Dr. Bronner’s family-owned natural soap brand has tapped its activist roots in its Heal Soul! campaign to support public education efforts, advocacy organizations, and political campaigns working to mainstream psychedelic-assisted therapy and medicines to treat depression, PTSD, addiction, and end-of-life anxiety.
This year the company has donated over $5 million to support these efforts and created a special limited-edition “Heal Soul!” label on its 32oz Castile Liquid Soaps. The label aims to educate the public about these therapies and medicines, and the advocacy organizations and ballot initiatives that are advancing this work.
“Our world is grappling with epidemics of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction that modern pharmaceutical approaches often fail to adequately address. Psychedelic-assisted therapy is life-saving medicine that the world needs now, especially highly traumatized populations like veterans, first responders and marginalized communities generally,” said David Bronner, Cosmic Engagement Officer (CEO), Dr. Bronner’s. “Our family is no stranger to severe depression and anxiety, and I’ve personally experienced the deep healing that these medicines can provide.”
Psychedelic-assisted therapy has shown great promise in clinical trials at John Hopkins, NYU, UCLA, and elsewhere for treating severe psychological disorders. In 2017 and 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted “breakthrough status” for MDMA-assisted therapy for treatment-resistant PTSD, and psilocybin-assisted therapy for treatment-resistant depression, respectively. Canada recently approved psilocybin therapy for people who are terminally ill and grappling with severe end-of-life anxiety.
“Used in the right settings, in combination with a good diet, fitness, and other healthy lifestyle choices, psychedelic-assisted therapies and medicines offer dramatic healing for many people suffering from depression, end-of-life anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health conditions,” said Michael Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner’s. “Our Heal Soul message and campaign is about mainstreaming this conversation in a rational and compassionate way, to help enable access to these life-saving therapies as soon as possible with the goal of evaporating the misguided stigma that these medicines face.”
Dr. Bronner’s Heal Soul! campaign builds upon the company’s track record of more than two decades of advocacy and financial support of drug policy reform, including the legalization of hemp farming in the US, ending cannabis prohibition, the advancement of FDA approved clinical trials for MDMA and psilocybin-assisted therapy, and psilocybin decriminalization in Denver, CO, to name a few. The current landscape of advocacy in support of psychedelic medicine is composed of diverse policy and political strategies. These include the integration of psychedelic-assisted therapy into Western medicine, efforts to decriminalize safe individual use of plant medicines, and protections for the sovereignty of use and cultivation among Indigenous Peoples.
Even as modern Western medicine integrates the healing potential of psychedelic-assisted therapy, Dr. Bronner’s Heal Soul! campaign recognizes the long-standing history and culture of Indigenous Peoples who have, for millennia, practiced sacred healing and traditional rites with the use of psychedelic plant medicines. Dr. Bronner’s is committed to an approach that honors, respects, and protects the cultural sovereignty of Indigenous Peoples.
“Our work focuses on promoting health and wellness and revitalizing native cultures by preserving the traditions and protecting the sustainability of peyote for generations to come,” said Sandor Iron Rope, President of the Native American Church of South Dakota, and board member of the Indigenous Peyote Conservation Initiative. “It’s imperative that as interest in psychedelic medicine grows outside indigenous cultures, that Indigenous Peoples’ sovereignty and cultural history be respected, not exploited, as psychedelic plant therapies become more mainstream. We are grateful for Dr. Bronner’s support, and their recognition of our voice and leadership in the psychedelic advocacy movement.”
In support of the Heal Soul! initiative, Dr. Bronner’s has produced a series of blog posts and short videos to support the campaign. The products will be available through December of 2020.
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