Appreciating Mother, Marigolds and Spring
As vibrant colours of spring slowly take over from winter greys, I love to get out walking on the hills and cliffs close where I stay. Scents rising from damp woodland and bracing shoreline always refresh energies and inspire ideas. Primroses, snowdrops and witch hazel are already flowering here, as well as daffodils - and camellia in sheltered spots.
Mothers’ Special Day
We’ve been busy working on some special Mothering Sunday offers, ready for 11th March, when we celebrate mothers in the UK. The history is that servants were given a day off during Lent to go home to worship in their Mother Church. This was a rare occasion to get home to family, and it became tradition to take a bunch of spring flowers and a cake to show appreciation to one’s mother. It is always in March, but the date varies with Easter.
In the USA, Mothers Day is celebrated in May, was inspired by Ann Jarvis, who had been a peace activist caring for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War. Her daughter Anna wanted to honour her mother by continuing the work she started and to set aside a day to honour all mothers because she believed that they were "the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world". She argued that people should appreciate and honour their mothers through handwritten letters expressing their love and gratitude. Interestingly, in Bolivia, mothers are remembered on the day women fighting for the country's independence were slaughtered by the Spanish army. It’s not a public holiday, but schools hold activities and festivities throughout the country.
So, with that backdrop, I’m working on finishing off a new hand cream formulation that will deliciously pamper and restore hands that have been through the tough stuff.
Made with my mother especially in mind, because she is my sternest critic and at 92 years young, still an inspiration. She loves the cheerful orange and yellow rays of Gerbera and the English Marigold flowers, and the scent of freesias. She likes green scents by day and amber by night. She taught me to see and to smell from early days, to “get on with it” whatever happened, and that if a job is worth doing, then it’s worth doing well”. Despite two rounds of breast cancer she still paints- making art as well as painting and decorating; and gets her hands dirty caring for her garden. From sewing threads and making clothes, to pulling ropes and making sail, my mother is a force of nature who sets high standards and can still turn heads.
She’s always searching for hand creams that will moisten, soothe and protect her thinning skin and smell good too. Now I have experienced the impact of chemotherapy, I get it! After struggling with blackened nails and peeling fingertips, my mission this winter has been to come up with something we will both love – as a tribute to her and all mothers who inspire and care for their children and the planet.
In line with our promise to customers, it’s powerful, natural and organic, using a special base that includes flaxseed oil and blended essential oils plus Calendula extract, which has amazing skin caring properties. See below for some of the benefits of Calendula, which is already the hero ingredient in our Soothing range.
Never tested on animals, our new hand-cream with calendula has of course been tested “in vivo” by women and men whose hands are often in water, or have been damaged through time or from chemicals. We are excited by what it does!
Benefits of Calendula
Pot marigold, or Calendula Officinalis, is full of flavonoids, which give plants their lovely bright colours. Known as marigold from the 14th century, calendula was included as an ingredient in an English recipe for fighting the Plague; marigold was considered by ancient Egyptians to have rejuvenating properties, and Hindus used the flowers to adorn statues of gods in their temples, as well as to colour food, fabrics and cosmetics. The sticky and viscous oil is distilled from the flower tops. It has a curious smell described as musky, woody and even rotten, so it needs to be blended with other aromatic oils to create a pleasant and therapeutic accord!
Calendula is a powerful moisturiser that helps soothe and repair dry skin and for severely chapped or split skin. Its anti-inflammatory action can help lessen swelling from injury as well as help spider veins and chilblains.
The antiseptic and antimicrobial action of the oil help speed up healing of wounds and minor cuts, and help relieve insect bites, acne and bed sores.
Eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and other skin problems can also be soothed using calendula oil, applied topically. Calendula oil's antifungal action is also used for helping treat athlete's foot and ringworm.
Gentle enough for baby skin, calendula oil helps relieve irritating nappy rash.
Well worth looking out for Calendula, and making sure it is certified organic from the best sources. All Powerful Organic products are Soil Association, Vegan or Vegetarian and Cruelty Free International certified, so you can be sure that the ingredients we use are the best they can possibly be, plant based and not tested on animals.