Why use the highest grade of herbs?
Herbs are beautiful and powerful, but they’re also misunderstood. It’s easy to assume that if it says ‘peppermint’ on one box of tea and ‘peppermint’ on another, both options must be the same; the choice is a matter of what flavour combination, brand, or price you prefer – right? No, it’s not that straightforward.
The quality spectrum
Herbal teas and supplements vary greatly in quality – they might all contain actual herbs, but the full make up of each herb, such as the essential oil content, may be lacking. As a result, the tea or supplement may not be as powerful (or tasty) as it could be; it might be completely ineffective, with no nutritional value at all.
One reason for the difference is down to the long road herbs can take from being grown to reaching you. Herbs need to be produced with care from the start, but standards vary enormously around the world. For example, overly harsh drying can rob the herb of its best qualities; too little can leave moisture causing mould to grow. Herbs are also graded according to their quality, reflecting the amount of extra care that go into assuring standards.
What is a pharmacopoeial standard?
The highest standards available. A pharmacopoeia is a major official reference text containing a collection of standards to assure the quality of the medicines recommended by a healthcare professional.
How can herbs meet pharmacopoeial standards?
1. Verify the species identity using specialist equipment.
2. Check the quality of the species to ensure the right level of important constituents (e.g. essential oils). As well as providing benefits, these compounds also bring levels of sweetness or intensity of flavour.
In other words, good quality = great taste and optimum effect
3. Check the herb to ensure it complies with the strictest standards of purity.
Pukka’s ‘practitioner grade’
At Pukka, we apply pharmacopoeial standards to our quality control, plus all our herbs are grown organically and harvested sustainably from the plant’s favoured habitat.
Throughout all our product innovation, we always lead with what really impacts upon human health. We’re proud to have leading experts and herbal practitioners in our team to deliver and to monitor quality standards in our Pukka Herbal Laboratory. We’ve therefore come up with our own definition of quality combining these elements: ‘practitioner grade’; the grade practitioners would insist on.
Our herbs combine pharmacopoeial-level quality with certified organic and fair sourcing standards. 100% certified organic, vegetarian and free from synthetic colour, artificial flavourings and additives.
Pukka – your guarantee of the best herb quality
So, the next time you pick up a Pukka tea or supplement, you can be sure that every detail has been blended expertly with the very best quality nature offers. Nothing lost. Nothing substituted. Nothing unnatural. That’s the way it’s always been, and it’s the way it will always be. You have our Pukka word.
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.
BSc qualified in herbal medicine (Middlesex Uni, 2009), MSc (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