Tucked in the back of verdant Mānoa Valley on O‘ahu, Deanna Rose Ahigian’s lush garden is an explosion of herbs, flowers, small fruit trees, wild gingers and heliconia. More than just a plant lover, Ahigian is a licensed herbalist and acupuncturist and founder of Indigo Elixirs (indigoelixirs.com), the natural beauty brand quickly gaining popularity in the islands. She pairs the botanicals from her own garden with materials from farmers all over the Hawaiian Islands to create her line of salves, serums and balms. Ahigian’s “apothecary for the body” aims to create treatments for the hair and body, inspired by her own quest to find natural products for her thick hair and dry skin. Here, we catch up with the holistic health expert.
Deanna Rose Ahigian in the Indigo Elixirs Apothecary PHOTO BY SHAUN GOO
What does natural wellness mean to you?
My main objective is to help people feel comfortable and live vibrantly in their skin through products that support the well-being of our bodies and our planet. Ingredient integrity is essential, and we make zero compromises: Our exceptionally clean formulations are entirely healthy and beneficial. I want to help people see that nature heals and that the traditional medicines of our collective ancestors are full of inherent wellness wisdom.
You use many locally grown ingredients in Indigo Elixirs. What are some of your personal favorites?
Freshly infused turmeric lends skin soothing, inflammation-reducing properties—this vibrant rhizome is potent, versatile and beautiful. The neon green vetiver essential oil distilled on Big Island by Vetiver Farms Hawai‘i is truly like no other. Additionally, I remember being floored the first time I encountered locally grown cacao shells, a byproduct of Madre Chocolate’s production, and could hardly believe their rich, chocolaty aroma.
Which of your products are you most excited about?
Our Topical Medicinals collection is the foundation of our line. Many of these products incorporate a plethora of fresh, locally grown herbs to alleviate common skin ailments. Lucid Dream balm is another favorite, crafted with fresh mugwort from our garden to encourage vivid and lucid dreaming. I also highly recommend our Limited & Seasonal collection of ever-evolving, small-batch offerings that feature local flora.
You’re originally from Massachusetts. How has living in Hawai‘i inspired you?
The lushness, the aromas, the diversity of flora is so captivating and energizing. Mānoa has been particularly enchanting to me, and I’ve attempted to encapsulate the deeply perfumed evening air of the valley in my creations. I also collaborated with [Honolulu florist] Paiko on the Tantalus Mist, a spray to capture the eucalyptus-laced air of the ridge.