Ayurveda: The Roots of Aveda

Ayurveda: The Roots of Aveda

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Horst Rechelbacher and Ayurveda

Horst–founder of Aveda–was a lifelong student with a lasting vision.
A world-class stylist in his teens, Horst ended up in Minneapolis, Minnesota by accident. Literally. During a stylist competition in 1964, Horst’s car was hit by a drunk driver. He decided to settle in Minneapolis, as a European hairdresser, and opened his own salon, Horst & Friends and then several others, becoming a successful salon entrepreneur in his twenties. In the late sixties, Horst suffered burn out from overwork and recovered thanks to herbal remedies prepared by his mother, as well as to the practice of yoga and meditation. Following a retreat in India in 1970, Horst integrated Ayurveda in his lifestyle and his salon business model. He adopted a holistic thinking, the belief that individual beauty is directly linked to the beauty of the world around us. His were ideas that would revolutionize the beauty industry. “We are the earth,” he said. “We are soil. We are water. We are everything. So go organic if you can. So become a farmer. Grow in your own house. Grow peppermint and make your own tea. Celebrate life.”
From the ancient art of Ayurveda come the rituals of Aveda
In India, he also received the inspiration to create Aveda. Horst gained greater appreciation for the power of wellness to promote balance in mind, body and spirit, the prerequisite to achieving the guest’s beauty.

Ayurveda is an ancient holistic system of healing that strives to create balance in body, mind and spirit. Ayurveda means “the science of life” and it has been central to Aveda since the very beginning, when we first partnered with the Ayurvedic Doctors Vinod and Kusum Upadhyay*. They have helped us to tap 5,000 years of Ayurvedic wisdom in creating our products, including some with powerful, high-performing Ayurvedic herbal extracts.

In keeping with Ayurvedic principles—and because of our concern for the Earth—Aveda is committed to using organic ingredients. This has led to another Ayurvedic partnership, between Aveda and the Indian firm, Nisarga.


Nisarga—which means “nature” in Sanskrit—grows Ayurvedic herbs using organic and biodynamic agriculture. The firm owns farmland and also partners with locally owned organic farms to produce the Ayurvedic herbs ordered by Nisarga’s customers. We’ve partnered with Nisarga to source organic turmeric and amla for use in some of our products.

Turmeric grows at Nisarga’s organic Umbari farm, which creates jobs for nearby villagers planting the fields, harvesting the rhizomes, then steaming, drying and polishing them for shipment.

Amla is grown at the independent Devarashtre farm, one of many that works with Nisarga—which helped to certify the land as organic, paying the costs that make certification a barrier for many small farms. Villagers harvest the amla by hand, removing the seeds and drying the fruit before shipment for processing.

At the processing plant, Nisarga employs an environmentally friendly extraction method using carbon dioxide, which leaves no toxic residues and works at a lower temperature—yielding highly potent extracts.

Read more here.


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