The WALA/Dr. Hauschka Biodynamic Medicinal Plant Garden

Our biodynamic medicinal plant gardens
Our biodynamic medicinal plant gardens

A medicinal herb garden on the heavy clay soils of the Swabian Mountains?

The local farmers looked very sceptical when WALA started searching for a plot of land for their new project in the 1950’s. Rudolf Hauschka purchased a boggy meadow at the foot of the mountain directly behind the construction site for the new company building, which WALA gardeners have been cultivating ever since using biodynamic methods. After many years the soil became crumbly, rich and easy to work. Today our Gardeners grow more than 150 different medicinal plants for the crafting of WALA preparations and Dr. Hauschka Skin Care on an area of more than 4.5 hectares. Dragonflies, toads and fire salamanders have made their home amid the water lily pond. There’s also a stream, our beehives, meadows and woods.

The healthiest soil grows medicinal plants of the highest vitality, it's that vitality we're passing onto your skin!
The soil is no longer clay after biodynamic gardening. The healthiest soil grows medicinal plants of the highest vitality, it’s that vitality we’re transforming for your skin!

What is biodynamic agriculture?

This method, developed by Dr. Rudolf Steiner in 1924, regards the garden as a more or less closed system. Most of the seeds, compost and potting compost are self-produced. The gardeners use various plant preparations which help the compost to decompose better and strengthen the resistance of the plants to pests and disease.

Biodynamic formulas for the earth
Biodynamic formulas for the earth

Working by hand is essential when dealing with plants. When sowing and harvesting the WALA gardeners work with the rhythms of Nature. Strong, healthy plants with the highest vitality are the result. The right basis for our products.

WALA medicine; WALA Arzneimittel

Potting soils
At the beginning of February we start with the first greenhouse plantings. The selection of suitable potting soils is an important prerequisite for successful plant rearing. As the most important organ, they are responsible for the growth and health of the plants. For our potting soils we therefore use selected and best composts from our own production. These have usually been turned twice a year by hand. They are also treated with the biodynamic compost preparations prepared in the WALA garden from the medicinal plants valerian, stinging nettle, oak, chamomile, dandelion and yarrow. The addition of these preparations lastingly enhances the vital forces and processes in soil and plant. In addition they increase the vitality of the plants and the soil and their resistance against disease and pests.

Black Cohosh in our biodynamic medicinal plant gardens
Black Cohosh in our biodynamic medicinal plant gardens

Seed baths
The seed baths also have a positive influence on the vitality and growth of the plants. They are prepared with some of the biodynamic compost preparations already mentioned above with the addition of other herbs. Valerian, for example, stimulates the germination phase and the warmth processes of the plants. The oak bark preparation and chamomile prevent fungal infections while the horn manure preparation stimulates the growth of the roots. The seeds are placed in the hand-warm seed bath for 10-15 minutes in cloth bags. When they have been dried, they are ready for sowing. The only exception are the fine seeds of the light-dependent germinators such as marjoram, tobacco or wormwood. These are planted directly into the seed boxes, pressed down gently and then sprayed finely with the seed bath fluid.

Hand harvested Echinacea in our biodynamic medicinal plant gardens
Hand harvested Echinacea in our biodynamic medicinal plant gardens

Care of seedlings
When the seedlings have fully developed their plumule leaves they are transplanted singly or in groups from the seed box into plant boxes or frames. Here they have the necessary leaf and root space to develop into strong, healthy young plants. After a further phase of development they are potted and, when the roots are well developed, later planted out.

Hand harvesting Ribwort and Marsh Mallow
Hand harvesting Ribwort and Marsh Mallow

Seed quality
The quality of the seeds is an important factor. We harvest most of our seeds from the WALA garden. This is done from early summer to autumn. It is important to find the optimum harvesting time to ensure good germinating capacity of the seed the following year. After harvesting, the seeds are stored in a dry place to mature further. During the winter months they are cleaned and stored in a cool place in suitable, carefully labeled containers until they are used for the next planting.

Butterfly on Echinacea
Butterfly on Echinacea

Documentation
All planting information such as sowing dates, beginning of germination, source, varieties, transplanting and potting, seed harvesting etc., are carefully documented in the “Cultivation Files – Medicinal Plants”.

Hand harvested Borage
Hand harvested Borage

Harvesting in the WALA/Dr. Hauschka Herb Garden

Harvesting of medicinal plants takes place throughout the year in the WALA/Dr. Hauschka Garden. Winter and spring are the seasons for harvesting roots, e.g. valerian (Valeriana officinalis), marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) and lovage (Levisticum officinale), but also barks such as birch (Betula pendula), oak (Quercus robur) and horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum). However, the main harvesting season is in the summer months of June and July. During this time almost every day begins with a harvest. Towards the end of the season, in the autumn, the fruits are harvested, including hawthorn in September and quince at the beginning of October.

Composting in our biodynamic medicinal plant gardens
Composting in our biodynamic medicinal plant gardens

Composting in the WALA/Dr. Hauschka Herb Garden

The earth is the most important element for the growth and health of the medicinal plants. The regular addition of compost and other procedures such as the application of biodynamic preparations increase the fertility of the soil and enhance the vital processes in the earth.

A quiet place to reflect in our gardens, near the bee's home.
A quiet place to reflect in our gardens, near the bee’s home.

Producing good compost involves a great deal of preparatory work

The WALA gardens have about 25 composts. Most of these are mixed composts, meaning they contain all the plant residues found in the garden, e.g. grass clippings, prunings etc. In addition, while preparing the compost heap, layers of cow manure from the nearby ‘Sonnenhof’ Demeter farm are added. When the compost heap has reached a certain height it is covered with straw. In addition to these mixed composts, leaf and wood chipping composts are also prepared in late autumn.

Willow fence in our gardens
Willow fence in our gardens

In the following spring or autumn the compost is then turned for the first time

During this process, all the layers are mixed and loosened, allowing us to look inside the compost heap. We can see how richly the compost is permeated with worms and other creatures, can observe its colour, feel its moisture and perceive its smell. The turning allows us to use our own bodies to experience the heaviness or lightness of the earth in the compost heap.

After turning, the compost preparations are added. These contain yarrow, dandelion and chamomile flowers, oak bark, green stinging nettle shoots and the juice of valerian flowers. Each of the preparations has a different task and a separate effect on the compost heap. The production of its own biodynamic preparations is one of the highlights of the year in the WALA garden.

Spring planting in our gardens
Spring planting in our gardens

Use of the compost

Once the breakdown processes in the compost are largely complete (after two to four years), the compost can be applied to the beds. Depending on the quality of the soil and the use of the beds, different amounts of compost are dug in with a spade or sometimes with a cultivator (four-pronged gardening tool) or a hoe. The tillage of the soil in autumn and the subsequent action (soil-modifying effect) of the frost in the winter have a very positive effect on the soil structure.

This regular addition of compost enhances the soil’s long-term fertility and promotes nature’s vital processes and forces. This gives the plants increased resistance against pests and disease.

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Drying medicinal plants in the WALA/Dr. Hauschka Herb Garden

Dried plants or plant parts are required for production of the Dr.Hauschka body oils and the medicinal oils.

The plants are dried in the drug house by the so-called condensation process. In this process the warm, moisture-laden drying air is cooled to below dew point. This leads to condensation of the moisture which can then be removed in liquid form. Some of the energy generated during this process can be returned to the air current. The average room temperature during the process is 25-35°C. The condensation process allows us to dry the plants as quickly as possible. This is very important for a high product quality.

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 10.36.24 amThanks for reading our Blog. x

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Night time – nature shows us the way…

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Nature shows us the way

At night, dew falls onto grass, flowers and petals, which glisten in the first rays of the morning sun. A fresh, rested appearance after a sound night’s sleep is something that our skin can also enjoy if we support it with stimulating care that allows it to breathe. Oils and waxes would disturb our skin as they reduce the air exchange.

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Nocturnal activity

During the day, our skin needs care and support with waxes and oils that protect it against environmental influences. At night, on the other hand, it does not need any protection but instead needs to breathe freely. This is because our skin is extremely busy while we are asleep: cells divide and excess metabolic products are expelled – our skin undergoes natural regeneration. The Dr. Hauschka night care range supports these natural skin processes with stimulating and regenerating plant essences which the skin absorbs easily and completely. Our skin shows its gratitude in the morning with a rosy complexion and a fresh, radiant appearance.

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Two or three steps to a good night

This skin care step is embedded in an entire skin care concept. The evening cleansing with Soothing Cleansing Milk cleans the skin and prepares it for night time skin care, followed by Toner. The product of choice for mature skin is then Regenerating Serum. Its composition of moisture-regulating quince seed extract, isoflavone-rich red clover, revitalising bryophyllum and clover honey smoothes wrinkles and lines caused by dryness, strengthens the skin’s functions, regulates the skin’s moisture levels and leaves the skin feeling noticeably firmer.

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The crowning glory of night time skin care

From time to time, our skin needs a little extra care. As the crowning glory of intensive night time skin care, the Dr. Hauschka Night Conditioners and Intensive Treatments combine rhythmic preparations of carefully-selected plant essences with jewels from the earth such as silver and gold, or gemstones such as malachite, ruby and tourmaline. For mature skin, the harmonising impulse is obtained from not only the Renewing Night Conditioner and Sensitive Care Conditioner but also Regenerating Intensive Treatment and Intensive Treatment for Menopausal Skin.
 You can apply these treatments once a year for each decade of your life (for example, three times a year at the age of 30) instead of your usual night care. During the 28-day course of treatment, your skin cells completely renew themselves once. The result is revived skin with a sustainably strengthened inner rhythm and fortified activity.
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30 Day Radiant Skin Challenge

Correct Cleansing Set limited edition RRP $55 value $70!
Correct Cleansing Set limited edition RRP $55 value $70!

Welcome to your 30 Day Radiant Skin Challenge!

We would love your skin to be completely free from man made synthetic chemicals over the next 30 days, using only our natural and organic skin care.

What you will need: Dr. Hauschka products for Cleansing, Toning and Moisturising for your daily rituals.

We also recommend: 

  • The intensive support products, Clarifying Steam Bath, Clarifying Clay Mask and the Cream Mask most suited for your skin.
  • Renewing Night Conditioner ampoules for 30 nights (28-30 days is a skin cell cycle) instead of Toner and especially in the most transitional seasons of autumn and spring and if you are in transition off the conventional idea of night cream use. If you have sensitive skin then use Sensitive Care Conditioner.

Day 1 to 30
Morning and Evening Rituals

Tip: Complete cleanse with a cold water splash or compress to contract a tiny muscle at the hair follicle, ensuring any remaining dirt is removed. This simple technique keeps your skin feeling soft without harsh exfoliation!
Tip: Complete cleanse with a cold water splash or compress to contract a tiny muscle at the hair follicle, ensuring any remaining dirt is removed. This simple technique keeps your skin feeling soft without harsh exfoliation!

Morning:

1) Drink warm water and lemon juice first thing upon waking in the morning and do this every morning.

If it’s going to be easier then juice a pile of lemons, put the juice in ice blocks and freeze. Take one block out each night and place in a cup, so you’re ready for the morning. We need to make this habit nice and easy. Aids the body in flushing out toxins, jump starts the digestive tract, aids the liver in its cleansing processes and increases detoxification.

2) ‘Compress and Hydrate’ skin to soften the pores for a much deeper cleanse and to use your cleansing products more economically. Use a little Bath Essence in your basin water.

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Click on Play for our how to Compress & Hydrate + Press & Roll video

3) Cleansing Cream – moisten with water, apply in our ‘press & roll’ technique.

Scrub the bathroom, but never ever scrub your skin, way too harsh, and your skin has to last you a lifetime.

4) Toner – Close eyes and mist directly onto your skin. Our Toners are active botanical treatment products, not conventional Toners that are used on cotton pads to remove any remaining cleanser.

Toner Application Video
Click on play for our Toner Application Video

5) Day Care – should always be warmed between the palms of the hands to melt the plant oils and waxes and applied to skin still moist from Toner. This ensures even and economical application.

Clarifying Day Oil – for oily/blemished skin, may also be used as an oil serum for it’s antioxidants
Melissa Day Cream – for sensitive combination skin, oily t-zone, normal/dry cheeks
Rose Day Cream Light – for normal or sensitive skin, usually recommended for a younger skin, up to around 35
Quince Day Cream – for normal skin, the cooling and soothing properties of quince
Rose Day Cream – for normal, dry, sensitive, mature skin
Toned Day Cream – tinted moisturiser for normal, dry, sensitive or mature skin
Revitalising Day Cream – for normal, dry, mature/pallid skin
Regenerating Serum & Regenerating Day Cream – specific support for firming a maturing skin

Make-up: Dr. Hauschka do a full range of make-up, natural and organic products that offer both colour and care.

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Evening:

1) ‘Compress and Hydrate’ skin to soften the pores in readiness for cleansing. Use a small amount of Rose Nurturing Bath Essence in the water. If you feel you need something more relaxing in readiness for bedtime, you may prefer to use Moor Lavender Calming Bath Essence and Lemon Lemongrass Vitalising Bath Essence provides a refreshing wake-up for your morning ‘compress and hydrate’.

2) Soothing Cleansing Milk – gentle and effective make-up and eye make-up remover, cleanses the skin from the days dust and dirt in readiness for the night time elimination activity of your skin.

3) Toner or 30 night treatment with a Rhythmic Conditioner ampoule

We don’t recommend the use of night cream, sleeping isn’t ageing and it’s elimination time for your skin, heavy and occlusive night creams impede this natural process. After 30 days you’ll need no more convincing – see our Skin Facts…

Click on play for The Power of Night Video
Click on play for The Power of Night Video

This is your weekly routine, so repeat until you reach your 30th evening. By which time your skin will be deep cleansed, nourished, more even toned, soft and radiant and will have gone through a detox from synthetic chemical, petro-chemical ingredients.

Skin will always love you for additional care…

We recommend a once a week home treatment:

1) Cleanse
2) Clarifying Steam Bath
3) Clarifying Clay Mask
4) followed by a Cream Mask of your choice, use around eye contour too as an eye mask

Instructions for your DIY Home Spa Treatment

1. Compress and hydrate your skin, cleanse with Soothing Cleansing Milk, remove with the warm, moist Dr. Hauschka organic cotton Compress Cloth.

2. Place 1 heaped teaspoon of Clarifying Clay Mask in a small container in readiness.

3. Dilute two teaspoons of Clarifying Steam Bath with 500ml of steaming water in a large bowl and place on a hard surface. Lean over the bowl, covering the head with towel, and steam for 5-10 minutes. Follow with Clarifying Clay Mask.

Note: If you don’t wish to steam, then you may do this step with Clarifying Steam Bath and ‘Compress and Hydrate’ instead.

4. While your skin is still warm and moist mix 2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons of water (I use the Clarifying Steam Bath water) to the Clarifying Clay Mask in the small container. The consistency you want is spreadable, not too thin because it will drip off your face and not too pasty.

5. Apply Clarifying Clay Mask to your face and neck excluding eye contour area ideally with a mask brush, even a pastry brush would do at a push, otherwise your fingers. Apply from the centre of the face outwards. We always work in the direction of lymph flow. Allow to dry, it’s no longer active once dry.

Tip: Watch where the Clarifying Clay Mask dries first. That’s a good indication that particular area of your face is dehydrated. Are you missing that area with your day care? Do you need a richer day care product?
Tip: Watch where the Clarifying Clay Mask dries first. That’s a good indication that particular area of your face is dehydrated. Are you missing that area with your day care? Do you need a richer day care product?

6. To remove, I find using the Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Sponge the easiest, but a non white face flannel will do, moistened with the now lukewarm facial steam water. Remove easily by moistening the dry mask first, then wiping.

7. Now apply your Cream Mask (Revitalising, Hydrating, Firming or Soothing Mask) including the eye contour area, as an eye mask.

8. Leave on for at least 30 minutes to absorb. I leave mine on for most of the evening so it can absorb as long as possible. Remove Cream Mask with a warm moist Compress Cloth before bedtime.

9. Apply the contents of a Renewing Night Conditioner ampoule. If you are new to Renewing Night Conditioner ampoules, flick the top to ensure all liquid is in the bottom of the ampoule, then using a towel break off the glass top. Pour 1/2 the contents into the palm of one hand, spread between the palms of the hands and quickly press into the skin and repeat with the balance of the liquid. Apply nothing further to your skin. It’s bedtime.

Note: We do not recommend any heat or steam for a rosacea skin condition – use tepid water for a Compress & Hydrate instead. 

Our biodynamic medicinal plant gardens
Our biodynamic medicinal plant gardens

Optimum skin care and a radiant, healthy, balanced skin is about using the highest quality natural and organic face and body products and embracing Dr. Hauschka Daily Skin Rituals!

Eat fresh, nutritious food and drink 6-8 glasses of water daily. Get 8 hours sleep and put measures in place if you’re stressed – a state of relaxation, happiness and laughter is good for your skin. A 30 minute daily walk in the fresh air is good for your body and your soul – in nature if you can.

Thanks for reading our blog. xx

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