Monday, 25 February 2013

Monday Feature: B2Pur

With the green, natural movement that is ever growing, so is the pursuit of finding natural ways to calm us, help us sleep, ease our pain, strengthen us, nourish us, etc. No longer are we content with drugs and medications, lotions and balms, filled with ingredients that are hard to pronounce and who's reason for presence remains uncertain. We've been taught to look to the artificial sources to aid our ailments, soften our skin and help us radiate and glow. Those same products who all have warning labels of who shouldn't use the product, what to do if it comes in contact with our eyes or is ingested, and which contain lists, a mile long, of possible risks and side-effect. If we look around us, we find ourselves surrounded with a glorious and vast nature that offers us the very same benefits - if not greater - but without those unnecessary risks or side-effects.

So why do we continue to run to the store instead of our garden? Mostly, it's an innocent naivety that keeps us blinded and an unquestioning trust of major corporations, companies and the medical field and thus we continue supporting the trillion dollar empire of beauty products and pharmaceutical companies. There's a lot of money to be made in sickness and disease. Another reason why the all natural "little guys" are always viewed as a threat. Please know in saying this, I'm simply referring to being aware of ourselves, what we eat and use on our bodies beforehand and stopping the sickness and disease from ever occurring in the first place (eg, sunscreens have been linked to causing cancer all on their own, while giving the promise of saving us from it.) But I digress….

Thus, it is with much elation that I bring you today's feature. Similar to another recent feature, Riverstone Studios, who offers natural, wholesome alternatives to everyday products, so does today's feature, B2Pur, offer us an amazing, all natural alternative to items we look to daily. Using no "fragrance" but only pure, essential, good-for-you oils, B2Pur brings the highest quality of sprays, lotions, burning oils etc, and you can always expect the best.

Owner and creator of B2Pur and the creative mind behind all their products is Kristen Banks.

Kristen and I crossed paths through a mutual friend and I will freely say that her products have changed mine and my husbands life. We have had the opportunity of trying out several different products and have yet to be disappointed with the results. I will admit, we were a bit skeptical at first, regarding one of our, now favourite, products, B2Pur's After Injury Lotion. It boasts of aiding and relief of pain using only natural forms of acetaminophen and other helpful, natural oils. We decided to put it to the test one night, as my husband strained his back. I rubbed some of it on and within five minutes he was back to normal and amazed that he hardly felt any pain. Sold! And that was only one instance with one product. I could go on for a much lengthier time, but I want you to know about Kristen, her wonderful business and how it was the she came to hone her craft in essential oils and the mixing therein.

Kristen recalls, "I'm from a small town in Northern Manitoba called, Flin Flon. There's not much to do up there except fish, play hockey/baseball, party and drink… plus it's cold, and they have HUGE mosquitoes. I don't like mosquitoes and I swell up bad from the bites." The mosquitoes alone would give me reason to leave :P

Kristen moved to Medicine Hat in September, 1999, and soon afterwards began experiencing numb fingers, hands and then eventually a line of pain up her arm, which turned out to be from the job she had been doing in December.

"I was bounced around to different health care professionals without anyone providing relief. Chiropractor, Doctor, Massage Therapist - none of whom had the proper training to understand what was wrong with me. The Dr's answer to my numb fingers was "Carpal Tunnel and it needs surgery." I was 19 at the time."

"Not happy with his lightening quick diagnosis (without any testing done), I looked around for something else to help my pain. I ended up being sent to Dr. Sean Bourassa, a Chiropractor that also does A.R.T." He is my personal Chiropractor as well and is absolutely phenomenal, just on a side note :). "He was the first person to ask me questions about my pain (what finger does it start with, where does it travel up, when does it happen, etc). I asked if he could help me and he said yes. Long story short, he fixed my fingers, arm and shoulder blade, where the problem actually started."

"During our sessions, I mentioned I would like to help people like he helped me, so I decided to become a Massage Therapist." It was during this time in College that Kristen discovered the wonderful world of essential oils and how she could change her life.

"I am a multi-allergy sufferer. Spring to Fall I sniffle, cough, and can't breathe through my nose." Can anyone else relate? "Claritin, Allegra, Benadryl, nothing helped for long. Perfumes, scents, laundry detergent, and candles all gave me a headache and made my nose run, sometimes with hives to any part of my body unlucky enough to come into contact with a scented product. I also have a severe problem with cats, and very severe one (requiring an epi-pen), to fish. I'll stop there, I'm sure you're shocked enough. The 'Aromatherapy & Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils' class was being offered as an add-on for all the massage therapy students, so I decided to check it out."

Kristen was hesitant at first due to the fact that it was a 'scent', but the Instructor, Blaine Andrusek, let her sit in for the first day see how she did. It was nothing short of fantastic! "I coughed and sneezed for the first hour, just clearing everything out of my lungs and nose. Then I took a deep breath and could finally SMELL!!! I had been so stuffed up for so long, I forgot what the world around me actually smelled like. Some of the oils Blaine passed around were Tea tree, Eucalyptus, Ravensara, Sage, Oregano, Patchouli, Cedarwood, Black spruce, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lime, Cardamom, and Bergamot. Some were like heaven, others not so much (I still strongly dislike Patchouli), but learning about the 'why' and 'how' the essential oils work gave me a better appreciation for all the oils, even the ones I don't like. After that workshop I purchased a few basic oils to start my collection." And thus began Kristen's relationship with breathing (and living) better.

Kristen continues, "I began to get massage clients asking for the oil blends I was using on them and the ones I'd made to disinfect the room when one of us was sick. They then started asking if I could make something for coughs, something for sleeping, something to relax etc. Alas, B2Pur was born."

"A friend began helping me do trade shows, and people seemed really interested in healthy alternatives to care for themselves, but didn't understand anything about essential oils. I spent half of my time explaining WHY essential oils work and half why the product I made works."

"One day after work, I noticed a rash was forming on my forearms - not a good spot for a rash when that's my main area of contact on a massage client. Then 2 coworkers and a few of our clients reported the same thing. We figured out it was the lotion we were using. After mentioning the rash to my friend and my husband, they suggested I try making lotion as well. My saying was always, "I have a spray for that!" and now includes, "I have a lotion for that!" I now make eight different kinds of cremes and lotions, including my own massage lotion, with Sunflower oil as its base."

A few of B2Pur's best sellers include: Sickness Killer (spray and oil drops - disinfectant and infection fighter). Which I will add is A-MA-ZING! My husband and I eluded sickness this past Christmas by using this fantastic product.

After Injury/Arthritis Relief lotion (pain reliever, stops cramps/spasms, inflammation, and pain), Snooze/Doze sleepy sprays (works great on kids!!), Peaceful Travels (relaxing scent that also keeps you mentally aware - great for drivers or nervous fliers). This one was also helpful for our long drive home this past Christmas for our daughter. :) And Rosy Cheeks Barrier Creme (which is also cloth diaper safe!!!), just to name a few.

"Sickness Killer is a blend I made up when H1N1 started going around. I was debating if my family should go get the vaccine and made this to help disinfect my house and family, whenever needed. the blend is anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-biotic, anti-bacterial, and anti-septic. It can be used in place of hand sanitizer, hand wipes, or commercial disinfectant sprays." Hayden and I even shot it down our throat to kill a sore throat. Worked like a charm. "It works greats on shopping carts, door knobs, bottom of purse or dress shoes, cell phones (lightly mist from above and wipe down), gym/hockey bags and equipment, kids stinky shoes, hands after you cough or sneeze…you get the point."

Sickness Killer spray is sold at 5% strength, which is powerful enough to prevent germs from spreading, yet gentle enough to use around children and pets. All of B2Pur's products are made at levels safe for pregnant and nursing women, kids, and the elderly. "If there is something you don't like, I can make you a different version omitting the scent you don't like or are allergic to. Accommodating people with any type of allergy or sensitivity is always a priority for me because of the amount of hassle I endure with my own allergies. I pride myself on being completely adaptable to suit a customer's needs - something a larger company can't do. They don't care if you don't like Lavender or Grapefruit, you get what they make, end of story. I know people allergic to Eucalyptus - no Vicks for them - so I make two alternate versions of my Sickness Killer, because those people get sick too. If there is ever a product (lotion, bath bomb, deodorant, etc) you wish was available in the retail world and can't find it, come ask me. I may be able to make you one." And you can be assured it would be better for you too :)

"I love mixing up a new product, presenting it to a customer, and hearing the rave reviews about it later. Even my parents have that "I can't believe it worked" surprise in their voice when I talk to them. I once made up a random blend to prevent bruising/black eyes, infections and inflammation, before a trip home in the summer. My brother and I were both taking Kickboxing and had planned to do some sparring, so I needed an oil I could rub on right away so it didn't look like I'd been beat up during my vacation. We didn't end up sparring, but my Dad got to use the blend instead - for his abscessed tooth! His dentist was away on holidays and such as it is in a small town, he had to wait (the closest city is about 4 1/2 hours away). I gave my Dad my 'sparring' blend to put a drop on his tooth. I figured it should work because all the oils I put in it were for swelling, pain and infection. His tooth was so bad his cheek was swollen and red on the outside, he couldn't chew at all and the prescription pain meds weren't working very well. He started using the oils, one drop on the affected tooth/gum every couple hours, and by the next morning the swelling had decreased, the redness was gone, and he could chew soft food. By day 2, his face was back to normal and he was eating regular food. I left the bottle with him when I returned home, in case the tooth issue came back before the dentist did, which I'm proud to say it never did. [My Dad] took that bottle to work with him and started using it on his nicks and cuts from welding and working on vehicles. He would phone at night, "I had a burn mark on my arm, but I put that stuff on it and it got better!!!…Ronnie cut his hand and got grease in it the other day, but I put that stuff on it and it got better too!" I got weekly updates about the 'miracles' that oil blend performed, and for the life of me I can't remember what I put in it!"

Currently Kristen works full time as a massage therapist at Powers & Jans Centre, a chiropractic clinic in Medicine Hat, AB. She makes all her lotions and sprays in her 'spare time' between work, kids activities and the usual cooking/cleaning.

"I have two kids, ages five and seven, a wonderful hubby, and a black Lab that I adore.

I enjoy gardening and we are still landscaping our yard (six years later!), so the challenging, yet fun, part is learning which veggies, herbs and shrubs work well together, and where to put them depending on shade/sun/soil needs. Last year was our first garden, we ate from our yard every night!! Nothing like fresh brushetta with cherry tomatoes, basil, oregano, chives and onions, picked five minutes ago." Could it be that we were all so lucky :)

"This year I plan to grow more of my own herbs and 'medicinal' plants, to compliment my essential oil blends for home usage. The kids already know to grab the 'owie lotion' if they hurt themselves, and Mommy makes the best sun burn cream :) My dream is to one day offer a "Subway Style" natural homemade product store, you can pick all the ingredients and I make it up for you."

Right now Kristen is in the process of putting together her first B2Pur Creation Night: She will teach a group of adults about the properties of 5-6 essential oils, they will create a Signature blend of their own, and either make it into a spray or a lotion (Kristen will provide a few lotion bases to choose from). Costs will be $25-40/person, depending on the number of guests and type of creations (bath bombs, lotions, sprays)." Please contact her directly for dates and times available.

For more information on B2Pur's products and pricing, please go their website at

Also check out B2Pur on Facebook and "like" their page here and stay up-to-date on what's going on! Right now, online ordering is only available on Facebook (you can pay through PayPal).

If you would like to contact Kristen personally to request a specific product or if you have any further questions, please call her at 403-952-7809.

And because Growing Green readers are so fantastic, B2Pur is giving you a special PROMO CODE! If you make an order online through Facebook, use the COUPON CODE: Grow Green and receive 10% off your purchase! Hurry and order as this special is only valid from Feb 25th - March 31st, 2013. 

next week's feature hint: The aide of life

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