Off the beaten track in Nepal

With all this talk about clinical aromatherapy and the power of 100% pure essential oils to enhance natural healing, I wanted to tell you about one of the harvests that I saw recently to give you some insight into what that really means.

lemongrass Nepal

Sourcing pure essential oils direct from growers and distillers

Right back at the beginning some 25 years ago our mission was always to obtain oils with the highest therapeutic concentration and zero impurities. But the only way to really ensure such a thing is to source direct with growers and distillers and have first hand information on the conditions and the processes involved.

On my way to a remote distillery

Which is why not so long ago, I found myself yet again off the beaten track, this time in southern Nepal in near 100% humidity and suffocating 40 degrees temperatures, on my way to a very remote and largely unheard of farm co-operative and distillery.

A treasure trail not for the faint-hearted

All true treasure trails must have challenge, I think, and so from the start this one was showing great promise… impossibly-laden, rickety buses traversing un-kept roads in the heart of the monsoon season (meaning back-breaking potholes all the way and sudden, death-defying swerves around landslides and rocks as a matter of course).

And when I survive another day and get to contemplate the lofty concept of business travel, courting sleep on a narrow, well-worn mattress and staring up at a rusty, clunky fan, I take solace in the fact that the further from ‘civilization’ I get, the purer the natural environment will be.

village children in Nepal

Smiling faces, exquisite pineapple and pure simplicity delights

By the time I reach the village I seek, I have left the common bus route far behind me. My contact has driven me for an eternity in his battered all-terrain jeep to a perfect ‘Lonely Planet’ location: idyllic to my eye, romantic even in its simplicity and humility. I am received with generous smiles and bright curious faces. I refresh myself with a few drops of Mint Essential Oil (Mentha Arvensis) rubbed onto my neck, just in time for aromatic tea and the most exquisite fresh pineapple ever tasted, ever – tribute to the truly exceptional growing conditions of this faraway corner of the earth.harvest time Nepal

Buffalo and cart hauling for the harvest of lemongrass

There are no real machines here. No heavy tractors, no greasy motors, no petrol fumes. This is a grass-roots co-operative that uses careful, environmentally-clean manual labor. The hauling is done the old-fashioned way with man and buffalo cart. The plants are cut by hand above the weeds so no spraying is required (and the weeds themselves reduce the impact of insects on the crop). The abundant Lemongrass crop that I am taken to see is right at harvest stage – let to dry off just enough – and will soon be transported a short distance to be processed for some eight hours in a simple, wood-fired distiller.

hauling lemongrass

Which is why it had to be this time of year. Not just some mad preference for arduous travel and sweat.

Process of distillation create the purest of oils

Now is when we see it all: the health of the crop; the way of the harvest; the process of distillation; and the final pure concentrate, ready to be taken for testing.


I share this with you so that you know… when you have in your hand a perfect bottle of organic Lemongrass oil that you use with confidence for a range of personal benefits, (including fluid-reducing footbath, therapeutic sports massage, natural repellent, natural deodorant, or fever care, now you know what we mean by pure, organic essential oils… that it comes from one of the most natural, unspoiled parts of the world and it is made in a way that keeps it pure and unspoiled all the way to you.

lemongrass oil

It might also be of interest to know that, because we work directly with such small scale operators, more of your money goes more directly to paying the local work-force that makes the production so unique and timeless.



Medicinal-grade essential oils must be 100% pure. At Absolute Essential we use certified organic or wild grown (sustainable) plants to produce our oils and all extraction processes are strictly controlled to produce the best quality oil with a maximum purity and therapeutic value.