Wild Love is created by Louise Garland, a naturopath and herbalist in New Zealand, who likes to create using the plants she loves.  



Names and titles of the key people involved?

Just me!  Louise Garland, I'm a naturopath and herbalist based in Auckland.

How did your business get started?

It all started when I made a jar of Kawakawa healing balm for a medicine making class at Naturopathic College.  I gave it to a friend who said it really helped her eczema and asked if I could make some more, so I did and the word spread.  I started to sell it through a friends shop who suggested I use my herb knowledge to make some teas also.  So I did.  I thought it would be a nice way to allow people to experience some of the herbs I have grown to know and love.  It all happened pretty organically I guess.  I now have several stockists throughout NZ and Australia and an online store also.

How much did you know about tea before you began?

Being a herbalist it wasn't so much about what I knew about tea, but rather what I knew about the herbs that make up the tea.

What do you love about tea?

I love that it allows people to learn about herbal medicine and the amazing way it can affect your body.

Tell us about your range of teas and why/how you chose those flavours/varieties?

It all started with damiana, a beautiful herb that is grown and used throughout Mexico, Central and South America, with early documented use by the Mayan people.  A herbalist friend of mine once said to me, "I think everybody would benefit from having a little damiana every day"  It wasn't a herb that we learnt about at naturopathic college and what she had said intrigued me to learn more.  When researching this fascinating plant I found that it had been traditionally used as an aphrodisiac, but also as a general tonic for the nervous system, particularly of benefit when people are tired or depressed.  Many years later, when the opportunity arose, Love Tea was created.  It is a blend of damiana, hibiscus petals and green tea.  The flavours work beautifully together.  It isn't sweet, it's more a dry and crisp tea with a beautiful rose hue created from the hibiscus petals, which have traditionally been used to regulate fluid balance, improve skin conditions, support healthy circulation, improve digestive issues and promote overall health.  Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful positive effects on the body.


Next I thought it would be fun to create a tea that supported brain function, again using a herb that isn't seen a lot in herbal teas, ginkgo biloba.  Ginkgo has long been known to stimulate brain cells to increase mental sharpness.  The tea also incorporates lemon balm and green tea into the blend.  Lemon balm is a more commonly known herb that brings a delicious lemony flavour to the tea and is known to improve attention, cognition and memory, and promote relaxation of the nervous system; and antioxidant rich green tea supports overall brain health.


The third edition to the Wild Love tea family is Native Tea.  I have a long standing love affair with our native Kawakawa and so it was only natural to create a tea using my all time favourite herb.  Kawakawa is an incredibly powerful plant that we are very lucky to have here in NZ.  A tea made from the leaves has been used by Rongoa (traditional Maori medicine) practitioners for many ailments including digestive and circulatory complaints, and also as a blood purifier.  The addition of green tea adds some depth to the brew, which is warming and perfect for any time of the day.

What is special about your teas?

I think my teas bring something a little different to the tea market.  There are many teas for common ailments, e.g sleep support, digestion etc however I hadn't seen damiana in any blends, or ginkgo either, and so I wanted to offer something a little outside of the square.  My teas are all 100% organic, made in small batches by hand by me. 

How important was packaging to you and how did you come up with yours?

I like to have beautiful packaging that again is a little out of the ordinary.  The anatomical drawings of the heart and the brain are a nod to my anatomy studies when learning naturopathy and directly illustrate to the drinker what the tea is all about. 

Do you think tea is becoming more popular in New Zealand? If yes, why do you think that is?

I think so yes.  People love trying new things and I think a lot of Kiwis are curious about herbs and herbal medicines and tea is the perfect introduction.  I think it's an exciting time in NZ with what is available to us here.  We have Indian, Chinese, American, Russian, European, and many more herb and tea varieties to mix and experiment with; the possibilities are endless!

What do you think of tea and food matching? What sorts of food could you match to your teas?

I think it's nice to play with flavours.  I'd match Love Tea with dark chocolate and fresh cherries, Brain Tea with dumplings and Native Tea with ginger cake.

How do you source your ingredients?

All my ingredients are certified organic from a local supplier here in Auckland who sources them from all over the world.  I buy NZ grown where possible but due to our climate not all herbs are able to be grown here.

Any recipe suggestions?

A favourite summer cocktail for my friends and I is chilled Love Tea served over gin and ice, with fresh lemon and mint, so delicious!