Harnessing the Power of Nurturing Botanicals
Aqueous-Alcoholic Herb Essences
Essences for Dr. Hauschka Skin Care products are prepared by crushing fresh plants sourced from the company’s own Demeter Sonnenhof farm, biodynamic garden, 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 our 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 in the form of ash is added to the filtered essences for the Dr. Hauschka Skin Care products.
Oil Extracts from Dried Herbs
For oil extracts, dried herbs in vegetable oils may take a week to ripen. During this stage, the mixture is heated to 37 °C /98.6 °F – i.e. healthy human body temperature. The mixture is stirred thoroughly every morning and evening. In this way, the power of the herbs is transferred to the oil. Finally, the mixture is pressed and filtered.
Aqueous Herbal Extracts
Freshly harvested plants from our biodynamic herb garden are crushed, mixed with water and left for seven days. Every morning and evening, this mixture is subjected to processes based on the rhythms of light, temperature and movement. After three-and-a-half days, the plant components are usually pressed and incinerated. The plant juice is rhythmitised for a further three-and-a-half days. After seven days, filtration takes place and a small part of the incinerated pressed residue in the form of ash is added to the filtered extract.
Rhythmised, water-based extracts can be found a number of Dr. Hauschka Skin Care products, including Rose Day Cream, and Rose Day Cream Light and in dilute, rhythmised form in Sensitive Care Conditioner and Renewing Night Conditioner. The method of producing aqueous, rhythmitised herb extracts has been further developed and optimized for Dr.Hauschka Skin Care.
Rose Essential Oil
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 willow baskets which the women and men wear tied at their hips. The workers move quickly and silently between the rose bushes whose flowers range from the softest to the most brilliant shades of pink, offering a splendid display of color that stands out against the radiantly blue morning sky. In this peaceful atmosphere work continues through mid-morning. The fragrant crop is then placed in huge sacks which can weigh as much as 26 pounds.
After the weighing, the cooperative's truck takes the day's crop to the distillation factory where the delicate rose flowers are processed immediately. After reweighing, the roses are placed in copper stills and mixed with approximately 500 liters of demineralized water. The rose-water mixture is heated with steam at 14.5 pounds of pressure per a square inch. The steam draws in the fragrant constituents of the rose flowers then rises and is led into a condensing coil where it is cooled by a copper spiral. The resulting condensation collects on the floor of the still in the form of a milky fluid called the "first water." This contains about 1 ounce of "green oil" (from about 990 pounds of rose flowers) from first distillation.
The green oil is the most concentrated and valuable form of the rose essential oil has and features an intense aroma of fresh flowers. The remaining "first water" is re-distilled. From about 1600 liters of first water, a further 78 liters of "yellow oil" are obtained, a slightly less concentrated oil with a slightly less intense rose aroma. The oil is decanted together with the green oil 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.