The original Tui Bee Balme was created in New Zealand by Colin Isles in the early 80’s. The recipe was donated to the Tui Community, where the operation remains to this day. The brand is named after the Tui, a beautiful bird endemic to New Zealand.
Tui Balms is dedicated to the creation of all-natural and safe balms in the tradition of balms made by ancient cultures. The word “balm” denotes a fragrant, healing or soothing lotion. Derived from the earlier word “balsam” – a fragrant, aromatic, often resinous substance oozing from various plants, balms are synonymous with gentle healing of the skin. Prior to modern technologies to emulsify water and preserve skin care creams and lotions, almost all skin care products were balms. These balms were made by shamans, elders and the wise women of tribes or cultures who had a long-standing relationship with natural ingredients, especially plants. It is in this tradition that Tui Balms has come to make massage balms, Bee Balm and other natural balms.
Tui Balms rely greatly upon pure essential oils for their active and fragrant properties. Tui makes balms using only natural source ingredients. The Coop grows its own food organically, using the principles of Permaculture, which members feel provide a practical connection to the balm makers of days gone by.
Traditional balms are different to modern medicines. They can be equally effective and in some cases more so. But they often need to be worked with differently. Balms may need to be applied more frequently than heavy-handed synthetic equivalents. Similarly, it is important to keep in mind that a balm is a gentle healing substance and might need to be applied over a longer period of time than say, modern immune response suppressors, like hydrocortisones.
Balms generally are positive healers. In this sense, they nurture and nourish the skin to health rather than negatively suppressing symptoms or killing off organisms, including those that are beneficial. This is not to say that the balms are devoid of any antiseptic properties The bee balm for instance contains Propolis, which has anti-bacterial qualities. Balms soothe and nurture while being gentle and safe, enhancing and assisting the body’s own natural pathways to health. The essential oils and waxes used are often targeted towards overall effects like relaxation rather than acting as broad spectrum “cure all” silver bullets. The effects these balms have are therefore beneficial holistically. In the same vein, the certified organic NZ beeswax and pure vegetable oils used are ideal carriers of the other active ingredients. They moisten and nourish the skin also, rather than being extra unnecessary material that serves no good purpose. This is in stark contrast to many products that can contain a wide range of ingredients unnecessary to healing and even potentially damaging to health.
A portion of the proceeds by Tui are donated to the Tui Spiritual and Educational Trust