Organic Vs Natural Vs Herbal !
Organic Vs Natural Vs Herbal ! All That You Need To Know
The meaning of these terms often overlaps hence we cannot easily differentiate between the terms natural and organic. Many of us also do not understand if herbal and Ayurveda are the same or not. It is all the more confusing since the meaning of these terms often overlaps.A simplified classification can be made as below:
i) Herbal Products: The word “herbal” is derived from Latin word “herbalis“. Herbal products are made of plant extracts, plant roots, leaves, etc. and used as per their properties. Herbal products are free from chemicals; however, pesticides may have been used in their growing. Herbal products are used in medicines.
ii) Ayurveda Products:Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word which means ‘life-knowledge’. Ayurveda is the ancient system of Indian medical science which includes the use of herbs as well as heavy metals like gold, silver, copper, tin mercury, sulphur, animal extracts, etc. Obviously they are used as medicines or to boost the immune system.
iii) Natural Products:Natural products are made from plants are minerals that occur in nature and have not been produced in laboratories and are not man-made. However pesticides, chemical fertilizers may have been used to enhance their growth. Generally, a product claiming to be natural is free of common chemicals such as artificial fragrances, colorants, preservatives, and other synthetic additives, etc.
iv) Organic Products:Organic products are also made from natural ingredients, but they are grown without the use of chemicals or pesticides. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), organic ‘is a labeling term that indicates the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods. These methods integrate cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilisers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.’Generally, organic products do not contain any genetic modified ingredients or petrochemicals. They do not undergo any animal testing unless required by law, and are minimally processed. Labeled, ‘made with organic ingredients’, it implies the product is made with at least 70% organic ingredients. Animals on organic farms are fed organically grown feed and they are not confined 100% of the time. They are raised without antibiotics or synthetic growth hormones.
Why Organic produces are better than conventional produces
According to some research, organic foods may have higher nutritional value than conventional food. The reason is that in the absence of pesticides and fertilizers, plants boost their production of phytochemicals (vitamins and antioxidants) that strengthen their resistance to bugs and weeds. Some studies have linked pesticides in our food to everything from headaches to cancer to birth defects. Even low-level pesticide exposure can be more toxic for fetuses and children (due to their less developed immune system) and for pregnant women it puts added strain on their already taxed organs. According to Chuck Benbrook, Ph.D., Chief Scientist at Organic Center, a nonprofit research organization, “though pesticide contamination is not deemed as much of a concern in meat and dairy products, many scientists are concerned about the antibiotics being given to most farm animals. These antibiotics are the same ones humans rely on, and overuse of these drugs has already enabled bacteria to develop resistance to them.”
Organic farming is the method of crop and livestock production that involves much more than choosing not to use pesticides, fertilizers, and genetically modified organisms, antibiotics and growth hormones. It is the low input farming and uses natural resources and nutrients. These sources of nutrients include compost, crop residues and manure, and natural methods of crop and weed control, instead of using synthetic or inorganic agrochemicals.
The objectives of organic farming: Organic farming may be adopted to increase genetic diversity, to promote more usage of natural pesticides, to make sure the right soil cultivation at the right time, to keep and build good soil structure and fertility, and to control pests, diseases and weeds.
There are two types of organic farming:
- Pure organic farming which involves the use of organic manures and biopesticides with complete avoidance of inorganic chemicals and pesticides.
- Integrated organic farming: It involves integrated nutrient management and integrated pest management.
Techniques of organic farming:
- Crop Rotation – to grow various types of crops in the same area, according to seasons, in a sequential way.
- Green Manure – refers to the dying plants that are uprooted and turned into the soil to make them act as a nutrient to the soil to increase its quality.
- Biological Pest Control – the method to use living organisms to control pests with or without the use of chemicals.
- Compost – highly rich in nutrients, it is a highly nutrient organic matter used as a fertilizer in agricultural farms.
Methods of organic farming:
- Soil Management: After cultivation the soil loses its nutrients and its quality depletes. Organic agriculture initiates use of natural ways to increase the fertility of the soil, focusing on the bacteria present in animal waste.
- Weed Management: Weeds are the unwanted plants that grow in agricultural fields. Organic farming focuses on lowering their growth, but not removing them completely. The most widely used weed management methods are:
- Mulching: A process where we use plastic films or plant residue on the surface of the soil to block the growth of weeds.
- Mowing or cutting: This is removal of the weeds’ top growth.
Advantages of Organic Farming:
1. Organic farming helps to prevent environmental degradation and can be used to regenerate degraded areas.
2. Organic manures produce an ideal condition in the soil for high yields and good quality crops.
3. They cut the need for purchased inputs.
4. They improve the soil chemical properties such as supply and retention of soil nutrients and promote favorable chemical reactions.
5. Organically grown plants are more resistant to and insects and only a few chemical sprays or other protective treatments are required.
6. Organic produces are poison-free.
7. Organic farming reduces pollutants in ground water.
8. It also decreases pesticides that can end up in your drinking glass in certain cities.
9. Organic farming uses 50% less energy that conventional farming methods, says a 15-year study.
10. Organic food tastes better. According to a 2014 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, the higher the antioxidant levels in organic produce might actually enhance its organoleptic qualities, namely, its aroma, taste, and even the sensation in your mouth as you are eating it.
Disadvantages of Organic Farming:
1. Production costs are higher because farmers need more workers.
2. Organic food is more expensive because farmers do not get much out of their land as conventional farmers do.
3. Organic farming cannot produce enough food for world’s population to survive.
Principles of Organic Farming
1. Principle of health: Organic agriculture must contribute to the health and wellbeing of the soil, plants, animals, humans, and the earth.
2. Principle of ecological balance: We must model organic farming on living ecological system and the methods must fit into ecological balance and cycles.
3. Principle of care: We should practice organic agriculture in a careful and responsible way to help the present and future generations and the environment.
Health Benefits of Organic Produces
Organic products reduce public health risks to farm workers, their families, and consumers by minimizing their exposure to toxic and persistent chemicals on the farm and in food and in the soil in they work and play. Children are especially vulnerable to pesticides. Foods grown organically are richer in nutrients such as vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus when compared to conventionally grown fruits, vegetables, and grains.
Environmental Benefits of Organic Produces
Organic farmers strive to preserve and protect natural habitats with the understanding that a diverse biological landscape helps to feed both people and the planet.Organic practices keep our water supply clean of run-off from toxic and persistent chemicals.By prohibiting petroleum-based fertilizers and absorbing carbon dioxide from the air, organic agriculture helps reduce our carbon footprint and combat climate change.Research has also shown that organic farms are able to support more species than conventional farms. In a study published in 2014 in the Journal of Applied Ecology, researchers from United Kingdom, Sweden and Switzerland found that on average, organic farms supported 34% more of more plant, insect and animal species than those using conventional methods. Also the organic farms were found have 50% more pollinator species diversity.
Organic Ayurveda : Need of the hour
At Organic Ayurveda by Sri Dhanvanthari Madom, we understand that all the herbs which are mentioned in Ayurveda treatises centuries before used to be collected from their natural habitat without any contaminants till the bygone century. New forest protection laws & mandates to keep nature without any harm has made this collection method to go extinct. Now herbs come from huge farms and village areas where the chances of contaminants like heavy metals & other micro elements can be very high. These contaminants can adversely affect the health of those who consume it. This is exactly why we believe in using certified organic herbs to make our products & supplements. This helps us to fulfill our commitment towards taking care of the nature we live in, the goodness of Ayurveda & safety of our consumers.