Guest Post

Ferlow Botanicals: From Home-based Beginnings to Global Herbal Innovators

By Klaus & Peter Ferlow

This year, the founders of Ferlow Botanicals are proud to celebrate their 30th anniversary in the natural health products industry. In 1993, their company started out as a small Canadian-owned family business, headquartered in Mission, BC, Canada.

Company founder Klaus Ferlow had originally emigrated from West Germany to British Columbia in January 1975 to import premium quality gift lines from Europe for sale to hotel gift shops and furniture stores in Canada and the US. From 1979 to the summer of 1993, Klaus was involved in a variety of sales, marketing, and promotion jobs.

Then in the fall of 1993 he started a home-based company called Ferlow Botanicals and was introduced to Dr. Reinhard Krizekalla, a German chemist with expertise in formulating and producing herbal personal care products. Dr. Krizekalla was looking to retire and graciously offered to train Klaus, his wife Rose, and son Peter in the art and science of herbal product formulation.

From this simple beginning, the production of herbal personal care products started in the basement of the Ferlow family log home in Mission, located in the beautiful Fraser Valley of British Columbia. Klaus, as the 4th generation herbalist in the family, had the proper background and experience in education, marketing, promotion and sales.

Recovery from Psoriasis with Neem Leaf

In January of 1994, Klaus was watching “The Nature of Things”, the longest-running TV science show on CBC, hosted by Dr. David Suzuki.[1] In this particular episode, the topic was “What’s in a  Neem?” In it, Dr. Suzuki explained that the neem tree offers better plant, human, animal, and environmental health benefits, and is especially powerful for healing skin disease.

Klaus had suffered from psoriasis on his scalp and elbows for 40 years. After learning about the benefits of neem, Klaus decided to start importing quantities of the herb, and he and his son developed a formula for a medicinal cream with neem extracts from the leaves. They later added neem oil derived from the seeds and kernels of the fruit. After using the neem cream for ten weeks, Klaus found that the lifelong build-up of psoriasis disappeared from his scalp. And after three weeks of using the neem oil on his elbows the psoriasis cleared up there too! And so began his lifelong passion for the neem tree and its miraculous benefits and healing properties!

(For a link to Klaus’ powerpoint presentation about the healing properties of the neem tree, see Resource list below.)

After using the neem cream for ten weeks, Klaus found that the lifelong build-up of psoriasis disappeared from his scalp

The Whole Family Gets Involved

At the time, Peter was working as a professional baker in Vancouver, travelling back and forth to Mission, BC for several years. He also attended Kwantlen Polytechnic University to become a computer technologist in 1992. Then he joined the Ferlow Botanicals company full-time as a partner and production manager. Over time, he became the “heart and soul” of the company. As his father, Klaus is very proud of Peter’s accomplishment working alongside his wife Ruth and knowing his company is in good hands.

Klaus’ youngest son Harald joined the company in 2000 as office manager and sales assistant. Rose, acting as secretary, took care of the administration and Klaus created a customer base of holistic practitioners and clinics and specialty stores while working closely with the two Naturopathic Colleges in Toronto, Ontario and New Westminster, British Columbia.

Over the next few years the product line expanded to include Ayurvedic herbal neem care products, and through Peter’s research and development efforts a shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, oil-blend, tincture, hand sanitizer and shower gel was created which became the bestselling items in the company’s product line. These were followed by herbal arnica, calendula, devil’s claw, carrot, chickweed, rosa and wild yam creams.

Ferlow Botanicals Grows and Evolves

What is really amazing: Ferlow Botanicals is still the ONLY Ayurvedic herbal neem product manufacturer in Canada up to this day!

In 2004 the company outgrew its home-based headquarters in Mission and moved to a larger facility in Vancouver.

In 2016 they started offering their herbal medicine products direct to consumers through their online retail store. And later they re-incorporated Ferlow Botanicals. In the meantime, a name change from Ferlow Brothers Ltd to Ferlow Botanicals took place to reflect more accurately the herbal business we are operating. After Klaus retired from the company, Peter and his wife Ruth took over the business.

Original Ferlow headquarters

In 2017, Ferlow Botanicals acquired a cosmetic tube filling and packaging machine with ultrasonic sealing, followed by a large stainless steel mixer. At first the neem cream was switched over to a 100ml soft tube, then shampoo, conditioner, toothpastes to help streamline the production process.

Peter has always been passionate about green energy. So in the spring of 2021 he added a 34 kw solar array to the manufacturing facility that supplies nearly al of the power needs – over 49.000 kwh annually!

Today, the founders of Ferlow Botanicals are looking back proudly at the company they built into a prominent manufacturer/distributor and supplier of pure natural herbal medicine and Ayurvedic neem care products. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients in Canada. In fact, Ferlow Botanicals is the second oldest North American manufacturer of herbal neem products in North America!

Latest News

The third edition of Klaus Ferlow’s award-winning book “Neem: Nature’s Healing Gift to Humanity” will be released before the year end of 2023!

Acknowledged as pioneers in the field, Ferlow Botanicals is known for producing herbal personal care products and for being the first to introduce Ayurvedic neem care products to the Western market since 1994.

The owners of Ferlow Botanicals are proud to celebrate their 30th anniversary this fall and extend their heartfelt thanks to all their customers past and present for their support and encouragement!

NEEM – ANCIENT WISDOM FOR A MODERN WORLD!

Resource List:

• Link to Klaus Ferlow’s powerpoint presentation:  http://neemresearch.ca/neem-presentation-2023/

• To order neem products online, visit: https://www.ferlowbotanicals.com, neemresearch.ca, https://neemresearch.ca/neem-the-healer-2, https://neemresearch.ca/neem-oil-a-sacred-oil-from-india

www.worldneemorganisation.org

In 2025 we will celebrate our 50th Anniversary!

References

[1] Dr. David Suzuki bio: https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/David-Suzuki

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