Updated: Jan 12
I have long been fascinated with the wonders of the Amazon. The vast expansive forest and rivers are very captivating. When I was eight, my mum and dad invented travelling through the Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon to meet a woman that made herbal remedies to keep villagers healthy.
It took 12 hours of canoeing deep into the Amazon to arrive at our destination. Slowly paddling upstream. The journey continued into the night. We had to light our way with torches to make sure we didn't hit any floating logs as the river was known to be piranha "infested" waters. The rains poured down and we finally arrived at our destination, soaked to the bone. The day after, we met the woman who kindly received us into her home. I remember smelling the sweet barks and the bitter remedies that she stored. This only increased my curiosity of the magic of the forest, plants that could heal. She gave us a bottle of Dragon's blood to help treat some minor wounds we had incurred during the journey. My imagination went wild, the blood of a dragon to heal the body!
The medicinal and cosmetic qualities of the Amazon rainforest are still being discovered. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and a Brazilian environmental group based in Mamirauá, Brazil have declared that the Amazon is so full of life that, on average, explorers are finding a new species of plant or animal every other day. The new study finds that the Amazon rainforest has almost 12,000 species of trees, and more are being found. Since 1900, between 50 and 200 new trees have been discovered in the Amazon every year," Pittman said. "Our analysis suggests that we won't be done discovering new tree species there for three more centuries." This is exciting news for scientists, tree huggers and lovers of nature.
In this post, I will show case three of the ingredients you will find in my Amazonia Age Defiance Skincare Line. The youthful skin of Indigenous women in Brazil is accredited to the abundance of natural oils that they harvest from trees from the Amazon forest and beyond.
Andiroba (Carapa guianensis) is a tree of approximately 20-30 metres in height. The wood is used in the manufacturing of ship masts and creation of furniture. The tree is also classified as ornamental due to the beautiful foliage and is used regularly in landscaping.
The emollient properties of Andiroba oil are perfect for people with dry skin problems. Andiroba deeply moisturizes your skin without getting too oily as it is absorbed quickly into the skin.
Andiroba oil has superior amounts of anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and is traditionally used in the treatment of worms, skin diseases, fever and inflammation.
Buriti (Mauritia flexuosa) is a one of the largest palm trees in the Amazon but is also found in many states of Brazil. The palm grows to approximately 15-25 metres in height. The wood is used in the construction of rural houses whilst the leaves are used to make baskets and roof coverings. The pulp is used to create an edible oil.
Buriti oil is full of essential fatty acids that help make the skin feel and look soft and moisturized. The seeds have a high concentration of beta-carotene, even more than in carrots or carrot seed oil. Buriti oil is also used as a sun protector.
Buriti is an important nutritious fruit for both people and animals. Locals enjoy buriti in the form of ice cream, sweet wine and some even make beer. Seeds are used to make jewellery. Socially, buriti has extreme importance.
When a man from the Apinayé tribe of Goiás wants to marry, he must pass a test: to carry a log of buriti with 1 meter or more from the forest to the centre of the village. This showcases his strength. When he arrives in the village with the log, the sister and godmother of the bride take him to her. The couple divides a meal so that the marriage is consummated.
Copaiba (Copaifera reticulata) is a tree of approximately 10 -15 metres in height. The wood is used to build houses, usually doors and windows. It is also used to make furniture. Copaiba is often used to reforest degraded areas for permanent preservation.
Copaiba produces a balsam and what is known as copaiba oil. It is considered to be a powerful medicine due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic healing activities. Copaiba’s bioactive component tightens the skin, which can help the skin look younger and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. It is also used to reduce to appearance of acne on the face.
Traditionally, copaiba is used both externally and internally. It is topically applied to scars in order to speed their healing and reduce their visibility. It is a proven remedy for headaches and migraines. Locals take copaiba internally for treating bronchitis, haemorrhoids, constipation, diarrhoea and bladder infections.
Get Some Amazonian Essence onto Your Skin
You'll find the Amazon essence fused with Australian botanicals to create the nurturing Amazonia Healing Balm and Amazonia Eye Oil. The Amazonia Healing Balm can be used on cuts, wounds, scar tissue, skin infections, rashes, stains and blemishes. The organic Amazonian eye oil is formulated to rejuvenate your most fragile skin around your eyes. Treat fine lines and enjoy a soft and radiant complexion. All botanical oils used by Love and Co. are sustainably harvested, read more.