The science of Ayurveda has long been one of the oldest standing healing sciences in the world. The main principle Ayurveda works on is the maintenance of delicate balance between the mind, body and spirit. Taking this wisdom of Ayurvedic healing and weaving it into modern lifestyle, sisters Rubina Ali and Neelam Damani have come up with a line of Ayurvedic herbal teas.
The Birth Of Roots In Harmony
The self-admitting tea aficionados, Rubina and Neelam have turned their passion into a thriving business. But the origin of Roots in Harmony began with pain. Rubina, was used to some digestive issues, which only got worse. Not pleased with the idea of having to rely on heavy medication, she turned to her mother, who introduced her to an Ayurvedic remedy of cumin, coriander and fennel. Soon Rubina was munching on the seeds, brewing them into tea and adding some other herbs to them as well. She not only noticed a reduction of her symptoms, but also felt an overall improvement in general health.
The sisters were hooked from thereon to learning more about the Ayurvedic practices and values. They learnt the power of gut healing herbs like anise, dill, back seed. Further studying Ayurveda, they learnt how dry roasting the herbs brings out their essential oils hence enhancing the healing process. Now, a year later, they have designed herbal mixtures that treat a variety of physiological ailments and also offer psychological relief.
So we get talking with the sisters to find out the secret behind their wonderful, healing teas. Let us read into the interview with them:
How long was it before you had your first taste of victory? Can you describe something about that moment?
We feel so blessed to have experienced victory on our very first day at a farmers market. We were uncertain if people would even stop to sample ayurvedic teas. To our surprise, we sold more teas in a few hours than we’d expected selling in a week. People are so kind and open-minded.
What challenges do you face in trying to get people to consume Ayurvedic spices & herbs? Is everyone open to trying them?
Most people aren’t familiar with Ayurveda, but almost everyone is familiar with yoga which makes it easier to initiate conversation. Ayurveda is the sister science to yoga.
Our biggest challenge, however, is educating people about all-natural, healing teas. This is because the tea industry has become saturated with additives. Even the most reputable brands use artificial flavorings to enhance taste. Ayurveda places so much emphasis on using food as medicine, and herbs and spices as natural remedies.
We are proud to use high-quality, certified organic herbs in our own teas along with hand-roasted spices.
Between the two of you, who would you say is the business Guru & who is the queen of creation?
We divide and conquer the less exciting (sometimes downright boring!) business elements equally. As a reward, we work jointly on the creative and fun aspects of business such as experimenting with new teas, product photography and attending events. This partnership has made us more confident about facing our weaknesses because we know we’re not alone.
How do you plan to expand your product range in the coming future?
We are always experimenting with new teas. There are so many beneficial herbs available to us, and it’s challenging to limit our excitement and not experiment with everything at once! We definitely hope to launch news teas this year to help bring more balance to people’s lives.
What are your aspirations for 2020 in terms of expansion & marketing?
We would love to focus on online sales and partner with like-minded business owners for joint marketing campaigns. We have met such strong, powerful women on our journey, and would feel honored to grow together as a team.
At Roots in Harmony, you will find some exclusively made tea mixes aimed at improving energy, digestion and female health. Some of their best sellers include:
- Gut Balance tea: Made from organic dill, coriander, roasted fennel and nigella seeds, this tea is aimed to cleanse the intestines and improve digestion.
- Rooibos chai tea: Packed with organic rooibos, cloves and hand roasted cardamom seeds, this concoction has antioxidants for a healthy heart and the cloves calm the nervous system.
- Beetroot cacao latte: A rich blend with organic beetroot and raw cacao, this latte mix boosts energy, and improves brain health. Adaptogens like chaga mushrooms and triphala boost blood circulation and leave you energized.
- Feminine Bliss tea: A rosy delight of fennel, amla and hibiscus promote hormonal health, and helps balance menstruation and ease the process of menopause. Black cumin and rose petals calm the digestive system.
- Golden Turmeric Latte Mix: This immune boosting, anti-inflammatory mix of turmeric, cinnamon and ginger mix is the ultimate solution for sore muscles. The cardamom helps maintain healthy blood pressure and the organic flax seeds provide a great source of plant-based protein. Add a spoon of this mix to a cup of hot milk to soothe colds and aching joints.
Where Can We Find Roots In Harmony Teas?
Neelam and Rubina love their part in the farmers markets of Houston. “We have always appreciated farmers markets, but as vendors, we understand it from a completely different perspective”, says one of them. “We feel a sense of pride standing under the tents with our products and anticipating the response people are going to have towards our products. There is a lot of vulnerability but also courage.”
Today, the sisters sell their teas at farmers markets, cafes, co op stores and coffee shops. During the summer they also go to the summer camps to give the kids an education in Ayurveda!
Ayurveda teaches that all imbalances begin with the gut. Undigested food in the gut turns into Ama, which needs to be eliminated. Herbs and spices help remove Ama. Roots in Harmony aims to share their healing remedies with all Houstonians and allow nature to restore balance within ourselves and live in harmony with our roots.