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Conserving the herbs we love

It’s not over-dramatic to say that without plants, life on earth as we know it would not be possible. They alone convert sunlight into energy; they give us oxygen; they regulate the planet’s water cycle – yet, despite their fundamental importance, many species and habitats are under threat today because of loss of habitat and over-harvesting to feed the growing demand for herbal products.

Conservation, from day one

As creators of herbal teas and supplements, Pukka – like any other herbal company – has an important responsibility to protect the environments our herbs come from. However, conservation is not simply a business requirement for us; it’s part of our belief system, if you like.

We believe that the health and wellbeing of the planet is intimately linked to our own; you simply can’t have one without the other. And it’s because of this that conserving the plant kingdom has always been at the heart of any products we create or any decisions we take.

Always sustainably sourced

What this means for you is that when you choose Pukka, you’re not exacerbating the conservation problem; you’re not adding to the growing list of endangered Ayurvedic herbs – you’re playing a vital part in the solution.

How? Because you’re consciously choosing herbal products made from sustainable sources. Our herbs have not – and never will be – harvested from a declining population or from a degraded ecosystem; they’ve been sourced in a way that contributes, wherever possible, to the on-going conservation of that species.

Choose wisely my friends

Unfortunately, that’s not true of everybody. There are a surprising number of products in shops that contain plant-based ingredients extracted unsustainably from plant populations at peril.

One way to tell if you’re buying sustainably is to look for certain certification logos. The Fairwild and Soil Association logos on Pukka herbal tea boxes are the gold standards of herb conservation today; they reliably show that the herbs have been grown in a sustainable way and have been harvested from a sustainable source.

Some of our conservation projects

Of course, as well as only using sustainably sourced ingredients, we’re also supporting a number of conservation projects around the world to protect and regenerate endangered Ayurvedic herbs.

For instance, in Rajasthan, India, we’ve teamed up with a project to cultivate organically certified Guggul – a key ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine and sadly listed as a threatened species in the Red List of the IUCN (the World Conservation Union).

We also support herb growers around the world who are as passionate about conservation as we are. Mr Shastry in Hosagunda, India, is one such inspiring partner: his annual tree-planting project is helping to preserve the natural riches of one of India’s most important biodiversity hotspots in the Western Ghats.

We feel blessed to be able to donate to Mr Shastry’s project every year – and we know it wouldn’t be possible without the love of Pukka friends like you. So thank you for continuing to choose Pukka – and for doing your bit to help protect this remarkable – and fragile – beautiful blue planet.

Meet the author

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Sebastian Pole, Co-founder and Herbal Director

I’m Co-founder and Herbal Director at Pukka Herbs. As well as formulating all our organic products, I run my own herbal practice in Bath which I’ve done since 1998. I’m a registered member of the Ayurvedic Practitioners Association, Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine and the Unified Register of Herbal Practitioners. All this with the aim of using the principles of Ayurveda (the ancient art of living wisely) to help create positive change and positive health. Inspired by my time in India, I love cooking a vegetarian feast and rely on regular yoga practice and herbal supplementation 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. 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 live from.

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