Balestra and Mech origins

Embracing a 500-year long tradition, the herbalist company Gianluca Mech S.p.A. was born in 1911 but the first data about the company date back from the year 1500. This information is closely interwoven with the history of a special galenic formula known as ‘Decottopia®’, which brings together more than ten plants in synergic combinations without the use of alcohol, without sugar and without preservatives. Decottopia®’ was originally a secret in the hands of a small Protestant Piedmontese community coming from Switzerland. With the passing of time, this group was absorbed by the local Catholic community, who handed down this herbal processing method to the Bonardos, a family who would take on the name Balestra in the early 20th C and later on that of Mech.

The information we have about the herbal activity of the Bonardos goes back to the end of the 18th C. For another one hundred years, the family and the practice of Decottopia® remained in Piedmont. Then, in the year 1899, Giuseppina Bonardo married Marcello Balestra, and the couple moved to Venetia. It is there that Marcello Balestra inherited from Giacomo Bonardo – his father-in-law – the secret of Decottopia®. In 1911 he founded the company Balestra, a company with a prevalently ambulant business which spread its products all over Italy. In the year 1927 the family’s formula was handed down to Adelaide, first-born daughter of Giuseppina and Marcello, who in the same year married Rodolfo Mech, thus giving the company the name of ‘Balestra & Mech’.

  With the advent of pharmaceutical products, the galenic tradition lost its grip on consumers, which brought about a great change in the market scenario. It was then that Adelaide Balestra, with a flash of genius typical of a marketing expert, created a new set-up, temporarily transforming the herb extracts into ‘bitters, amongst which was the well-known historic “amaro Balestra”.

To date, Decottopia®, the very heart of Gianluca Mech Spa, is the driving force of all the company’s projects, including the development of Tisanoreica®, the exclusive diet protocol created by Gianluca Mech. The current heir of this long herbalist family tradition is Gianluca Mech. He was still a teenager when the choice fell upon him to become the depositary of his generation and he later took over the family business in the 80’s. Aided by the competence acquired by the side of his father Giovanni and of his ninety-year-old grandmother, he renewed and perfected Decottopia®, created the Tisanoreica® diet and gradually introduced a number of other innovations to make an avant-garde product, taking the same model as a starting point and keeping intact his own company identity, which became deep-seated in the centuries-old tradition.