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Meet our Herbal Director, Euan MacLennan

Tell us about yourself

I’m the Herbal Director at Pukka. I’ve been working for Pukka for 18 months now, and prior to that, I was a university lecturer where I taught clinical medicine pathology. I also edit a medical journal focusing on research and am studying a doctorate in gastrointestinal medicine. I work in an NHS practice in central London which has integrated herbal medicine with general practice and nurse facilities as well.

Tell us about your team

As the herbal team, we’re the centre of Pukka’s herbal knowledge.

A big part of what we do is carrying out research, partnering with universities and laboratories to look at specific herbal medicines to try to understand the mechanism of how they work in the human body. We also try to prove the positive outcomes in healthcare that can be achieved through herbalism.

We also use our research side to better inform people who are in decision-making positions about how herbal medicine should be treated in this country and internationally.

How do you share your knowledge with the Pukka team?

Knowledge is at the heart of everything we do. We run practical sessions that teach Pukka people things like how to grow plants, which plants are good for their health and how to make foods from plants.

It’s more about incorporating plant health into your everyday life, which is one of the most important things we can do to make health care sustainable – getting people to take responsibility for their own health and understand what they can do to support it in small ways.

How does your team help with Pukka’s mission to connect people to the power of plants?

Well, that’s all we do, all of us as clinicians anyway, we spend our lives trying to connect people to the power of plants by encouraging people to appreciate nature and what nature can bring to your life in a positive way.

For example, it’s not enough to just understand that if you take peppermint it can help your tummy. We all know that’s true, we know there’s research out there to prove that. Our role is to ask where does that peppermint come from? Does it have the right active constituents in it? Is it responsibly sourced? Did the farmer get a fair deal for his crop? It’s a whole benevolent circle of how we like to operate.

What is your favourite Pukka cuppa?

Oh, no that’s really difficult! I think it’s probably the new Turmeric Active. I love turmeric and the FairWild bhibitaki conservation story behind it.

It also tastes great, I love orange in tea, something that has a slightly citrusy taste and quite earthy.

What is your herbal hero?

I’d say cinnamon, it’s an ayurvedic herb, it tastes amazing which is not the case with all herbal medicines.