Skip to content
FAST & FREE Delivery Over $45 How fast will I receive my order? ZIP Code: - Receive it More Info

Senna, Water & Women: How Social Business is Changing Lives

2 Min Read
Indian women sitting together, laughing
Updated on August 31, 2016


Rajasthan, India is one of the driest places on earth, where temperatures in the Thar Desert can reach as high as 122°F. Local farmers must therefore rely upon drought-resistant, native plants like senna—an active ingredient in our Smooth Move® teas—for their livelihoods. While senna may be drought-tolerant, impoverished villagers suffer deeply from the lack of water—particularly women and girls, who are forced to walk miles every day in search of community ponds to quench the thirst of their families, crops, and livestock. Physically and emotionally exhausted from carrying heavy pots of water on their heads, they must also suffer the threats of female infanticide, poverty, child marriages, widespread illiteracy, and a life in veiled confinement.

After witnessing these conditions, we began imagining a different future for these women and their families. In 2009, along with our partners—Traditional Medicinals Foundation, WomenServe, Martin Bauer and Umalaxmi—we launched the Revive Project, the largest social development program in our herb sourcing communities. In 2017 our nonprofit partner, WomenServe, took over management of this project and expanded their scope of work around women and children in the Thar Desert. Traditional Medicinals continues to support, advocate, and participate in supporting senna farmers in Rajasthan. To date, the work by WomenServe and Traditional Medicinals in Rajasthan has benefitted six communities, with some 28,000 villagers. Together, we have desilted and expanded nine large community ponds, dug and rebuilt 145 agricultural rainwater catchment systems and constructed 582 underground rainwater catchments, called taankas, for families in need. Some might think of our support as “giving back.” We call it social business. The only way our company can prosper is when all of the parties who contribute to our business prosper.

With access to water, entire communities are transforming, and women are the program’s greatest beneficiaries. Free of the burden of transporting water and free of the anxiety of providing water for their families, they are becoming empowered village leaders, and their girls are now attending school. WomenServe has continued to work to establish 14 EducateHer schools, enrolling 2,465 students in 2019.

Watch the two-minute video to learn more about how water is transforming lives. You can also visit WomenServe to make a donation or read our Impact Report to find out about the other social development projects we fund in our sourcing communities.

You Might Also Enjoy

Shop All
Smooth Move®Tea Smooth Move®Tea

Smooth Move®Tea

This blend gently relieves occasional constipation overnight, generally within 6-12 hours

Related Articles

View All

We Stand With the People of Ukraine

We Stand With the People of Ukraine. We have stood with the wild herb collectors in the verdant fields and hills of Ukraine. When our founder, Drake Sadler, visited, he...

Vegan Green Tea Matcha Ice Cream

Ice cream is the quintessential summer treat, and is even better when we can make it ourselves at home using whole food ingredients and an easy recipe that doesn’t require...

How to Become an Herbalist

Are you feeling called to explore the herbal path? Whether your intention is to begin a career in herbalism or simply to support the health and well-being of yourself and...

Herbal Podcasts for the Herb Nerd

Whether at home, road tripping, gardening, commuting or lounging at the beach, there’s always time to dive into the world of plant medicine, and herbal podcasts offer a convenient way...

How to Make the Perfect Herbal Sweet Tea

Nothing says summertime in the South like a tall, ice cold glass of sweet tea sipped on the porch during the buzzing heat of the day or enjoyed through warm,...

Hibiscus Iced Tea Spritzers

The beautiful hibiscus flower is the star of this refreshing recipe. Inspired by the ruby red drinks found at roadside stands in the tropics, we’ve created this bubbly Hibiscus Iced...

Stock Your Summer Apothecary

The smell of night-blooming jasmine, the sticky, moist air before an afternoon storm, the energizing midday sun, these are the quintessential signs of summertime. It’s the boldest of the seasons,...

Senna 101

What’s the most underrated herb? Senna. Alright, there are probably many more on our list, but if you’ve ever needed this trusty plant ally, you can’t deny its irreplaceable power....

Herbal Products for a Healthy Pregnancy

Whether you are a first-time mama or seasoned parent, each pregnancy is unique. It’s natural for expecting moms to seek out the best herbal teas for their pregnancy, giving them...

Best Teas for Women

Every woman is intimately tied to nature. Throughout a woman’s life, several natural transitions are influenced by hormones, which are often in sync with nature’s cycles. The menstrual cycle follows...

Coming Together In a Pandemic Year

In the face of this pandemic, we are building connections. We are a botanical wellness company but our investments have always centered around balancing our role as a for-profit company...

3 Herbal Black Teas with Benefits

Meet our new line of herbal black teas! Made the Traditional Medicinals way, these teas were created with your health and the planet in mind, featuring organic ingredients, Elephant-Friendly™ tea...