Harriet Chebet Ng’ok the owner and founder of Harriet’s Botanical was born and bred in Sotik, Bomet County and upon completing secondary school, she joined the surging number of outbound African students flocking to UK for studies expecting a lavish job opportunities upon graduation but little did she know that her fortune was veiled in barks and roots of two indigenous trees: Arorwet and Tendwet naturally growing in her rural home.
The firm based in Karen Nairobi, sells well-received herbal medicine curing menstrual pains and digestive products among women as well as prostrate health, urinary systems and sexual dysfunction problems in men.
After staying for more than 15 years in UK, Harriet, returned to Kenya with uncured menstrual pains that had refused to heal even after medication at classy London hospitals but Arorwet, a naturally growing tree that was prescribed to her by a village mama later became an answer to her stubborn abdominal pains and a main source of income.
“Since my 20s, menstrual pains haunted me despite proper medication I got in UK. I tried Asian and Chinese medication but never worked out. When I came back to Kenya in 2009, I was introduced to traditional medicines from Keiyo and Marakwet but did not eliminate the pains,” she said
“ I went to many doctors in vain until 2017 when I got an instant healing after using products of Arorwet tree that I was given by my neighbour,” she said
While she was a young girl, she neither had passion for trees nor cultural practices but she is today penetrating into markets of Europe, America and Asia with herbal medicine sourced from Sotik that have been proven and certified by team of experts to have instant cure to menstrual and digestive problems.
Chebet who used to miss work for four days due to the periodical pains, says after products of Arorwet healed menstrual-related pains, she received public request from cured women for men’s medicine and was prompted to do a research that found Tendwet tree to be a perfect medicine to prostrate and libido ailments in men.
The reprieve from protracted pains moved her to research on the products at the University of Nairobi’s Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacognosy where her herbal medicine was truly found with curative elements.
When she started distributing the product to customers, Chebet recorded a video with product information and circulated on Facebook and has resulted in overwhelming orders from Nakuru, Baringo, Eldoret, Kisii Mombasa, Kisumu and Western Kenya.
“We are venturing into diaspora in a strong way to reach out to many people with these problems across the country, I have had talk shows on radio stations and televisions but we are looking forward to mainstream all our approaches,” she said
To handle the overwhelming orders, she has maximized production and now venturing into markets in South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, China, UK, Newyork and entire global market.
She is looking forward has planned partnerships with several county governments to embolden tree environmental conservation through tree planting as well as upholding of cultural practices that were useful to our parents and grandparents.
“Cultural practitioners and people who have valuable cultural histories that enabled our ancestors and parents to lead healthy lives should not be marginalized. They should be assisted to test their products at Kenya Bureau of Standards and Kenya Pharmacy and Poisons Board for certification so that they are able to earn a living out of it,” she said
Having thousands of customers spread across the country, Harriet’s uses G4S to transport the medicine to location of their thousands of clients across the country.
She however, says research and formulation of the medicine takes more time and money.
According to Women’s Health Concern, around 80% of women experience period pain at some stage in their lifetime but 5% to 10% of women pain is severe enough to disrupt their life.
Menstrual cramps strike right before or during that time of the month and usually become less painful with age or may stop entirely after the first baby is born but to some persists.
In 40% of women, period pain is accompanied by premenstrual symptoms, such as bloating, tender breasts, and a swollen stomach, lack of concentration, mood swings, clumsiness and tiredness.
The Chinese Prof.Tian Shengxun specializing in herbal medicine and the main man in operationalization of National Reference Research Centre for herbal medicine at Kenyatta University says herbal medicine bear hope for the solution to incurable diseases that are rapidly sweeping the world.