Our story begins with a vision
Our vision is a healthy world
Before Weleda was founded, Rudolf Steiner held his First Course for Doctors in 1920. This series of lectures was organised by the chemist Oskar Schmiedel. The following year, the "Laboratorium at the Goetheanum" in Switzerland, founded by Oskar Schmiedel, was taken over. In Schwäbisch Gmünd in Germany, the commercial production of medicine and skin care products began. In the same year, Ita Wegman founded what is now the Arlesheim Clinic in Switzerland. Building on new ideas inspired by anthroposophy, our founders developed a bold vision that brings people and nature closer together.
What is anthroposophy?
Anthroposophy explores connections. At Weleda, our understanding of the harmonious connection between people and plants enables us to develop better natural products. Anthroposophic medicine takes a holistic view of the human being and promotes a healthy balance between body, mind and spirit.
Our name, Weleda, expresses the deep connection between human beings and nature. "Veleda" was a title once given to wise, healing women.
What inspired our founders
Weleda was founded by people who longed for a better future and struck out in new directions. The physician Ita Wegman and the philosopher and scientist Rudolf Steiner recognised the connections between nature and the human body, mind and spirit. They began producing medicines and body care products with natural ingredients. The connection between people and nature can be seen and felt in the products we make for your health and beauty – and also in how we do business.
From a medical course to a medicinal herb garden
- In 1920 Rudolf Steiner gave a series of lectures to doctors and medical students. Known as the First Course for Doctors, it marked the birth of anthroposophic medicine.
- In September 1920 the physician Ita Wegman purchased “a small house with a big apple tree” in Arlesheim, Switzerland. In 1921, this became the world’s first anthroposophic clinic, the Arlesheim Clinic (also known as the Ita Wegman Anthroposophic Clinic).
- In 1921 the commercial production of pharmaceutical and skin care products was launched in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany.
- In 1922 the first medicinal herb garden was established in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany. Today, we grow medicinal plants according to the principles of biodynamic farming in our eight Weleda gardens around the world.
Our products are available around the globe
Doctors, pharmacists and like-minded people joined forces and founded their own Weleda branches across the globe. Today you can find our medicines and natural cosmetics in over 50 countries. Weleda has subsidiaries in 20 countries. We source our raw materials from all over the world. As a co-initiator and member of the Union for Ethical BioTrade (UEBT), we ensure that strict ethical criteria are applied to all our natural raw material supply chains. We grow our medicinal plants according to the principles of biodynamic farming in our eight Weleda gardens worldwide.
Historians worked out the facts
Like many other companies, we have intensively researched Weleda’s situation and how the company leadership acted during the time between 1933 and 1945.
We act in harmony with people and nature
Want to feel healthy and comfortable in your skin in a sustainable way? Weleda can help. Since 1921, we have been developing products for health and beauty and for a better world.