The greatest gift of all is health, and the traditional Samoan healing and massage treatments are a true highlight of a visit to Samoa.
Samoa is blessed with many therapeutic plants that can help enhance your natural beauty and energy. Samoan taulasea (traditional healers) have long used local plant juices, bark, leaves, and roots to help treat ailments and promote well-being.
The herbal knowledge the predominantly-female taulasea passed on through the generations via their daughters and granddaughters is now a valuable spa resource. All around the islands, freshly plucked, cut and grated nutritious goodies are being used in body wraps, facials and the traditional Samoan massage or fofo to produce velvety smooth skin and lull senses into a state of bliss.
One of the most sought-after spa ingredients in this part of the world is nonu – its leaves, flowers and juice are great for soothing and nourishing irritated and sensitive skin. They also work wonders if you happen to have a fever, scratchy throat, upset tummy or high blood pressure.
Some of the most powerful natural treatments come from deep inside the rainforest on Savai'i, such as the mamala tree – a traditional yellow fever treatment that is being tested as a potential cure for other diseases.
Banana and papaya flesh, organic honey and coconut oil, too, are revered for their feel-good factor and health properties. Papaya is full of protein (which makes up ten percent of the skin) and the antioxidants vitamins A and C – they help prevent cell degeneration and so keep skin looking zesty and young. Banana has soothing and cooling properties (great after too many hours in the sun), while Samoan honey moisturises, nourishes and encourages the growth of new skin.
You may be able to take some of the gorgeous Samoan beauty products back home with you, but remember that the reason you'll feel and look like you’ve had an instant extreme makeover after a Samoan massage or spa treatment is that all the ingredients are prepared fresh, just minutes before your treatment.
See what massage services and beauty treatments are available in Samoa.