Icelandic herb cream company certified Skip to content

Icelandic herb cream company certified

Health and beauty product company Villimey, which specializes in biological salves and ointments made of Icelandic herbs, has been granted with an international certification for the sustainable gathering of wild plants.

“The certification is used for labeling biological products and it is a guarantee for consumers that the product is made according to international standards,” owner of Villimey, Adalbjörg Thorsteinsdóttir told icelandreview.com.

Fréttabladid reported on Tuesday, that the Iceland-based certification institute Tún had given Thorsteinsdóttir the right to collect plants in an 80-square-kilometer area in Tálknafjördur and Arnarfjördur in the Westfjords for the production of her creams.

“I and my 20-year-old daughter handle most of the plant gathering by ourselves, but the [extended] family has helped us a lot,” Thorsteinsdóttir said.

Villimey uses ten common wild Icelandic plants for its products, including scentless mayweed, stinging nettle, creeping thyme and common yarrow. The recipes belong to Icelandic traditions that have been passed on from generation to generation through the ages.

“The production process is a secret, of course. We pick the plants when their effect is greatest, it varies with each plant. I start with the common lady’s mantle for example, because it arrives first, and I pick roots in the spring or in the autumn,” Thorsteinsdóttir said.

Thorsteinsdóttir has worked on the development and production of ointments and salves since 1990 from herbs that she picks in the area surrounding her home village of Tálknafjördur in the Westfjords.

“Villimey is a pioneering business and I hope it will create jobs in Tálknafjördur. It appears to be doing that compared to how the market is reacting. The creams advertise themselves because they’re so affective. […] They don’t contain any preservatives, colorings or added scents,” Thorsteinsdóttir said.

“My creams have been received very well in the domestic and in the foreign market. […] Orders have come from Germany, the US, Sweden and Austria,” Thorsteinsdóttir said. “People have become more conscious about unhealthy and harmful chemicals in food and in creams. What you apply to your skin enters your blood stream,” she added.

The name Villimey (“Wild Maiden”) comes from a Scandinavian fantasy series by Margit Sandemo called Ísfólkid (“Ice People”) that are partly about the healing power of herbs. One of the characters is called Villimey. “I liked the name and when I started producing my creams I though it fitted perfectly,” Thorsteinsdóttir explained.

Villimey currently produces seven creams called: Foot-Magic, Lip-Magic, Belly-Magic, Skin-Magic, Baby Bottom-Magic, Wound-Magic and Muscle & Joint-Magic. “The creams’ effect is, in fact, like magic […] and I am a witch,” Thorsteinsdóttir stated.

“I guess I escaped the witch burnings in Arnarfjördur when they were practiced. In 1678 a ‘witch’ was burned there alive, the maid of the provost in Selárdalur. At least the mountains there have a powerful and spellbinding effect on me,” she said.

Thorsteinsdóttir believes the Westfjords have many business opportunities. “Earlier the Westfjords were mostly dependent on the fishing industry and there is a long tradition for fishing and fish processing in the area. Now there are many different kinds of projects going in, including Villimey.”

“Tourists are welcome to visit me […]. I plan to improve the facilities here so I can greet tourists properly and offer them biological tea, for example,” Thorsteinsdóttir said.

Photos courtesy of Villimey.

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