Dr. Bronner’s Magic



My favorite memory of using Dr.Bronner’s peppermint soap was the time I was in the northern Sierras with a videographer. He was going to tape some of the local Maidu Indian ceremonies for local universities and colleges while some of the older Indians were still alive and participating. I had been invited by my friend to attend the Bear Dance ceremony.  To wash up, we used a local stream and I was given some Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap. The creek water was so cold and the soap was so pure and minty that it was the most incredibly invigorating feeling; cold, yes, but alive, brisk and tingling.  That excursion into the Maidu culture was one of the most memorable of that period of my life. Everything I ate tasted sharper and better because it was all natural food and not much time was wasted eating – we were too busy – and all the senses were just so sharp and so magical.  A juicy orange was sweet and the tangy liquid filled my ravenous stomach, every drop savored.  I still recall eating the skin of the orange, its slightly bitter taste taking the edge off my hunger, there amid the pine trees and the People. Dr. Bronner’s was part of that experience, too. I think it was the first time I had ever been outdoors without any clothes on at all, in that stream, just me and the peppermint soap. I have always loved Dr. Bronner’s.

Vegan, Organic and Fair Trade Soap

I used it to wash my hair and brush my teeth – it was harmless, I was told, because it was all vegan, all natural, all organic.  The story of Dr. Emanuel Bronner’s all-plant soap is an amazing one.  Dr. Bronner, a chemist, was a true original character and the father of a progressive enterpreneurial family dynasty. The Bronner soaps are Certified Fair Trade; the company was one of the first to work towards standards for Organic Labeling and use of 100% post-consumer recyclable containers.  The family now maintains a cap on all executive salaries, no more than five times the lowest paid full time employee.  The company takes an active role in creating jobs and opportunities around the world for people who are in need of such enterprise. Their product line has increased to include hair care products, lip balms, shaving gels, and skin care products.

The soap is so mild that it can be used for nearly all personal hygiene, yet it is effective enough to do the dishes and wash the floors. Because it is all vegan, there are no toxic chemicals to harm animals or people in your household.  The soap is available in five gallon jugs as well as smaller individual bottles.  The scents are also very pleasant, from the exotic almond fragrance, the refreshing mint, earthy eucalyptus, sweet lavendar, and even an unscented natural soap.  The soaps are liquid, but they also offer a solid bar of soap in various fragrances, too.  You can also rest assured that a high percentage of profits go to charitable work.

The Dr. Bronner Story

Many health food stores and whole foods markets carry Dr. Bronners. In 2008, the company celebrated their sixtieth anniversary, with several generations. Dr. Bronner’s company has passed onto younger generations but the integrity of the company remains intact.  An interesting character, Dr. Bronner reportedly ran away from two mental institutions and left his children in orphanages and foster care while he pursued what he called, “saving spaceship earth.” His unusual world view can be read on the unforgettable labels pasted on all his liquid soaps to this day.

Find out about an entertaining film about Dr. Bronner’s life and the company he developed. Directed by Sara Lamm, the film details the incredible life that led Emanuel Bronner to immigrate to the United States, while his parents perished in the Holocaust. Starting his soap business in 1948, he watched it grow in the environmental awareness era of the late 1960s and early 1970s.  As popular today as it was then, Dr. Bronner’s soaps have stood the test of time. Despite his eccentricities, Dr. Bronner blessed the world with his creativity and knowledge of chemistry. His son Ralph followed in his footsteps and remained true to his father’s vision, despite his own unmet needs. If you can only buy one soap for every purpose in your home, whether personal, laundry, dishes, or scrubbing floors, Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap is a safe bet.  And maybe you, too, will have a magical memory with Dr. Bronner.