Weekend Tourist: Shampoo you can eat and art you can burn

Horst Galleries profits are donated to the Horst Rechelbacher Foundation to aid the planet’s suffering. Credit: Photo by Linda Koutsky

INTELLIGENT INGREDIENTS store and salon: 983 East Hennepin Avenue (Mon., 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; Tue.–Fri., 9 a.m.–8 p.m.; Sat., 9 a.m.–5 p.m.)

Did you know that changing shampoos could put you in a better mood? Or that mid-afternoon slumps just might dissipate with a mere drop of oil? Thanks to Horst Rechelbacher your entire disposition may well be warm and sunny even though it’s January in Minnesota.

Horst Rechelbacher was born in Austria in 1941 to a shoemaker father and herbalist mother who practiced alternative healing. In 1964, after recovering from an accident in Minneapolis he decided to stay and opened his first salon. He founded one of the first natural body products companies, Aveda, in 1978. After selling it in 1997, he opened Intelligent Nutrients.

IN’s national headquarters, along with a retail store and salon, are just a few blocks over the river into Northeast Minneapolis. Glass bottles of varying sizes line the shelves and counter displays in the large open store. Every bottle has a tester and signs explaining the product’s medicinal or aromatic qualities. Certified organic ingredients along with 100 percent plant fragrances are used in dozens of skin and hair care products, remedies, air sprays, and essential oils.

Many of the plants were grown or researched at Horst’s Osceola, Wisc. farm. One line comes in seven scents that correspond with different zones, or chakras, of the body. Since everything’s all natural and organic most products are safe enough they can be consumed!

Aromatherapy (inhaling essential oils) stimulates different parts of the brain connected to smell and makes a person feel relaxed, calm, or invigorated. Because it’s good for you it also makes you feel better and contributes to better health. Horst’s motto is: “everything that we put in or on our bodies should be nutritious.” His recent work involves stem cell research for anti-aging skin care products.

Closer to Downtown, just across from Aveda Institute, is Horst’s latest endeavor — a gallery. Three rooms are full of exotic treasures including antiques, jewelry, rugs, and sculpture. Many pieces are from Horst’s personal collection and his mixed-media artworks cover the walls. A small Intelligent Nutrients display carries the full line of products. In the back of the gallery is Horst’s own laboratory. Carved wooden cabinets hold sparkling crystal apothecary jars full of mysterious ingredients. Most of them are used as incense: sandalwood, frankincense, myrrh — they’re all there, along with other twigs and rocks and resins. Antique and reproduction incense burners are throughout the gallery including one from Horst’s collection that’s been creating fragrant smoke since 1650.

Why incense you ask? Burning it has been a spiritual and medicinal ritual for more than 4,000 years. If the new shampoo doesn’t drag you out of your winter doldrums try burning some dragon’s blood. 

TEA BREAK: Try IN’s own orange-spice white tea in the headquarters cafe that doubles as a national training center for stylists.

 Send your comments or tips to WeekendTourist@mnpubs.com.