Herbs and spices make food tastier while also boosting one’s health, according to nutrition experts.
For 55-year-old Pauline Njoroge, a single mother of two, her love and passion for herbs came as a result of experiencing health issues and specifically blood pressure and heart problems and this motivated her to learn more.
Working for Faulu Bank way back in 2009, she decided to venture into selling natural supplements such as hibiscus and eucalyptus as well as moringa to not only stay health but also address the issue of her medication which was quite expensive.
“I stopped working at the bank in 2009 to focus on selling supplements and herbs that my sister introduced me to, because I could not afford medication which used to cost me around Sh10,000 every time I would visit the doctors for my ailment,” says Ms. Njoroge.
Ms. Njoroge who lives in Kwambira village in Limuru, Kiambu County and was participating in a farmers Expo in Ndumberi told KNA that she partnered with her sister in selling herbal products which has now become her full time business that she has been running for the last ten years.
“We mainly focus on selling, ginger, moringa, chia seeds, turmeric, hibiscus, eucalyptus and baobab and our current focus market is at the Kenol in Zambezi area and Kiambu town.
The business dubbed, “Three Hebrews” does not only benefit those who use the products but they have gone beyond and often given advice to citizenry on the benefits of the herbs.
“We do this to help those who are undergoing the struggles of health issues just as I did,” she says.
Ms Njoroge further said however some people are always in a hurry to see results but taking of herbs should be a continuous exercise and those who are patient are able to reap the benefits.
In Kenya she says, there is a significant number of pharmacological options including over dependence on the counter medications that sometimes result in the body’s immunity system resisting but this she says can been avoided by use of herbs and supplements that can be a remedy for some of lifestyle diseases that affect people.
During the COVID-19 period in 2020, demand of supplements increased as it was recommended by the World Health Organization Tio (WHO) to aid in boosting the body’s immunity.
When COVID came, Ms Njoroge says they expanded their business because of the demand which shows Kenyans are acknowledging that herbs can make a whole difference on matters health.
Most of the herbs are grown locally in the country, she explains saying they get them from various farms around the country and process them in a clean environment before selling.
“Three Hebrews’ products are approved by the Kenya Bureau of Standards and our products are sufficient and we also deliver to both supermarkets and hotels.
“Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines, Ms Njoroge stated, explaining that her business has also encountered challenges such as doubt from people especially when it comes to convincing people who are dependent on prescribed drugs.
But for those who listen to the advice, they sell to them saying that their market is for the small to middle class who want their products in small quantities and for this they have a niche in the market in terms of distribution.
“This business has also its advantage as I am able to bring up a healthy family and provide for them too. My children are doing well in school and the herbs help in developing their minds,” she stated.
Ms Njoroge specifically recommends herbs such as moringa whose leaves she says have more vitamins compared to the normal oranges and also more potassium than bananas.
“This herb manages both type 1 and 2 diabetes and builds on muscles while baobab supplement has fiber content that helps in digestive health and balancing sugar levels.”
Ms Njoroge says that she earns between Sh7, 000 to Sh10, 000 daily on a good day and when the market is favouable and hopes that in the next five years, she will be able to start a big company that distributes the herbs locally but also internationally.
She urged the government to help in facilitating machines for cleaning some of the herbal products such as chia seeds to avoid depending on other countries while at the same time she also asked Kenyans to consider using herbs and supplements.
The increasing trend for a healthy lifestyle and the need to boost immunity due to the Covid-19 pandemic has raised demand for herbs and spices. The number of farmers in Kiambu county growing herbs and spices as their main economic crop has also increased.
by KNA Team