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Plant Medicine: Trusting the Essence of La’au

plant medicine hawaiian healing

Have you ever learned to trust nature in a way that changed your life?

Today, modern practices of all sorts are finding new strength in traditional wisdom. plant medicine hawaiian healing Ancient peoples have used the essence of plant medicine in healing practices for thousands of years, and modern therapies are rediscovering the power and versatility of this medicine in the use of essential oils. At Ho’omana Spa Maui, our spa treatments are rooted in traditional healing practices, so aromatherapy and topical oils always play a major role in healing and rejuvenating our guests. We spray our Herbal Mists during spa treatments to create calming and revitalizing sensory experiences, which get their aroma from blends of organic plant-based essential oils and hydrosols. Our Body Butters and Body Polishes are infused with essential oils that permeate the skin. By massaging oils into the skin, heat and increased circulation allow the body to absorb oils more deeply. plant medicine hawaiian healing

In one particular treatment, though, we use essential oils in a way that is still gaining traction in the modern world: using oils for cleansing. That treatment is our Hawaiian Mini-Facial.

This 30-minute experience captures the coming-together of ancient and modern that is happening today around the world. After exfoliating with revitalizing papaya and aloe, we apply an antioxidant masque made from soothing tropical plants like ‘awa and kona red coffee berries. Finally, we complete the treatment by cleansing the skin with a rich blend of oils that softens the skin with natural plant-based healing properties – its essences. Hawaiians have always held plants and plant medicine, la’aulapa’au, at the center of healing practices and rituals. In ancient Hawaiian culture, these sacred tools have been used for cleansing mind, body and soul for thousands of years. In today’s cosmetic landscape, cleansing with oils topically seems to be counterintuitive. That’s because so many modern cosmetic products claim to fight oily skin by drying out the oils that occur naturally in our skin, or by exfoliating them away. However, these methods actually strip your skin of the oils it needs to stay hydrated and purified, causing it to create more oils, faster. plant medicine hawaiian healing The body tells us that like dissolves like – That is, oils dissolve oils. By using natural oils to dissolve the oils from your face, you’re replacing the dirty, excreted oils with nourishing, healing ones.

An essential oil, derived from a plant, holds the essential characteristics of that plant.

Created through various distillation processes, plants are transformed into super-potent liquid versions of themselves into essential oils, generating plant-based hydrosols as a by product. Both essential oils and hydrosols carry the medicinal properties of the plants that they came from. They hold the plant’s aroma in an ultra-concentrated form.

They hold the plant’s essence – and its mana.

In ancient Hawaiian culture, plants were held sacred, providing sustenance, healing, cleansing and spiritual clearing for the people. Hawaiians believe that people are one with the earth and not separate from it – that the land, the ‘aina, is a spiritual life force that protects us and cares for us from a high place. When we choose to understand and honor the profound essence of every living thing that surrounds us, we can then experience the abundance of nature in its fullness. We can connect the divine wisdom within to the earth and it’s high vibration. When we trust in the essence of la’au, the plant kingdom, we can cleanse and heal mind, body and soul.

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