All posts tagged: organic

Benefits of wild birch

There’s a life lesson we can learn from the wild cultivated birch forest in South Bohemia – that all good things should be left to grow wild and free. I toured the natural Birch forests of South Bohemia in the Czech Republic with Leonard Taraba, the head of the family-run company that focuses on the wild collection of the young Birch leaves. These are used for the production of high quality extracts used worldwide in Weleda’s natural cosmetics and juices. The reason why Leonard and his team are able to extract such high quality raw materials is by their ecologically- friendly processing methods, environmentally clean localities and to healthy respect for nature. Their motto “in harmony with nature”. Benefits of Birch Birch is a silvery barked, leafy tree which is well-known for its restorative properties. Soviet countries have had a long appreciation for the medicinal power of this plant and folk healers used Birch for centuries for its diuretic effects, to assist the dissolving of kidney stones and also to treat gout and rheumatoid arthritis. …

The ‘Care Crops’ of Chacara Garden

There’s ‘Cash Crops’ and then there is ‘Care Crops’. W hen you see Moacyr Copani, Gardener at Chacara Garden, Weleda Brazil tending his gardens of over 40 of medicinal plants it’s easy to spot the difference. This level of care doesn’t stem from greed… but something much deeper and personal than that. This garden is his life – from the very moment he was born, in the simple brick house on the property. Moacyr tends to the land with his brother Paulo with as much care as their father – the first gardener who planted these very gardens himself. Even though Moacyr Snr is now in this 80’s, the three men still harvest together, it’s tradition. How it all began. As you know, I love ‘meaningful coincidences’. This garden has another great story that will give you goose-bumps for sure. Weleda Brazil was founded in 1959 by Dr. Gudrun Burkard and her husband Pedro Schmidt. They moved to the now famous wine region on San Roque, São Paulo and laid down their roots with a …

The skin care nasties to avoid, especially for Mum’s-to-be

It’s perfectly natural to worry about what you’re putting into and onto your body when you’re pregnant, and even if you’re not. G ot a bun in the oven? Or even if you don’t, it’s highly likely your re-thinking all the things you’re putting into and on your body. I met a lot of new mothers today at Weleda Mother and Baby Care day and most said a very similar thing: ‘It became particularly important to avoid chemicals when I fell pregnant – it wasn’t just about me anymore.’ Amber Johnson I met with Brazilian Dermatologist Dr. Patricia Silveori, who specializes in natural dermatology. It was pretty daunting when I found out that 60% of what we use on our skin can enter our bloodstream, I hate to think how that statistic made to-be-mothers react. The potential for chemical nasties to be passed onto their unborn child I’m sure had sent many new mothers to the eco beauty counter to switch to a toxin-free skin care regime already. We all know that anybody can benefit …

‘Horn Manure’ – Is it a load of bull?

Hear me out then feel 100% free to make up your own mind. Stuffing cow horns with manure and burying in a pit for 6 months may sound little woo-woo to some. But the rich compost that comes from it is the foundation for biodynamic farming. When did Biodynamic farming come about?  Steiner developed the Biodynamic farming principles in 1924 in response to farmers requests for his thinking about the declining quality of their produce and yield of crops. His biodynamic philosophy was his way of improving the stability and richness of the soil by enhancing its organic matter, by avoiding synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides – to give the produce back its vitality. Ok, we are all keeping up with that. Where we may lose a few people is that he also claimed that “cosmic vital forces” have a large impact on plants and animals. He recommended processes of using cow horns as vessels to vitalize the soil. The process goes a little like this. Cow horns are filled with manure (this is called …