The Botanica 2014 conference by Rhiannon Harris was an exceptional event, which brought together like minded people devoted to the cause of herbal and aromatic medicine. We had some wonderful exchanges of ideas and research from speakers and delegates alike. The location of the conference was at Dublin's Trinity College, a historic place of learning that was built in the 1500s. The library, buildings and grounds are stunning and the collection of ancient books and manuscripts was phenomenal, including the Irish treasure, The Book of Kells. It is a beautiful and appropriate place for such a conference, dedicated to higher learning of clinical aromatherapy.
Dublin as a city was incredibly vibrant, the people were so very friendly. What we loved was the heritage that has been preserved through every aspect from the college library to the local irish pubs where they sing songs of old after a game of hurling.
During the conference there was a genuine sense of one community which was extraordinary since there were 38 countries in attendance and a broad variety of specialities of the industry from clinical physiotherapists, psychologists, medical herbalists to researchers and scientists.
The conference also sponsored some very unique, artisan distillers. Kailash from Nepal gave a passionate talk on his craft in Nepal. Atanas Krachmarov who showcased some powerful CO2 extracts from Bulgaria and the heart of the Balkan Mountains. Eveylen and Jacky Boyer from Haut Provence in France, exceptional harvesters and distillers producing exceptional Rose in the high altitudes of Southern France . The work that these people do is very special and it was so wonderful that an event like Botanica is there to support. Andrea Butje from Aromahead was a key sponsor for bringing out these distillers and we are so appreciative. It was great to connect and meet Andrea herself who is an exceptional resource for clinical aromatherapy with her online courses and college highly regarded by the industry.
We were very excited to see Guilherme Oberlaender, a medical doctor and Yan, his son, a biologist from Brazil who distill from some rare Amazonian pharmacopeia. We cannot wait to play with some of these in our own blending when we return. There were distillers from all over, but what was constant, was the quality and purity, with wonderful intent in the work that they do. We also learnt of flora pharmacies from Boer Forest in Canada & North America, from Beverly Gray.
It was also wonderful to see and connect with other essential oil distributors and suppliers who were exhibiting along side us, like Jonathan and Mary from Oshadi and David from Atlantic Aromatherapy, the harmony between us all in the common work that we do was heartening to see.
Lastly we finish this post, paying tribute to Rhiannon Lewis (formerly Rhiannon Harris). Her delightful disposition, her grace and her smile, shone through the entire conference she organised. Rhiannon is universally regarded within the clinical aromatherapy world for her vast knowledge, research and expertise. With humility, she drives this dynamic mission to support our industry. So many people we came across during the conference where they mentioned Rhiannon’s support was an essential inspiration to where they are today.
We thank you Rhiannon for the invitation to be part of this amazing event and community. It was truly an honour to present to the conference our work on Ayurveda Aromatherapy and we so look forward to Botanica 2016!!!!
Farida and Nick Irani