Remember when we defined “crunchy” a while back?
(That day was beautiful.)
Well, we also came up with the term “soggy” to represent products that were … well … the opposite of crunchy.
To take it further: I’d define “soggy” as being not-natural products that we either wouldn’t or shouldn’t buy based on their negative health impacts or the company’s complete disregard to the safety of the ingredients and the impact to the environment.
So … Clorox? Soggy. Products with mineral oil? Soggy. Brazilian blowouts? SUPER soggy.
Got it? Good.
Now let’s put that knowledge to work for us.
Introducing: Is It Soggy or Crunchy Product Evaluations
I get a good deal of products from companies that want me to write about what they’re selling. This is a blessing and a curse, because sometimes I get products that almost pass muster into my wanting to help the company promote them.
These almost passing muster products sit around nagging me and I lament them, because I think the companies really mean well, I’m just not completely sold on whether you will feel like they fit into your life. They typically stand a hair shy of what I, personally, would consider crunchy.
But that’s just me. That’s just my opinion. (For all that’s worth.)
So I’m going to start putting the viability of these products into YOUR hands for a while. You’re going to learn about them, and about what I think about them – and then YOU get to vote on whether you think they’re crunchy or soggy.
Why Are We Doing This?
My reasons (as I explain in the video below) are threefold:
- It will help us better examine our decision making processes when we buy products – and it will give a healthy look at ingredients and what to say no to.
- You get to learn about new, fun products that you might not have known about otherwise, but you ALSO get to determine whether you think they fit into your own personal crunchy ideal.
- WE get to tell companies what we think of their concepts, what they can improve on, and how they can woo us over.
I think occasionally purchasing products and being crunchy go hand-in-hand, if we all work together to create things we want to buy that fits into our lives accordingly. (And this really was an inspiration from a bit of a snafu that Jenn at Green Phone Booth ran into when dealing with a company who didn’t care for input. We need to open dialogues, so we’re all happy, healthy, and successful.)
Now here’s the first product we’re going to look at:
VitalWave Positive Herbal Spray – Crunchy or Soggy?
Here’s the video where I talk about all of this, and below you’ll find a brief summary of the product (if you don’t want to watch a video).
VitalWave Positive Herbal Spray is a concentration of herbs in a tincture. Basically, it’s herbal medicine. You squirt two sprays in your mouth three times a day, with the hopeful result of having a more positive mindset over time. (They also make sprays for sleep and for energy.)
The ingredients are:
- Polygala Tenuifola (yuan zhi root) – a Chinese herb used to calm the spirit and quiet the heart
- Red Sandalwood Bark – stimulating to the mind, and grounding
- Mimosa Bark – known in China as the “collective happiness bark” and used for harmony, as well as calming
- Lavender Flowers – calming, mood stabilizing
- Blue Violet Leaves – cleansing, detoxifying
- Squawvine aerial parts – purifying, great for women
- Inactive ingredients: Vegetable glycerine, water, <5% alcohol, natural cherry flavor
- Works on two levels: The herbs (hopefully) help you balance your mood, and the “positive” reminder three times a day helps you stay in a positive mindset
- Herbs/flowers are either organic or wildcrafted
- EASY way to incorporate herbal medicine (and a smidge of Chinese medicine) into your life on a daily basis
- Great as a gift for someone you love who might have issues with negativity
- I’m not sure what the “natural cherry flavor” actually consists of, as labeling standards in the definition of “natural” are a little fuzzy
- Pretty expensive: One bottle is $29.95
My score? 3.5 on the crunchiness scale, making it almost crispy.
NOW YOU VOTE!
Does this product sound crunchy to you? Is it something you’d buy for yourself or a loved one? Taking in all the pros and cons I’ve mentioned and you’ve thought of yourself, does it deserve to be considered more crunchy or super soggy?
Run your mouse over the top of the apples to see each corresponding designation – and tell us which you think it is.
VITALWAVE POSITIVE MIND SPRAY – CRUNCHY OR SOGGY?
Here’s what you can do in the comments:
- Leave a note to the company telling them why you love it (or why you don’t) and what you think can be improved on that might woo you their way.
- Share your own DIY ways to incorporate herbs into your life that promote positivity – or little ways that you have found to remain positive throughout the day.
Also, let me know if you enjoy doing this, and we’ll do it two or three times a month from now on. I still have three or four more things here I’d like to share to get YOUR opinion.
Can’t wait to hear what you guys think!
I vote soggy, because:
1. The price. Really?
2. Natural flavour isn’t.
3. Squaw vine is an endangered native plant, so unless I know exactly where they got it, that’s not cool. (also, sometimes what gets called squaw vine is actually cohosh, which is contra-indicated for women in the first two trimesters of pregnancy).
Yes, I am picky 🙂
Well, I honestly have never trusted an attitude adjusting products, simply because THEY ARE DOING SOMETHING TO YOUR MIND. This is simply an opinion, a bias, whatever, but they creep me. Yes, they CREEP ME. 😐
Here’s some food for your soul: If you’re feeling sad, or overall just ‘meh’, what I’ve found to help me is to draw a picture with lots of pretty colors. Maybe you can hang out with a friend, or draw the pretty picture with them. Listen to happy music (I like classical piano), surf the web for pictures of your favorite things, or other things along those lines.
Back to the actual point of this comment, I rated the product semi-soft because I also do not like products with alcohol in them.
I’d call the alcohol into questioning as well. What is the original source? Ethanol alcohol is commonly made from GMO corn….My raing is semi-soft (2).
If anything were so potent as to be effective after a small spritzing the drug companies would have made it illegal to grow/own and would be using it themselves at an even bigger profit margin. You’d probably be better off spraying it on your wrist as an herbal perfume…a very expensive herbal perfume. Soggy.
Another thing to think about is how certain ingredients are obtained. It’s all very well if this so-called natural cherry flavour is actually from a cherry, but if it was derived by adding cyanide to a bowl full of cherries, I’m not that keen either. This goes back to my ‘interference’ theory from the other day.
I love this discussion as others have said! As for the spray I vote soggy. Price, natural flavoring, appealing to the quick fix pill idea that so many Westerners prescribe to… If you need more “positive” in your life, natural herbs or not, I think there are better ways! I can’t imagine that this isn’t placebo at least on some level and there are a wealth of other less expensive and “safer” ways to accomplish it!
I don’t like “natural flavor” because a lot of times that means MSG and that’s a NO go for me. I also wouldn’t buy this as a mood enhancer because that isn’t something I spend money on, much less $30 for a tiny bottle.
I think it’s so cool that you are helping companies reach consumers in this way! I agree, I love DIY, but I also love the opportunity to buy consciously made things if they fit into my lifestyle, and I don’t have time to make everything I need/want.
As for how to be positive? I create it. If I’m feeling negative (or sometimes more accurately my kids or hubs tells me I’m being negative) I create positivity and think of how to look at things differently than I was previously doing. Turn around the perspective.
I agree with Ali, “a happy drug is not especially crunchy”. Also, it’s too expensive. I’m curious too about what is in the natural cherry flavor. It sounds like kinda shady to me.
I agree with (mostly) everyone else about the chewy rating. I mean, “natural flavor” makes me feel uneasy + the price is waaay too steep for to me to ever consider buying the product.
I will also add that it makes me feel uncomfortable when companies try to profit off of emotional issues. I would much rather go to my local herbalist/herb store and buy some herbs to make tea or tinctures (or forage/wildcraft myself!) than pay a company to bottle some up for me and mark it up 300%.
This may or may not be common knowledge but I wanted to add that as far as the natural flavoring is concerned, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not natural. For one, the FDA does not regulate the use of the word natural like they do organic, which is why we see it popping up on all kinds of labeling. Most companies make one small change, or none at all, to their product and that can slap “natural” on the packaging and people will buy it. Secondly, the FDA does not require companies to divulge all the ingredients in their “flavorings” because it exposes trade secrets. Yes, that does cause skepticism when it comes to products that are clearly not natural, but it does sorta protect the little guys too. The competition is tough and real, natural food/products are getting stomped every day by Big Pharma and Big Agra. It’s just a consumer call.
I rated this semi-soft. I wouldn’t necessarily label this product “soggy” but two words I like to plug into my definition of crunchy are frugal and simple and this is not. It seems completely unnecessary. There are many frugal products that can improve your mood. St. John’s Wort tea is much cheaper. Some essential oils can lift the spirits and those are also much cheaper. I think you hit the nail on the head; there are many other ways that we can improve our positivity that are much more cost effective. But even if it was affordable I probably still wouldn’t buy it. With the economy in it’s current state I’ve really had to begin weighing the necessity of my purchases and this one would not make the cut.
I’m going with soggy, because of the flavoring and the fact that they are advertising the herbs in the product and add the flavoring because, what? the herbs aren’t good enough? Frankly, if there was a bitter edge to it it might reinforce the notion that it is medicinal and thereby be more effective because our brains are behind it.
They method of use kind of makes me think that the company is attempting to modernize the use of herbs. It’s a bit of the same concept of prepackaged food– Why would you want to go to the trouble of making the lasagna if you can just pick it up and bake basically the same thing? Why would you want to go to the trouble of brewing the tea when basically the same thing is right here in this handy little spritzer?
Hmm, looks like I am rebelling against America’s super convenient lifestyle. Oh well, this is more fun.
I love this rating and discussion idea!
Personally, I’d rather use flower essences (specifically FES brand because they work better for me than Bach remedies made by Nelson). The initial cost of a single remedy is still less than this product and I learned how to make a dosage bottle from the stock bottle, which drops the per use cost dramatically while maintaining the effectiveness.
The dosing recommendation of the above product is similar to how flower essences work. You spritz flower essences in your mouth (one set of FES brand flower essences comes with a spray top) or put a few drops in your glass of water and sip all day long. Consistency is important for issues that have been around for awhile. Crises respond to frequent doses in a short period of time.
I have created my own mix of flower essences. I don’t add any “flavors”. They don’t need flavoring since it is just a tiny amount added to a glass of water.
I used to take herb tinctures, but I don’t anymore. I make infusions with the fresh or dried herbs now. These are much more effective than tinctures, in my experiences.
The words “natural flavor” in the ingredients list are a pet peeve of mine. If the cherry flavor is so “natural”, why not list where it comes from or what’s in it? As far as the ingredients go, I’m with everyone else who’s been ranking this as “chewy”. It’s mostly natural, and would be mostly better than a similar main-stream product.
While I don’t have a problem with giving our bodies/systems a little help when they need it… $30 a month for a mood spray? I think my mood would invariably lift if I had $30 of fresh ripe cherries in front of me instead (yum).
(This is a great idea for a series, btw. Fun and educational too. Looking forward to more!)
I would rather spend the $30 on lunch with a friend and actually become more positive through a good chat with someone I trust, who can help me sort out the root problem that is making me negative. Or get my thyroid checked.
Maybe the company has good intentions and really believes that this stuff will actually help peoples moods. If they truly believe in their product and are confident in its efficacy, perhaps they would be willing to lower the price for the semi-skeptics who would like to try it, and clarify what exactly their natural cherry flavor is.
I was torn between semi-soft and chewy, but went with chewy, as all of the ingredients are good except for the unknown “flavour”. I am with Jeanette also in that why not make your own? Very easy, and the cost of this stuff is extremely prohibitive to me. There is also a huge difference, in my mind, in taking something (a bit of tincture, a cup of soothing herb tea) to take the edge off of an especially jarring day, and in taking something three times a day on a regular basis to achieve a better mindset. Are they kidding? Do some yoga, meditate, and breathe. If one is experiencing serious clinical depression, that’s an entirely different matter, and something that this product probably couldn’t help anyway. It would depress me to have to spend $30 a bottle for it.
SOGGY! I’m on a number of meds for my heart, thyroid, and depression. I’d rather get natural cherry, mix it with water, put it in a spray bottle and spray THAT in my mouth 2 sprays, 3 times a day or more. I’d label the spray bottle POSITIVE, etc. and tell myself it was going to make me feel more positive. It would be interesting to see what the breakdown of this $29.95 product is per day and per sprays. Not on my bucket list of things to try.
Honestly, I’d rather make my own. That way I KNOW I’m using the freshest, most potent herbs and the ones that are right for me and my needs. (And besides, making tinctures is SO easy and costs next to nothing!) And not to mention, I get my herbs from a local shop, so I’m helping my local economy. 🙂
– $30 (seriously?)
-flavor (I don’t trust the FDA let alone some company saying its natural, so is plutonium)
-its tea basically
better yet, just make some tea. If this was for bad breathe I’de be all up on it lol. But its herbs water and flavor…in a spray pump. Now I’m sure Cosmo will market and label it as the ‘best new natural product of 2011’, but I don’t read Cosmo and I’d never buy this.
Somehow I don’t think Cosmo would pay attention to this spray unless it was meant to enhance libido.
I agree. I would rate it for sure more soggy than crunchy. Make your own tea is much better; you know exactly is in it, how it was made and that you can trust the process. The cost is like a big negative! I could get some high end chocolate and feel positive too, plus enjoy eating too.
Meditation quieting the mind and yoga help me during those times of stress, like today. Reading inspiration blobs and ezines help too. Finding yours and the letter writing was life changing. Affirming the postive. Making my home a zen like is helpful too.
i’d rate it at a 2. it’s soooooo not neccesary but it does have the natural herbs. i’m not an athletic person by nature but if i can make myself get off my butt and do some mild yoga it helps me feel more positive, helps me sleep better, and better energy.
If it’s not beautiful or useful, I try not to bring it into my house. Marketing is all about getting us to think we need things that we only want, and even products made with green resources are wasteful if they don’t enhance my life in some fairly obvious way. I’m just getting over an obsession with lotions and potions, realizing that my skin is equally happy with a few simple concoctions I can mix up myself.
that is such a great perspective! i’m going to use the “beautiful or useful” criteria before i pull out my wallet now. 🙂
Amen to Ali, as a quick response.
And in slightly more detail: a qualified Amen to vitalwave – love the idea (for the same reasons Ali gives) but sad to see “natural” flavour added. I make my own “mist” to spritz around haphazardly throughout the day – from filtered water with lavender, geranium, rose and neroli oils added. Love it. You wouldn’t think WATER could be crunchy, but I claim it is, it is! Also its my birthday today, so I get to claim anything I want and its true. Kinda like the Godfather at his daughter’s wedding. Smile.
And yes, love this interactive, social networking stuff. What can I say?
The price killed it for me. I would also never purchase an herbal spray to improve my mood because, as you said, I would attribute any actual mood improvement to the placebo effect.
Thank you so much for allowing the community to decide! I think this sort of thing will be beneficial for all of us. Like Kylie said above, you’re teaching people how to think instead of what to think, and that is very valuable.
I’m more worried about mineral oil now. I take a teaspoon of mineral oil every night before bed to keep my digestive tract lubricated (as told to do by my doctor) – isn’t it a natural substance? I don’t understand what’s wrong with it.
As for this spray, I’m a little wary of products – crunchy or not – that are used to affect my mood/habits/etc. Either way, it’s messing with the way your body naturally works.
Mineral oil is a petroleum by-product. It’s produced when petroleum is distilled into gasoline. I guess it depends on your definition of natural, but I would not consider it to be a natural substance.
Your doctor may have recommended mineral oil because it’s so cheap. Olive oil is apparently gentle on your stomach, and googling “olive oil to lubricate digestive tract” gets quite a few reputable-looking pages on the subject. Ask you doctor if it would do as well for you.
The flavoring kills it for me.
They went through all the trouble of finding these great medicinal herbs, but then add chemical flavoring to it.
The vegetable glycerin and alcohol doesn’t bother me much, but the flavoring is a deal killer.
The word “natural” means nothing in terms of labeling. A company can slap that word on anything and as long as is came from planet Earth, they consider it natural.
The natural flavor really is chemicals that SMELL like something good, but are not actually plant or food related at all. So we think we are inhaling sweet cherries, but actually we are inhaling some chemical concoction that scientists off the turnpike in New Jersey developed as food additives…..
Love this new series!
I’m also going with chewy. I don’t know how rare the herbs are but thirty dollars seems a bit steep for such a tiny bottle. I, however would potentionally buy the one that is meant for sleep as I don’t have a problem with using herbs etc… to attempt to induce sleep or whatever. (It’d probably be better than the hay fever tablets that sometimes take when I’m really deseperate on a doctor’s advice.)
I believe putting on a dress, going out dancing and seeing bands is the best cure. Also, yoga is like the only organised fitness I enjoy as it noticeably improves my mood and the emphasis is on being strong rather than being skinny which what gets to me about gyms. Drawing is helpful, even though I’m not good at it, it makes me feel good for some reason.
I voted 3 (chewy). I love that the herbs are organic, but not a fan of the “cherry flavor”. Who knows what the heck that really is. This product starts out nice and crunchy and then they go and add “natural flavors”. Boo.
I like where you’re going with this. Rather than tell people what to think, teach them how to think 🙂
Personally, I wouldn’t buy it because of the inclusion of something called “flavour”. I’m getting really tight about that too (and yes, it makes shopping difficult, if not somehow morally satisfying at the end).
I agree with LisaLise and Ali about the purpose of the product. To me, this is a company trying to make money off people’s anxiety, insomnia, and bad diets. Sounds harsh, I know, but I struggle to get past that. I’ve read about Bach’s flower remedies and in times of high anxiety myself, I’ve considered a bottle of Rescue Remedy for the handbag (long story, I was in a bad place, all better now 🙂 ), but I could never quite accept the idea of just turning to a bottled solution. I wanted to know that I could beat my issue myself.
The idea of sleep assistance (their other product?), well I guess you could say my nightly chamomile tea is no different, so maybe I’m being hypocritical. I don’t consider it medicating though, and it’s more the ritual and the warmth than the herbs. If it was taken from me, I would have to find another nightly routine. I like to think that yoga and meditation can fulfil the same purpose as this company are peddling.
I vote soggy. Sorry folks, I’m a purist, and this ain’t it.
i rate it a 3 (chewy):
-1 for the natural cherry flavor
-1 because, for me, a happy drug is not especially crunchy, even if it is herbal
i looked at the vitalwave website, and i am more open to the energy and sleep sprays. however, due to their prices and my current lack of need for either, i don’t see myself making a purchase any time soon.
addressing sleep, positivity, and energy is more about their respective rituals for me. the ritual of making and drinking a cup of tea or coffee is just as energizing as the caffeine, and it gives me a break from work. when i am stressed and think that the world is about to end (and it will all be my fault!!) i sometimes allow myself to do one small thing that is not on my to-do list and i may not have time for, but which will make me happy. this helps me to put the negative thoughts on the back burner and focus on what i need to do. i also like to look through images of the universe and the night sky from nasa or national geographic and set them as my desktop background, screensaver, etc. 🙂
[natgeo: http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photos/patterns-aurorae/ ]
lastly, i think the crunchy/soggy vote is fun!
Fun idea! Although I can’t really rate this product without seeing an ingredients list as it appears on the bottle (with INCI names, in descending order etc).