Local herbal medicines are ‘for all ages and stages’

Family-friendly formulations . . . Wild Dispensary co-owner Ruth Vaughan is set to exhibit her herbal medicine range at the My World Expo at the Edgar Centre on Sunday. PHOTO: THE STAR

A Dunedin company making herbal medicines which include wild and New Zealand native herbs is set to exhibit at the My World Expo at the Edgar Centre on Sunday.

Wild Dispensary co-owner Ruth Vaughan, of Opoho, said she and her business partner, Ged Davies, recently returned from harvesting Californian poppy, horehound and thyme in Central Otago.

The couple had built relationships with landowners to allow them to harvest plants from “wild parts of their properties”.

The herbs were processed quickly to maintain their qualities and made into “family-friendly herbal medicine”.

“It’s for all ages and stages.”

The “signature” of the company was for every product to include an ingredient harvested from the wild.

The products ranged from restorative tonics to a range of medicinal vinegars.

The priority was to use fresh herbs and ingredients sourced from local growers, such as camomile grown in Dunedin.

The business was continuing its work to build strong relationships with growers, locally and across New Zealand.

The top-selling products changed with the seasons, as the health needs of people changed.

During winter and autumn, a “lovely tasting” immunity tonic was popular.

“No matter how old you are, you are going to find a way to enjoy it – you can take it neat but it’s also nice in a hot drink, or you can incorporate it into food.”

The tonic includes elderberries harvested from the wild on the Taieri Plain, Ms Vaughan said.

“It’s a long job processing those berries but it’s wonderful.”

Other ingredients in the syrup include organic oranges and organic spices.

“It’s a great product, which works for everyone.”

The health benefits of elderberries were backed by science, she said.

The Wild Dispensary product range supports people’s health across the seasons.

“We’ve just released a Liver Bitters, which we are quite excited about.”

The bitters was good for digestion and it included globe artichokes grown in Dunedin – a plant which was good for the liver, she said.

The couple had been involved with the business since it launched in 2016.

Naturopath and medical herbalist and Skye Macfarlane, of Dunedin, entered the business as a co-owner about a year ago.

All of their product range was 100% natural and made in small batches in Dunedin.

“It’s a true blue Dunedin business.”

More info at www.wilddispensary.co.nz