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Flower power
David Crow presents aromatherapy lecture
David Crow

DAVID CROW, master herbalist, acupuncturist, author and aromatherapist, will present a free community lecture Friday, Aug. 15 at the Savannah Riverfront Marriott. He'll follow up the next day with a workshop.

Crow is coming to Savannah through Brighter Day Natural Foods Market. “He’s rather like a Farmer D or an Herbal Ed Smith, except in the field of aromatherapy and essential oils,” says Barbara Harrison, founder of Coastal Chi. “He travels all over the world searching out the best sources for his high quality oils and approaches it from a health-oriented approach based on traditional Indian Ayurvedic background. So it’s not your typical ‘let’s make something that smells good’ idea — it’s much deeper than that.”

Crow is the author of a book, In Search of the Medicine Buddha, and he will do two book signings while in Savannah. The first is scheduled for Aug. 15 at 1:30 p.m. at Brighter Day, 1102 Bull St., and the second will be at 6:30 p.m. just prior to the lecture.

The lecture, Community Immunity: the Healing Power of Essential Oils, will begin at 7 p.m. The workshop, The Pharmacy of Flowers: A Sensual Journey through the World of Aromatic Plants, will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Charles Morris Center at Trustees Garden. The cost for the workshop is $75 if pre-registered and $95 at the door.

Crow has founded a company -- Floracopeia Aromatic Treasures -- that supports ecologically sustainable agriculture through the production of essential oils and aromatic botanical medicine. Connect recently asked Crow about his upcoming visit to Savannah.

What will Pharmacy of Flowers cover? I understand there’s a free lecture followed the next day by a workshop.

David Crow: Yes, the Friday evening lecture is an introduction to the Saturday workshop. On Friday night I will discuss the therapeutic benefits of essential oils, specifically their antimicrobial and immune-enhancing powers. On Saturday, we will continue with this topic, but look more closely at several categories of well-documented therapeutic effects of aromatherapy, including the anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects of floral fragrances, the anti-inflammatory effects of oils such as frankincense and lavender, and more oils related to reducing contagion and protecting the family from respiratory problems.

Tell me about your book.

David Crow: In Search of the Medicine Buddha is about my studies of traditional ethno-botanical medicine with Tibetan and Ayurvedic doctors and healers in the Himalayas. It is partly autobiographical about my journeys and experiences, and partly biographical about the lives and work of ten different doctors over a period of ten years. It explores the challenges that these traditional plant-based medical systems are facing, how we are losing the medicinal plants and the knowledge of their uses, and how crucial it is that we preserve and develop this knowledge for the benefit of humanity.

How are essential oils used in healing? What are exotic oils? Attars? Infused oils?

David Crow: This is what we will study in the classes over the weekend. Essential oils can be used in many forms, such as atmospheric diffusing for preventing contagion and treating respiratory conditions, in massage oils to improve circulation, and in baths for relaxation and helping muscular tension. Exotic oils are those that are more rare and precious, frequently the floral oils such as rose and jasmine, which are often found in perfumery. Attars are traditional Indian perfumes that are botanical fragrances such as roses that have been distilled into a base of sandalwood oil to made them last longer and have more depth of fragrance and therapeutic functions. Infused oils are carrier oils such as coconut or sesame that have been infused with flowers or other botanical substances, such as vanilla beans, to give the oil a pleasant fragrance and more healing powers.

Aromatherapy Lecture and Workshop

Brighter Day Natural Foods Market will sponsor a book signing and two events with David Crow, master herbalist, acupuncturist, author and aromatherapist, and founder of Floracopeia. For more information on any of the events, call Brighter Day at 236-4703 or e-mail Barbara Harrison at