Stinging nettles are those pesky weeds in the back paddock, right? Most people recall getting zapped by one of these plants when they were a kid but what many people don’t realise is that the phytochemicals that cause the stinging sensation are also extremely beneficial to humans when used medicinally.
Originating from Europe, stinging nettles are found all over the world, including in cultivation on our farm. Many people think of stinging nettles as a weed but this extraordinary plant has a lot of therapeutic properties for the skin, urinary system, lactation, and joints.
History of cultivation
If you’ve ever had a kidney infection and you like alternative therapies, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with nettle tea. Smells a bit like fresh cowpats.
Nettles have been used in Austrian traditional medicine for centuries and pagans used nettle tea as a lactation aid. In Ecuador, there are indigenous healers that use stinging nettles to improve fatigue and circulation. They either rub raw leaves directly onto their patient’s skin or they flog them with bundles of the herb. I guess that would wake you up!
Nettle extracts are used in skincare because they are chock-a-block full of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, and they possess anti-inflammatory qualities.
Want to check out our day cream with sunscreen that has nettle in it? Check it out here.
What do England, France, and Italy have in common, apart from making great cheese? They all have their own kinds of lavender. This fragrant plant is drought-resistant, beautiful to look at, and the bees love it! The best thing for us is that it has some powerful therapeutic uses when included in skincare formulations.
We source our lavender from passionate local growers, Mount Darragh Lavender, in the Bega Valley, Wyndham, NSW. The team over there have been growing lavender for 20 years and use a chemical-free distillation method—the slow and steady, old-fashioned way using wood-burning stills—to create a top-end oil that is pure perfection.
History of cultivation
The first recorded use of lavender was during Roman times, but almost certainly goes back further than that. There are 47 species of lavender that grow wild from Europe, through Africa, and right across to Asia. What most people know as lavender is Lavandula angustifolia, otherwise known as English lavender or true lavender.
Lavender is known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and the oil has been used in topical treatments for skin for centuries. It is also an effective mosquito repellant. The leaves can be made into a tea, or used as a culinary herb, much like rosemary. The flowers are also used to flavour cakes and desserts. Because it smells so pleasant, it is commonly used to fragrance bath products but when it comes to Saarinen products, we include it because of its gentle healing power.
We use Mt Darragh Lavender, Angustifolia essential oil in our face skincare as it is low in camphor and gentle to use on your skin, which means it doesn’t burn the pores open.
We also use Mt Darragh Grosso lavender essential oil, which is very high in camphor and mainly used for the body as the skin can handle the high camphor from the neck down.
We use it in the following creams: