302 Te Mata Road
4294 Havelock North
The search term must be at least 3 characters long.
No result found.
Your basket is empty! Click on this link to start shopping!
The iris – also called the sword lily – was named after the Greek
rainbow-goddess Iris, bringer of water and messenger of the gods. The rainbow
colours of the striking flowers and the plant’s ability to store water for long
periods in fleshy roots confirm its connection with its mythological namesake.
Iris root extracts are long-established ingredients in Weleda cosmetics,
supporting the moisture balance of the skin and providing a valuable essential
oil. The iris thrives in inaccessible regions of Morocco's Atlas Mountains,
where close cooperation between Weleda and our French partner companies ensures
a stable income to about 300 farming families.
The farmers work on 20 square kilometres of land, made up of small, stony
fields measuring between 400 and 600 square meters. On these terraced fields,
reclaimed with painstaking effort from the mountain, the farmers cultivate flax,
lentils and a few onions and other vegetables. Organic cultivation of iris roots
ideally complements the traditional vegetable crops and brings in a regular
income for the farmers, who have joined together as a cooperative. The spring
harvest of each of the 300 families brings up to 400 kilos of fresh iris
rhizomes, full of valuable essential oils highly sought after for natural
cosmetics and fragrances.
Even today, a high percentage of the rural population in Morocco relies on
small scale farming as their main source of income. The harvest can make up to
50 percent of some families’ earnings, but this is only possible when
sustainable partnerships are set up, such as the relationship between Weleda and
those who cultivate iris germanica organically, in the rural commune Tighdouine
in the Atlas Mountains. The climate of the Atlas Mountains, up here at 1,600
meters above sea level, is cold in the winter and very hot in summer, with thin,
dry air and poor soil. Practically all work in the fields, from planting to
harvest, is done by hand, perhaps helped by mule-power. In these small
establishments machinery would be too expensive and its use impractical.
Before the essential oil can be extracted, the entire harvest – hundreds of
thousands of potato-sized tuberous roots – must be peeled by hand and dried in
the mountain air and sun. This process can take up to a week, during which the
roots lose about 80 percent of their weight. Only then are the hard, dried roots
brought into the valley by mule for further processing to extract the precious
oil. Setting up small farmer’s cooperatives, which are regularly inspected by
Weleda and our French partner companies, has led to more local economic
activity, sustainable improvement in the income of small farmers and a rise in
general living conditions.
Resilient and adaptable bloom of the high meadows
Sustainably sourced ratanhia from the Andes – used for dental care
The rootstock of Iris consists at a large part of starch and contains
mucilaginous substances, tannins as well as essential oil, which is responsible
for the violet-type odour of the dried Iris rhizome. Extracts of Iris rootstock
regulate the moisture level of the skin.
Be part of our natural and organic community, and be first to hear about our new products and much more!
You will receive an activation e-mail shortly.Please confirm your subscription by clicking the activation link.