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Grandmother’s Goodness – There’s a Birdsong on her lips

Age is wisdom. And in Ayurveda and natural care it is gold.

Conscious producers and makers dig deeper for their product formulations. Not for them, instant mixes, and spurious recipes. Conscious makers are mindful about the wisdom and heritage that accompanies their products.

Birdsong as a natural care brand forages for ancient wellness wisdom across Indian culture and homes to bring natural home remedies to its patrons.

If we go down the memory lane of practically any Indian household, one wouldn’t be able to recall a summer vacation when your Grandmom didn’t pass on a home remedy or a house recipe.

Always shared in soothing tones with a twinkle in her eye. It made you feel as if you were the only one being bequeathed that secret recipe. It was something that you held on to and remembered amidst the cacophony of your extended family and garrulous cousins. Something that you still wistfully remember for its effective and yet unpretentious charm.

These social congregations with Grandma presiding over, have been fountains of good old home wisdom. Passed down through generations, these recipes and remedies are cherished for being so simple and honest. For being natural and unpretentious like anything homegrown is.

While times have changed, grandmoms thankfully haven’t. Their wisdom still shines gold. In the words of its founders, Birdsong a for profit social venture was conceived with inter-generational knowledge of traditional wellness practices, trusted formulations, and decades of understanding what products and experiences leave a lasting value, both socially and economically. And strangely, just about strangely, it somehow takes you back to the days at Grandma’s high-beamed, terracotta-tiled house that stayed cool in the summers. And all the ancient wisdom it contained.

Time slows down a little at Grandma’s home.

A door. A stair. And two steps inside that dark,

the straight-backed chair my grandmother sat in,

a lace net draped across its mahogany arm.

And on the table, a volume of stories

open at the flyleaf, its tissue quill-scarred.

The photographs seal her in a shell of relations:

the sepia corset would have her no more

than an empress delegating domestic chores;

in this room, imagine her gravely accepting

tributes of porcelain and sparkling brass

or setting tiger lilies afloat in bowls, or stocking

pots of pickled mango in the attic of summer.

– An extract of Ranjit Hoskote’s, A poem for Grandmother

A mouthful of goodness.

Their Spearmint and Sea Salt botanical toothpaste does its job without any sugar in it, it has a best-described as honest taste, that leaves the mouth feeling fresh.

But the real action hero is their ancient Ayurveda-based Oil Pulling formulation. Oil pulling is an ancient Indian remedy to clean the mouth and teeth. It has been claimed by many to reduce the risk of dental cavities, gum inflammation, and bad breath. It is an ayurvedic mouthwash.


Birdsong Life - Vanilla and Cinnamon flavoured oil pulling jar of goodness.
Vanilla and Cinnamon flavoured jar of goodness.

Oil pulling is referred to in Ayurvedic texts as kavala or gundusha and is also recommended by Western practitioners and doctors. After all, who would ignore Grandma’s advice.

Our mouth houses more than 600 types of bacteria. While many are necessary for a healthy oral microbiome (call it the mouth’s universe), quite a few of them, like the Streptococcus mutans, can cause problems if left unattended. It can lead to tooth decay, strep throat, bad breath, and gingivitis. Serious health disorders like cardiovascular problems and issues with pregnancy and birth have also been linked to bacteria in the mouth.

How do you then adopt something safe, healthy, and natural to keep your mouth healthy? Swilling oil or gargling helps. And hold on. It comes flavoured. You get to choose from Citrus, Mint and a Vanilla & Cinnamon blend.

Based around cold-pressed, extra virgin coconut oil, it is fluoride-free, sulphate free and chemical-free. Heck! We think it even helps clean up cuss words in the mouth 🙂. And leaves a fresh aftertaste. Apart from a healthier body.

And here’s the catch we loved

Birdsong says that it takes 21 days to break a habit. It is part of the generally believed 21/90 rule. Stick to a new habit for 3 weeks and follow up with another 90 days and lo, you would cast off your bad habit like Houdini changes clothes mid-stage.

The Birdsong oil pulling pack comes with 21 sachets that they say will help you switch to a more healthy oral lifestyle.

This urban legend originated via a 1960s book Psycho-cybernetics, authored by cosmetic surgeon Maxwell Maltz, who claimed it took his patients 3 weeks to become used to altered parts of the body, and eventually morphed into altered habits. A more modern research by Philippa Lally (UK Health Behaviour Research Centre, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London) in 2009 across 96 volunteers says it takes between 18 and 254 days to form a new habit. (Published by the European Journal of Social Psychology, it is available on the Wiley Online library.)

Birdsong also sells bamboo toothbrushes, relaxation oil blends made with lavender and Ylang-Ylang, pain-relief oils for joint aches and hair masks.



Wisdom in practice

There are no shortcuts pulled in the creation of their formulations. Grandma would approve heartily. Wisdom, science and modern research blend to create Birdsong formulations. In the time-tested way.

Women at work. Behind the scenes from The Birdsong Life Factory.

Working with researchers in a GMP certified laboratory, Birdsong develops innovative formulations, while identifying natural and healing botanical extracts, foraging indigenous knowledge, and being grounded in science. After all their wellness solutions need to stand the test of time, be it for quality or safety.

Staying conscious with livelihood and empowerment

Sourcing – Birdsong stays rightly and firmly on Grandmom’s side when it comes to choosing how it sources, manufactures and packages its products. Ingredients are sourced from fair trade organizations thereby sharing fair prices with growers and weavers who help them live up to their promise. Birdsong also uses sustainable material as far as possible and has tried to completely eradicate single-use plastic by opting for aluminum, eco-friendly corrugated boxes and glass as the primary packaging materials.

Livelihoods – Generating meaningful livelihoods for marginalized women is big on their charter. They have a predominantly woman-centric sourcing, manufacturing, and packaging supply chain – with close to 75% of their processes run by women at Birdsong.

Social linkages – They have also consciously chosen to work with weaver cooperatives and communities for product manufacturing and non-profit organizations for their packaging

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Written by Xplorium

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