Modern Botany Medicinal Crop Growing in West Cork

March 09, 2021 5 min read

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When Simon and John moved to West Cork in 2015 they were struck with the natural rugged beauty of the Mizen Peninsula, but more so of its unspoilt environment that has for the most part escaped the Industrial Revolution and the effects of over-population through the years. In fact, what they were most struck with was the space of the peninsula being so uncongested and completely unpolluted; it made a stark contrast to their previous urban existence. It was for them the natural place to set up a ‘clean’ personal care company that would serve to be the DNA of their brand and its ethos.

West Cork Modern Botany



“The incredible Azure blues and Emerald greens that manifest from the Atlantic swell were the captivating call for us. In 2015, we upped sticks and settled in this unspoilt paradise.”
Simon & John, Modern Botany Founders





Modern Botany HQ is based in Schull, West Cork on the most south-westerly edge of Europe. Widely regarded as one of the most idyllic villages along the Wild Atlantic Way, Schull is located at the gateway to the Mizen Peninsula surrounded by unique, rugged, and breath-taking natural beauty.

"Schull has proven to be the most natural and fitting environment in which to establish and grow a ‘clean’ personal care company. This outstanding, unspoiled backdrop inspires and embodies the brand’s DNA and ethos. Although still in its infancy, Modern Botany has global ambitions to be ahead of the curve in designing unique, innovative, and efficacious plant-based formulations with no compromise to our values; authenticity, transparency and sustainability." John continues, ‘My family home county is Cork and Simon and I visited Schull regularly on holidays before we moved over in 2015. We have a spiritual connection with the place and people, who are so friendly and hospitable. It was always a dream of ours to settle here. We love going to Barleycove Beach at the end of the Mizen peninsula, the beach bar and cafe do great coffees and lunches in the summer. My family home county is Cork and Simon and I visited Schull regularly on holidays before we moved over in 2015. We have a spiritual connection with the place and people, who are so friendly and hospitable. It was always a dream of ours to settle here.

Crop Growing:
John and Simon have been growing Roman and German Chamomile, along with Borage and Flaxseed and Calendula for the past 4 years in test beds as they hope to work with more farmers to grow more so that these can be used in the production of their Modern Botany products. To date, they have collected enough plant material samples to carry out extensive testing from the past 4 years supply of the main varieties, comparing them to current commercial grade and against pharmacopoeia standard monographs. This will indicate if we are on the right road and mean that we can start bringing these extracts into our supply chain over the next 2 years.

Field Modern Botany

John Says, ‘to summarise our journey so far, we have gone through an initial testing phase, both horticulturally and with scientific testing of the plant materials. We have worked with local farmers and neighbours who have generously given up their land and time to be part of this pilot study. We have standardised our organic and of course non-GMO seed collection.
What we have learnt in simple terms is that the chosen plant species have grown well, and we have learnt and continue to learn gardening techniques and biodynamic methodology on how and when to best grow them while also understanding best geographical locations to do so. We are very excited about next steps as we learn and grow together in our local community to empower and create a sustainable and viable enterprise that will be good for the environment and local economy.’

The Products:
The DNA of Modern Botany products is that they are always 100% natural, unisex: plant-based, efficacious. That is to say, they have to work in a way that’s functional and be inclusive, safe and backed by real science and have to have therapeutic effect on your skin. That the remit of all Modern Botany products as a first base.

The Deodorant:
For years Simon has been asked to make a natural deodorant that works both as a antiperspirant and deodoriser. Simon wanted to make it a unisex and natural but multi-tasking products being that would not only work as an effective deodorant and antiperspirant, but also would function as a body scent that would work in harmony with the natural pheromones in your body.

The bottom line is that it had to be safe, work as a deodoriser and antiperspirant while also being 100% natural and suitable for sensitive skin. Simon as always, looks to nature to find a healthier and safer alternative when it comes to effective personal care, especially as a Pharmacognosist, possessing the expertise in his knowledge of chemical components of medicinal plants.

Simon set about developing the Deodorant and 2 years later is was ready to launch. The Modern Botany Deodorant formulation is a complex one that involves a high degree of natural science, but in a nutshell Simon utilised plant ingredients, traditionally used for their anti-microbial, astringent and deodorising activity that naturally counteract underarm bacteria whilst reducing underarm odour. The secret of this formulation is the combination of 11 potent natural extracts that form a synergy to deliver natural and clean results.

The Oil:
Since its launch in 2016, Irish customers have been sharing incredible testimonies of their experience of our oil’s regenerative and healing properties particularly for sensitive and problem skin and we look forward to seeing and hearing its impact on people’s lives around the world.

This science-led and evidence-based product comes with authoritative clinical testing as highlighted here by its formulator, Dr Jackson:

‘Our signature oil blend is formulated with 5 natural botanical active ingredients to effectively nourish, hydrate, and improve the appearance of skin and hair. It is dermatologist tested for hypersensitive skin and clinically tested to show an increase in hydration by 16% over 28 days. Containing plant based squalene a botanic lipid and an active ingredient known to be a superb emollient, it provides surface hydration to the skin and has anti-inflammatory benefits to help with skin conditions such as acne and eczema. Modern Botany Oil penetrates deep into the skin and fights off free radicals at the cellular level without blocking pores. It also helps boost blood circulation, which promotes the formation of collagen for firmer plumper skin and gives an instant glow. The healing actives contain anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties to calm and soothe even the most sensitive of skins. Our Flaxseed Oil has one of the highest plant sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and lignans, essential for promoting healthy skin and hair. The non-greasy texture effortlessly absorbs and dries matte to leave skin feeling soft, smooth, and supported.

Modern Botany Oil is certified cruelty-free and is also fully Vegan and Vegetarian certified and Cosmos Natural. Our natural, science led formulation is suitable for all skin types and safe for use during pregnancy.’

Modern Botany Products

Watch out in 2021 for exciting new products being launched to add to your natural personal care routines. Modern Botany 2021

Simon and John Modern Botany
John Modern Botany Signature
Modern Botany

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