New Gaza project employing women to manufacture natural health products

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Company: Gold Green is a new initiative based in Gaza, which employs women to make herbal natural health products using traditional methods of steam distillation.

Gold Green is the name of a new project in Gaza, in which Palestinian women are employed to grow aromatic herbs and produce natural products without chemicals.

Rasha Ramadan works with her colleague Amani al-Fayrani to sort and wash the herbs for use in medicinal oils and health products, which will be sold in local markets as natural products without chemicals.

Rasha and Amani work alongside a team of women trained by the Al Najd Development Forum in Gaza to extract natural oils from plants before using them to make natural shampoos and other products.

100% natural from start to finish

Natural ingredients are at the heart of medicinal and aromatic products. About 20 women are employed to cultivate and care for the plants before they are harvested, and four women are responsible for washing the plants and carrying out the extraction process. Finally, the concentrated oils are used to make the finished products.

The company helps women help their husbands provide a source of income for their families and overcome some of the challenges faced by the dire economic situation in the 15-year-siege Gaza Strip.

The company helps women help their husbands provide a source of income for their families and overcome some of the challenges faced by the dire economic situation in the 15-year-siege Gaza Strip.

Al-Fayrani was chosen alongside his colleagues to start this project, after having completed a number of specialized trainings on drugs and essential oil extraction methods. The vision of the project was to offer natural health products free of harmful chemicals.

Empower women

She explained to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, The New Arab Sister publication in Arabic language that the project provided her with a stable monthly income which allowed her to help cover the daily expenses of the family while allowing her to rely on herself for her personal expenses. She looks forward to expanding the project with her colleagues until their products become a household name.

Green Gold was started with a previous project in which women participated in the cultivation of aromatic plants like mint, chamomile, basil, purslane, thyme, rosemary, arugula and parsley, among others. This paved the way for the next steps which would depend on the availability of fresh aromatic plants.

Steam distillation

There are several steps in the process of making aromatic oils. First of all, the plants should be thoroughly washed using special equipment. Then there is a series of steps carried out to extract the concentrated oils by steam distillation: the prepared plants are placed in a special device and immersed in filtered water, before being passed in an oven where the temperature reaches 100 degrees Celsius. Then the condensation process is started with the help of another machine and the oil droplets are extracted – they are then moved to a container for the concentrate.

The women make six kinds of shampoo, six kinds of balm, as well as chamomile extract for washing and cleansing the skin, as well as hair oils and an antiviral disinfectant made from alcohol infused with mint and thyme.

The strength of the concentrate from the first sample will be checked upon release, before the extract is put into plastic drums, a separate one for each plant, ready to be used as an essential ingredient in shampoo, oil or balm. Then it is packaged and a label is attached explaining the details of the product, its distinctive properties and information on to whom it is suitable.

The women make six kinds of shampoo, six kinds of balm, as well as chamomile extract for washing and cleansing the skin, as well as hair oils and an antiviral disinfectant made from alcohol infused with mint and thyme.

Rasha Ramadan explains that in addition to enjoying working with women, participating in the project has forged her character and honed her skills. It also helped her and her husband to support their family of seven.

Al-Hamalawi says the project initially had around 40 women working on the plantation, however, the difficult situation in Gaza forced the project to cut the production chain and keep only 20 women, alongside the four working on the plantation. the manufacture of the products. They were trained by a specialist in the manufacture of medicinal and aromatic extracts.

The use of oils and medicinal extracts brings many benefits, which differ from plant to plant, according to Al-Hamalawi: some of them work to nourish and strengthen the hair and skin and protect against damage, and others can be used to treat harmful fungal infections. .

This is an edited translation of our Arabic edition. To read the original article, click here.


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