You’ll find the most powerful specimens deep inside Samoa’s last remaining rainforest on Savaii – including the mamala tree, a traditional yellow fever treatment that’s now under investigation as a potential AIDS cure.
Today, the herbal knowledge the predominantly female taulasea passed on through the generations via their daughters and granddaughters is fast becoming 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 skins and lull senses into a state of bliss.
So what are the most sought-after spa ingredients this part of the world? One is nonu – its leaves, flowers and juice are great for soothing and nourishing irritated and sensitive skin. Besides, they also work wonders if you happen to have a fever, scratchy throat, upset tummy or out of control blood pressure...
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.
Oh, and the reason all these above make you feel and look like you’ve had an instant extreme makeover, of course, is that they are prepared fresh, just minutes before your treatment.