Thursday, November 20, 2008
Everybody's using it. They're incorporating it into everything from hair products to chapstick. To many in the Western world, it's a new phenomenon--a sort of exotic extract that can boost the price of products, and make those using it, feel as though they're riding the upper eschelon of spa society.
But Tahitian mamas have been using this stuff for centuries--and their Polynesian counterparts each have their own version of this age-old liquid--Monoi de Tahiti Oil. The oil is traditionally made by soaking handfuls upon handfuls of tiare flowers (Tahitian gardenias) in coconut oil for days at a time--we're talking at least fifteen days minimum. This allows for the scent and active properties to release, and create an oil that is nearly magic in taming and moisturizing hair, minimizing scarring, and even using as a facial moisturizer (lightly. *ahem*). Other uses have been for the relief of sore muscles, and protection against wind-chapping.
Well, them Islanders aint no fools, because this week in Papeete, crowds of over 6,000 gathered for a four day get together, to celebrate the goodness that is monoi. During this time, Polynesians celebrated what has been known to them for so long, while the rest of the world is just beginning to discover the truth.
I pick up my stash each time I'm in New Zealand. Sometimes I can grab it in Hawai'i, but I always have to be careful, as it can tend to be overpriced and sketchy as to the source. Purchasing it online is usually cheaper than finding it in a novelty store, but if you're still a little hesitant to try it in it's pure form, don't fret--everyone has jumped on the bandwagon. Opt for a product where it's incorporated into the formula--such as, a body glow, a moisture melt, or a facial moisturizer. Me, I like the real thing. But if you wanna tread just barely on the edge, be my guest.