Nonna Lia and her ointment

Nonna Lia is my maternal grandmother.

A woman of the earth, energetic, accustomed to heavy work, attuned to the rhythm of the seasons, to the fatigue of a humble life where one has to make do with what one has. But with a big heart, generous, ready to give so much to others, as only those who have known scarcity can really do.

As a child she had a way with words and had won a trip to Rome as a prize for a well-written story.

She was in second grade.

The war broke out, and the trip to Rome and school were suspended.

There remained a great storyteller, a fervid imagination, who invented thousands of lively and outlandish and sometimes terrifying stories for us, effective tools to dampen our cravings to “fight”, make us forget the pain of a fall or to make us remain terrified and motionless under the covers even if we were too big to take a nap after lunch.

She wrote everything down about her daily life, which we are still finding notes on the back, on the edges, among the saints of the days of her calendar, which she used more than anything else to understand if it is the right moon to sow, cut, harvest, collect or prepare and preserve.

When it was time to prepare “The ointment” she told us, every year, the story of how she had managed to unveil the ingredients of the recipe, so jealously guarded in the village only by an old woman who did not want to tell anyone.

Nonna Lia, worried that this recipe would be lost with the disappearance of her now elderly custodian, carrying a cake made with his hands as a gift, he waited for this woman outside the church doors every Sunday for Lent.

“You can not really tell me a lie after doing Communion”, he told us. And so, an ingredient every Sunday, the mystery of the best-kept secret was finally revealed.

Nonna Lia has then transcribed it in her recipe book left to her nieces: between the “baccalà” and “the syrup of turnips” to soothe a cough there is “the ointment” for the burns.

The recipe, originally not much more than a list of plants and herbs, was then revised, and revised again and further enriched in light of broader herbal knowledge.

The original process of preparation and extraction of the various plants and herbs collected fresh, entirely by hand and extracted of the various botanical parts was particularly laborious.

In this way the mixture is more concentrated and the 5 plants work in synergy with each other along with a base of extra virgin olive oil and organic virgin beeswax.

Thanks Nonna Lia for having “saved” this precious recipe.

The perception of self- a psychological selfie

A look at yourself: are you hasty, superficial, judgmental or calm and balanced?

This is what we are looking to better understand, in this short interview with psychologist and psychotherapist Giulia De Benedetto.

There have been many studies conducted on the perceptions we have of ourselves, but in what way does this perception affect our beauty product purchases?

In order to respond to this question we first have to consider the ways in which we receive information from the world around us via our senses.

Of the five senses, smell is the one that elicits the most evocative factor: a smell can immediately bring you back to a past event, making us remember a time from our childhood and it can bring about strong emotions within us.

Touch, on the other hand, has a great communicative power: just think how important it is for the healthy development of a child to be in contact with the body of the mother and father, who can thus transmit heat, love and protection.

All sensory experiences are stored in the so-called sensory memory, which contributes, together with other factors to build our identity.

Identity has many dimensions:

  • Somatic- linked to our perception of our body
  • Social- or the way we perceive ourselves as part of a group
  • Psychological- or in other words personality

Anyone can experience a feeling of full well-being when the dimensions of identity are in balance with each other: this allows you to be spontaneous and authentic with yourself and with others.

So by choosing a pomegranate hand cream or a cane sugar body scrub, it is not only about how we perceive ourselves but also about how external factors have influenced us and vice versa.

The sensory experiences, tested thanks to these products, can contribute to our psychophysical well-being, acting on deep aspects of our psychology.

Ultimately we could say that sustainable cosmetics are based on these principles of authenticity and harmony, a harmony that also concerns the intimate relationship of man with the earth, which like a mother offers all of herself and in return only asks to be respected.

Dr. De Benedetto Giulia

Psychologist – Psychotherapist

[email protected]

tel +3931924327

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SEEING IS BELIEVING!