Malte Hozzel, who has created the Oshadhi range of oils, writes about his research into the use of pesticides and herbicides on medicinal plants:
'Plants are known to be extremely sensitive to the toxic substances which are used to 'protect' them, or to increase their yield. These toxins can result in subtle changes right down to the genetic structure within the plant, giving rise to devitalized plants with a weakened defence system.
'The use of chemicals in medicinal plant farming may not only significantly reduce the number of years that a perennial such as lavender will survive, but it also contradicts the very purpose of committing oneself to natural health.
'In many of the less developed countries, few or no regulatory measures are being taken to control the use of chemicals in farming. Yet there are always some plants that grow naturally and wild. For example, many of the ylang ylang trees in the Comoron Islands grow wild in the jungle and do not undergo any unnatural influences. Other examples are the Ravintsara trees in Madagascar, the Spikenard (Jatamansi) in Nepal, and the Cassia trees in Vietnam. Fortunately, many farmers in the developing countries cannot afford the expensive chemicals, even though they may have heard of them.
'While the use of these chemicals does produce larger plants and greater yields in the short run, one has also to bear in mind the long-term effects on the soil, the plant itself and the health of human beings.'