When Andrew Trott-Francis’s grandfather developed cancer, his first thought was “not again”.
His grandmother had died from pancreatic cancer six years before. Doctors suggested Dale Gibbons use a trial drug to fight the cancer they’d found in his liver.
His grandson was sceptical. The chemo and radiation therapy doctors prescribed hadn’t helped his grandmother.
“It actually took her faster than she would have gone if she had just let it happen naturally,” he said.
He took his grandfather to Amsterdam and Jamaica for cannabis oil treatments. Proponents claim the oil stops the growth of cancer.
However, the treatment also emphasised a sugar-free diet and his grandfather “was a bit of a sugar addict”.
“Sugar feeds cancer,” Mr Trott-Francis said. “He returned to some of his old ways. Otherwise he would have lived.”
His grandfather died last March, four months after returning from Jamaica.
The experience led Mr Trott-Francis to take a deeper look at alternative health and wellness options.
It’s an interest shared by his girlfriend, Leanna Lambert. She lost her grandmother to cancer; both her aunt and mother survived the disease.
“Between the both of us it sparked a movement,” she said. “We said, ‘We don’t want to go out like that’.”
They decide to do some research to lessen their exposure to cancer-causing chemicals in food, medicine and body care products such as toothpaste and lotion.
They replaced them with “all natural” products which they started selling online last year through their company, Souled Out Health & Wellness.
“We were living in London two years ago,” Ms Lambert said. “I was growing natural hair and I wanted to find chemical-free products that could help my hair grow back without damaging it. I went on countless websites and found coconut oil in its purest form. I ordered it, tried it and absolutely loved it. I started using it on my hair and body. That was the beginning of throwing out traditional lotions.”
Instead of the fluoride toothpaste he once used, Mr Trott-Francis swishes with coconut oil and brushes his teeth with charcoal tooth powder.
“My teeth are noticeably whiter from where they were,” he said. “My mouth feels a thousand times cleaner. Not using the fluoride, I don’t get that sick feeling from swallowing small amounts of the fluoride toothpaste.”
Their belief is that nature provides all the elements necessary to treat, heal and replenish the human body without the harmful side effects of chemically-infused products.
“We started off with coconut oil and just grew our inventory to 15 products,” said Ms Lambert. “We have three different types of essential oils, black seed, rosemary and chamomile which all have their healing agents. We sell the wood-charcoal tooth powder we use, and other things. We can pronounce the ingredients on the back of all our products.”
When the couple returned to Bermuda a year ago, Mr Trott-Francis worked in life insurance and Ms Lambert for online newspaper Today In Bermuda.
They quit their jobs to start Souled Out Health & Wellness. They try all their products before offering them for sale.
“The feedback has been monumental,” said Mr Trott-Francis. “We are really inspired by our customer reviews.
“Our customers let us know that they have tried many different products but ours work. They enjoy the delivery service. They like that these are quality products with a convenient delivery. They love our website.”
Added Ms Lambert: “A lot of times people want to live a healthier lifestyle but don’t know how. It does take a lot of research and education.
“We teach people how to use our products. We do a step-by-step process with them.”
It’s important for people to realise that they are not offering medical advice, Mr Trott-Francis said.
“We’re not doctors,” he said. “The products we offer will assist people in transitioning from using everyday chemical products.”
• Contact Souled Out Health & Wellness on Facebook, www.souledouthw.com or 737-2523.