Sometimes feeling lost is key to finding the way to our true path.
Emma Leafe, founder of Ume, has spent much of her adult life pursuing a journey of self-directed healing. She highlights a series of stepping stones which have led to today. These include healing a childhood chronic illness with the help of a Sikh homeopath, “My mother’s absorption in complimentary health saved me from undergoing surgery and he treated us as a unit.”; time spent in Ibiza where “the ritual sunsets and sunrises, the ocean, the trees, the red earth, the magnetic magic of that island really spoke to me.”; and giving herself permission to travel, explore, and let life keep unfolding, “Led by instinct, I made a point of visiting Indigenous cultures and sacred archaeological sites to learn about ancient rituals.
“Along the way I’ve met artisans, collected beautiful handmade products, and tried herbal tinctures made using word-of-mouth recipes passed down through lineages,” says Emma. These experiences nurtured a growing passion in natural healing and led her to Japan and the door of a Master who agreed to teach the ancient art of incense making.
“Scent is so transformative. Plants have the power to recharge, calm and balance the system. Incense was also used by the ancients to inspire creativity, adding an invisible fragrant spirit to spaces. I have so much pleasure blending Ume fragrances, handling the herbs, dreaming up new scents, selecting herbs beneficial for health to bring the body back into balance. I adore working in the artisan way.”
Emma’s hand-rolled incense sticks are carefully prepared using ingredients sourced from Arabia, China, Europe, Indonesia, Korea, South America, South-East Asia, and Tibet. They are blended using 100 per cent pure plant. There are no essential oils, perfumes, chemicals, charcoal, or bamboo core.
“We source the purest ingredients from artisans and independent suppliers to ensure the finest quality product is produced. We spend a great deal of time balancing each fragrance. The resins, precious barks, and herbs release their aroma as they slowly smoulder to create an elegant incense smoke. So you are breathing in a pure fragrance right from the source of the plant. Our scents elevate one’s physical and emotional state using blends which are mood-lifting and stress-relieving.”
“Over time, I’ve come to understand it’s best to view health holistically and not just mask physical symptoms like Western medicine treats. Health problems are solved by taking into account the whole of your life – relationships, family, eating, activities, how you support yourself, hopes and desires, all at once create the whole.”
It’s probably no coincidence then Emma is now pursuing a life closely connected with nature which includes aligning with herbalism and natural food as medicine. “My life is an expression of my inner world. My dedicated yoga practice helps me navigate my way towards a more authentic life, giving me a way to heal my own body & mind. Through this practice my passion for nature, herbs and plants was given a context. Using plant-based products for me is the only way.”
Emma says a plant’s natural fragrance is profound and ever-changing, like life. Unlike synthetic fragrance which smells exactly the same, pure-plant incense is influenced by the annual growing conditions. No batch can ever be the same.
Emma has managed to create a life with a sense of freedom which is allowing to combine her many passions exploring healing, plants, herbal medicine, natural fragrance, mystery, ancient cultures, artisans, poetry, photography and more.
The Ume collection of beautifully crafted stoneware incense holders, atmosphere mists, and natural perfume oils complete a well-rounded range of healing essentials to enrich our daily life. Perfect for assisting us find our true path.
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Image supplied and included with permission by © Ume.