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Plant Medicine in Surfing

December 14, 2020 4 min read

How Surfskinoil, the healing oil became part of surf culture

As promised, I can now share with you the story of how Surfskinoil was born on the shores of Sri Lanka last year. But first quickly to give you a little gift from us…

Here is your Free Worldwide Shipping Code: FREESURF and you can shop here It’s time sensitive so please do take advantage before it runs out! It’s time sensitive so please do take advantage before it runs out!

Ok, now I can get round to the exciting part of how we got started


Our founder, Venita Machnicki arrived in Sri Lanka in 2014, having for the last 15 years worked as a Corporate tax adviser in the city of London. In secret though, her passion since childhood had been the use of natural plant essences for medicine. Since childhood, Venita had never been sent to a doctor when she got sick, instead her mother would treat her with vials of plant essences. So behind behind the scenes in all of her spare time since 2010, she had been working with Dierdre McIntosh around the effectiveness of medical grade plant essences.

With over 25 years’ experience within pharmaceutical product research, development and licensing, Deirdre obtained her PhD at the Institute of Cancer Research (London) researching the plant toxin ricin as a targeted chemotherapeutic agent.

Together Dierdre and Venita found that when using the right combination of natural plant essences, extracted to preserve their phytochemicals in perfect harmony with the body, the result was a 100% natural, non-toxic, antibiotic free medical grade solution that could quickly clean, reverse infection and accelerate wound healing.

This produces a natural product totally different from the synthesized ingredients we experience in lab created pharmaceuticals and skin disinfectants.These tend to be the result of isolating a single element from the natural world and recreating jjit in the lab. The problem with this is that the hundreds and sometimes thousands of supporting elements are lost. Without them, the isolated element simply doesn’t work as well.

Lab tests may show that a synthesized ingredient can achieve a certain functions, but the truth is, the skin does not recognize anything that has been processed and seeks to push it out to protect the body from what it sees as a toxic load.

On arrival in Sri Lanka in 2014 Venita quickly saw there was a big problem with cuts that wouldn’t heal and would get infected. Especially within the surfing community, people were running into trouble with reef cuts and ear infections and sea ulcers and the anti-biotics they were getting from the pharmacies just weren’t working anymore.


As all surfers know, surf injuries can get serious fast, especially in warmer. The marine environment carries with it some unusual bacteria. Some of the names to know are Vibrio, Pseudomonas and Mycobacterium Marinum. Under the umbrella of Vibrio, there are multiple species to watch out for but Vibrio parahaemolyticus and V. vulnificus are common. Staph and Strep are frequently seen pathogens, cultured from saltwater infected wounds.

In Sri Lanka, for example the ocean is home to coral, which is teeming with live microbes that can complicate the normal healing of a cut or a wound. In colder water conditions, even a graze on a sea dwelling rock can impart under-water microbes that can cause similar complications with wound healing and infections. Seeing the problems that Surfers were running into, and herself having always been treated with natural plant essences from childhood if she ever got sick, Venita called up Dierdre and ran past her her own Mother’s original blend for cuts and scrapes etc.

Venita’s mother had been a naturopathic practitioner and aromatherapist and worked with vials of plant essences back in the 80’s. These people knew that plant essences when applied topically to the skin or inhaled, entered the limbic centre of the brain to drive the release of hormones that can accelerate wound healing and speed the closing of infectious wounds.

The essences also worked on the emotional centers of the brain, calming the mind and mood of the person as a plant knows you need to be relaxed in order to support this accelerated healing, stress hormones have the opposite effect. People using Surfskinoil report that it helps with everything, not just reef cuts and sea ulcers but also with rashes, muscle aches, trouble sleeping, ear-infections, jellyfish stings, you name it, its working!

You can replace your hydrogen peroxide, beta-dine, sun-cream, aftersun, anti-insect bite and antibiotic creams; with just Surfskinoil. And it smells fantastic too, those plant essences travel straight up your olfactory nerves in your nose and directly into the limbic system of the brain, calming, soothing and healing.

Bottles of Surfskinoil are being bought up in Sri Lanka every day, often with people travelling 25 kms up the surf coast to get one! Surfskinoil bridges the gap between nature and science, giving surfers a fast, convenient and on-the spot, multi-faceted healing experience.

Not just that but our company ethics demand that we give something back to the local community in which we operate. We have set up a charity project to support a village of Sri Lankan kids to receive tutoring to help them win the jobs within the surf tourism industry that is growing at pace in their beautiful country. These jobs are currently going to foreigners, but with our enhanced syllabus developed in collaboration with the Sri Lankan Not-for-profit ‘Without borders’ and taught in our jungle classroom running classes twice a week, these kids will get a fair chance!


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