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Know your ingredient: Chamomile

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Chamomile tea is known for its calming properties and is hugely popular as a pre-dinner cuppa in countries like Switzerland and Germany. This easygoing plant is a cinch to cultivate and its flowers are jam-packed with medicinal phytochemicals.

Origin

We grow all of our own chamomile here on the farm.

History of cultivation

According to the US National Library of Medicine, Chamomile is one of the most ancient medicinal herbs known to mankind. It is a member of Asteraceae/Compositae family and represented by two common varieties viz. German Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita) and Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). The dried flowers of chamomile contain many terpenoids and flavonoids contributing to its medicinal properties.

Chamomile preparations are commonly used for many human ailments such as hay fever, inflammation, muscle spasms, menstrual disorders, insomnia, ulcers, wounds, gastrointestinal disorders, rheumatic pain, and hemorrhoids. Essential oils of chamomile are used extensively in cosmetics and aromatherapy. Many different preparations of chamomile have been developed, the most popular of which is in the form of herbal tea.

Applications

Due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Chamomile tea is a powerhouse of antioxidants and protects the skin from free-radicals. The chamomile extract we use in our day cream is made from fresh flowers and ionised rain water.

More info about our super healing day cream with sunscreen here.

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Know your ingredient: Calendula

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Calendulas are members of the daisy family and are often referred to as marigolds. In addition to being a popular garden pretty, calendula flowers possess some powerful healing properties.

Origin

We grow all of our own calendula here on the farm. They thrive in this climate.

History of cultivation

Calendula species have been used traditionally as culinary and medicinal herbs. The petals are edible and can be used fresh in salads or dried and used to colour cheese or as a replacement for saffron. You can make yellow dye from the petals.

Romans and Greeks used the golden calendula in many rituals and ceremonies, sometimes wearing crowns or garlands made from the flowers. One of its nicknames is ‘Mary’s Gold’, referring to the flowers’ use in early Catholic events in some countries. Calendula flowers are sacred flowers in India and have been used to decorate the statues of Hindu deities since early times.

Applications

Calendula officinalis has antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. We extract calendula essence from the flowers by infusing them in ionised rain water. Calendula ointments are used to treat minor cuts, burns, and skin irritation. I first made calendula ointment for a naturopathy assignment, and later used it on my baby daughter to treat her eczema. I know include calendula in my day cream because it’s such a healing ingredient.

You can buy my day cream with sunscreen here.

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Know Your Ingredient: Stinging Nettle

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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.

Origin

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!

Applications

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.

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Know Your Ingredient: Lavender

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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.
 

Origin

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.

Applications

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.
 
LAVENDER ANGUSTIFOLIA
 
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.
 
LAVENDER GROSSO
 
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: