Over the past few years I have started using a lot more natural remedies, real food supplements and natural toiletries and beauty products (or making my own!). This means a lot of the products I buy are not available locally in supermarkets, or even health food stores. You can buy things online, but postage costs (even from companies within Australia) are often expensive, which tends to negate any savings from buying online.
I must confess, I’m a bit jealous of people in the US and Europe who have access to Amazon and its huge range of products. While Amazon does technically ship to Australia, it’s only certain things and shipping is expensive at $6.99 plus $3.99 per item for personal care items.
Which brings me to iHerb. When I first heard about iHerb I assumed it was a similar set-up with them offering free shipping within the US and charging exorbitant prices to ship to Australia. So I ignored it for several months until my sister mentioned to me that she got most of her supplements and toiletries from iHerb, and that they were very cheap compared to here.
I had a look on the website and found out that they ship to most countries for a flat fee of $4 (for orders that are less than $80 and 1.8kg). I decided to try it and for my first order I bought four things: Natural Calm Magnesium supplement, Rainbow Light B vitamins, organic peppermint extract and Dr Bronner’s lavendar castile soap (which seem to be discontinued now).
Magnesium is an essential mineral for many different processes in the body, and is especially helpful with reducing stress and muscle tension and improving sleep quality. As modern farming has been depleting the magnesium in the soil, even if you eat a good diet, you may be low in magnesium. And since I’m getting into the stressful part of my PhD, I’ve decided anything that lowers stress will be helpful 🙂
B vitamins are also supposed to help combat stress. While I can get B vitamins at the local chemist, I like that iHerb lists all of the ingredients in its vitamins on the website. The supplements I buy locally don’t list all of the ingredients, just say vague things like “no added gluten or soy”. There are also a lot of supplements that are food-based, rather than synthetic, and they are not a lot more expensive.
The peppermint extract was natural and organic, whereas the only one I’ve been able to find in the local shops is artificial. It was basically the same price as the local one, and I use to make homemade toothpaste.
Castile soap is a gentle vegetable-oil based soap without any additives, that I’d been wanting to try for a while. I originally planned to use the soap to wash myself in the shower, but have now realised I prefer a bar of soap (they sell those too). Luckily it famously has 18 uses, and I have already used it to clean grease off dishes and clean my car. I may also try using it as shampoo and in the washing machine.
As well as being cheap, I really liked the fact that the bottles were wrapped in a paper version of bubble-wrap, which can just be recycled when you’re done with it. The shipping was relatively quick, taking about a week to get here. Finally, iHerb also have free samples available, but unfortunately not to Australian customers (although they did send me a pocket mirror with my order).
I was very happy with my order and I’m looking forward to trying out some bar soap, cod liver oil and vitamin D supplements once my current stocks run out. If you would like to try out iHerb, you can use this link to get $10 off your first order.
This post is all my own opinion and not sponsored by iHerb in any way. The links on this page are referral links, which means I get points for referring you, but it does not affect the cost of your order.
Do you buy supplements or toiletries online? Where do you get them from?