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Nature’s Aromas in Kumily

Thru, we have the good fortune to enjoy regular educational exploration. Almost two weeks now into our Ayurvedic Aromatherapy Immersion trip with David Crow, today was another jam-packed and amazing day.

We woke in Kumily for breakfast and a quick tour of the botanicals growing around the family guest house we’d spent the night in. Fresh, ripe cocoa (chocolate!!) fruit tickled the tongue like a thousand ripe melons. Sweet and spicy ginger. A cinnamon tree offering moist, dark bark to chew after our meal. A round green ball plucked from a dark-leafed tree, the husk peeled away to reveal a lacy red dress (mace) hugging a shiny brown nut (nutmeg). The aroma was clarifying and calming…

Are plants not miracles?

Then, we climbed aboard our traveling caravan once again to head for a family farm where we’d meet more aromatic fruits and spices. Along the way, we stopped for a while in a tremendously beautiful, peaceful grove. Huge, prana-filled, prehistoric-looking cardamom plants grew as the understory in this well-cared for mixed-use forest. David Crow was thrilled to capture film footage here, while the rest of us were thrilled to be sipping cardamom tea in the midst of this heavenly slice of Nature. The scene was so enchanting, I half expected gauze-clad fairies to come dancing along past us through the green…

We later arrived at our intended destination where we were received with affection by the family who has been growing on this five acres for generations. They explained that while pesticides and non-organic fertilizers had become popular with some, they refused to use these, because they’ve observed farmers who use pesticides having to face cancer. They don’t want to face cancer, and they don’t want to poison those who eat the fruits of their labor. Besides, they say, their fruits and spices taste better and the soil is remaining fertile with their respectful, poison-free care.

Medicinal herbs grew everywhere. We also learned about vanilla cultivation and harvest. (Yes – vanilla is an orchid!) My favorite moments were cracking open the potent leaf of the clove tree what a fragrance! and meeting the tiniest honey bees whose home is a small, clay pot, hanging from the eaves of a thatched roof hut.

David Crow insisted on capturing this photo of me at the farm, relaxing in the shade (thanks, David!), draped with a vanilla vine well replant at Rasa Ayurveda, and holding a rare white jambhakhyam blossom which is so tasty to eat when drizzled with honey.

There is no greater feeling of security or satisfaction for me, than a day spent in the company of good people, exploring and enjoying Mother Nature’s infinite capacity to heal and feed our body, mind and senses.

Blessings of the Present Moment to you~



by Niika Quistgard, Director/Managing Director

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