Each and every one of the ingredients in our products contributes to their overall effect. Careful thought goes into the selection and sourcing of the raw materials as well as the way in which the individual ingredients are combined to form complete Dr. Hauschka products. We also adhere to the highest quality standards.
This page tells you more about Melissa (Lemon Balm), where it comes from, why we use it and what functions it performs in our products.
Raw material profile
Run your hands through a bunch of strong, green melissa leaves (Melissa officinalis) and you will be treated to a fresh, lemony fragrance. This gentle touch test differentiates the peppermint-shaped leaves from those of mint plants. Lemon balm, as melissa is also known, has a truly unmistakeable fragrance. Freshly plucked from the plant, however, the leaves taste surprisingly harsh and slightly bitter – quite unlike you would expect based on their aroma. The fresh fragrance is created by certain constituents of the plant’s complex essential oil, primarily citronellal, geranial and neral, whereas the taste comes from the natural bitters and tannins. Melissa only contains about 0.3% essential oil, which is therefore classed as one of the most valuable and expensive oils. The area of cultivation, climate and time of harvest all have a strong influence on the overall composition. The tannins, such as rosemarinic acid, chlorogenic and caffeic acid, as well as flavonoids, supplement the leaves’ essential oils.
The white petals concealed in the leaf axils open up from July to August. If you take a closer look inside the petals, you will spot the lip which is typical of labiates, the family to which melissa belongs. The petals smell honey sweet, especially in contrast to the lemony leaves.
Why is melissa used as an ingredient in Dr. Hauschka products?
Melissa touches our hearts. When growing, it forms a spherical shape to create a protected inner area in which the delicate petals can flourish. It radiates a sense of protection and warmth. We primarily focus on its leaves; its petals remain in the background. Each leaf is heart-shaped and forms a mediating centre between the two polar plant elements of the roots and the petals. With its pronounced centre, melissa is a master of balance and transfers this strength to our bodies. It helps imbalanced skin to rediscover its inner harmony.
Melissa Day Cream balances areas of dry and oily skin to restore sensitive combination skin’s natural equilibrium. Melissa has a harmonising effect and stimulates the skin’s natural activities. Anthyllis and witch hazel help to standardise the skin’s rhythm. Carrot extract soothes the skin and helps it discover its own centre. A balanced complexion free from shine is the result.
“This remedy makes the heart joyful.” These were the words used by the Benedictine nun, Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) to describe Melissa.
The Carmelites of the French Abbey St. Juste added Melissa to their Carmelite water, which they manufactured under the name ‘Eau de Carnes’ for Charles V of France (1338-1380) as a remedy for threatening colds and gastrointestinal problems.
Bees love the fragrance of Melissa and associate it with ample sources of food. They produce a gland secretion that smells similar to Melissa and use this to mark the feeding areas that are rich in nectar or pollen. The plant’s name reflects this close relationship in Greek, Melissa = honey bee.
Origin, cultivation and processing
Most of the melissa used in Dr. Hauschka Skin Care products is only grown a kilometre away from WALA/Dr. Hauschka. Staff at the Sonnenhof Farm, our own Demeter farm, cultivate the melissa plants using careful manual procedures and in line with biodynamic farming methods. They monitor the plants closely and harvest the melissa leaves just before they start to blossom. They then use warmed external air to carefully dry the fresh leaves at the farm itself at temperatures that are always kept below 40°C. This preserves most of the essential oil. WALA mixes the dried melissa leaves with pure, organic plant oil. The melissa and the oil are then left to mature for a week in line with a proprietary, rhythmic procedure. During this phase, the compound is heated to 37°C – human body temperature. It is carefully mixed every morning and evening to enable the melissa to transfer all its benefits to the oil.
Melissa originally comes from the Eastern Mediterranean region and Western Asia. Rather than extremely arid or extremely damp conditions, it prefers a climate that is warm but not too hot. It has been known as a medicinal plant and spice since back in antiquity. WALA has specially developed an extract from the leaves, which is soothing and balancing.
Dr. Hauschka Quality
- Truly natural and organic skin care and make-up, certified to NATRUE and/or BDIH standards
- Free from chemical/synthetic fragrances, dyes and preservatives
- Free from mineral oils, parabens, silicone and PEGs
- Dermatologically tested for sensitive skin
- Wherever possible, all raw materials come from controlled organic or biodynamic (Demeter certified) cultivation and are recovered under fair conditions
- We don’t test on animals, we test on happy to help out human volunteers
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