In the 1800s, an herbal doctor named Moses Hanson lived in the Stroudwater neighborhood of Portland.

Hanson used to pay local kids to pick dandelions for him to use in his herbal remedies, and he soon became known as “Dr. Dandelion.”

Fast forward a couple hundred years, and Dr. Dandelion’s presence is still alive and well in Stroudwater. Deb Robbins now lives in the good doctor’s home, where she has created a line of organic soaps and other body care products named after him.

“We do everything the old-fashioned way,” Robbins said. “Our whole company is all about simplicity and not adding anything extra.”

Robbins started making soap as a hobby. Then, when her daughter was born, she was looking for a way to stay home with her. She had helped a friend with a similar business and discovered how much she loved it – and how much “junk” bigger commercial brands of body care products contain.

Robbins uses local ingredients as much as possible. Only local honey is used in her soaps, and she grows some of the calendula and lavender in her own garden. The most popular soap with customers is lavender, she says, followed by orange honey. She also makes a peppermint and an unscented bar. They range in price from $4 to $6.

Robbins also makes loofah soaps, with the loofah tucked inside, and hand balm, bath oils, bath salts and lip products.

Her products are sold online and in Portland at the Portland Food Co-op, Rosemont Market on Brighton Avenue, Maine’s Pantry, Lisa Marie’s, Whole Foods, Waterlily, Kurier and The Honey Exchange. For other locations around the state, visit the Dr. Dandelion website.