I was about 9 years old when I first discovered my first bottle of essential oil, it was during the 70s. Every Friday afternoon when I got back from college, my mother gave me a shopping list, then I rode my bike to cover the five kilometres that separated us from the only known shop in our city, where we bought specific food supplements for our vegetarian diet. There was also a bookstore space that I particularly liked, I took the time to leaf through the novelties and sometimes I offered myself, with my pocket money, a small pocketbook too.
In a corner, on a shelf, there was a series of small bottles, I took one at random, opened it and brought it to my nose. I had never smelled such a powerful floral scent and felt such immediate appeasement. I looked at the label, it was essential oil of geranium. This was my first concrete experience of initiation to aromatherapy, this increased my interest in medicinal plants, which developed years later into a true passion.
I undertook methodical research on tropical and subtropical medicinal plants on my first trip to India. A trip that had been arranged for a yoga course and Kalarippayatt, an Indian martial art, which I practiced in Paris. During this stay I discovered the immense plant wealth of Kerala. I could visit primary forests that filled me with an inestimable happiness. I was enthusiastically rediscovering a variety of medicinal plants that we used at home during my childhood. I knew at that time that I was very soon going to visit again this country. I then made the decision to study Ayurveda and more specifically the Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia.
India, its landscapes, flora and medicinal plants took me back to my childhood and opened my mind to a new reality full of surprises that I will share with you in a very next blog post.