The versatile medicinal and aromatic plant
The fascinating aspect of Speick as a medicinal plant is its balancing effect. In other words, Speick has a calming effect on the central nervous system while simultaneously stimulating the vegetative nervous system. Speick relaxes without tiring and revitalises the body and mind.
Even in ancient times, Speick was recognised as a healing plant and was highly esteemed. The famous doctor Galen cured Emperor Marc Aurel’s stomach problems with Speick steeped in olive or almond oil.
In the Renaissance, in his ‘Kreutterbuch’ [‘Herb book’], the scholar Pietro Andrea Mattioli recommended drinking Speick in wine as a stomach-healing remedy, which also strengthens the kidneys and bladder. Mattioli also described the Speick trade relations to Syria and Egypt via the reloading points Venice and Genoa.
In the middle of the 19th century, Speick was still used very seldomly in Europe, but it was another story in the Orient, where large quantities were exported. In the Orient, valuable Speick oil has always been prized as part of a body care regime. The medicinal plant was applied to the skin with warm baths and massages.
Eventually, the plant fell into complete oblivion in Europe. Walter Rau, the founder of SPEICK Natural Cosmetics, rediscovered the Speick plant and was instantly fascinated by it. He decided to incorporate the healing powers of the plant into a gentle, natural soap for body care: SPEICK Natural Soap.
In 1936, after centuries of overexploitation, the Speick plant was threatened with extinction and was placed under protection.
A scientific study later supported something which the farmers already instinctively knew – that the plant reproduces best of all when a partial harvesting model is used under controlled conditions, which is exactly how our certified biologically regulated wild harvesting is structured.
Rich in myths and traditional soothing
Speick is not only a botanical rarity, it also has therapeutic properties and there are numerous myths surrounding the plant.
Speick is harvested during the “30 Days of Women and Herbs”, which is the time from Assumption Day on 15th August to The Feast of the Holy Name of Mary on 12th September.
In the past, Speick played an important role in the twelve nights between Christmas and the Epiphany and was used as beneficial incense.
Speick is one of the plants that has been given a special role in the ceremonial driving down of cattle from the mountain pastures to the valley in autumn.
The founder of SPECIK, Walter Rau’s grandson can see how vital it is that “tradition has a future” through the Carinthian Alpine farming families in Austria, who harvest the wild-growing Speick plant. The family farm has been taken over by the next generation and with it, the Speick harvest – by hand, as it has been for centuries. Approximately 1,800 metres above sea level, high up in the Nock Mountains Biosphere Reserve, the Speick harvest ensures that these families have an essential, additional source of income.
Did you know that in all SPEICK products we use the harmonising extract of the whole plant i.e. root, stem, leaves and flowers – full potential!
- All SPEICK products today contain the worldwide exclusive valuable extract of the medicinal Speick plant which grows wild in the high alpine region, certified as being from biologically regulated wild harvesting.
- SPEICK is a German company founded in 1928, named so in honour of the plant Speick.
- SPEICK has 88 years of history, soap making and natural skin care expertise. We think you’ll love the unique aroma of the high alpine medicinal plant Speick, which is more potent in the long standing and well respected SPEICK Men range. SPEICK Men Active is a more recent addition which is Cosmos Natural certified and vegan.
- The medicinal properties of Speick were recognised as early as the 10th century.
- Speick has always been harvested by hand.
- Speick is also called Alpine Valerian and Valerian Spikenard.
- Speick’s benefits go far beyond its fragrant aroma, it relaxes without tiring and revitalises the body and mind.
Thanks for reading our blog.