Posted by Karen Williams on
At Team Aromatics, we’re excited about our new arrival of unique lemongrass essential oil!
This is a variety of lemongrass essential oil we haven’t found anywhere else in the world, and we’ve been learning a lot from our friend Gurpreet—the farmer and distiller.
Gurpreet has an amazing story!
When he was a child, he was playing with friends on the family farm in India.
They were running around in the heat and humidity, being kids and having fun.
Then his grandfather came out and bellowed—“All kids get inside!” Gurpreet didn’t know what the emergency was, but couldn’t ignore that tone.
Once inside, he looked out a window and saw the reason for his grandfather’s alarm. A tiger was stalking around in the plants, not 50 yards from the farm.
That’s the kind of wilderness that surrounds Gurpreet’s family farm—tigers, pythons, scorpions, insects (like aggressive bees), and overwhelming heat and humidity.
The Black Sheep of the Family!
Gurpreet didn’t always work on the family farm.
He ventured off to study biochemistry at the nearby University of Agriculture and Technology.
He admitted to us that his father wasn’t very pleased for awhile. “I’m the black sheep of the family!” he said.
But Gurpreet’s knowledge of chemistry would come in useful for understanding the properties of aromatic plants and essential oils. In the late 1990s, his father asked him to come back to the family farm and help.
The Farm: A Center of Community and Income for the Village
The farm had been in Gurpreet’s family for generations.
It was also an important source of income for the workers—many of whom lived in the nearby village.
The people in the village live a simple lifestyle, without a lot of technological advancements that some of us would consider essential. But Gurpreet tells us that the people have a higher happiness quotient than many who live in cities. They have a sense of connection, community, and true joy in life.
Some of these people are close friends, and have been working with Gurpreet’s family for decades.
“Somebody had to go back to the farm,” Gurpreet said. So when his father asked him to help, he said yes.
Returning to Another Way of Life: Harmony with Nature
Gurpreet returned to the ways of life he’d learned growing up—living in harmony with nature, focusing on respect for the land and cooperating with it.
Gurpreet doesn’t try to get the wild animals off of the farm. It’s their home, and they’re just living their lives.
Instead, he exercises awareness of his surroundings.
He always walks with a stick, regularly striking it against the ground to warn the snakes away. Snakes are said to be a farmer’s friend in India, since they keep the rodents and mice down . . . but that doesn’t mean Gurpreet wants to come across one on his daily stroll!
“There’s no need to kill the snake,” said Gurpreet. “Just let it know you’re coming, and it will go away.”
Gurpreet’s farm doesn’t even use air conditioning, despite the heat and humidity. Instead, they rely on natural methods of keeping cool. Herbs like cumin and lemongrass help a lot.
The Chemistry was Shocking!
With his understanding of chemistry, Gurpreet decided to test the lemongrass essential oil they produced on the farm.
He knew what to expect: lemongrass essential oil is typically rich in citral—which makes it excellent for natural cleaning and reducing microbes . . . but which also makes it skin irritating.
Most of the batches of oil he tested conformed to his expectations.
But the essential oil produced from one plot was surprising . . .
These particular lemongrass plants produced an essential oil that wasn’t rich in citral. Instead, it was rich in a component called rhodinol.
Gurpreet was amazed! He kept running back to the lab to test the oil and make sure his assessments were right.
The chemical composition of this special lemongrass was similar enough to the citral-rich version that the essential oil could be used for the same purposes—cleaning, freshening the air, cooling down (so important in the hot climate of India!), and keeping people healthy by reducing microbes.
But the high concentration of rhodinol meant the oil had a soft, rosy smell, and it was gentle on skin.
Gurpreet and his family had never seen anything like this.
They worked to cultivate the unique lemongrass plants that had produced this rare variety of essential oil.
They also began introducing their oil to sellers around the world.
But while many people acknowledged that Gurpreet’s lemongrass oil was unique, there weren’t a lot of buyers.
Most buyers had specifications that had to be met for lemongrass oil (and other oils). Gurpreet’s oil was just so unique!
New Friends: Gurpreet and Aromatics International!
Gurpreet sent samples of his lemongrass essential oil to Aromatics International.
I knew right away that this essential oil was special!
I ordered plenty of the essential oil from Gurpreeet, and told everyone I could about how effective, rare, and gorgeous it was.
I formulated recipes especially for Gurpreet’s lemongrass, to take advantage of its unique qualities—such as foot scrubs, antifungal lotions, hand soaps, alcohol-free hand cleansers, headache oil, and more.
The community at Aromatics was excited!
Eventually, the batch of rhodinol-rich lemongrass essential oil sold out.
But we kept in touch with Gurpreet. We wanted to know as soon as he had more!
Setbacks and Challenges Along the Way
Gurpreet set about cultivating more of rhodinol-rich lemongrass . . . but it hasn’t always been easy.
Gurpreet told us a heart-wrenching story about a worker on his farm who couldn’t recognize the difference between fields planted with the precious lemongrass that was not quite ready for harvesting, and fields that were ready to be plowed.
The worker plowed the lemongrass.
Gurpreet was devastated. It had taken two years for those valuable lemongrass plants to grow.
But Gurpreet didn’t have the heart to be harsh on the worker, who had made an honest mistake. It was the kind of accident that could have happened to anybody.
Even so, it was a difficult setback.
Cultivating the plants also takes special care, since Gurpreet is 100% dedicated to using sustainable, organic farming methods. He refuses to compromise the integrity of his unique lemongrass (or any of his plants!) by using chemicals, pesticides, or other substances that could find their way into the essential oil.
It’s heartwarming to see how much pride he takes in his farm, his workers, and what they produce together.
Today, Gurpreet produces two varieties of lemongrass, and he’s named them for people he loves.
The Hunnar variety is named for his son. The Sargam variety is named for his wife . . . and this is the rhodinol-rich variety.
Good News! We have Gurpreet’s Lemongrass Essential Oil in Stock!
Gurpreet recently contacted us and happily told us that rhodinol-rich lemongrass has been distilled.
It’s an understatement to say that Team Aromatics is SO EXCITED!
We’re THRILLED! We can’t wait to share specially formulated recipes with you, so you can learn more about using lemongrass essential oil in your life—especially this rare, rosy, skin-friendly variety!
This uncommon rhodinol-rich lemongrass essential oil makes an incredible addition to your essential oil collection. We promise you’re going to adore the product of Gurpreet’s dedication to quality!
About the Author: Karen Williams
Throughout her 35 years as a registered nurse, Karen Williams was passionate about using plant-based medicine to support health & well-being. After extensive study in the field of aromatherapy, Karen made a career transition to become the co-owner, lead product sourcer and head aromatherapist at Aromatics International. She loves sharing the benefits of essential oils and natural living with others – and is proud to work together with her grown children and a wonderful team to deliver the highest-quality organic and wildcrafted products directly to your door.