Kingdom Essences: An Essential Oil Brand from Rural Bhutan
When people first saw tiny bottles of natural local made-in-Bhutan essential oils from the brand Kingdom Essences (K.Essences) on social media, most were quite intrigued. Articles online swear by how these organic miracles are good for everyday ailments like the flu, headaches, body aches and so on, but the more you read about it you realize the benefits were more than just clearing a blocked nose.
By Tshering Dema, Photos by PemC
“Kingdom Essences a.k.a K.Essences (Nature in a bottle) promotes natural/indigenous healing through the use of pure, essential oils extracted from medicinal and aromatic plants.The Kabab Organic Farm in Trongsa was started with the vision to produce natural food products, create employment and improve rural livelihoods,” says Pema who founded K. Essences with her partner Kuenga. “As KOF, we leased the Community Facility Centre (CFC) located at Bjeezam, Trongsa from the Nubi Menjong Nyamley Tshogpa (NMNT) understanding the need for assisting the community group by purchasing their medicinal herbs and other local produce, and adding value to it.
“The most significant milestone was when we received His Majesty the King’s kindhearted blessing. In August 2017, we were given the opportunity to receive training at Mae Fah Luang University in Chiangrai where esteemed professors from the University’s cosmetic school taught us how to develop products using essential oils. Ever since then, team K.Essences has been researching on local medicinal herbs and conducting experiments on developing safe and effective products suitable for the Bhutanese market.”
Kingdom Essences extracts their oils from local raw materials. From thinye (sichuan pepper), khempa (mugwort) to Juniper berries and leaves, the oils are extracted through steam distillation of these natural ingredients, resulting in an extremely concentrated product packed with healing benefits. “Zanthoxylum Armatum (thingye or Sichuan pepper) and Caraway are locally grown and purchased directly from a rural community group known as Nubi Menjong Nyamley Tshogpa. The team personally collects some plants like Mugwort, Wintergreen, and Pine needles while others like Juniper and Cypress leaves are sourced from Phuntshopelri Goenpa,” says Pema. “K.Essences fulfills a wholesome effect. By purchasing raw materials, we can provide an income to many and contribute towards improvement of rural livelihoods, we extract at a very small scale to cause any harm to the environment, and we provide a health service for a more natural way of living.”
From aromatherapy, body massages to simple application, there are many methods of using essential oils on a daily basis, and considering its concentrated formula, these tiny bottles don’t come cheap. For now, the company is able to produce only a small number since it struggles with packaging pricey bottles that have to imported from India and China. “Producing these concentrated oils require knowledge, time and practice.The market in Bhutan is very small for such products, but we’re not looking into exporting specifically. Our objective is to discourage the use of chemical products and medication imported from outside so that more locals can make us of our rich organic resources. Additionally, we want to be able to consistently help the rural community here. Team K.Essences is learning everyday and often conducting experiments in order to come up with the perfect products.”
For more details contact K. Essences on instagram.