Discover the untold true story of Anchusa azurea. The exclusive botanical star of our Italian wild skincare collection has a fascinating history of transforming itself and everything in its path from medicine to makeup … and now skin!
THE FLOWER OF TRANSFORMATION
Anchusa is a flowering plant that blooms during the late springtime season. Just as it transforms skin from fatigued to radiant, it transforms itself from pink to lavender to a radiant azure sky blue. The blossoming begins with a pinkish pastel bud that opens to become a lavender flower that later transforms into azure blue. Anchusa’s color progression is beautiful to watch. Not all flowers open at the same time, so you'll often see a bicolor display of pink-lavender and blue at the same time.
Anchusa is a native to the Mediterranean region and flourishes in the sun. It turns up in the most unexpected places, along the rugged sides of the road, hills and fields. A plant that thrives in the margins, it grows wild and free along the roadside verges and stony hills of our La Furtuna Estate in Sicily.
TO THE EXTREME
Sicily’s diverse geography spans from one extreme to the other, from high and low altitudes to hot and cold temperatures. Centuries of extreme environmental conditions in Sicily such as severe winds, storms, sun, snow and volcanic eruptions led to the evolution of Anchusa azurea, turning it into a wildly potent Extremophyte™ plant. Naturally fortified by pure spring waters and fertile soils, this vigorous plant was able to withstand the brutal forces in Sicily. With no human intervention, the wild plant had to fend for itself, and became stronger and more resilient as a result. It developed powerful nutrient concentrations, which Furtuna Skin captures at full potency in its wild-crafted skincare.
THE HERB THAT MADE HISTORY
Our star botanical has quite a colorful past. Anchusa azurea belongs to the Boraginaceae family. Anchusa by any other name is known as Italian alkanet, Italian bugloss, Italian anchusa. The beautiful name “anchusa” comes from the Greek word “ankousa”, which means “face makeup paint”. In ancient times, French women used it as makeup. The pigmented red roots of the plant were made into a powdered dye to blush cheeks a rosy hue. The Latin epithet “azurea” refers to the vibrant azure blue color of its flowers.
A HERITAGE OF HEALING
Anchusa azurea has a long history of medicinal use due to the healing properties of it potent compounds, such as phenols, triterpenes and alkaloids. In traditional medicine, it was used as a tonic to revitalize the body, as an anti-tussive to ease coughs, and as a purifier to detoxify the system with a diuretic action. Topically, crushed roots were used as a soothing poultice to heal inflammation, bruises and bites. It was also used as an emollient to soften and soothe skin. Reported to have the highest antioxidant level of any wild edible Mediterranean plant, Anchusa azurea is used in our wild-crafted skincare to help protect skin against free radical damage.
Since ancient times, Anchusa leaves have been eaten as a stewed vegetable dish in Mediterranean countries. Gathered from the wild, these greens have been part of Sicilian cuisine for centuries. Traditionally, people combed the countryside and fields looking for wild vegetables to forage and eat.
Today, the bright blue blossoms add a burst of color to a salad and nutrients to your diet. Loaded with glow-boosting vitamins B9, E and C, the fresh tender leaves can be eaten like spinach either cooked or as garnish. If you can’t find Anchusa salad on the menu, you can get its well-nourished glow through our wild-crafted skincare.
The leaves and flowers can be dried and used in potpourris and the fresh leaves smell a little like wild strawberries.
WILD AT HEART
Furtuna Skin debuts this history-making herb in its wild skincare collection. Anchusa is at the heart of our proprietary Splendore Anchusa™ Complex that’s inside most of our wild-crafted formulas. A rarity in skincare, this category-defining botanical is exclusive to Furtuna Skin. Anchusa azurea nourishes, rejuvenates and shields skin against environmental aggressions as it helps soothe inflammation and blur imperfections. We sustainably forage it from the wild with respect and extract its powerful nutrients through our efficient Soundbath™ Extraction method to protect its potency. Discover the transformative powers of Anchusa azurea in our Porte Per La Vitalità Face and Eye Serum and create your own glowing skin story.