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Rajasthan - Land of the Kings

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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.

 

Herbal treasures

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. 

 

Golden star

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.

 

Helping hand

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.

Meet the author

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Sebastian Pole, Sebastian Pole, Co-founder and Master Herbsmith

Hello There. I’m a Co-founder and the Master Herbsmith at Pukka Herbs. As well as having the most amazing job of formulating all our organic teas and supplements I am a passionate environmentalist – that’s why we are 100% organic, pioneers in sustainably sourcing herbs with FairWild, and we give 1% of our turnover for rejuvenating the Planet. I also run my own herbal practice in Bath which I’ve done since 1998. I practise an eclectic blend of Ayurvedic, Chinese and Western Herbal Medicine and am a registered member of the Ayurvedic Practitioners Association, Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine and the Unified Register of Herbal Practitioners. I love using the principles of Ayurveda (aka the ancient art of living wisely) – coupled with insights of traditional healing and modern science - to help create the best of health. Inspired by my time in India, I love cooking a vegetarian feast and rely on regular yoga practice with lots of herbal teas and tonics to keep me well. I am passionate about running a business that inspires positive change and brings the benefit of the incredible power of plants to everyone we connect with – from our farmers, collectors, Pukka team to you. I live on a two acre garden-farm in Somerset where I grow a rainbow spectrum of medicinal and nourishing plants for my bees and family to thrive on. 

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