Over the past few years, global citizens of the world have not been Gwyneth Paltrow's biggest fans. While I can't put my finger on what exactly has made her so unlikeable to many, it seemed to start with her "conscious uncoupling" from Chris Martin, and spiraled out of control after she launched her lifestyle brand Goop. (It should also be noted that the appeal of Coldplay has also suffered since the divorce. Coincidence? I think not.) In all honesty, what really sent people over the edge was when Paltrow blogged about challenging herself to live off of $29 worth of food stamps for a week. While her intent was to raise awareness (and money) for the Food Bank For New York City, the general consensus of public opinion was pure outrage.
Recently, some writers criticized Paltrow over a recipe for a smoothie where the ingredients totaled nearly $500. (A writer for Slate went as far as to say that her product endorsements sound like "period euphemisms.") Mid-eye roll, there was one item on the list that caught my eye—Sex Dust. The edible powder comes from Amanda Chantal Bacon's store Moon Juice, which is described as "a resource for organic alchemy, ancient wisdom, and deliciously potent foods for those seeking beauty, wellness, and longevity." Unfortunately, both women have been victims of online "health-shaming" because of how overpriced the supplements are.
Rather than go off on a tangent of my own, I felt intrigued to give these potions a run for their money. To find out if this stuff really did have the ability to enhance my mind, body, and soul, I consumed all of the Moon Dust formulas for seven days. The full collection costs $340 and includes Beauty, Sex, Action, Goodnight, Spirit, and Brain, or you can buy them all separately for $55 to $65 per 8-ounce jar. The company recommends a serving as one tablespoon, sprinkled into hot or cold beverages.
Prior to this experiment, I consulted a group of medical experts about whether or not they endorse the use of these products: Adina Grigore, a holistic nutritionist and founder of S.W. Basics, Dr. Gabrielle Francis, a naturopathic doctor, chiropractor, acupuncturist, and licensed massage therapist, and Dr. Elizabeth Trattner, a board certified doctor of Oriental medicine and acupuncture. Public opinions are one thing, but nothing should weigh more than the words of a professional.
"Moon Juice dusts use very clever marketing that make it look like great products. It seems like the world has taken to eating well from pop culture, and eating healthy is glamorous and hip. Mind you, I think it is a great way to raise awareness but consumers need to be educated on the proper way to take supplements and moreover how to buy ones that are safe," says Dr. Trattner. "The ingredients look wonderful as they are organic, however, there is no GMP stamp on them that denotes Good Manufacturing Practices. GMP are the practices required in order to conform to the guidelines recommended by agencies, that control authorization and licensing for manufacture and sale of food, drug products, and active pharmaceutical products."
Dr. Tratter also said she would feel more comfortable recommending Moon Juice if she knew that a licensed acupuncturist or a licensed practitioner skilled in herbalism was involved with the creation of the products. (It turns out that herbalism is an intense practice of medicine that takes several years to study and master.) "The formulas are drawn from Chinese and some Ayurveda medicine—it takes a licensed and skilled practitioner to make sure these are safe to take with other herbs, supplements, and drugs," she adds. "Most consumers do not know this."
Dr. Francis further elaborated on the problem with the labeling of Moon Juice's products. "I lived in China for a year and studied Chinese herbs and people that used Chinese herbs in an environmental toxicology class," she notes. "I doubt that there are organic things coming from China, so my biggest concern here is the source, and if the products are not only organic but if they are sourced with fair trade in mind."
Though skeptical of Moon Juice's claims, every expert approved of the concept and design of the actual products. Dr. Francis said that she thought the Dusts were "excellent alternatives to coffee and tea" and that they are "thoughtfully formulated to support the claimed benefits." The doctors even said that if given the opportunity, they would try the dusts for themselves to explore the benefits.
Click through the gallery to follow the journey of my Moon Juice trial. If you are interested in investing in the full Moon Dust collection, proceed here.