decided to allow GMOs into food without labeling, FDA scientists had repeatedly warned that GM foods can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems. They urged long-term safety studies, but were ignored.

Organic Products

Learn more about organic ingredients and organic product labeling efforts by visiting the web sites for these organizations;

Organic Consumers AssociationOrganic Consumers Association

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. The OCA deals with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children’s health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability and other key topics.

Organic Trade AssociationThe Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for the organic industry in North America. Founded in 1985, OTA is the leading voice for organic agriculture and trade in the United States, representing over 6,500 businesses across 49 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers, and others.

Read about the organic labeling of cosmetics in this article which originally appeared in Vegetarian Times [PDF, reprinted with permission]:  Organic personal care products defined by Vicky Uhland

GeneWatchGeneWatch UK is a not-for-profit group that monitors developments in genetic technologies from a public interest, human rights, environmental protection and animal welfare perspective. GeneWatch believes people should have a voice in whether or how these technologies are used and campaigns for safeguards for people, animals and the environment.

FDA Labeling Requirements

Cosmetic Labeling Guide

Cosmetic Labeling & Label Claims Overview

Labeling Regulations Applicable to Cosmetics

Aromatherapy Product Information

Food: Ingredients, Packaging & Labeling

Business Ethics

Business Ethics – The online magazine of corporate responsibility

Green America - Economic action for a just planet

Global Exchange – International human rights organization

Business Ethics Pledge – create a moral code of business ethics based on honesty, integrity and quality.