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Introducing Pukka’s Herbal Research

Here at Pukka Herbs, we invest in a vibrant programme of herbal research led by Dr Viv Rolfe (Pukka Head of Herbal Research). Our aim is to spark a herbal health and wellbeing revolution to help society appreciate the health benefits of herbs. We build our research upon traditional wisdom, and carry out research studies to increase the evidence-base to support the use of herbs for health and wellbeing.

Scholarships and Partnerships

We engage with the next generation of herbal scientists and bring students into Pukka from a wide range subject backgrounds, from biomedical science to psychology and agriculture. We have had scientific papers published with summer students from the University of the West of England looking at the health benefits of herbal teas, and a Master’s student from University College London which looked at the sourcing and quality of organic turmeric. We’ve worked with 22 students since forming the research team at Pukka in 2018.

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The research projects we are working on

Pukka is to be a partner on a funding bid with the University of Southampton. The funding is provided by NBIC – the National Biofilms Innovation Centre – and the work will explore the effects of herbs on human throat and nasal biofilms. The project will last for a year and the project will lead to new understanding of herbal actions and potentially the design of new immune supporting products. Read more about NBIC and the funding.

We are also presently working with 18 global research partners including institutions in India, US, Israel and Germany. These include a range of specialisms from plant phytochemistry to clinical research. We endeavour in the future to bring our research partners and students together in a series of seminars and events.

Author: Dr Vivien Rolfe

Head of Herbal Research

Viv is a gut physiologist and has recently achieved a Foundation in Herbal Medicine. She leads Pukka’s research programme to explore how herbs can benefit our health and be used to widen healthcare choices. This includes research into herbs for Women’s health and as alternatives to antibiotics. She establishes global research partnerships and enthuses the next generation of scientists through Pukka’s Scholarship Scheme. She is a champion of diversity in science and open access to knowledge.



Years of experience:

30+ years in the wellbeing industry and academia


Degree in Physiology University of Sheffield, PhD University of Sheffield, Foundation in Herbalism Heartwood, MBA Entrepreneurship (on-going) Edinburgh Napier University, Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Professional Registrations:

Membership of Nutrition Society, Physiological Society, Society for Chemical Industry, and other herbal and botanical groups.

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