Nature supplies graciously, Corsica Pam creates with ability – a mutual unison

Corsica Pam 31 oct 2013 008(2)Empowering ourselves with natural products swiftly enters our minds here, and realising each season brings a choice of required/desired essence – automatically adds to the bountiful benefits.

Corsica Pam (MAP in English: medicinal aromatic plants), was created in 1996 by two brothers: Jean-Pierre and Paul Caux, from the village of Ocana, where stands their impressive business today – The House of Fragrances, which is also part of the GAEC (joint operating farm groups), unfolding the characteristic fragrances within the Prunelli valley, following a return to serious studies at the agricultural college for scientific learning. The signed harvest charter assures and maintains the quality required, supervised by the Corsican environmental office.  Corsica Pam 31 oct 2013 005

I find it interesting here to note, that right from the start, their creations were composed of the 12 plants they continually use today: wild carrot, tangerine, eucalyptus, juniper, samphire, rosemary, pine (Lariciu), lentiscus, lemon, lavender, myrtle and immortelle (everlasting flower) – a wide variety of scents awaiting transformation.

Now, a few words on what exactly an essential oil signifies Essential oils are non-fatty volatile substances, secreted by aromatic plants and composed of a combination of organic molecules, produced in specialised glands in different parts of the plant. Steam distillation, which breaks down the cell walls and releases the essential oils and flower water, is the usual manner of operating. The use of essential oils has been observed for therapeutic purposes for nearly 6,000 years. The ancient Egyptians, Chinese, Greeks, Indians and Romans used them in cosmetics, perfumes, and drugs. They were also commonly used for spiritual, therapeutic, hygienic, and ritualistic purposes.
Keeping in mind the fact that on average, with one ton of plants, two kilos of essential oil is produced – one does not have any difficulty in imagining the quantity required in order to maintain a healthy production.
Corsica Pam 31 oct 2013 001Where this island is in question, there appears to  be around six structures existing that deal with aromatherapy. I underline the fact that Corsica is the only region in Europe where the gathering of aromatic plants is regulated, and this is a level of requirement demanded from the producers, in order to protect the natural sites. Annually for Corsica Pam, this represents around 250 tons, and the future is viewed growing through a constant crescendo, where quality, observation, innovation and inspection play their respective roles.
An aromatherapy massage is an example of an effective way of using essential oils, for pleasure. As regards their use in health prevention and especially over the winter months, Paul advises the use of ‘romarin verbenone’ for the eliminating of toxins and this, from October to March. If you are prone to colds, ‘green myrtle’ and ‘eucalyptus’ would be your best choices.

In 2010, purchasing on-line became possible, especially due to client demand and also travelling abroad upon request, i.e. US and Beirut, and now part of their occupations, where they excel in explaining and presenting their passion, creations and ‘savoir faire’. Their premises in Ocana are spacious and bright, overlooking delightful scenery and where five employees work full time, with an extra two over the summer months. Visiting is of course a point to remember, if you are at all in the area of Ajaccio, as it’s a short drive up there and visiting months are from March to November (distillation). However, if you cannot make it up there, you can of course find their range of products in most pharmacies, and also at the Roulotte (organic store, who also caters for a wide variety of organic foods), and more central at Naturellement (rue Fesch) in Ajaccio.
The most sought after would appear to be juniper/ tangerine, without forgetting the immortelle. As for the most fragile, the samphire (around five tons) relies on weather conditions and whims – being found by the sea, thus, the (un)expected climatic disorders highly influence this particular choice.
Corsica Pam 31 oct 2013 007(2)Before purchasing any essential oils, it is indeed vital to be informed properly/correctly, and here the role of the pharmacist/salesperson predominates. Question them according to your necessity. Paul finds the assistance could be improved where pharmacists are concerned, as there’s seemingly a general lack of specialised knowledge in this domain, and he would like to see a more thorough approach and study. When purchasing, and wherever you do purchase, the entire information must be clearly shown on the notice of your choice of product; origin, molecules, etc., and if this is not the case, renounce and go elsewhere – quality and success of usage can only derive from authentic identified products.
                                                                                               Corsica Pam 31 oct 2013 006
Bottled aroma spirit from this unique island, where the natural bouquet is omnipresent, inviting and generous. There’s a world of alternative medicine awaiting you, stimulating and reminding us of ancient times, where the burning of incense from aromatic woods, herbs and spices honoured the gods.
You may be wondering what choices would be the most appropriate to suit the arriving festive season, and this, you will discover very soon on their site!

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