the herbs the herbs

THE HERBS

Our star ingredients are the handpicked wild Icelandic herbs.

Due to the short Icelandic summers, the wild herbs must absorb sweeping amounts of energy and nutrients in a short period of time so they can survive the harsh, dark winter. That's why these powerful herbs, found in Iceland’s vast landscapes, are renowned for being strong and effective.

Every summer, when they are at their best, Soley and her family harvest them from a certified organic patch of wilderness in Iceland.

To Sóley's ancestors, these plants were a precious and powerful medicine.

YARROW - ACHILLEA MILLEFOLIUM

Yarrow is one of the oldest known medicinal plants in the world.

Traces of yarrow pollen were found in a 65,000 year old grave and the use of yarrow as medicine has been attested in Ancient Greece, Rome, China, and among several Native American cultures.

Modern clinical analysis has validated its reputation as a powerful healing herb.

One study shows that yarrow essential oil has a higher level of azulene, a calming phytochemical and antioxidant, than any other essential oil, including chamomile.

Numerous other studies have been conducted which suggest yarrow’s potential to rejuvenate the feel of damaged skin quickly and cleanly.

Yarrow's efficacy and chemical composition varies considerably across the world. The kind we have in Iceland is quite potent and has seen centuries of use. The Vikings took a salve of yarrow with them when going into battle in case of injury. They also used it to flavor tea and beer.

We use yarrow in our formulas because of its powerful calming effects. We believe it contributes to shiny and healthy hair.

We harvest and pick our wild yarrow from untouched lowlands in the south of Iceland.

References:

  • Wendy L. Applequist and Daniel E. Moerman. “Yarrow (Achillea millefolium L.): A Neglected Panacea? A Review of Ethnobotany, Bioactivity, and Biomedical Research”. Economic Botany. June 2011
  • N. V. Sizova. “Composition and antioxidant activity of essential oils containing azulene derivatives”. Pharmaceutical Chemistry Journal. September 2012, Volume 46, Issue 6, pp 369-371
  • Kathleen Stokker. Remedies and Rituals: Folk Medicine in Norway and the New Land. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2007. p. 43 Anna Rósa Robertsdóttir. Icelandic Herbs and Their Medicinal Uses. trans. Shelagh Smith. (Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2016)
Birch - Betula Pubescens

Birch - Betula Pubescens

Downy Birch is Iceland’s only native tree. For Icelanders it has had many uses in the past - as a carving material, paper and fire-starter.

It was also used as a powerful and versatile medicine, according to a survey of folk medicine from 1830.

Birch’s benefits are mostly the result of Betulin. Studies suggest Betulin has a wide range of benefits to the skin and hair.

Birch bark also contains tannins, a small amount of salicylic acid and ursolic acid.

The leaves contain several antioxidants including quercetin and anthocyanin.

Birch is reputed to make hair thick, shiny and healthy.

We harvest and pick our wild birch from untouched lowlands in the south of Iceland.

References:

Willow - Salix Phylicifolia

Salix phylicifolia, the tea-leaved willow, is a species of willow native to Northern Europe, including Iceland. It can also be found in the Faroe Islands, Scandinavia, Finland, Russia and Western Siberia. It was the first bush found on Surtsey, a new island off the south coast of Iceland, which was formed in a volcanic eruption in 1963.

Willow bark’s pain relieving potential has been recognised throughout history. It was commonly used during the time of Hippocrates, when people were advised to chew on the bark to relieve pain and fever. Willow bark contains salicin, which is similar to aspirin.

Willow bark contains high concentrations of salicin, which our bodies metabolise into salicylic acid. Willow is such a well-known source of salicin and salicylic acid that it has given its Latin name, salix, to both substances.

Studies suggest, willow extract calms inflammation, reduces harmful bacteria, and cleans out and tightens pores.

Willow is an excellent substance for scalp and hair.

Salicylic acid exfoliates to help speed up the natural process of getting rid of dead skin cells instantly leading to healthier looking skin.

Besides its star component and namesake, willow bark extract also contains helpful antioxidants in the form of various phenols and bioflavanoids.

We harvest and pick our wild willow from untouched lowlands in the south of Iceland.

Refrences:

  • W. Hale White. “Materia Media Pharmacy, Pharmacology, and Therapeutics.” Accessed on 11-03-2016.
  • Ramos, Patrícia AB, et al. "The health-promoting potential of Salix spp. bark polar extracts: Key insights on phenolic composition and in vitro bioactivity and biocompatibility." Antioxidants 8.12 (2019): 609.
  • Willow bark”. University of Maryland Medical Center. Accessed on 11-03-2016.
Bearberry - Arctostaphylos Uva-ursi

Bearberry - Arctostaphylos Uva-ursi

Bearberry also has a long history of use as a medicinal herb: the leaves were used by Europeans and Native Americans in traditional medicines. They used them to make tea to cleanse and heal the urinary tract. Of course, the plant has an even longer history as a popular food for bears, hence its name.

Studies show that the reason for bearberry’s brightening effect is its unique combination of antioxidants and other phytochemicals.

We include a bit of bearberry in our signature blend of wild Icelandic herbs because we think it’s a safe and effective way to support and nourish over the long term

We harvest and pick our wild bearberry from untouched lowlands in the south of Iceland.

Refrences:

  • Ștefănescu, Bianca Eugenia, et al. "Phenolic compounds from five Ericaceae species leaves and their related bioavailability and health benefits." Molecules 24.11 (2019): 2046.

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