Okay I have to admit, I felt a little drug reppy writing about these organic meds that you can buy over the counter (OTC). But I gotta be honest. They pretty much had me at “ORGANIC MEDS.”
Last week I got a chance to talk to one of the co-founders of Genexa to tell me more about this Bigfoot. I mean we have all seen the documentary on Finding Bigfoot – a lot of footprints – never a Bigfoot. But these meds are far from a legendary Bigfoot sighting – they are legit and they are coming to a CVS near you on February 15, 2017.
A little bit about Genexa
Genexa was started 3 years ago by David Johnson he and his partner Max Spielberg. His partner was suffering from seasonal allergies and realized his allergies were being triggered by med byproducts. Not necessarily the ingredients with medicinal value, but the byproducts which make up from 60-95% of a product. The fillers if you will. Things like: dyes, parabens, artificial coloring, glues, artificial flavors, synthetic preservatives, GMOs…
Conventional meds have such a high percent of fillers because as David explains, the delivery form can’t be 100% active medicinal ingredients. This would potentially be very harmful. The fillers are also a cheap and easy way for companies to bind their ingredients together.
After taking a look around on the pharmacy shelves, David and his partner realized there was a huge supply/demand gap and totally went for it. An OTC med for kids and adults with no synthetic fillers, dyes and additives that’s sourced 100% organic.
They tried to remove all of those junky inactive ingredients which make up a large percent of any medicinal product. They did everything possible to use things like organic rice bran, organic tapioca or organic maltodextrin – everything organic if possible. This way when someone ingests this med, the 60-95% byproduct portion is healthy and comes from a good place.
We wanted it to be organic and non-GMO so if we had to use a corn product it is both non-GMO and organic which takes out the pesticides and chemicals during the growing process. That was very important to us. We struggled a lot with trying to remove plastics, binders and glues but after a big shift in direction we finally had success about a year ago. – David Johnson
All of Genexa products are formulated by Dr. Todd Rowe, their chief medical officer who is not only an MD but has a psych background and extensive formulation experience.
Genexa has 11 products which address anything from allergies to colds to sleep to stress. For kids they have:
Allergy-D: a formula to ease allergy symptoms
Calm Keeper: a formula that eases restlessness
Cold Crush: A remedy for children’s cold symptoms
The rest of the products are for adults.
Everything has been tested and is safe and there are no side effects from a standpoint of mixing with other meds. Its really a safer, more effective, healthier way of taking medicine. – David Johnson
So you guys know of course I had some questions.
Q: Okay, we have talked a lot about the inactive ingredients being organic and non-GMO but what about the active ingredients? Are they the same as the active ingredients in conventional OTC’s? What’s the deal?
A: So its kind of a tough thing to explain because the average consumer doesn’t understand the active ingredients in conventional meds. The active ingredients are similar but we use more homeopathic active ingredients. But the active ingredients that are in homeopathics are still the active ingredients that are in other meds. It’s just in these conventional meds, the ingredients are synthetically derived and can sometimes be induced with steroids. For example, you can use a Kava plant that happens to be highly toxic but if you reduce the amounts that you use it, its not as risky to take. However, for a sleep product in the OTC space, Kava would be there at a higher level and induced with other synthetics to make it stronger and riskier. Plus it would have more side effects.
Q: Are these as effective as a Tylenol or a Motrin? Like, do they really work?
A: They have medicinal values in them but not to the levels of a Tylenol. These work with your body to help it heal. It’s not going to mask the cold, it’s going to work with your body to get rid of the cold.
So lets take a look at what’s in their Cold Crush formula. Here it is listed at it is on the label – and I added the common name of some in parenthesis so we can read it a bit easier. These are the active ingredients (all organic):
- Allium cepa (onion) 6X HPUS for sneezing, runny nose and nasal discharge
- Belladonna 12X HPUS for dry cough and wet cough
- Bryonia alba 9X HPUS for sinus pain and stuffy nose
- Chamomilla 6x HPUS for nasal congestion
- Echinacea angustifolia (echinacea root) 6X HPUS for sore throat and dry throat
- Euphrasia officinalis 6x HPUS for chest congestion
- Gelsemium semperivens (Evening Trumpetflower) 12X HPUS for headache and body aches
- Ipecacuanha 12X HPUS for loss of smell
- Pulsatilla (pasqueflower) 9X HPUS for mucus and loss of taste
- Sambucus nigra (black elderberry) 6X HPUS for restless sleep.
*HPUS indicates that the ingredient is officially included in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the US.
Here are the inactive ingredients (all organic):
- acai berry flavor
- carnauba wax
- rice bran extract
If you Google the ingredients (like you know I did) some of these homeopathic ingredients have gotten a bad wrap but David explained to me that the the efficacy of these ingredients are all in the dose and the amount. The way that homeopathy works is that these ingredients are given at very low doses to just get it into your body and let your body work with it and heal.
For example Belladonna. Belladonna is a poisonous plant. But Belladonna is actually used in many drugs. Genexa uses it here at a dose that has been 12 times (or 12X as you see on the label) diluted with water and is effective for treating a cough. As another example, Genexa actually uses Poison Ivy in one of their formulas to treat allergies because its been known to be very effective when taken orally at very low doses, to have a good response on the body.
David adds, “All of the active ingredients are monographs which have been approved by the FDA to be used in OTC medicines and have been tried and true in either homeopathic provings or clinical trial studies. All of the products go through rigorous studies from a micro quality standpoint. We check for heavy metals, longevity and efficacy.”
B Corp Certified
If you haven’t heard of B Corp, let me fill you in. As their website says, “B Corp is to business what Fair Trade Certified is to coffee or USDA Organic Certified is to milk.” Genexa is also B Corp certified meaning they are a for-profit company who has met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. This certification means that the company is not only giving back to society but actually helping and supporting the greater good. Other companies that are B Corp certified are Patagonia, Honest Company, 7th Generation and over 1,800 more. You can check out more about B Corp here.
Genexa is currently building out their kids line and formulating a remedy for ear aches as well as an infant/children’s formula for cough and cold.
Oh and David has a 4 year old and a 1.5 year old and he says he doses his kids with Cold Crush at the onset of any cold. And it works. And they love it.
Thankfully my kids have not been sick yet so I haven’t had a chance to test these formulas out but I will and I will report back!
For more on Genexa you can check out their website.
*I am not a medical doctor. I am not prescribing or endorsing or getting paid to write about Genexa. Genexa reached out to me and asked if they could send me some samples to try and I said yes. I wanted to know more about this company and what they had to offer so I am sharing the conversation I had with them here. Use Genexa at your own discretion.