Bhutanese or­ganic es­sen­tial oil hits the mar­ket

Business Bhutan - - Money - Tsh­er­ing

King­dom Essences be­gan with the mo­tive to sup­port the Nubi Men­jong Nyam­ley Tshogdey (NMNT) in ru­ral Trongsa com­pris­ing about 150 house­holds by help­ing with in­come gen­er­a­tion through value ad­di­tion of lo­cal pro­duce.

King­dom Essences (K.Essences) are tiny bot­tles of nat­u­ral lo­cal made-in-Bhutan es­sen­tial oils. The prod­ucts in­clude car­away es­sen­tial oil which is good for sea­sonal al­ler­gies, di­ges­tion and can be ap­plied as an an­ti­sep­tic whereas Mug­wort oil is good for flu and headaches. Ju­niper and pine es­sen­tial oil works as a good an­ti­sep­tic, helps with arthri­tis and fights cramps and Thin­nye (Sichuan Pep­per) es­sen­tial oil has strong anti-in­flam­ma­tory ben­e­fits.

King­dom Essences pro­duces 100% pure and nat­u­ral or­ganic es­sen­tial oils from lo­cal medic­i­nal plants that are ei­ther pur­chased from the ru­ral com­mu­nity mem­bers or sus­tain­ably har­vested from the wild. King­dom Essences ex­tracts their oils from lo­cal raw ma­te­ri­als like thinye (sichuan pep­per), khempa (mug­wort) to Ju­niper berries and leaves.

The project ini­tially be­gan in Novem­ber 2015 when co-founder Kuenga started an or­ganic farm in his vil­lage af­ter grad­u­a­tion. Dur­ing the same year, there was an unuti­lized com­mu­nity fa­cil­ity cen­tre (CFC) which upon in­quiry, Kuenga Dhendup was able to lease from the NMNT co­op­er­a­tive. Pema C. Gyalt­shen, his part­ner, joined the busi­ness in 2016.

Kuenga Dhendup, 27, is from Kaba vil­lage in Nubi Ge­wog un­der Trongsa had grad­u­ated from Royal Thim­phu Col­lege in 2014, whereas Pema C. Gyalt­shen, 28, is from Tsamang; Mong­gar and grad­u­ated from RTC in 2016.

The jour­ney started in Au­gust 2017, when both re­ceived His Majesty the King’s kind­hearted bless­ing and were given the op­por­tu­nity to re­ceive train­ing at Mae Fah Luang Univer­sity in Chi­an­grai, Thai­land.

The pro­fes­sors from the Univer­sity’s cos­metic school taught them how to de­velop prod­ucts us­ing es­sen­tial oils. Ever since then, the duo has been re­search­ing on lo­cal medic­i­nal herbs and con­duct­ing ex­per­i­ments on de­vel­op­ing safe and ef­fec­tive prod­ucts suit­able for the Bhutanese mar­ket.

The oils were ex­tracted through dis­til­la­tion of th­ese nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents, re­sult­ing in an ex­tremely con­cen­trated prod­ucts packed with heal­ing ben­e­fits. Zan­thoxy­lum Ar­ma­tum (thingye or Sichuan pep­per) and Car­away are lo­cally grown and pur­chased di­rectly from a ru­ral com­mu­nity group NMNT.

The team col­lects some plants like Mug­wort, Win­ter­green, and Pine needles and oth­ers like Ju­niper and Cy­press leaves. The wild raw ma­te­ri­als are sus­tain­ably har­vested by prun­ing the trees, which helps with the growth of the tree.

From holis­tic heal­ing treat­ment, body mas­sages to sim­ple ap­pli­ca­tion, there are many meth­ods of us­ing es­sen­tial oils on a daily ba­sis con­sid­er­ing its con­cen­trated for­mula. As of now, the com­pany is able to pro­duce only a small num­ber since it strug­gles with ex­pen­sive pack­ag­ing that it has to im­port from In­dia and China.

Kuenga said their prod­ucts are high qual­ity/ high end so it has proven to be a lit­tle ex­pen­sive for the lo­cal mar­ket. “Most are not will­ing to take the risk of us­ing es­sen­tial oils for well­be­ing as the idea is still very new in Bhutan.”

He also added the avail­abil­ity of syn­thetic prod­ucts that are af­ford­able at very low prices com­pared to pure es­sen­tial oils is also a rea­son why cus­tomers pre­fer to pur­chase the cheaper prod­ucts. “We are try­ing to spread in­for­ma­tion on the ben­e­fits of pure es­sen­tial oils to as many peo­ple as we can.”

“One must be firm in de­ci­sion mak­ing, ac­count­able for the re­sults of his de­ci­sion and be gen­tle to the en­vi­ron­ment as op­por­tu­ni­ties come along ev­ery day” he said.

Kuenga says that the youth es­pe­cially must know that it is the Great Fourth who left the trea­sures of the na­tion to be dis­cov­ered by its youth. “It is our time to find the best ap­proach to mon­i­tor and sus­tain­ably uti­lize the na­tions’ wealth. This is how you as an en­tre­pre­neur can make all the dif­fer­ence. Look for ways to solve a prob­lem in­stead of fol­low­ing the crowd.”

Cur­rently, Car­away Es­sen­tial Oil costs Nu 600(60ml) and Mug­wort oil Nu 920.

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