This week I was lucky enough to be invited to a Weleda Insight Day. We were asked to arrive by 9.30 and as everyone was gradually arriving from paces as far away as Northern Ireland, London and so on we were offered a drink and biscuits. The drinks ranged from delicious organic cordials , fresh filtered water and a range of organic fruit and herb teas as well as the usual tea and coffee.
Once everyone was there we had a short introduction before we were taken by mini bus to the thirteen acre organic and biodynamic gardens about a mile from the main Weleda buildings. This site is in Ilkeston in Derbyshire and is the pharmaceutical side of Weleda. They don't make any of the skin care products here , only the medicinal stuff.
We were given a tour of the gardens by the ex head gardener at Weleda who had been there thirty years. He was fascinating and told us so much about the work of Rudolph Steiner, the founder of Weleda. Steiner observed the plants and they way they grew and from these observations and studies he developed his medicines, both homeopathic and for general use.
Every product made by Weleda is created using their philosophy “ In harmony with nature and the human being”.
So not only are the medicines made this way but also all their skin and beauty products too. There is nothing in any Weleda product that does not have a job to do. There is no padding or bulking out with unnecessary scents or perfumes. Every single Weleda product is 100% natural, there are no parabens or other synthetic preservatives, no colourants, no mineral oil derivatives and ever since they were founded Weleda has never tested on animals other than will human volunteers.
After our tour of the garden we went into a marquee where the current head gardener showed us ,with the help of a couple of volunteers, how they made the tinctures for the calendula through using the fresh maceration method. Our volunteers had to chop up a weighed amount of calendula plant, the whole plant minus the root. This chopped mixture had a very specific amount of plant based ethanol added to it. They weigh the calendula, work out its moisture content and the ethanol added is based on that calculation.
This mix is then allowed to sit for a fortnight before being pressed and strained. The resulting tincture can then be stored for up to five years until needed for whatever medicine or product requires that tincture. The ethanol is the natural preservative.
Having made our tincture we were then transported back to the Weleda base for a really lovely lunch. It was a bit like a posh afternoon tea with mini sandwiches, a tasty salad, strawberries dipped in chocolate and some cakes and scones.
Then came the second fun part. We were told about the products, how they are beneficial and much more. We got to try different oils so that we could tell which were natural and which were petroleum based. Interestingly one oil we tried was actually a well known product sold as a natural oil which in fact is far more petroleum based if you look at the ingredients.
We got to try lots of the lovely Weleda products and my arms and legs have never been so well fed with cream and oils.They also let us try some of their new products recently released and then told us what was about to be released later this year.
The ladies who did the talks were not only informative but we also so enthusiastic about the company, its ethics and the products that it was a real pleasure to see and share their excitement.
At the end of the day we had to go to their little shop to hand in our badges and be given a bag full of great products as well. Inside the bag was a voucher for 25% off so I felt it would be rude not to take advantage of that and treated myself to a full sized bottle of Birch cellulite oil and also a bottle of their new hayfever relief oromucosal spray as I do suffer from hayfever and would love not to have to take ant histamines daily all summer.
This was a fantastic day and I would like to thank Weleda for treating us to such a lovely welcoming and interesting day. I met a few other bloggers too and we all got on so well that I feel I have also made new friends as well.