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Pukka’s vision for the future

Imagine a world where we all care for our health and wellbeing with powerful organic plants. Throughout history, humans have used plants growing naturally in the wild to look after their health and wellbeing – and in cultures around the world today, many still do.

But modern life often disconnects us from nature, negatively impacting our health and wellbeing and causing us to neglect our innate wisdom. In a world obsessed with progress and technology, many of us have lost track of the deep insights of our ancestors on how to stay healthy and well. At Pukka, we believe this has to change.

We know that organic plants offer a natural and effective path to nurturing health as well as being a way to take better care of the planet upon which we depend. We champion a holistic herbal approach rooted in ancient wisdom and enlightened by the latest science. Through this, we aim to empower everyone to take charge of their own health and wellbeing.

Pukka’s herbal experts, working towards our vision

Our herbal experts play a vital role in helping Pukka work towards its vision. 19% of the Pukka team have a formal qualification related to health, nutrition, herbal medicine or plant science. We passionately believe there is much to learn from the medical wisdom of traditional healing systems, coupled with expert understanding of scientific research.

There are several ways Pukka is working towards our vision, set out in Pukka’s theory of change (see 2021 Impact Report). In summary:

  • Reaching more people with organic plants: we work towards our vision through the herbal products we make. We source and use only high quality, fair and ethically sourced organic ingredients and our herbal experts draw on insights from the latest herbal research to make our blends. We keep innovating and bringing out new creations that suit different tastes, preferences and lifestyles but always with an eye on what really impacts upon human health and wellbeing.

  • Providing herb & lifestyle guidance for everyone: Pukka recognises that to find our optimal mental and physical health, there are four core areas that we much each attend to every day: restoring our bodies through sleep, eating and digesting well, exercising for our body type, and creating peace in our minds. Pukka shares information and tips via our social media, website, Pukka Collective, dosha quiz and events to help more people understand how to experience the benefits of powerful organic plants and a positive lifestyle. We have focused on supporting everyday health and wellbeing with sleep and calm over the last few years.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” Nelson Mandela. Pukka Life Academy: We also provide education for our employees, health practitioners and trade partners via the CPD accredited Pukka Life Academy. Interactive modules explore health and wellbeing from Ayurvedic and bio-medical perspectives. We match this digital resource with face-to-face sessions to support and encourage deeper learning within Pukka and our international community. To sign up to the Pukka Life Academy. Please email: education@pukkaherbs.com. Due to legal restrictions, this course is not available to members of the public.

  • Demonstrating scientific evidence for the effectiveness of herbs: Although herbs have been used by humans for millennia, for some there is limited modern scientific evidence for how they can help us. At Pukka we are working to change that. We have a full and growing research programme with more than 25 herbal studies ongoing in partnership with leading universities and research institutions. In 2021, we collaborated on a breakthrough study on the impact of Shatavari on women’s health, which suggests that this herb improves muscle health in post-menopausal women. We were also awarded highly sought-after external funding to look into two promising areas of herbal research: teas to strengthen immunity with the University of Southampton and the benefits of aromatic herbs with University of the West of England.

  • Advocating for recognition of the health benefits of herbs and spices: Today society faces growing rates of chronic health issues, ranging from cardiovascular disease to obesity and type 2 diabetes. At Pukka we’re calling for herbs and spices to be recognised for their value in supporting human health through the high levels of specific active compounds they contain. As well as being better for the planet, we know herbs work. Pukka is beginning to speak louder to increase recognition of the health benefits of herbs and spices.

Our Herbal team is made up of a range of professionals including: herbal research scientists delivering innovative research projects with a range of universities; health practitioners with qualifications in Nutritional therapy, Western herbalism, Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese medicine; a herbal rights lawyer; herbal product developers developing blends and innovating new herbal creations; as well as specialists in social and environmental impact including net zero and sustainable packaging. Members of our team are asked to speak at conferences and other events. Please contact education@pukkaherbs.com to request more information.

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Meet the team

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Sebastian Pole

Pukka’s Co-founder and Master Herbsmith keeps a close eye on the formulation of our organic creations. Sebastian has been in clinical practice since 1998 using a blend of Ayurvedic, Chinese and Western herbal medicine and has pioneered organic and FairWild practitioner-grade herbs as the norm at Pukka.

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Euan MacLennan

As well as heading up our herbal team, Euan also keeps engaged in clinical practice at an NHS General Practice in Central London. Having spent many years teaching clinical medicine, Euan is also conducting a clinical doctorate in gastrointestinal medicine at the University of Bath.

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Joanna Webber, BSc

Jo oversees the delivery of our industry-leading education to a range of audiences. As an Ayurvedic practitioner (BSc qualified) and yoga teacher, she is passionate about bringing these two ancient sciences together to help people feel empowered about their health today.

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Dr Vivien Rolfe, BSc, PhD

Viv has a background in gut physiology and nutrition and leads a portfolio of work looking at how herbs benefit our health. Much of this is done through engaging with young university scientists via internships and student projects, through to large-scale human studies on the safety and efficacy of our products.

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Marion Mackonochie, MSc

Marion works with universities to develop research projects on how Pukka products can help health and wellbeing. She is a practising medical herbalist, a member of the College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy and an associate editor with the Journal of Herbal Medicine.

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Simon Mills

Simon has been in herbal practice since 1977 and at the forefront of the modern development of herbal, complementary and integrated medicine. In 1987 he co-founded the world’s first university centre for complementary health in Exeter.

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Claire Bergeron, DPharm, MSc

Claire provides herbal expertise to underpin Pukka’s teas, supplements and other product innovation work. Claire works closely with our operations team to ensure high standards for each raw material we source.

Author: Jo Webber

Head of Herbal Education

As a BSc qualified Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher, Jo is passionate about bringing these two ancient sciences together to help people feel empowered about their health. Jo has put her post-graduate certificate in education to good use, co-founding the Ayurveda academy to help others learn of the wonders of Ayurveda.​ Jo has also earned a Masters degree in human sciences from Oxford University and has taught in several schools

Qualifications:

BSc qualified Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher

Years of experience:

20 years as a Hatha yoga teacher/ayurvedic practitioner

Professional Registrations:

Member of the Ayurvedic Practitioners Association

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