Monday, July 29, 2013

What is an Italian "Erboristeria" and how essential oils are treated in the Italian monasteries?

An essential oils distillery at an Italian monastery

In Italy, what we commonly call “Erboristeria”is a sort of herbal pharmacy where our pharmacists, historically named aromatists, work on, study and practice ancient healing formulations based on the use of the natural herbs, to provide people affected by particular health  problems with a customized cure.

Our pharmacists were strong believers of the efficacy of the herbal knowledge’ monks, which the natural healing remedies they adopted and studied were based on. 

Nowadays,we are able to propose a contemporary interpretation of those herbal formulations,treatments and practices of the authentic Italian beauty culture,through  three steps of production.

Parts of the fresh plant are placed in an airtight container and covered with almond oil or other base oils for 30 days

After this period the oil is filtered and transferred into another container and skips to the pressing plant mixed with oil that contains most of the functional substances in the plant itself. Two more days of resting, then a second screening and other purifying processes occur  before the oil, filtered and pure, is ready for distillation.

Essential oils are obtained by steam distillation. The pressurized steam is introduced into the lower part of the distiller and passes through the plant parts or oil to vaporize the volatile oils contained in them.  It is a method that applies to most of the aromatic plants and exploits the physical properties of essences, in particular their volatility.It is to separate the essential oil from the plant origin using a jet of water vapor, which invests plant tissues and "carries" the essence. From the process you get two final products: the distillate and the aromatic water. This is the water that comes from the condensation of the same steam, scented by a small fraction of essence dissolved in it.

The techniques of preparation of scented oils by maceration of flowers, herbs and spices in vegetable oils has remained largely the same over the centuries, until the development of the process of distilling the essence which  allowed to replace at least part of the long process of maceration, giving also aromatic oils therapeutic efficacy and safety of use unknown before.

The therapeutic properties of the essential oils in pharmacology are also the foundation of their special and profound action in dermo-cosmetics.
That branch of aromatherapy known as  aroma cosmetic uses the power of penetration through the tissues of the essences to establish beauty treatments that are not limited to the surface of the skin, but to be correct in a stable cells renewal process.

The antiseptic power of the essences is active, not only for lesions, wounds and sores, even for a general time-disinfectant action to rid the skin of microinfection that cause pimples, eczema, rashes, etc..
Essential oils perform the function of stimulating the exhausted tissues, promote cell renewal and maintain constant the level of purification.
The best results are obtained with blends of essential oils that work in synergy with  oils or creams or emulsions.

The most recent research has developed dermo-cosmetic functional products based on specific essences for various treatments that integrate the therapeutic aspect-base with the aesthetic.
More practically, the plants can be considered as a laboratory containing many chemicals, extractable in different ways depending on the method used. From each of these methods it is possible to obtain a final product with specific requirements and characteristics, with specific therapeutic indications. The extractive techniques applied to material of vegetable nature, are employed as well as for obtaining the pure active principle, removing unwanted components from the plants.
Aromacosmetics are based on the therapeutic action of extracted herbs and flowers and essentials oils.
The sources and quality of the row natural ingredients play a primary role, harvest must occur in season and in the (balsamic time) when the plants offer the most of their therapeutic properties

"Abbazia di Farfa",a well known Italian monastery close to Rome.
For example,our production method has enabled us to develop our chamomile & hawthorne cleansing milk

Chamomile Cleansing Milk, 
Emollient, soothing and protective pH balanced cream cleanser, suitable for all skin types and ages including dry-sensitive especially with a tendency to redness and capillary fragility. Gently cleanses and removes make-up while hydrating, softening and calming irritation and redness, leaving the skin fresh, toned and clear, ready to receive further treatments. It also helps relieve the irritation of rosacea and acne conditions. 

Made with;
Chamomile essential oil ;it soothes and calms irritation, relieves allergic reactions. Chamomile is anti-inflammatory, treats capillary fragility, and helps calm eczema and allergic conditions. 

Butcher’s broom and Licorice;they have a gentle anti-redness and anti-inflammatory action that reduces redness and improves the tone of uneven blotchy skin.Butcher’s broom is vasoconstrictor, improves circulation and reduce redness. Licorice; treats acne, calms allergic skin and improves condition of fragile capillaries. 

Hawthorn and Horse chestnut stimulate and improve circulation with a special tonic effect on the capillaries, gradually helping to strengthen and minimize visible ones.Hawthorn; lightly astringent with tonic and healing effects especially for capillaries.Horsechestnut; healing, improves circulation, refreshes. 

Sweet almond oil; emollient and highly nourishing traditionally used to prevent signs of aging and dehydration. 

Karite’; a natural emollient, anti wrinkle, protective, and nourishing. 

Note: Chamomile cleanser is particularly recommended for allergic skin with intolerance to chemically based skin care products. It can be used in conjunction with Erbe Rosemary cleansing milk or Calendula Non-soap bar to heal irritated condition.
Follow with: Erbe Rose water (for dry, mature skin or sensitive with redness) or Lavender water (for normal, combination or sensitive skin with blemishes).
A truly gentle yet thoroughly effective cleansing cream. Chamomile Cleansing Milk is a soothing, hydrating, and highly protective, removes make-up and impurities while hydrating the skin. It also helps relieve the irritation of rosacea and acne conditions

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please ask us more about our Chamomile & Hawthorne cleansing milk at

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