In coastal corridors across ancient Maharashtra, Kerala and the Andaman Islands, kokum was a glowing fruit that was celebrated for its many virtues. The butter’s earthy scent and golden hue were emblems of divinity, and soon they uncovered its potency, to fight skin infections, dead skin cells, dry skin, stretch marks and sores. Allured by its power, they conceived a laborious process of cold-pressing oil from kokum seeds and refining it into a lush, velvety butter.
Sandalwood was a sacred part of royal Mysore. Its heartwood was considered holy, and its precious fragrance was said to carry the scent of all of paradise. The empyrean tree gifted tokens of love to the royals, lending its buoyant trunk to figurines, its billets to sweet scented paste and its oil to attars and ointments. The royal families of India used sandalwood oil to brighten complexions, cure scars, remove blemishes, treat suntan and soften skin.
In ancient India, the neem tree was an extraordinary emblem of purity, love and life. The neem, enchanted its admirers with alluring gifts of beauty. It lent its leaves as vitalising ingredients to bath water and granted antimicrobial properties to infused face packs. It promised healthy and supple skin and robbed every pimple to take back to the gods. Over time, the neem along with the holy basil became a magical icon of healing.