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Article: Learn more about Çaj Mali, Our "HERO" Ingredient & why it was used for centuries to heal wounds.

Albanian Herb Caj Mali - Per Ne Skin

Learn more about Çaj Mali, Our "HERO" Ingredient & why it was used for centuries to heal wounds.

Rooted in culture, the Mediterranean is famous for its breathtaking landscapes and rich history. When I think about the Mediterranean, the first thing that comes to mind is sparkling turquoise seas lined with impressive rocky terrain. Or maybe the lifestyle; a sense of ease in the slow movements of the day centered around family, fresh food, and community. Something often forgotten is the wide variety of vegetation, with some plants that have been used since antiquity. Çaj Mali is one of them, and in my opinion, the Mediterranean’s best-kept secret. 

Çaj Mali is a flowering plant native to the Balkan Peninsula, growing at high altitudes on stony mountain slopes. Its scientific name is Sideritis, originating from the Greek word sideros, which translates directly to “iron.” This is likely because, in the ancient past, these plants were used to heal wounds from iron weapons during battles between rival regions. My ancestors had it right; Çaj Mali accelerates cell regeneration, making it incredibly healing for the skin. With its high concentration of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it’s also a powerhouse against the effects of aging. Çaj Mali was an integral ingredient in tinctures and medical infusions for its restorative and preventative properties. To this day, it remains in high demand for its medicinal value. 

A go-to standing the test of time, Çaj Mali has been utilized to treat an assortment of ailments like aiding digestion, strengthening the immune system, suppressing viral infections, relieving symptoms related to allergies and asthma, clearing congestion, easing mild anxiety, preventing anemia, and treating bronchitis. Traditional claims have since been backed by science; a 2016 study found more than 100 compounds and 20 minerals in the plant.

Çaj Mali is currently under research for its potential positive effects on the central nervous system. Researchers are finding that it may protect against mental decline, especially in cases of Alzheimer’s disease. It has also shown psychostimulatory, cognition-enhancing and neuroprotective properties; all exciting advancements in science.

In the present day, Çaj Mali is typically enjoyed as an herbal tea; a common remedy for colds, indigestion and general immune support. The stems, leaves and flowers are submerged in boiling water and strained, often consumed with honey, fresh lemon and sometimes cinnamon for an aromatic and flavourful immunity boost. 

I first stumbled upon Çaj Mali for the skin in July of 2021. Traveling back home to Albania from Los Angeles, my toiletries were confiscated during a layover at Heathrow Airport in London. Upon arriving in Albania without my regular skincare routine, my grandmother suggested using Çaj Mali, a proven and trusted staple in her own beauty rituals. Being familiar with consuming the herb as a tea, I was skeptical but intrigued and began incorporating the ingredient as a toner. Before long, I began to notice a difference in my skin; a calm complexion, a clear and even tone, and a refined texture. Though there would be a long road ahead, this is what sparked my idea for Për Në Skin.

Among other components, Çaj Mali is incredibly rich in polyphenols, flavonoids and antioxidants. All properties that soothe and protect, promoting healthy skin on a cellular level. Ultimately, Çaj Mali preserves the skin as we age by inhibiting the breakdown of collagen, protecting against damage related to UV exposure, accelerating the healing process and nurturing cell regeneration. On top of that, the ingredient is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, deepening the effects of protection and prevention.

I was inspired by the history and potency of this incredible ingredient, quickly recognizing a rare resource that could be tapped for healthy, youthful skin. The Essential Tonic harnesses the power of Çaj Mali and blends it with extracts that are also native to the Mediterranean region. The result is a powerful, multi-tasking tonic that soothes and restores skin to its best. Për Në uses Çaj Mali that’s wild foraged and ethically harvested in small batches, paying respect to the land that lends us these incredible elements for longevity. Çaj Mali built the foundation of Për Në; combining remedies of our ancestors with modern science to create timeless, performance-based skincare.

Click here to shop and learn more about our Çaj Mali infused toner, The Essential tonic.

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