Since Byzantine times, the Monks have been exploring the medicinal properties of herbs. Herbs have medicinal properties, able to treat or minimise numerous health conditions. The libraries of Mount Athos hold collections of manuscripts from Byzantine and pre-Christian times containing interesting medicinal formulas and uses of herbs, dating centuries ago. Formulas by Asclepius, Hippocrates (5th century B.C.), Galen (1st century A.D.) and later physicians are found in the manuscripts, marked with the word ‘dokimon’, i.e. the signature of the physicians. This is the word used to describe a tested and successful formula. The first line of products was named ‘Dokimon’, a name that emerged from the study of manuscripts in the library of the Vatopaidi Monastery. The manuscripts contained formulas from Hippocrates, the ancient physician, reading the following, in red letters: “Tou Ippokratous dokimon ke apsevdestaton” (meaning: Tested and indisputable (formula) by Hippocrates).
The wealth of flora on Mount Athos Peninsula and in particular the number of endemic and rare species make the area one of the richest in Greece. The existence of such a rich flora in the area is easily explained considering the geographic isolation of the area and the absence of grazing for centuries, in combination with the varied relief, the altitude differences with Athos standing at 2,033 m above sea level and the wide variety of rocks. According to Mpampalona et al. (1998), the flora of Mount Athos comprises 1,453 plant species and subspecies, representing 539 plant genera in the area and 109 families. This diverse flora comprises regional endemic, Greek and Balkan endemic species. According to Gkaniatsas (1963), the Mount Athos flora consists of 70% Mediterranean elements, 15% elements of north-eastern origin, 9% Balkan, 4% Central European and 2% locally endemic elements.
The species include many aromatic/medicinal plants with known or even unknown properties, that have been traditionally used by the monks to address diseases and conditions. This knowledge has been traveling across the centuries and is recorded in the books and manuscripts kept in the monastery, without however being systematically organised or used so far.
The library of the Holy and Great Vatopaidi Monastery holds a remarkable collection of documents, currently comprising approximately 40,000 volumes (27.000 titles) of primarily theological content, mainly written in Greek.
The collection of Greek manuscripts at Vatopaidi currently includes approximately 2,050 volumes, liturgical and theological manuscripts in their majority. There are also manuscripts of texts from Ancient Greece and Byzantine times, among which figures the work of Aëtius of Amida, the most famous physician in the 6th century A.D. and personal doctor of Emperor Justinian. His work includes both his personal medical opinions and the opinions and theories developed by other prominent doctors who lived before him.
The manuscripts collection also includes the Botany Practical by Dionysios Pyrros the Thessalian, a doctor and medicine teacher, holding a PhD at the University of Pavia with profound knowledge of medicinal plants and, many manuscripts with traditional monastery formulas for the use of herbs in the treatment of health conditions.
Pure, pollution-free environment
The herbal extracts contained in our cosmetics are exclusively organically farmed on Mount Athos, free of human intervention and any pollutants found in the city.
Highly selected active ingredients
All active ingredients contained in our products are carefully selected, according to the standards of organic product certifying bodies ECOCERT and COSMOS.
Our products are manufactured using water from Mount Athos natural springs, in accordance with the following process: reverse osmosis, de-ionisation and ultraviolet disinfection in order to produce water similar to the EP standards.
Certified natural cosmetics (A CERT)
Our products are natural cosmetics certified by the European Organization A CERT, with a naturalness percentage of over 95%.
Production according to ISO 22716 standard and GAP & GMP guidelines
All our processes, from the selection of raw materials to production, follow the GAP (Good Argicultural Practices) and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) guidelines while our cosmetics laboratory has been certified according to the ISO 22716 international standard.