Rajasthan - Land of the Kings
8th July 2014
Quilted with kingly palaces and colour-charged cities, Rajasthan is the jewel in India’s glittering crown. Known once as ‘Land of the Kings’, it’s one of the largest of India’s many states – having been formed by the amalgamation of 23 old kingdoms during the days of British rule.
For Pukka, Rajasthan glitters with more than simply its princely past. It is here, in sun-kissed fields and parched deserts, that some of the incredible plants we use grow.
In these sandy soils the rejuvenating herb shatavari flourishes; its long tuberous roots finding the nourishment they need to grow strong in the cooler levels of earth. We use shatavari in Womankind for women’s health and Glow for the skin.
Throughout Rajasthan, villagers take shelter from the burning sun under the shade of huge neem trees. Known as 'the bestower of health', the neem tree is used by the local villages for preparing countless traditional remedies.
Cross over the toothed peaks of the Aravalli Range of hills, which form the backbone of Rajasthan, and you reach the swaggering dunes of the Thar Desert. Dotting the landscape are desert shrubs and trees, and amongst them grows Indian Myrrh (also known as guggul).
This thorny shrub produces a much-coveted golden resin, which we use for our Natural Balance. Sadly, guggul’s aromatic gum has become so popular in herbal medicine that the plant is now listed as threatened on the IUCN (World Conservation Union) Red List.
To help support the sustainable production of guggul, we’ve tied up with local partners in this part of Rajasthan. Together, we’re working on a pioneering guggul project to organically cultivate this wonderful, endangered species.
It’s a small initiative and there’s still a lot for us to do before we can pass on its virtues to other guggul growers in this part of India – but as Lao Tzu says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
So here’s to the road ahead, and all the beauty we encounter along the way.