How a PCOS Diagnosis Led Two Friends to Create Toxin-Free Cleaning Products
Where did your inspiration for Branch Basics begin?
Allison: When Kelly and I were in college, my body began to essentially break down. I had been diagnosed with severe PCOS [polycystic ovary syndrome] a couple of years prior. There were cysts all over my ovaries, and I was told I would never be able to get pregnant naturally. [In college,] I was experiencing unexplained chronic pain and loss of motor skills. Doctors could not figure me out; I was put on painkillers, muscle relaxers, antidepressants, sleeping pills, and just wasn’t getting any results. My aunt Marilee was an environmental and dietary health consultant; she started talking to me about the role toxins play in the things we eat, the things we put on our body, the things we use in our home. Upon graduating from the University of Texas in Austin, Kelly and I went to live with Marilee. We were introduced to this world of no toxins in her home. We were juicing, walking barefoot in the grass, using an infrared sauna. Within eight weeks, my pain was gone. After a year [of living without toxins], my cysts actually disappeared, and I no longer qualified as a PCOS candidate. I have been able to get pregnant naturally twice, easily, and have two healthy children.
Kelly: I had all these [symptoms] lifted that I thought were common things, like menstrual cramps and dry and itchy eyes. My headaches went away; I was going to acupuncture and massage therapy for muscle pain, and that all went away. Marilee taught us how to start connecting our symptoms with what we were putting in and around ourselves.
What made you focus on cleaning products?
Allison: Kelly and I found that we both had this amazing affinity and passion ignite for natural health and natural healing. Starting the company was always about education. We wanted to put Marilee’s brain on the internet; we wanted to empower people to make healthy choices in their everyday lives. And cleaning, to us, is such a wonderful way to begin. Everybody cleans, and the products you use can make a huge difference.
Kelly: It is all about education. Branch Basics cleaning product is just our Trojan horse to open people’s minds to start thinking about what they’re bringing in their homes.
Tell us about your campaign, #TossTheToxins.
Allison: We are all about empowering people to know what is safe and what is not safe. We want them to be able to remove sources of toxins from their homes and allow their bodies to rest and rejuvenate and detoxify. We’re now shipping our starter kits in a box that outlines the process of Toss the Toxins—this entails looking at the products in your home; reading the ingredient lists; and putting items with pesticides, synthetic fragrances, or caution or danger signs in the box and safely disposing of them. The product we provide can take the place of pretty much everything you just threw out of your house.
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