Thursday, December 17, 2015

Herb of Switzerland: Benefits of Edelweiss Flower

Scientific name of Edelweiss flower is Leontopodium alpinum which is the national flower of Switzerland and is considered as the queen of flowers, but it is interesting to note that besides its being the super flower with high prestige in Switzerland and other countries, it contains beneficial anti-aging powers and healing properties.

Edelweiss has been at a risk of extinction and that is why has been declared a protected species. Leontopodium alpinum is a perennial plant which belongs to the Asteraceae family and grows in small groups. Edelweiss is no more than 30 cm tall. Edelweiss blooms between July and September. Edelweiss flower hides under the guise of a single flower, but in reality Edelweiss is a set of small flowers that have evolved to survive and grow in groups. Edelweiss flower’s size can vary between 2.5 and 10 cm and its apparent fragility is an illusion that hides behind an incredibly resilient flower which is able to survive at an incredible height of more than 3000 meters and can face extreme temperatures and climatic conditions in the Alps where even in summers, temperature is below 0ยบ.
It is a true fact that these are the conditions for Edelweiss flower’s development because this rare species grows only over 1500 meters of height, sometimes can be seen growing on slopes, sometimes on calcareous rocks, sometimes in crevices. It only requires a very small dose of sunlight to grow up naturally. A vegetable fiber layer around Edelweiss protects it from ultraviolet radiation and frost which is common to be present at the same time in such extreme climates.

The scientific name of Edelweiss has come from Greece which means lion foot of the Alps. This rare species is also known as snow flower. Edelweiss has been the symbol of protection of nature and is popular for its purity. Another name of Edelweiss is Silver Star. Edelweiss is also considered as a symbol of courage and bravery. The strength and beauty of Edelweiss has given birth to many legends in the past. The most popular legend has it that if any man wants to prove that his love is true, he had to climb over 15000 to 2000 meters to pick it up and present Edelweiss to his beloved.

Origin and Distribution
Edelweiss flower has originated from the area of Austrian and Swiss Alps. As mentioned above, this rare protected species of flowers grows between 1500 and 3400 meters of height. Edelweiss has now been declared a protected species due to its risk of extinction. Therefore, Edelweiss flowers are now biologically grown at lower elevations in plantations of the canton of Valais in Southwestern Switzerland. Handpicked selected seeds are adapted to achieve same quality and standards of original wild flowers, which only last for about eight days.

In years of high production, farmers can harvest 250 grams of Edelweiss flowers per square meter. After drying them, these flowers are cut and then prepared in an alcohol solution.

Benefits of Edelweiss Anti-Aging Flower for Skin
1.       Edelweiss flower is a powerful natural antioxidant which contains natural metabolites that protect against ultraviolet radiation of sun.
2.       Good for protecting skin by blocking UV rays.
3.       The free radicals combine readily with components of skin and damaging our skin severely, but Edelweiss helps fight free radicals.
4.       Stimulates our skin's natural processes.
5.       Natural Edelweiss flower extract protects our skin from outside influences.
6.       Stimulates cell regeneration.
7.       Attenuates the signs of aging and therefore is the best antiaging floweral flower.
8.       Provides elasticity, freshness, and moisture to the skin.
9.       Edelweiss also contains anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.
There are many types of Edelweiss natural products available in the market including Edelweiss cream, sun protection, body balm, foam for bath, facial care night cream, edelweiss cleansing gel, edelweiss moisturizing gel, and eye contour cream.

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