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June 02, 2020 4 min read

We chatted with Wunder Workshop, a functional food brand focusing on Consumption with Purpose. They ethically source turmeric and high-vibrational plants and mushrooms from regenerative farms to create the ultimate wellness rituals.

This Oh! Guide provides the science behind this plant-based wellness. From sustainable sources to self care practices, this is the ultimate guide...

What are functional foods and how can nutritional choices be used as a form of healing?

It was Hippocrates who said that 'food is medicine', and we take that to heart. Using food to improve our health is supported by an increasing body of research that shows how food can be functional:

  • Helping us be more productive
  • Impacting our immune system
  • Reducing inflammation

What we look to do is create a potent collection of herbs, spices and mushrooms that can be easily incorporated into any daily wellbeing ritual, be that in a Golden Mylk, adaptogen latte or with drops of our award-winning Turmeric CBDoils.

What is the difference in consuming turmeric as a latte, in a curry, a capsule or topically? 

Curcumin, one of the most prevalent and active components of turmeric is a large molecule that is responsible for the distinctive colour and many of the anti-inflammatory effects the root is known for. The problem with this is that it is not easily absorbed into our bloodstream through our gut wall.

However, this can be improved by consuming turmeric that is hot, with fats like coconut and including black pepper which contains piperine, shown to boost absorption by up to 2000%! This is why we include black pepper in our products, and they are predominantly designed to be consumed in hot drinks as lattes or included in recipes for cooking.

Our belief is that the sensory experience of tasting, smelling, and enjoying turmeric (or any ingredient for that matter) has a big impact on its functionality, which is why we don’t make any capsules. Topically, turmeric can have a powerful local effect and it is used extensively in Sri Lanka and India as a disinfectant for minor cuts and wounds and to reduce inflammation.

How do adaptogens interact with the body?

Adaptogens are natural compounds found in plants and mushrooms, which have been identified to improve our ability to manage stress to external stimuli. Adaptogens do this in a non-specific manner, helping us to reach equilibrium and balancing our hormonal/immune response to that stress.

Our Superior Ashwagandha, for example, is great for reducing the effects of chronic stress, which causes us to release the stress hormone, cortisol. This hormone is great in short doses in times of danger, but very damaging if your body is constantly on high alert. Ashwagandha helps to reset this hormonal system when it is elevated.

What's the benefit of combining various 'superfoods' (e.g. cacao, turmeric, chia)? 

There are many benefits to combining herbs and this has been done in western herbalism, traditional Chinese medicine, and Ayurveda for many years. We purposefully craft our range of blends to elevate their functionality and increase bioavailability through the synchronicity of the plants. Our unique Adaptogen CBDhas our potent, Ashwagandha extract and Mucuna Pruriens to work with CBD and help the body into deeper relaxation.

Beyond plants, how can certain fungi be used and how are they 'medicinal'? 

Fungi are an amazing family of organisms that have so much potential. They are extremely diverse, and several have promising medicinal benefits. Our Golden Shrooms and Superior Chagause potent extracted versions of these mushrooms which are great immune-modulators: they help to maintain a balanced immune response by up-regulating or down-regulating this complex system dependent on the what the body needs.

What's your 1% promise?

At Wunder Workshop, we use 1% of our revenue to support community projects, charities and reforestation programs in the UK and around the world. Recently, we have helped to plant over 500 trees in the Sierra Nevada in Colombia as part of an agroforestry system. We are also planting mangroves in Sri Lanka with Sen Wellness, which is important as they provide protection for wildlife and can absorb 50 times more carbon than other ecosystems.

The 1% has also gone to AMMA Sri Lanka, a social enterprise that trains and employs mothers from the rural highlands how to make textiles using natural plant dyes.

How has Sri Lanka influenced Wunder Workshop's values and products?

We began sourcing directly from small community farms in Sri Lanka in 2014 and it has been amazing working with such dedicated and kind people through the years. What we love about working with the small community farms that we source from is their understanding of the natural environment and relationship with the land.

They use a farming technique known as forest gardening which regenerates the soil nutrient density and ensures our ingredients are certified organic. This has become a core ethos for our business, years of conventional mono-crop farms have depleted the soil of its vital nutrients, making farmers reliant on external fertilisers, pesticides, and herbicides. Ultimately, having better quality soil creates healthier plants and produce for everyone.

Who/what has been inspiring you during lockdown?

The situation itself moved us to turn this time into something positive and using it to deepen our purpose. It can be hard to be forced to sit in stillness, with the lack of the daily busyness of London life, but it’s a beautiful opportunity to use that time to face what is lacking, what can be changed and what can be learned.

And that is what we have been doing, we have been using it to develop on a personal level and on a business level by connecting more with our audience, having time to create more recipes and workshops to share with our community. But also, it has given us time to reflect on our journey and what can be improved. So, all in all it has been inspiring, yet often not easy, time for us.

To learn more about Wunder Workshop, check out their website (wunderworkshop.com) or follow them on IG (@wunderworkshop).

Tune in 3 June at 7 PM BST on our IG (@ohanacbd) to hear more about the science of adaptogens!


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