The aquatic plant Menyanthes Trifoliata, or bogbean as it is more commonly known, has been used as an ingredient in traditional medicine in the Highlands & Islands for over a thousand years. At ishga, it’s a key ingredient in our Hydrating Hand Cream.
Menyanthes, is Greek and combines two words, signifying month and flower. While trifoliata, refers to the shape of the leaves.
The plant can be found growing in shallow ponds, fens, bogs and marshes. In Scotland you will find it in peaty Scottish lochs and it thrives in moist, light places. The plant can be free floating in the water or attached to the ground with thick roots. The flowers are star shaped with white cotton like hairs and a slight pink colour to the petals. Flowering occurs during the months of May to July, sprouting starry shaped white flowers.
How was it prepared?
It is the roots of the plant, not the flowers, that deliver the potent, healing effects for skin. Once some of the plant had been gathered, the roots would be thoroughly cleaned and then placed in some water to simmer gently for 3-4 hours. The roots would then be strained and squeezed and placed in bottles. Although the plant itself is odorless, the resulting tonic had a very bitter taste and was not very enjoyable to consume.
What was it used for?
Lus Nan Laogh (Lus-Na-Loy) is a healing tonic made form bogbean that has been keeping Hebrideans healthy for generations. Infused into our legendary spring water, it creates an ingredient that is highly effective in healing inflammatory skin conditions.
Compounds found in the plant have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant effects and would also be used for blood cleansing, stomach pains, skin disorders- such as psoriasis - arthritis and urinary complaints.
In Uist, taking dried bogbean was a popular treatment for headaches and on the Isle of Mull bogbean was taken as a cold cure to help treat respiratory disorders. In Glencoe the same concoction was used to help treat persistent coughs.
Nourishment for your hands
Our Hydrating Hand Cream has been designed to heal and nourish hands, while protecting them from environmental damage. It contains the ancient remedy Lus Nan Laogh which creates powerful healing properties when combined with our unique seaweed extract.
The addition of natural moisturisers argan oil and aloe vera provide luxurious hydration and nourishment while an uplifting blend of rose geranium, patchouli, and red mandarin essential oils deliver a treat for the senses.
The cream is light and quickly-absorbed, use regularly throughout the day, and watch your hands become visibly smoother and healthier.