Growing up in a remote village in Sri Lanka, it was daily that I was exposed to traditional Ayurvedic medicinal practices. My grandmother was a local Ayurvedic practitioner. Not having the financial resources nor easy access to Western medical facilities, the villagers, mostly local farmers, depended on herbal remedies. It was not uncommon to see medicinal cabinets with a variety of herbs, flowers, and air-dried leaves ready to be used during her treatment sessions.
Living in a rural village had its own challenges. Although we lacked the basic comforts the city offered, when your livelihood is so closely intertwined with nature, you develop a respect and passion for the natural environment. That respect later became a love affair with the land and life around me. Upon completion of high school, scholarships paved the way to complete my higher education in the United States.
Over the past decade, I have become intrigued by the increased awareness of natural wellness among the global population. More and more research has been conducted on natural plants, seeds, and spices with groundbreaking findings. Scientific findings, such as Curcumin for anti-inflammation or Cinnamaldehyde for blood sugar metabolism, etc, were nothing new to me. During my grandmother’s Ayurvedic sessions, she spoke regularly about natural wellness properties associated with unadulterated ingredients. Overhearing these discussions as a child was very educational.
Reading the book “The One-Straw Revolution” on natural farming was an awakening to me. The book made me realize my deep passion towards organic agriculture. This led me to a new path. Many said it was foolish; while some said it was bold. Either way, leaving an established career and relocating overseas was not an easy task. Passion overtook the risk and soon I was at the Los Angeles airport heading to Sri Lanka, to the village where I grew up!
Initially, my attention was on a few of the specialty herbs used by my grandmother during her Ayurvedic practices, Ceylon Cinnamon, Ceylon Turmeric, Ceylon Ginger, Hibiscus, and Blue butterfly pea flowers just to mention a few. The more I absorbed it, the more I fell in love with it. My growing curiosity then led me to West Africa in search of unique plant species used in traditional African medicine. There I saw the firsthand benefits of plants such as Moringa and its unparalleled nutritional impact on pregnant women and undernourished children.
John & Elisa, my closest friends from Los Angeles, were frequent guests at the village. Their interest in exotic traditional herbal brews was startling. In the morning and post dinner, it was common for my mother to prepare herbal brews. A ritual learned from my grandmother’s Ayurvedic practices. John regularly consumed Ceylon Turmeric and Ginger Brews to address his severe acid-reflux. Elisa appreciated that he was able to take one less pill. Additionally, she then made it a habit to add a Cinnamon Brew bag to his morning coffee to boost his blood glucose metabolism.
These plants and herbs are rare and indigenous to the island of Sri Lanka. Globally, only a handful have access to them. During a long journey to the U.S, a question arose in my mind, ‘Why only a few? Why not all?’ I developed a feeling of obligation to share these rare herbs and spices to benefit everyone’s overall wellness.
Providing access to exotic spices, herbs, leaves, flowers, etc. to the general population has defined the next chapter in my life. With the birth of Nature’s Rare, this chapter will likely be the most important and give the story a deeper meaning.