The founders of Osage Healthcare spent over 20 years in the pharmaceutical and life science industries, and have put that experience to work developing a family of beauty products under the POMIFERAoil brand that are based on the seed oil of Maclura Pomifera, better known as the Osage Orange. The fruit has a rich history of folklore dating back to early Native American culture; the fruity pulp & seeds were used for centuries as a botanical source for treating medical ailments and a nutritional source rich in amino acids, proteins, carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, and lipids.
BeautyMatter spoke to Todd Johnson, PhD, inventor & co-founder of POMIFERAoil, the hottest natural skincare oil on the market—cold-pressed, vegan, zero carbon footprint, and locally sourced. He shared his personal connection to the ingredient that evolved into a business.
What I have learned in the evolution of POMIFERAoil is innovative products that yearn to be developed take on a life of their own. They are like seeds of truth that, once planted, cannot be denied the right to flourish. They have to be sown and watered and given room to grow—finally revealing the truth of what they are, creations that convey features and benefits designed to improve the condition of your skin via naturally occurring bioactives.
That is what the story of Pomifera has been for me. In its way, this strange natural phenomenon has always been a fringe player in my life. The trees were everywhere in southern Iowa where I and my business partner grew up. In fact Maclura pomifera (the Latin designation) are prolific in about 37 of the 48 contiguous United States. And up until recently, it was the wood that was believed useful and very much in demand while its strange “ugly duckling” fruit was regarded as little more than a curious kind of seasonal outgrowth and something of a nuisance at that.
Hedge balls, hedge apples, horse apples, Osage oranges, monkey balls, bois d’arc, bodark, bodock—all these names and more were attributed to the sticky, crusty, pockmarked green fruit that adorned its branches only to fall to the ground somehow cast off by nature, unused, undesirable, and (seemingly) unacceptable until we created demand as a new cash crop for local farmers.
I have a science background, a PhD in chemistry. And I’m not telling you this not to impress you (maybe a little bit), as much I am willing to share with you the one thing we learn in every laboratory in the world: Virtually nothing in nature goes to waste.
This certainly applies to our single ingredient POMIFERAoil as it is cold-pressed, isolated, and purified in a chemical-free manner from the seeds of each Osage Orange we buy.
I admit to a bias here. I grew up surrounded by arbors and woods filled with these strange castoffs. And Native American lore about their medicinal uses were more than supported by my dear departed, larger-than-life, great uncle Don Prevo who insisted until the day he died that, “There’s something ‘magical’ in those hedge balls.”
Uncle Don was a man with impeccable instincts. And his insistence that these little rogue green clumps cluttering the groves of Iowa contained one of life’s great secrets stuck to me all through the course of my career in science. From legends of its uses to treat everything from eye infections to skin cancer and uterine complications in women, I held onto the healthy curiosity that any committed scientist must embrace—that there is some strain of truth in every legend. Thus, the origination of “Where Folklore Meets BeautyTM”.
So, in a way, for years my career path and Pomifera’s ran along parallel lines—finding touch points at various times—but always on the periphery of my awareness. It stayed with me through some of the major science and technology companies in the world, through a dozen plus patents and a host of science and compliance realities that only come when one learns to navigate that narrow corridor between the laboratory and the boardroom, and how to “develop the business side of science.”
Finally there came that point of critical mass when enough “hedge apples” crossed my path to make that final intersection—that leap of faith to dare and uncover the treasure locked inside.
The rest that followed is a miracle of discovery that has brought life-changing experiences to millions of people, and set free a POMIFERAoil whose mysteries have only begun to be explored. Along the way it has generated a cottage industry that is about to blow up in the emerging category of natural bioactive skincare, which we are thrilled to introduce at Unfiltered via our POMIFERAoil Organic Healing Body Oil and Natural Healing Lip Balms.
We anticipate the Unfiltered Experience will uniquely connect, through social media influencers, directly with consumers in a way that traditional trade shows and our current marketing strategies cannot.
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