WALA essences are prepared by crushing fresh plants sourced from the company’s own Demeter Sonnenhof farm, biodynamic garden or contract farms or harvested in the wild under managed plantations.
After being crushed, the plants are placed in a large stoneware container with cool water and a little alcohol. Over a period of seven days, the essences are influenced by processes based on the rhythms of light and movement; these processes were developed based on WALA’s knowledge of natural rhythms and the human organism. Employees stir the mixture thoroughly – twice every morning and twice every evening. This means that the liquid, which is otherwise kept in the dark, comes into contact with light. After one week, the essences are pressed and filtered. A small part of the incinerated pressed residue is added to the filtered essences for the Dr. Hauschka Skin Care products.
For oil extracts, dried medicinal herbs with vegetable oils may take a week to ripen. During this stage, the mixture is heated to 37 °C – i.e. normal human body temperature. The mixture is stirred thoroughly every morning and evening. In this way, the whole power of the medicinal herbs is transferred to the oil. Finally, the mixture is pressed and filtered.
Exctracts of medicinal herbs
Freshly harvested plants from the WALA medicinal herb garden are crushed, mixed with water and left for seven days. This mixture is subjected to processes based on the rhythms of light, temperature and movement every morning and evening. After three-and-a-half days, the plant components are usually pressed and incinerated. The plant juice is rhythmised for a further three-and-a-half days. After seven days, filtration takes place and a small part of the incinerated pressed residue is added to the filtered extract.
Rhythmised, water-based extracts for skin care products can be found, for example, in Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream and Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream Light, and – in dilute, rhythmised form – also in Dr. Hauschka Rhythmic Conditioners. The method of producing aqueous, rhythmised herb extracts has been further developed and optimised for Dr. Hauschka Skin Care.
Pressed plant juices
Petals, leaves and stems are pressed immediately after the plant is harvested. Unlike plant extracts, the freshly pressed juices contain the entire undiluted essence of the vibrant plants. All the beneficial substances of the highly complex medicinal plant are found in its rich juices. This is what makes them so effective.
In the early morning, when the mist still hangs thick and heavy in the mountain valleys and the first rays of sunshine herald the new day, women and men set out to gather the most precious treasure of the damask rose - its wonderfully fragrant flowers. The fully opened flowers are harvested together with the calyx by twisting them very gently from the stem. They are then placed in the willow baskets which the women and men wear tied around their hips. The worker move quickly and silently between the myriad of rose bushes whose flowers range from the softest to the most brilliant shade of pink, producing a splendid display of colour that stands out against the radiantly blue morning sky. In this peaceful atmosphere work continues up to mid morning. The fragrant crop is then placed in huge sacks which can weigh as much as 12 kg.
After the weighing, the cooperative's truck takes the day's crop to the distillation factory where essential oil of rose is obtained from the splendid harvest.
The delicate rose flowers are processed immediately. After weighing again, they are placed in the copper stills, and mixed with about 500 litres of demineralized water. The rose-water mixture is heated with steam at a pressure of 1 bar. The steam takes up the fragrant constituents of the rose flowers, rises and is led into the so-called condensing coil where it is cooled by a copper spiral. The resulting condensation product collects on the floor of the still in the form of a milky fluid called the "first water". This contains about 25 to 30 g "green oil" (from about 450 kg rose flowers) which is produced in this first distillation.
The green oil is the most concentrated, that is the most valuable form of the essential oil of rose and has an intensive aroma of fresh flowers. The remaining "first water" is re-distilled. From about 1600 l first water a further 75 kg "yellow oil" are obtained, a slightly less concentrated oil with a slightly less intense rose aroma. It is decanted together with the green oil and then filtered. The end product is the valuable oil of rose or attar of rose which is highly sought after for the production of perfumes and Skin Care products.