Thursday, 4 October 2012

The Joy of Monoi!

From the time I was a little girl, I have had a special place in my heart for the aroma of Gardenia flowers. I remember smelling their beautiful aroma in a body oil for a fleeting moment. From that day on, I have been on a relentless search to recapture that delicate, powdery, sweet floral scent to no avail. As time passed, all I found were cheap synthetic imitations that don't even come close to capturing the magic of that first aromatic memory.

Recently, I have been drawn to exploring the beautiful natural ingredients indigenous to the South Pacific. I have discovered a plethora of herbal traditions from the French Polynesian colony of Tahiti. These traditions are part of the Tahitian Pharmacopeia known as the Ra'au Tahiti. The people who preserve this knowledge, the Mahoi- learned to live in harmony with the life force they call Mana. Their tradition has taught them to use her gifts as a means to reconnect with the elements of the world around them. The rituals they have created with the use of natural ingredients for healing are the true legacy of holistic healing.

Although I have become very familiar with several natural healing ingredients such as Organic Virgin Coconut Creme de Coco and Tamanu oil, the one that is most highly prized is the sacred Monoi de Tahiti.

Upon first inhaling this intoxicating oil, my brain immediately took me back to that moment when I first coveted the aroma of Gardenia! But, this is not just any gardenia- no, no, no. This is the pure, unadulterated scent of Gardenia Tahitensis or Tiare flowers, a species exclusively cultivated in this region of the world. It is created in a strict traditional manner that is over 2,000 years old.“Monoi de Tahiti is the product obtained by macerating Tiare blossoms in refined coconut oil. This oil is to be extracted from mature coconuts gathered from Cocos Nucifera trees growing in the coral soil in the geographic area of French Polynesia exclusively. Only "Tiare" flower buds from the Gardenia Tahitensis species and of Polynesian origin are acceptable...” (definition according to the Appellation of Origin; Institut du Monoi)

So what does Monoi de Tahiti have to offer besides a scent that will bring you to your knees? It is one of the most ancient preparations in the Ra'au Tahiti. Studies have shown that it is a very useful healing oil for all manner of conditions from eczema to headaches and haircare. It has been clinically tested and determined to be highly effective for smoothing the hair shaft and improving hair and scalp health. Monoi is also highly tolerated by even the most sensitive skin so it can be safely used on babies and those with a variety of skin conditions without risk of irritation. 

Monoi de Tahiti
INCI: Cocos Nucifera, Gardenia Tahitensis
Characteristics: liquid at ambient temperature, solidifies at cooler temps
Colour: clear to slightly yellow
Aroma: floral, slightly powdery; medium 
Absorption: quickly absorbed, light feel with no greasy residue
Usage rate: 1-100%

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