One of the first plants to grow after a fire is Epilobium Angustifolium. It is commonly called Willowherb. In northern Saskatchewan it is referred to as ‘Fireweed’.
It was used traditionally for burns and skin conditions, and made into a tea for bronchial problems. Today, it is one of the key ingredients in a concentrate that is used in skin creams and shampoos.
In 2017, the Keewatin Community Development Association (KCDC) undertook a contract to provide 2500 dried kilograms to Lucas Meyer, an international cosmetics company. The goal of KCDC is to develop the non-timber forest industry in northern Saskatchewan and provide a new source of regional employment.
Twenty six local people were involved in picking and grinding this season. The plants were hand-picked and dried in the field, and later hauled into La Ronge to be ground, bagged and stacked on pallets for shipping.
Next time you buy a skin care product, look for Epilobium Angustifolium in the ingredients. You may be using a natural product from the northern Saskatchewan forest.
Keewatin Community Development Association is investing in the future of northern Saskatchewan!
Watch the video here.