Starting in 2006 approximately twenty hectares of land around Villa Lodola were converted to organic farming. As a result, no synthetic chemical substances are used (fertilizers, weed killers, fungicides, pesticides in general) or Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). To protect the harvest, preventive methods are used primarily, but disease-resistant plants are also selected and appropriate cultivation techniques are utilised, including:
• the rotation of crops, which prevents the cultivation of the same land with the same plant for consecutive seasons. In this way parasites are prevented for finding an environment favourable to their proliferation, and the nourishing substances of the land are used in a more rational and less intensive manner;
• planting of hedges and trees around the field to recreate a landscape that is hospitable to the natural predators of parasites and that act as a physical barrier to possible external pollution;
• companion planting, which consists of cultivating two different plants in the same area, one of which is not liked by the parasites of the other. In organic farming, natural fertilizers are used, like manure and other composted organic substances (like mowing residues) and green manure (where plants with beneficial effects, like wild clover and mustard, are specifically cultivated and incorporated into the land). When necessary, the harvest is defended with natural plant, animal or mineral substances: plant extracts, insects that prey on parasites, rock powder and natural minerals to correct the structure and chemical characteristics of the land, which also help to protect the harvest against the cryptogamae. Whenever it is necessary to protect the harvest from parasites and other adversities, farmers can only and exclusively use substances of natural origin expressly authorized and described in European regulations (with the criteria of the so-called “positive list”).
As a part of this important project, a part of the land converted to organic farming was reserved for the Experimentation Centre Medicinal Plants for Cosmetics (CSPOC) Villa Lodola. Here the different medicinal plants that are used as the key ingredients in the cosmetics that make up the line are selected.
After carrying out a study lasting 6 years, we have selected four different medicinal plants: Mullein, Helichrysum, Flax, and Anthemis Tinctoria (or dyer’s chamomile). Through different mechanisms, both biochemical and mechanical, these were found to be very effective for their soothing, calming and antioxidant properties. These four plants have been combined to create VELIAN complex, the patent pending active ingredient that gets its name from the first letters of the Italian words for the medicinal plants used in it. This complex makes hair care products that are better tolerated, generally reducing the factors that cause the deterioration of the hair, its structure, its functionality and its physiology. They also protect the hair against exogenous oxidative agents, exogenous and endogenous aging factors, and microbial agents present in the scalp.