No. Holistic does not mean natural.
Holistic is a perspective; a way of looking at our connection to the natural world, the spirits and ourselves in a unified manner.
Natural, on the other hand is, “existing in or produced by nature: not artificial.” A holistic lifestyle typically aligns with natural products and natural living, but "natural" isn't always holistic. Let's explore...
What is Holistic?
Holistic is a lens to which one can see the world and live in alignment with an unseen, but very real, cohesive, energetic pulse. Holistic practitioners and followers of a holistic way of life, see the dynamic connection among the mind, body and spirit of an individual and community.
They are likely to believe, for example, that if someone has been diagnosed with lung cancer, a close examination of unresolved emotional stressors could assist in the overall diagnoses and treatment.
The opinion may be that the source of the dis-ease isn't so much the physical lung tissue, but rather the stored trauma manifesting as poisoned cells. Invest in deep emotional healing = improved lung tissue (or at least that's the theory practiced by many).
A Little Holistic History
The term holistic comes from the Greek word holos, meaning altogether or whole. Literally translated, the word “holism” is “the idea that systems (physical, biological, chemical, social, economic, mental, linguistic) and their properties should be viewed as wholes, not just as a collection of parts.” (source)
Even though society today is showing a strong interest in living holistically, holism is as ancient as the oldest civilizations on Earth. One for example, were the Nubian people living along the Nile Valley in Africa. Many of their medicinal practices involved addressing spiritual and mental plagues to free the body from physical pain and distress.
The theory was that disease was primarily caused by an upset in the balance of a person’s spiritual, mental and physical harmony; therefore, work was required by both the person and a shaman-like medicine-man to “appease the spirits” so-to-speak to bring back health.
What Does A Holistic Lifestyle Look Like?
A holistic lifestyle typically incorporates activity, rest, knowledge-seeking, healthy foods, exposure to inspirational teachings, reflection on childhood, meditation, yoga, deep breathing, alternative medicine, traditional healing modalities, exploring new ways of thought, journaling, and more.
Many times, a holistic-centered individual will gravitate to all natural products and old-fashioned craftsmanship for the sheer energetic value of the items. Holistic-living people come from all walks of life. They continually seek the best version of themselves and are willing to put in the work to discover the depths of their soul.
What is Natural?
Natural, on the other hand, has many definitions; for the sake of this thread, we will define it as, “existing in or produced by nature: not artificial.” (source)
While some companies who advertise "natural" really do choose 100% natural ingredients (like this natural skin care company), unfortunately, many do not. The FDA does not have a required set of guidelines to define a natural product like they do for the word organic. Organic is a regulated industry term that cannot be used by companies who have not been certified organic.
Therefore, the word “Natural” means very little in the consumer marketplace. A product that is made with artificial fragrance and shea butter, for example, could be labeled as “natural” without any repercussions.
This presents a challenge especially for small, family businesses who truly are all natural but who might not have the financial means to become “certified organic”. This puts that family business at a disadvantage in the marketplace, because people tend to have more trust in a "certified" designation than not.
Which brings us to...
The Importance of Reading Labels
The key to truly understanding what’s natural and what’s not, as educated consumers, is to read labels! This is the single best way to bypass any misleading labels that claim to be natural, but are not.
Which is Better: Holistic or Natural?
That depends on your values. Acknowledging the connectedness to the universe and all its beings isn't the same as desiring real, non-artificial ingredients in your products. The great thing is that some companies offer both: holistic products that are 100% natural.
The Leaders in Holistic Skincare
Nefertem is an independent, family-owned, holistic skincare company whose mission is to inspire daily reflection and growth. Learn more about them here.
We choose to use only ingredients that were born from nature, handled carefully without using synthetic ingredients (like pesticides or color-adulterants), and minimally processed. They also, by way of living a holistic, growth-oriented lifestyle and by direct infusion of intention, impart a distinct vibration into each of their products.
With the combination of aromas, energetic vibrations and nourishing ingredients, they have captured what it means to be both natural AND holistic. Shop Nefertem Holistic Skincare now.