Pukka Herbs was founded in 2001 by Sebastian Pole, an Ayurvedic practitioner, and Tim Westwell, formerly in business development for the IT industry. We started with a few thousand pounds and a mutual passion for promoting well-being and providing 100% organic Ayurvedic herbal remedies and teas.
Sebastian trained as a herbalist both in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. With a degree in Hindi, he also gained clinical training experience in India, both in clinics and hospitals, working with indigenous Ayurvedic doctors. On his return to the UK, he set up a practice in Bath which he still maintains today. A committed conservationist, he started looking at ways to bring herbs to Britain to make teas and remedies of the quality he required as a practitioner.
Sebastian visited the Indian growers and started to create teas to supply to other practitioners. Although his ambition was to start an organic herb business, he was aware that he knew nothing about the retail side. Coincidentally it was at this point he saw an ad in a local paper 'Business organics - do you want to grow business in a healthy way?' He was the only person to respond.
The ad had been placed by Tim who for many years had worked in business development but began to feel frustrated on a personal development level. A spinal condition led him to consider his lifestyle and he gravitated towards yoga and vegetarianism. He quit his job in IT and started looking for an alternative way to do business that integrated his values in life and to try and give some positive contributions back to society.
It was a match made in heaven and we proceeded to set up Pukka Herbs HQ from Tims spare bedroom!
Our herbs are ecologically grown and are from sustainable managed projects that are organically certified by the Soil Association
We source our herbs directly from the farming co-operatives we have helped to set up in India and Sri Lanka ensuring the farmers are paid a fair wage (we currently pay 50-200% above market rates for raw materials). We work directly with over 500 families growing Ayurvedic herbs organically for us and plant over 1,000,000 plants and trees per year.
Our herbs can be traced back to the fields from where they were grown
Manufacturing in the UK is under tight restrictions in accordance with UK medicines standards
All our teas and remedies are carefully formulated by Sebastian who has drawn on his expertise in growing herbs, organic cultivation and professional training in herbal medicine and are blended according to Good Manufacturing Procedures and authentically tested to European quality standards.
We are Carbon Neutral and invest in renewable and sustainable energy projects as well as reforestation programmes. All aspects of the business carbon emissions from Field to Shelf are off-set by donations to Climate Care. Climate Care makes donations to energy saving projects. We maintain a policy to not fly in materials but bring them in by ship.
We manage an internal recycling scheme to prevent wastage
We are committed to using recycled paper and vegetable inks when possible
We are ethically responsible and contributes to charities, such as Plantlife International, involved in protecting wild medicinal species
We are purely vegetarian