Oksana Levchenko & RUTA #105

Ukraine
Born in the Crimea, Oksana has always been a fan of fragrant and healthy plants. Memories of her childhood still bring back the aroma of steppe thyme collected on the coastal rocks. Plants have become constant companions of life, they heal the body, soothe and invigorate, delight the eye and help to feel moments of happiness.Nominations 2023-2024/Ambassador/Creative Strategy/
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Oksana Levchenko — An Ambassador of Ukrainian Botany

Born in the Crimea, Oksana has always been a fan of fragrant and healthy plants. Memories of her childhood still bring back the aroma of steppe thyme collected on the coastal rocks.

Plants have become constant companions of life, they heal the body, soothe and invigorate, delight the eye and help to feel moments of happiness.

Oksana’s life story has had many different experiences, but the moment came when her youthful passion for botany returned to her life. She had the time and inspiration to collect plants, grow them in her small garden, and then use them in various dishes, teas, tinctures, and beauty products.

Oksana Levchenko's Dream

Oksana is currently studying at the Travnytska school and also runs a small Instagram blog about plants around us, with lots of useful recipes for health and beauty.

One day, a small dream appeared, which grew into a great desire to create a balm with native herbs and flowers collected in our vast country: A balm as a plant code of identity, as the energy of the native land, and as the strength of the spirit of the Ukrainian people.

RUTA — A Big Goal

The entire space in the house was filled with macerated specimens. An infinite number of botanical combinations, falling asleep and waking up with new ideas, stickers with notes covered all the walls. I really wanted to squeeze as many native plants as possible into a small bottle, but there are more than 5000 species in Ukraine, so I managed to combine only 96, but the best ones. And then — the war…

“It was RUTA that saved me from the fate of going crazy, it brought me back to life, helped me to replace hatred with a dream, a dream to live and create, a dream to create a decent drink. RUTA has become my healing balm since then. I have dreams of creating new drinks and products with plant extracts, it’s really a precious treasure trove. With love for life, with love for nature, with love for Ukraine.”