Freshly fallen fruit are collected from designated areas in Switzerland, Austria and Germany. The soft shells are removed and the seeds transported in jute sacks or wooden containers to Roggwil where the fresh herb extract is produced.
In the 1950s, our founder, Alfred Vogel insisted that only the freshest of plants were used to craft the remedies for his patients at his herbal clinic in Teufen, Switzerland. This led him to pioneer the concept of fresh herb extraction – a technique we still use today for our herbal remedies.
Research confirms that fresh herb extracts often make better remedies. For instance, the fresh Echinacea extract used in Echinaforce® contains almost 3 times more active substances than can be obtained from the same amount of dried herbs1.
Conkers for varicose veins
During Autumn, children collect seeds from Horse Chestnut trees to play the traditional game of Conkers. However did you know that Conkers have another traditional use?
This well-known seed from the Horse Chestnut tree has been used for many years as a treatment in those suffering from the symptoms of varicose veins.
The Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) is a large deciduous tree, widely found throughout the temperate world. It can live to 250 years and grows to heights of 30 to 40 metres, with a domed crown of stout branches.
The leaves have five to seven leaflets, each between 13 - 30 cm long, making the whole leaf up to 60 cm across. Flowers are usually white with a small red spot. These appear in spring, standing 10 to 30 cm tall with about 20 to 50 flowers on each flower stem.
Between one and five fruit develop on a single stem. Each fruit consists of a green, soft spiky capsule containing one (sometimes two or three) nut-like seeds. These are the conkers or horse chestnuts. Each conker is 2cm to 4cm in diameter, glossy nut-brown with a whitish scar at the base.
The Horse Chestnut is completely unrelated to the edible Spanish Sweet Chestnut or marron.