One Man's Beautiful Jewel From The Ashes of the Holocaust : Dr Bronners Peppermint Soap
Mar 18, 2007
Pros: concentrated, no chemicals, many uses
Cons: a little drying for hair or hands if too concentrated
The Bottom Line: After all of these years, Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap is still one of our favorites. Natural and extremely versatile it is an excellent product.
The first time that my husband and I saw Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Castile Soap, we thought that the whole thing was a joke. The label on the outside looked like the insane ramblings of a lunatic on acid. There was so much writing on the label, that it made us exhausted trying to decipher it all.
That was 24 years ago.
Once we tried the soap, however, we understood the price and appreciated the product more than anything we had tried to that point.
Dr. Bronner's Soap became our favorite shower soap for a long time. The Peppermint type was our top choice, despite the fact that we tried lots of others. The almond came in second.
WHO WAS DR. BRONNER?
You would not appreciate this question unless you have seen one of the labels. Seriously, it looks like a lunatic went berserk with a label maker while on a serious drug trip.
The labels have changed over the years, but the product is still good. Here is a little background on Dr. Bronner as found on the product site.
Dr. E.H. Bronner 1908 -1997 A Life Dedicated to God, Mankind and Spaceship Earth
Emanuel Bronner was a third generation master soap-maker from an orthodox Jewish family in Heilbron, Germany, where he was certified as a master soap-maker under the rigorous guild system of the time. He was the heir to the family's soap factory and business, but rebelled against his father and came to the United States in the late 1920's. After the Nazis nationalized the soap factory in 1938, his parents and most of his family died in the Holocaust.
Dr. Bronner initially worked as a consultant to various soap companies in the U.S. However, most such companies were converting to the complicated synthetic surfactant formulations that comprise modern body care products, so he struck out on his own in the late 40's. His ecological castile soaps and message of peace resonated powerfully with the counter-culture of the 60's and 70's, and he became an icon of the time.
Dr. Bronner's essential vision and philosophy were born out of the fate of his family and the Holocaust, and are emphatic that we are all children of the same divine source: people must realize that we are "All-One!," and that the prophets and spiritual giants of the world's various faith traditions all realized and said this. Dr. Bronner was also grounded in a powerful ecological consciousness, and the soaps were an extension of this simple, natural and 100% environment-friendly.
Dr. Bronner passed away peacefully on March 7, 1997, amidst family and friends. While we disagree with Dr. Bronner on some idiosyncrasies in his philosophy, we revere him for his efforts to unite humanity and his exhortations to lead a more responsible life in respect to our environment and each other. We continue to make with care and integrity the fine ecological soaps our customers have loved and lathered with for 50 years, and we now make our soaps with all certified organic oils, certified under the USDAs National Organic Program. We share our time, profits and energy with our workers and worthwhile causes worldwide.
Love in All-One, The Bronner Family
You can find links to more articles on Dr Bronner from past years on this page at the bottom:
The ingredients have changed over the years as we have just found an older bottle of Dr Bronners and noticed the change. However, the product is still similar in its performance.
USING DR BRONNERS
Using Dr Bronner's Peppermint Castile Soap is quite amusing. First you feel the soap suds around you and feel nothing particular, and then suddenly most everyone squeals in half shock and half delight at the cool sensation that it causes around your whole body.
You do not want to get it around your eyes, as the peppermint will burn. Also, sensitive areas of the body will tingle intensely with the peppermint touching it.
This soap is supposed to be able to be used for everything from doing dishes, to brushing your teeth.
The teeth part is not what I would recommend, and I find that the soap is too severe for hair as well, but it does work wonders when used as part of a natural lice treatment.
HEre are some other uses: dentures baby bath bath deodorant (?) Diapers pet baths wool shaving hand & foot soap car cleaning dishes hand soap floor soap cleaning soaps laundry soap (very little- it foams up a lot)
I also use it to clean my makeup and watercolor brushes- but greatly diluted as it tends to be VERY CONCENTRATED.
I have been using this soap for 24 years now and despite the changes in the company, label, and ingredients, it still is one of the nicest soaps we have used. It is highly concentrated and has to be diluted for many uses, but Dr. Bronner surely did take the horrible demise of his family and turn it into a blessing for the rest of humanity by bringing us this amazing soap.
WHERE TO FIND
You can find Dr Bronner's soaps in drugstores, grocery stores, and natural food stores.