Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany
A radiant, soft blossom, universally helpful with injuries and inflammation
In Weleda’s biodynamic healing cabinet, calendula plays a key role. The Calendula Baby Care range is just an example of where this soothing and helpful plant is put to work – many of our other cosmetics and medicines could not be produced without calendula’s valuable extracts. Cultivation of the plant for fresh processing mainly takes place in Europe's largest biodynamic medicinal plant garden, at our base in Schwäbisch Gmünd, southern Germany.
Every summer, in June, the medicinal plant garden starts to bloom: calendula illuminates the landscape with hundreds of thousands of radiant orange flowers, covering an area of one hectare. Around three tonnes of flowers are picked by hand and then over fourteen tons of leaves and stems are harvested. They act as the basis for tinctures and herbal extracts in almost 30 Weleda medicinal and natural cosmetics products.
Illuminating the landscape
Calendula is one of the most versatile and effective medicinal plants for the natural health of the skin. Its high content of valuable nutrients such as carotenoids, flavonoids and triterpene saponins is particularly appreciated for wound healing. Extracts of calendula promote regeneration of injured skin and they can also have an anti-inflammatory effect for gum infections and colds.
Quality check as we pick
Weleda’s in-house plant cultivation is biodynamic, and fundamental to biodynamic farming is ‘cycle thinking’. This shows that organic residues are completely recyclable and maintain the vitality of soil life. Of course, since synthetic fertilisers and pesticides are not used there is usually a lot of manual work. For example, the soil needs to be turned regularly to keep it loose so that calendula can absorb nutrients. Even the harvesting of the flowers is done manually, but manual harvesting leads to higher quality as the gardeners quality check as they pick. Freshness is also guaranteed, as the blooms are immediately brought to the processing plant, right next to the fields.
Here in production the sunny-flowered calendula becomes one of our most important ingredients as we create our totally gentle, natural cosmetics.