BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY
At the beginning of the 20th century Dresden is the centre of the health movement in Germany. The skin, as the largest organ of the human body, is becoming a key issue. Even so, bath essences are still used without sufficient knowledge of their composition, bath times and water temperature.
One day while staying at a spa, Richard Carl Pittlik has a brainwave: He'll be the first person to manufacture customised, clinically tested medical baths produced with natural active ingredients. In 1910 Pittlik founded the Li-iL Deutsche Arzneimittelwerke (German Pharmaceutical Plant) company in Dresden. The name Li-iL stands for a combination of "lithium" (the carrier substance of essential oils) and "ilatum" (the Latin word denoting the principle of action from the outside to the inside).
Together with his scientific staff, Dr. Rose, Dr. Bergmann and the metabolic specialist Dr. Rutz, Pittlik improved the effectiveness of medical baths involving complex testing procedures. And they finally achieved the breakthrough. The "Dr. Bergmann Sauerstoffbad" (Oxygen Bath), the circulation-stimulating "Tripanat Bath" and the gynaecological "Damana Bath" were made available to specialised medical practices. There rapidly followed the development of other baths, for example, for rheumatism and skin ailments as well as for foot and body care. The company continues to expand, and a new and larger location is required. Li-iL relocates within Dresden to Leipziger Straße, which has remained the head office and production location of the company to this very day. An increasing number of products are developed and are even presented on the international stage. In 1926 the company is awarded the Gold Medal of the city of Düsseldorf on the occasion of the Trade Fair for Health, Social Affairs and Physical Education.
Dr. Ernestine Gabriele Böhme and Dr. Josef Osterroth assume control of Li-iL following the early death of Pittlik, the founder of the company. They thereupon expand the range of products with liniments such as "Caphoderm" and "Tussidermil". The products are used by over 6,000 doctors, hospitals and sanatoria. The medical treatment using Li-iL products is supported and paid for by health insurances and welfare institutions.
Although Dresden was badly damaged in the Second World War, the Li-iL premises escape unscathed. Dr. Böhme and her staff immediately restart production – albeit with a range of products reduced by half.
The range of products is continually expanded. Numerous new trademark applications follow.
There is an increasing deterioration in the business environment – as is the case with most businesses in East Germany. Li-iL is faced with raw material shortages as well as political interference. In spite of this, however, Dr. Böhme still manages to take the company forward.
Against massive resistance, Li-iL is forcibly nationalised and incorporated into the nationally owned enterprise VEB Arzneimittelwerk Dresden, itself a part of the collective combine "GERMED". As a result of this restructuring, production levels increase dramatically. At the same time, however, this also leads to a restriction in the development activities for new products. Li-iL now also produces fine chemicals, such as tailored solutions for the chemical industry. Commercial links to Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East are cultivated, which enable Li-iL products to become especially well-known in these areas. Li-iL conducts studies with a wide range of health care substances in order to obtain deeper scientific knowledge of them and improve their pharmaceutical effect.
With the pulling down of the Berlin Wall, there follows a dramatic change in the political situation in East Germany, creating the prerequisites for completely new possibilities.
For many businesses in the former East Germany, the reunification of Germany represents the beginning of a struggle to survive. Only a few manage to establish themselves in the new economic conditions now prevailing. The fact that Li-iL achieves this step is due in most part to the commitment and confidence of the new owners, who feel a close affinity to the city of Dresden on account of their family roots. The family company HOLTSCH Medizinprodukte GmbH based in Taunusstein takes over Li-iL in the course of its re-privatisation from the Treuhand (Government appointed trustee) and makes large investments in modernising and enlarging the production and laboratory sites. Li-iL refocuses on the development of new products and introduces the DRESDNER ESSENZ® cosmetic brand. The first products are cosmetic liquid and powder baths as well as sauna fragrances, developed on the basis of the existing knowledge and newest scientific understanding in the area of body care. Li-iL successfully achieves the positioning of the DRESDNER ESSENZ® brand in the domestic and international markets.
A wide range of new products are developed. Alongside the traditional pharmaceutical products, cosmetic products are now sold under the DRESDNER ESSENZ® brand. The DRESDNER ESSENZ® range comprises bath essences, shower gels, sauna fragrances and top-quality body care, such as face masks and body lotions. The spectrum of the various lines range from products with traditional medicinal herbs, via wellness products through to the DIRTY BIRDIE® children's line. DRESDNER ESSENZ® products are available in all drugstores in Germany and at specialised dealers. Approx. 26% is exported, mainly to Europe, North America and Asia. It has been possible to secure the growing demand for Li-iL products by extensive investment and modernisation of the production and laboratory locations.
For 100 years Li-iL has been able to invoke the medical effectiveness of medicinal herb extracts in its bath essences and liniments. So, wholly in the spirit of the founder, Richard Carl Pittlik, exclusively selected raw substances are used today and plant-based materials favoured. The product range is subject to strict quality controls and is constantly being improved and brought up-to-date.
The factory outlet at our location in Dresden opens its doors.
DRESDNER ESSENZ introduces a new line of natural cosmetics to the market: DRESDNER ESSENZ NATURAL. The products are NATRUE certified and vegan. The DIRTY BIRDIE products were also revamped as vegan and NATRUE certified.
OVER 1 CENTURY OF LI-IL GmbH
PEOPLE HAVE BEEN BATHING WITH OUR IDEA FOR OVER 100 YEARS
Dresden ist zum Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts das Zentrum der Hygienebewegung. Hygiene sowie die Gesundheit des Menschen begannen einen bedeutenden Platz in der Gesellschaft einzunehmen. In dieser Zeit entstanden auch die Li-iL Werke sowie das Deutsche Hygienemuseum Dresden (DHMD). Seitdem durchlebten beide eine sehr wechselvolle Geschichte und nach der "Wende" die Entwicklung zu einem anerkannten modernen, wirtschaftlich unabhängigen Unternehmen.
Die gemeinsamen Wurzeln und das Einsetzen für dieselben Werte veranlassten uns die Arbeit des DHMD zu unterstützen. Durch unsere Förderung wurde es ermöglicht, die Fotoserie "Die Kunst des Schmeckens" von Joachim Baldauf im Raum 3 "Essen und Trinken" in der Dauerausstellung des Museums zu zeigen und für die museumspädagogische Arbeit zu nutzen.
Wir engagieren uns gezielt für Projekte aus den Bereichen Sport, Gesundheit und Wellness. Bei der Auswahl der Projekte ist uns ein regionaler Bezug besonders wichtig. Neben den unten aufgeführten Projekten unterstützten wir auch Veranstaltungen wie den Moritzburger Triathlon, Lichtenauer Wasserlauf sowie das Kinder-Filmfestival Goldener Spatz.