“The whole is more than the sum of its parts”. This phrase sums up the meaning of "totum vegetal” which we will explain in further detail below.
Today, biology studies living organisms such as plants as systems, that is, as a whole. There is a fundamental notion that holds that in each system or totum, there are certain properties that do not exist at a lower level. In other words, when we respect the “totum” of a plant extract, we can appreciate the beneficial properties more than we would by just using the active ingredients (AI) separately. This confirms that "the whole is more than the sum of its parts."
The advantages of respecting the total plant when using plant oils or extracts in cosmetics are: synergy and potentiation of properties. When we talk about synergy, we are referring to the fact that the equilibrium and the proportionality of the active ingredients of a vegetable oil or extract are maintained because its components are working in harmony. The level of synergy depends on the proportion of each active ingredient rather than the relative strength of each one, as seen in the image.
We can see how, by leveraging one or more active ingredients, the balance and proportionality of the extract (red) are broken. When this happens, we say that it is because the whole plant was not respected. Meanwhile, when we look at the other extract (green) we see not only synergy but also the potentiation of the active ingredients’ properties. This means that the properties are more effective with smaller quantities of the substances.
This is why at Nhuara Baret our products are formulated respecting the whole plant in order to create the most effective and exclusive products in the market.
The same phenomenon is observed in vegetable oils, where the active ingredients sometimes possess completely different and even opposing properties, but when the oil is used as a whole (the total extraction, not rectified to obtain a specific component) and thanks to the regulating properties, synergy is created and the properties are enhanced. There are many varieties of vegetable oils, from among which we have carefully selected the most beneficial and healing for the skin such as nopal oil , argan, sesame, black cumin, grape seeds, and sweet almond. All of these are the basis of the Nhuara Baret products.
Occasionally, one of the parts of the “whole” suppresses one or more undesirable effects of the other components so that even when a component on its own could be potentially toxic, this toxicity is not transferred to the oil. We will now give an example to illustrate what we have mentioned above and the importance of the “whole plant”.
Citral, a component of lemon oil, is used as an aroma in cosmetics and possesses antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. Used in isolation, it can cause irritation of the skin and mucous membranes. However, within the essence of the lemon and respecting the total plant, other components of the plant block this adverse effect. This shows the importance of the balance between the components of a natural extract, since an imbalance of its active ingredients can have undesirable and even potentially harmful effects.
In conclusion, respecting the total plant enhances the properties of the natural substances present in cosmetic products, with the advantage of their synergy-producing and potentiating effects on the one hand and excellent tolerance with no undesirable side effects on the other. By enhancing its effects, the notion of the “total plant” emphasises quality over quantity.