As you know I’ve been puttering around in my garden since spring, learning from my many mistakes how to care for flowers. When I received the invitation to come up to Weleda HQ I was beside myself with excitement. I was invited last year but my kids were still too young for me to be away all day. I read the day’s itinerary but I still thought most of the time would be spent meandering long lanes of various flowers. In actuality, Weleda spent time sharing their knowledge of horticulture, farming, bee keeping and skincare.

Plant Power

As you know I’ve been puttering around in my garden since spring, learning from my many mistakes how to care for flowers. When I received the invitation to come up to Weleda HQ I was beside myself with excitement. I was invited last year but my kids were still too young for me to be away all day. I read the day’s itinerary but I still thought most of the time would be spent meandering long lanes of various flowers. In actuality, Weleda spent time sharing their knowledge of horticulture, farming, bee keeping and skincare.

On the day I attended Weleda Insight,  there was a mix of bloggers and Weleda Beauty Advisers. After the meet and greet we received our official welcome from Susie Fairgrieve, Weleda UK’s Communications Manager. Then, we went into the field for our tour. Michael Bate, Weleda’s retired Garden Manager (now Consultant) took us around the field sharing his knowledge of various medicinal plants and flowers. Michael spoke about the similarities between plants and humans. He said that flowers are like a person turned upside down. He pointed out the perfect symmetry of the Viola Tricolor. It’s an ingredient in Weleda’s cult favourite product Skin Food. The Viola Tricolor is the same on both sides, as a person it has two of everything.

Additionally, it has a long history in herbalism. It helps to keep skin soft and supple. Another example was Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) which belongs to the Labiatae plant family same as long with other aromatic culinary plants like basil and mint. It’s a stimulating plant. It’s been used in traditional medicine for breathing and blood ailments.  Most interesting was the Calendula flower (Calendula Officinalis) which as its name suggest can grow throughout the year if it’s not too cold in winter. Mick said that each of what we would call a ‘petal’ is actually a flower. If planted it would germinate. For centuries it’s been known for its ability to soothe and heal irritated or inflamed skin. It’s a key ingredient used in the baby product range, as well as the Skin Food.

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Bee’s Life

I could go on and on about what we got up to at Weleda’s Insight day. However in a nutshell, we learnt about the life of bees from Mick the Bee (Michael Parker). Garden Manager, Clair Hattersely briefed us on basic principles of biodynamic agriculture. She spoke about importance of encouraging life forces (mini beasts and microorganism to you and me) to the soil to keep it healthy. 2016 is the 90th Anniversary of Skin Food. Evelyn Liddell, Weleda Pharmacist & head of New Product Development presented the science behind skin food. I didn’t know it had so many uses, from nappy cream, to face treatment to split ends tamer. Best of all its 100% natural.

 

Skin Food

I along with another attendee I assisted Claire in tincture creation demonstration. I was amazed by the simplicity of the process and the precision of the measurements to meet production standards.  We closed our day learning how to do a proper hand massage using Skin Food. The segment was led by Caroline Burke and Narissa Burke. It’s such a relaxing session. I absolutely loved using Skin Food. It’s rich in texture and stimulating in fragrance.

 

History of Weleda

What moved me most about the day was the way in which an essence of spirituality ran thought out. At the time I didn’t know but since returning home and reading about the origins of the brand and its founder it all makes perfect sense. Weleda was founded by Rudolf Steiner (born in Croatia raised in Austria) and Dr. Ita Wegman (born in Indonesia) in 1921. Steiner contributed the schools of Biodynamic agriculture, Anthroposophical medicine, Social reform, Architecture, and esotericism and visual arts.

While Dr Wegman has a background in therapeutic gymnastics and massage. She garnered a diploma as a medical doctor in 1911 with a specialization in women’s medicine and joined an existing medical practice. ‘At around 1923, Rudolf Steiner asked Wegman to join the Executive Council of the newly reformed Anthroposophical Society at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland. She also became director of the medical section of the research centre at the Goetheanum.’ All this goes to show that although as I discovered Weleda is not a  household name in London, it not a didn’t join the bandwagon of organic skincare.

Weleda built the wagon. Search hashtag #weledainsight for more photos from the event and for more information on Weleda products visit their website.

Further reading:

http://www.weleda.co.uk/our-heritage/our-heritage/page/our-heritage

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Steiner

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ita_Wegman

 

IOW

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