Ancient Medical Practices to Modern Day Cosmetology

Bronze Age Heritage

Over 5000 Years ago the Hela tribes of the island of Diva, we now know as Sri Lanka, developed extremely effective systems of Herbal remedies and healing using the Island’s rich inherent abundance of flora, species and minerals. The cultivation and irrigation expertise of the peoples of the Indus Valley Civilization enhanced the development of distinct medical systems – Hela Veda and Auyrveda.

A Permanence Through Time

Ayurveda or “Life Knowledge” a system of Hindu traditional medicine native to the Indian subcontinent, was developed significantly throughout the Vedic Civilization period 1750 -500 BC. This was a time of settlement of the Indo-Ayrans when the oldest Hindu scriptures were composed.

This ancient medicinal system postulates that the five elements –Earth, Air, Water, Ether and Light are linked to the  five human senses and shape our constitution.. Disease or illness occurs where there’s an imbalance.

Throughout the Centuries medical texts and transcriptions have been handed down  to give permanence to the process. The ‘Mahavamsa Chronicle’ states that King Pandukabhaya (437-367BC) built fledgeling hospitals throughout the Country. At Mihintale, King Devanampiyatissa (307-267BC) built what is now recognised as the worlds first hospital. The ruins survive today – body shaped baths where patients were immersed in herbal oils. Hela Veda remedies were documented on Palmyrah palm leaves. The rulers of this period were renowned physicians and vetenerarians. The remedies are used by physicians to this day.

Medieval times

From the turn of the 16th Century a period of cultural renaissance and significant economic growth throughout Western Europe trade routes were established throughout the Far East and Asia. With colonisation by the Potuguese Dutch and later the British inevitably came Western medical practices which may have detracted from this cultural doctrine. However , the underlying persistence of this proud and somewhat insular peoples did indeed preserve and continue to develop this rich cultural heritage.

The English sailor Robert Knox in 1681 quoted

…’the woods are their Apothecaries shops .. with herbs, leaves and the barks of trees they do notable cures’

The Portuguese soldier and historian Joao Ribeiro serving on the island from 1641-1658 remarked in’ Fatalidade Historia De Ceilao’

…’they are great herbalists curing wounds tumours broken arms and legs with great ease..’ I have seen a great number of soldiers and captains cured with ease..In truth the land is full of medicinal herbs and many antidotes to poison which I have tried myself’

Herbal heritage and modern day cosmetics

Many of the herbal remedies  are often professionally recognised as more effective than Western pharmaceutical counterparts. The physician Lewis in 1934 wrote

“Bromhexine the synthetic analogue of adatoda ..widely used in cough syrups’

Dr CG Uragoda in 2000

..’ the juice from adatoda leaves has long been prescribed in Auyrveda for ling disorders.’

Platinum imageAge old herbal remedies as modern day cosmetics

Sri Lanka, historically referred to as Hela-Diva, is a magnificent tropical paradise steeped deep in a proud history of healing, health and beauty of over 5000 years.  Even royal personages practiced the traditional, native medicine of Hela-Veda, which drew its cures from the rich diversity of the island’s flora.

The people of Sri Lanka have not only relied on nature for herbal health remedies, but also for cosmetic purposes to enhance and prolong their beauty. These natural remedies and beauty secrets have been embedded in ancient ola-leaf known as “Puskola” and the knowledge passed down from generation to generation, creating an invaluable herbal heritage.

Nature’s Secrets has drawn upon this heritage of time-tested beauty secrets, applied the science of cosmetology, and after years of research, has painstakingly created “Nature’s Secrets Platinum”: a range of organic oil based, pure herbal personal care products for those who search for the best.

Natures Beauty Creations and Spice Ceylon

The traditional bedrock for cultivation of the these medicinal systems has been the ‘Sri Lankan home garden’ This term is used and has been for centuries as a cluster ofeconomically and/or culturally important trees, shrubs, vines, herbs and spices grown in the immediate vicinity of a homestead.

Examples include boiled Pomegranate leaves, cool slices of cucumber as eye remedies. A pinch of tumeric, a peel of cinnamon, handful of cloves, dash of ginger as medication for almost all ailments.

Natures Beauty Creations has drawn upon this tradition. And with the application of the science of cosmetology and its fusion with ancient indigenous knowledge of Hela Veda and Auyrveda, years of painstaking research and development has created a pure herbal range entitled ‘Herbal Heritage’

Offering consumers the magical benefits of rejuvenation and natural physical enhancement its GMP and ISO certified manufacturing process is second to none in the world.

Scientists and hebalists transform natures finest ingredients into a bio-active range of genuine herbal personal care products ..soothing, healing, stimulating and energising.

A 13 Acre lush and fertile medicinal plant garden produces over 500 varieties of both land and aquatic medicinal plants situated around the production facility. The superior manufacturing process begins in high tech laboratories before commercial production.

A Plant rearearch Centre is dedicated to research on Sri Lanka’s medicinal plants in collaboration with leading universities in the Sri Lanka, USA and Europe. A national Green award has been achieved for the  continuous reduction of carbon footprint . Water recycling the reduction of CO2 emission from the medicinal garden are significant examples

Already  a growing distributor of herbal cosmetics in parts of the USA Eastern Europe and Asia NBC has a fast growing customer base and highly motivated team. We at Spice Ceylon are proud to be nominated as their UK preferred distributor.

We aim to provide not only a first class logistical service but considerable support knowledge of the product benefits and ingredients. ..

Plant Research CentrePlant Research Centre

Nature’s Beauty Creations (NBC), spreading over an expansion of 13 acres of lush, beautiful landscape, proudly houses two ultra-modern, fully equipped production facilities, research and plant tissue culture laboratories and a herbal garden with over 500 species of medicinal plants. Enriching this unique collection of medicinal plants is a selection of approximately 80 species of aquatic plants, most of which possess unique healing and therapeutic potential. On its journey to become a global cosmetics brand, Nature’s Secrets is well aware of the great value of detailed scientific research; hence, as an initial step towards realizing this vision, we, as an innovative manufacturing company, were proud to be the first to establish a privately owned plant research centre in Sri Lanka.

Natural Products Chemistry Research Laboratory

The research lab carries out a number of pharmacognostic evaluations for both products and raw materials that are used for cosmetic applications. For example, routine analyses are conducted employing assays to investigate antioxidant, anti-wrinkle and skin-whitening properties of various plant extracts to identify more effective ingredients and ingredient compositions that can be incorporated into new products.

All medicinal plants for research are obtained from our own herbal garden, extracted (solvent extraction at room temperature, soxhlet extraction or distillation) and fractionated (solvent-solvent partitioning and LH20 gel chromatography) and further purified by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) in the laboratory. Identification of active compounds is carried out using LCMS and NMR techniques with foreign collaborations. Such collaborative research areas include anti-inflammatory, wound healing and dermatophyte assays with potential for skin applications.

Tissue Culture LabPlant Tissue Culture Laboratory

Complementary to the medicinal plant garden and as a further step towards conserving our rare and indigenous medicinal plants, a tissue culture laboratory was also established. Our goal is to develop protocols for the mircopropagation of rare and valuable medicinal plant species so that good quality propagules could be produced on a large-scale. We have already produced new protocols for valuable medicinal plants such as  Duhudu (Celastrus paniculatus Willd.) and Bin Kohomba (Munronia pinnata (wall.) W. Theob.). New protocol developments are also underway for plants such as Red Sandalwood (Pterocarpus santalinus), Sandalwood (Santalum album) and Veniwel (Coscinium fenestratum). Once protocols are developed and established, the plants are produced for distribution among interested local farmers for raising plantations or for small-scale cultivation in  home gardens, thus making them available for utilization and conserving them for posterity.

A mini herbarium has been established, maintained and updated by the plant tissue culture laboratory. The herbarium provides valuable and accurate documentary evidence of the plants present in the herbal garden. The authenticated specimens are used as references for comparison and identification of unknown samples, for documenting species distribution and variation within species and identifying times of fruiting and flowering, among others. At present we have over 100 authenticated species while our objective is to establish a complementary set of validated records of all plants (~500 species) in our herbal garden.

We are currently working with universities (Eg. University of Colombo, University of Peradeniya) and Government research centres (Institute of Fundamental Studies, Medical Research Institute) in Sri Lanka. The quality of our products has given us the opportunity to develop collaborations with some of the world’s most famous Natural Products Research Centres such as the National Centre for Natural Products Research, University of Mississippi, USA, University of Florence, Italy, and University of Berlin, Germany. Through these research collaborations we expect to transfer knowledge and resources, and provide facilities for students to physically do their research in our natural products research centre and vice-versa. We also expect to publish material through collaborative research in different areas such as phytochemistry, pharmacognosy and pharmacology, bringing in a new era to research in Sri Lanka. Currently we have a number of university students working on different projects, gaining not only valuable research experience but industrial experience as well.


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