Annemarie Buhler (1928-2015)
Founder of Time Laboratories
Life Sketch by Granddaughter, Annette Davis
President of Time Laboratories
Annemarie Buhler was born June 12, 1928 in Zurich Switzerland to Adolf Furrer and Anna Furrer Frank. Herbs and essential oils were part of her life from the beginning. Her Mother and Grandmother, avid gardeners, treated family ailments with various home-grown herbal preparations. Aromas such as Lavender and Rosemary were fond memories from her childhood.
Both Annemarie and her husband Edwin were possessed of intrepid pioneering spirits. They left Switzerland with their two-year old son Peter to drive down the Pan-American highway to Nicaragua, where my mother, Elisabeth (“Nica”) was delivered by my Grandfather. They returned to Switzerland due to their daughter's tropical illness in 1948. Wanderlust next took them to Montreal Canada, where they both lived and worked until 1957, when they came to the United States to settle in South Pasadena, California, where their second daughter, Amina, also home-born completed their family in 1963.
This was to be their permanent home. Annemarie obtained her CA State Board of Pharmacy Certificate and eventually settled into her life’s passion which was the creation of plant-based skin care products and dietary supplements. She founded Time Laboratories in 1973. Instrumental in the development of the first true time release process for vitamins and minerals, she was also among the first to import essential oils into the USA. Women-owned businesses, especially manufacturing labs, were a rarity back then. She often complained that clients and vendors would automatically ask for “Mr. Buhler” when they called, only to be shocked to hear that “Mrs. Buhler” owned the company. Fascinated by the efficacy of essential oils, Annemarie was determined to introduce them into the United States. She would fly to Europe and load her suitcase full of various essential oils concealed in wine bottles. I remember, as a little girl, the first time my Grandma introduced essential oils to the family. I was immediately captivated by the little blue bottles filled with enchanting aromas.
Edwin Buhler as a young man
Each time a family member suffered a mishap, Grandma was there with an essential oil to help. As a child, I personally benefitted from Lavender oil and Rosewater sent to help heal third degree burns resulting from a motorcycle accident. Later, Melissa oil sped my recovery from sunstroke suffered as a result of spending too long boogie boarding at her favorite La Jolla beach.
Annemarie eventually connected with other Aromatherapy enthusiasts. She was the Chairman of the Board of the first American Aromatherapy Association (AATA) founded in 1987. She first brought Dr. Jean-Claude Lapraz, a world-renowned clinical Phyto-Aromatherapy pioneer, to the USA from France in 1989 to lead seminars to train American health professionals. She founded the Phyto-Aromatherapy Institute (PAI) in 1992, and then the Endobiogenic Integrative Medical Center (EIMC) in 2005, in cooperation with Dr. Jean Bokelmann and the Idaho State University Integrative Health Clinic. Known internationally for her skill and dedication to Phyto-Aromatherapy, she was selected in 1993 as the U.S. delegate to the International Conference for Phytotherapy and Aromatherapy held in Tunisia, Africa. I joined my Grandma at Time Laboratories in 1989. I will be forever grateful for her dedication to Phyto-Aromatherapy, and for her kindness in sharing her passion and knowledge with me. Herbs, essential oils, and the amazing people I have met in this journey will forever be a key part of my life. Annemarie’s pioneering spirit touched the lives of thousands. She will always be remembered with fondness as an American Aromatherapy Pioneer.
3 Generation Aromatherapy Family at the 2014 NAHA Conference Right to left: Peter Buhler, Annemarie Buhler, Eric Davis, Annette Davis, Nica George