Sunday, March 16, 2008

Natural Products Expo West Highlights

I just spent four amazing days immersed in natural products and natural health education! This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California. This annual event (along with its East coast counterpart, Natural Products Expo East) is the largest trade show for the natural products industry. This year there were over 3,300 exhibitors and 52,000 attendees!

Why do I go to Expo West every year? As a Holistic Health Practitioner, attending the Natural Products Expo is an excellent way to learn about the latest products and trends in the Natural Health industry. I can then offer my clients the benefits of what I've learned. Often, new products are unveiled at Expo, such as the new children's line of Bach Flower Essences. Since I use flower essences in my practice, I make it a point to visit booths such as Nelson Bach and FES and find out what's new. There are also herb companies, essential oil wholesalers and distributers, and natural food makers exhibiting at Expo. It is a great opportunity to talk with the owners of the companies about their products, learn about their company and sample the products; having so many companies in one place is very convenient, although at times very overwhelming!

In addition to walking the show floor, there are many educational opportunities at Expo. Lectures by top industry professionals take place continually throughout the weekend. You can learn about organic regulations, GMO's, probiotics, herbs... there's something for everyone! I attended several of the educational events this weekend; my favorites included Mindy Green (ACHS Advisory Board Member) and Tim Blakely's presentation "Essential Oils Make Perfect Scents". Kathy Larson, Vice President of Sustainability and Education for Frontier Co-Op/Aura Cacia and Aroma 201 graduate, gave a very informational lecture on "Tools for Sustainability". Conserving Earth's resources and lessening our "footprint" are especially important in the natural products industry, and Kathy gave some very practical ways to do this.

It was also inspiring to visit the booths of ACHS students and graduates whose companies were exhibiting there. Laura Lamun, owner and formulator of Little Moon Essentials, had the best smelling booth! Attendees got to take home samples of her salves, "Sleep Comes Easy", and "Asana Kisser", both of which came in very handy over the weekend. Zhena Muzyka, of Zhena's Gypsy Tea, had an incredibly busy booth with people waiting in line to sample her aromatic teas. Steffany Kaminsky's booth was in the Hot Products Hall; she works for a company called The Whole Kidoodle which carries natural and organic products for children. There were many other ACHS students and graduates there as retail buyers or health practitioners who were walking the floor. It was fun and exciting to see where their natural health education has taken them!

To learn more about the Natural Products Expo and how to register, visit their websites: or
Registration for Holistic Health Practitioners is free.

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