River City Herbals Soothe Winter Skin
We carry the full line of River City Herbals. They are locally-made, in small batches, and feature calendula, an herb long prized for its healing properties. We had a chance to talk to the creator of these fine products, Rand Smith.
Q: Tell us about how you first discovered the healing properties of calendula?
A: I first discovered the healing properties in the late 80s at the Wild Rose College of Natural Healing in Vancouver where I was studying herbal medicine.
Q: What are the healing properties of calendula?
A: Calendula is a highly versatile herb that has been used for centuries as a treatment for skin irritations and wounds. As an ointment, calendula has been shown to stimulate greater blood flow to the skin and to promote the granulation of tissue, making the skin more supple and resistant to physical and chemical irritants.
River City Herbals Calendula Ointment is an excellent topical ointment for eczema, rashes, stretch marks, chapped and cracked skin, boils, burns and scalds (to lessen scarring), venous congestion, varicose veins, bedsores, athlete’s foot and other fungal or bacterial infections, finger nail fungus, radiation injury/burns, ringworm, rosacea, scabies, sunburns and insect bites. It is also effective for diaper rash and other skin problems in small children.
Q: Where do you get your raw materials?
A: We have an organic grower in Manitoba that supplies us with calendula flowers. Other materials are sourced from Western Canada.
Q: Why did you decide to make the leap from home use to River City Herbals?
A: In 1994 I was inspired to develop the formula after returning to my roots—Winnipeg. My skin was spoiled in Vancouver and living in Winnipeg caused a painfully dry skin condition by the windy prairie city’s harsh, dry winters. Nothing on the market helped my skin so I created something that did.
Q: What was the first product you developed?
A: The one ounce of calendula ointment was the first product I developed. It worked so favourably that customers wanted a larger size so the next product was the four ounce organic calendula ointment.
Q: What are the uses for your calendula oil?
A: Everything calendula ointment is used for, calendula oil can also be used. It is better for harder to get at spots like eczema or dryness in the ear or on the scalp. Much better penetration. Calendula oil also makes a wonderful baby oil.
Q: Which product is your best seller?
A: Om lip balm is the best seller and has become the gateway drug to the rest of the River City Herbal line. OM Lip Balm is loaded with calendula, vitamins and essential fatty acids to nourish, condition and soften dry or chapped lips. Also good as a handy first aid the anti inflammatory action that stops dry itchy skin. And it stops itching from mosquitoes and spider bites. Handy as an antiseptic for cuts and scrapes.
Q: What’s next on your horizon? More calendula products?
A: I am working on a few products. Another moisturizer but in a cream format. Also a shampoo and conditioner.