Monday, 4 January 2010

Sorbus extracts in German skin care products

A German company, Babor, uses extracts of rowan, Sorbus aucuparia, and, more particularly, of wild service, S. torminalis, in its Body Line Thermal skin care lotion and other products.

Babor, based in Aachen, is an internationally known organisation and claims that the ingredients in its products have been scientifically researched and tested. They say that “thermal water from Aachen, zeolite and elsberry extract supply intensive moisture” in their lotion and “lend elasticity and suppleness to the skin.” Apparently it is the tannins from the wild service fruit, with the many other ingredients in the lotion, that help to provide these benefits. This does not appear to be derived from any of the traditional uses of wild service fruit that I have so far come across.  Zeolites are highly absorbent aluminium silicates.

A plantation of wild service trees has been established in the Forest of Blumencron near Mechernich-Rissdorf in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany to provide fruit for Babor (Sprothen, 2010), fruit which in their English language adverts they call the ‘elsberry’, a term used almost exclusively by the company.

It is interesting that in his German text Sprothen (2010) uses the spelling ‘Elsbeer’ for the wild service as did Martin Luther in the early 16th century (see entry below on 27 December 2009).

At around $40 a tube there may not be too many who can afford to anoint themselves with extract of wild service berries.


Sprothen, J. (2010) Elsbeer-Plantage als Zukunftsinvestition.  Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, Monday, 4 January 2010.

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