Our campaign to Spice up your Life
In January 2024, some of Pukka’s herbal and health science experts gathered at the Houses of Parliament to present the Rainbow Paper, “Spice up your Life” (white paper) to Members of Parliament (MPs) and stakeholders from academia, health and nutrition charities and NGOs. The event was focused on increasing awareness about the potential for culinary herbs and spices to improve diets and wellbeing.
Pukka was founded to further expand and unlock the amazing potential of herbs and spices, by helping people discover the benefits they can deliver through our portfolio. For this reason, we have gathered some of the world’s most exceptional herbal experts to support independent academic research investigating the health and wellbeing benefits of herbs and spices. This academic research has helped build upon existing literature and validates centuries of traditional wisdom from around the globe on the use of culinary herbs and spices.
In addition, Pukka is advocating for policy change to positively impact public health. The Rainbow Paper sets out three simple, cost-effective, policies that have the potential to improve public health as well as positively impact the wellbeing of individuals.
The Policy Asks:
1: Include herbs and spices in the UK Eatwell Guide
2: Invest in research on the benefits of herbs and spices for metabolic disease
3: The benefits of herbs and spices (both flavour and health benefits) to be taught as part of improved food lessons in schools; with consideration to formally include in the curriculum.
For centuries, communities across the globe have been adding herbs and spices to food for both culinary and health benefits, but it has only been more recently that the academic research has caught up to traditional wisdom. From the Mediterranean diet to East and South Asian cuisine, health professionals are realising that herbs and spices are about more than just taste; they also can help contribute to our health.
We are living through a health crisis. Current dietary guidelines are failing to prevent chronic lifestyle and diet-related diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Greater research is needed to investigate more fully what role herbs and spices can play in the future of our health; as a tasty way to reduce salt and sugar intake, as well as for other benefits they bring.
Education, and specifically cooking lessons, is required to show young people how to prepare flavourful meals with complementary beverages without excess salt and sugar. That’s why we want to see the Government focus on increasing the quality of food and health education in schools across the country, and ensuring a specific part of the food curriculum focuses on the use of herbs and spices and the health benefits they provide.
To demonstrate our commitment to food education for children, Pukka supported a programme with the charity School Food Matters. School children in London learnt how to make healthy soups with herbs and spices, then went to Borough Market to sell them to the public to raise money for The Felix Project – a food waste charity in London.
We hope you will join us in improving diets, one herb or spice at a time. For more information and to receive a copy of our Rainbow Paper please email us at email@example.com We welcome the opportunity to connect with you!
Author: Marion Mackonochie
Senior Herbal Specialist
Marion is Senior Herbal Specialist at Pukka and a practising medical herbalist dedicated to furthering herbal knowledge and understanding. Degrees in pharmacology (UCL) and herbal medicine and a masters degree in plant chemistry and medicinal natural products (UCL) mean she is well placed to help plan Pukka’s extensive programme of herbal research, as well as advising across Pukka on herb benefits. She has worked on the Journal of Herbal Medicine since its launch in 2011 and is currently Associate Editor.
B.Sc. qualified in herbal medicine (Middlesex Uni, 2009), M.Sc. (mCPP) qualified in pharmacology & physiology (UCL, 2002), MSc medicinal natural products and phytochemistry (UCL, 2016)
Years of experience
12 years in medical herbalism
Member of College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy