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Champion of Wellness: The Inspiring Work of Sushma Bhanot MBE

Discover the inspiring work of Sushma Bhanot MBE, a champion of natural health, beauty, and lifestyle. As a pharmacist, Ayurvedic consultant, homoeopath, lecturer, author, and philanthropist, her contributions are vast and impactful. Sushma’s roles as a partner at Coolherbals and The Ayurveda Institute of Europe highlight her commitment to holistic health. She is widely consulted on natural health, beauty, weight loss, and complementary lifestyle practices. Sushma also runs her own Homeopathic  ,Allergy and  Natural Health clinics, providing personalized care. Her nomination for the Asian Women Awards recognizes her efforts in empowering women in the Beauty and Wellbeing   sector. Explore how Sushmas dedication to wellness and her strategic insights continue to inspire and transform lives.

Sushma was awarded an MBE for her dedication and work in the mental wellbeing of women.


Can you tell us about the journey of founding Coolherbals and what inspired you to focus on Ayurvedic products?

My childhood was mainly in Bradford. Our family moved to London in the 70s.

Ever since I can remember, I have been interested in the well-being of people and how to make things better.

I studied and qualified as a pharmacist, my husband and I ran 2 pharmacies in Wanstead for over 10 years. We were approached by a large multinational who wanted to buy our pharmacies. We loved Wanstead and its community feel and got to know the community very well through our businesses, however, we felt we were destined for other things and I was able to follow my heart, so we agreed to sell. Hence our journey to natural products began. I retrained. There was a niche in the market, people were waking up to the notion that health was in their hands too and they could be responsible for their health too. Ayurveda was a natural choice – defined as the Science of Life, it made sense to me that life itself is a science. Being a scientist myself, I was fascinated by this science and how everything was made of 5 elements -earth, fire, wind, water, and ether. I was intrigued that plants could be so powerful, e.g Neem leaf to treat skin conditions. Coolherbals was born. We developed our range of products and therapies. Coolherbals was a beacon in bringing Ayurveda to the person on the street. It was made more attractive and acceptable to the West. Nowadays every large hotel has an Ayurvedic component to it.

How do you balance your professional responsibilities with your family obligations, and what advice would you give to other women striving to do the same?

In 5 words – It is a juggling act. Also, it is tough.

I am a partner in the number one Ayurvedic Natural Health Company, Head of Research & Development, Homeopath, Allergy specialist and research Pharmacist. I run clinics for functional medicine for women, some free for vulnerable women. I am a wife, mother to 3 children (32, 30, and 27), mother-in-law, grandmother, daughter-in-law, and career for my husband’s parents, I have a 90-year-old mother who I visit 3 to 4 times making an all-around four-hour trip. I am a Patron of 2 charities and co-founder of one. There are always demands on my time. This is because my profession is very important to me and to my well-being.

I feel I am not unique; most women have become experts in juggling careers and family life. I feel most of us try to be the best in each sphere and we may be too hard on ourselves. I would say celebrate each success, however small, and make light of when things do not go to plan.

All women juggle, I try to compartmentalize things so I can deal with things in small bites and prioritize. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and it’s important to communicate your feelings if you feel overwhelmed and ask for help.

It’s hard to switch off and it’s usually after 11 pm, for me but we all need to, otherwise, we will burn out. I like to meditate, and practice mindfulness which is taking a few moments to assess where you are and how you are feeling. Walk in the countryside, be at one with nature. Watch a good thriller, read positive self-help books.

Coolherbals has trained 6000 therapists so far. What are some of the key skills and knowledge areas you focus on in your training programmes?

We focus on giving these women – freedom – whether that be financial freedom, or having the means to have freedom from violence  or mind freedom -freedom to live with peace of mind.

Taking part in Education and Training events has been a source of guidance regarding career development for many young females, particularly in the South Asian demographic segment. Our company’s diverse range of skills, education, and training workshops will hopefully inspire more younger females in the years to come. One of the basic skills is we like to empower women so they feel they can achieve anything. This is done by encouraging them to learn new skills, whether it is a new therapy, a new treatment, or relearning skills they may have suppressed over the years whilst they were bringing up families.

Another quality to be instilled is increasing self-esteem. Many have lost this and to see the light of ambition in their eyes is very rewarding. Another important skill is marketing, one may be the best therapist, however, success will not come unless you can learn to market yourself. Product knowledge is essential as is professionalism.

Your work has had a significant impact on empowering women, particularly in the South Asian community. What strategies do you use to inspire and support these women in their career development?

Statistics show women from the South Asian community have fewer opportunities than the indigenous population, hence for me, it is important to uplift this population. A small number are vulnerable and undocumented migrants, so they are nameless. Many are not registered with a doctor so if they are ill or suffer mental issues, there is no one to help. I started free clinics to signpost these people to the correct places and offered wellbeing and lifestyle advice so they felt they had support. We  raise the self-esteem of women who need it by organizing free workshops and showing them how they can have earning power and /or a small business of their own by retraining or upskilling to become tutors or trainers. I would like to carry on this work even in old age to help women and the disadvantaged to achieve their dreams and be a pillar of support for such people. She feels she has the power to collectively change the world through her work and already has made an impact.

My mother was my early source of inspiration. My childhood was in Bradford. Many women used to come to my mother’s shop to buy underwear and cardigans. In reality, my mum was their link to the outside world as they used to get her to read out their letters, for many English was not their first language. My mother used to translate their letters and guide them. Many had no financial freedom and wanted to work. Others were ‘imprisoned’ in their homes as they did not know to seek help. My mother helped these women to carve a future for themselves and helped raise their self-esteem. My mother, who was a teacher, was very forward-thinking. She was one of the first girls to go to school at a time when it was only considered important for boys to go to school in India. I think she inspired many women and gave them the ‘I can’ attitude. She was featured in a book – ‘Voices from Punjab ‘for her contribution to the UK community.

Why do I love what I do?

The joy on someone’s face when they feel they can start a new career, start earning and networking is incredible. They suddenly have a new zest for life. They feel empowered. That is why I do it.

The Ayurveda Institute of Europe has become one of the largest colleges of its kind in the UK. What do you think has been the key to its success?

The key to its success is the people running it have a real passion for life. We live and breathe what we teach. The other key to success is about giving the people what they want. The college has developed courses on the main health and beauty areas such as Ayurvedic therapies, slimming, natural beauty, hair loss, and complementary health issues. Women who want to take on the courses, but cannot afford to are tutored free so that they begin a business and develop themselves. This has also contributed to the success.

Other keys to the success of Coolherbals.

We believe therapists should look outside the box. They could look at starting a Slimming Centre, Hair Loss Centre or a Holistic Beauty Centre. Also, we are pioneers in getting yoga onto the NHS, and therapists are the first line in taking advantage of this. We launched the International Day of Yoga in 2015 at the Houses of Parliament and lead this annually too. The Ayurveda Institute also organises roadshows nationwide to give salon owners the knowledge and support they need. Also helping Salons open their own CoolSlim Slimming Centres. These do more than companies like Slimming World or Weight Watchers can offer. Over and above weighing and monitoring, therapists can offer slimming treatments in-house and nutrition advice based on the 6 tastes rather than calories. The plan is detailed in Sushma’s book- Slimmer In 1 Hour Slimmer Forever, An Ayurvedic life.

The Nutrigro Hair Loss Plan can offer therapists a chance to help their clients with hair loss solutions and become Consultants in this field. This is more than anything  that other therapists can offer at the moment. This is based on the Nutrigro Plan. This is detailed in the book Hair Today, Hair Tomorrow. A Free Marketing Package is offered to therapists to help promote their business.

Your books have been influential in the field of Ayurvedic therapies. Can you share more about the process of writing these books and the research involved?

I believe there is an author in everyone. Everyone has a story to tell, so tell it. My passion for wellness and taking responsibility for one’s health inspired me to write books. Knowledge is of no use if it is not shared. Research takes years, then you put it down on paper so everyone can benefit. My research spans over countries and continents to ensure I leave no stone unturned.

Research never ends. I still have many books I need to write and share. Sushma would like to offer a free book to the Global Woman family.  The Ayurvedic way of life – Slimmer in  1 hour , Slimmer forever  One Stop Natural Remedies -Natural therapies for all Illnesses, During the Covid pandemic,  I wrote a self-help book for women. Please do request a free copy. Women’s Health During Covid and Beyond – A self-help guide Please send me your email for any of the above free copies online.

Coolherbals has reached an international market. How do you approach the challenges of expanding a business globally while maintaining its core values and mission?

Our mission is to make natural innovative herbal products and therapies for health and well-being popular the world over. There are many challenges faced when a business expands, but it is important to stick to the core values especially when sourcing ingredients. I think an authentic business which  is genuine in its ethos will be understood globally.

Some of the challenges are:

1. Cultural Differences**: Adapting to diverse cultures, languages, and business practice can be challenging. Understanding and respecting cultural nuances is essential for successful global expansion.

2. Legal and Regulatory Hurdles

3. Logistics and Supply Chain Management

4. Market Competition**: Facing competition from established local and global competitors can be fierce.

5. Communication Challenges Effective communication strategies are essential for collaboration and decision-making.

6. Currency Fluctuations and Financial Risks

7. Access to reliable infrastructure, technology, and digital connectivity varies across regions. Investing in the right technologies to support global operations is vital.

8.. Political and Economic Instability**: Unforeseen political changes, economic downturns, and global events can disrupt operations and affect business performance in international markets.

In summary, expanding a business globally requires careful planning, extensive research, adaptability, and a deep understanding of the diverse factors that influence international business environments.

Can you discuss some of the innovative Ayurvedic therapies you have developed and how they have been received by the public and professionals?

There is a lot of buzz when we create a new product range or a new therapy. We were the first company to simplify the King of Ayurvedic therapies – Shirodhara – the dripping of oil on the forehead to reduce stress and other conditions. We also developed our slimming massage for cellulite and fat using an authentic Ayurvedic powder known as udvarthanam. This was very popular with younger women and those suffering from cellulite , known for its firming effect on the body. We have developed the CoolSlim K value diet plan – where we train therapists to become consultants and lead slimming groups. This should revolutionize the world of weight loss. Nowadays where obesity is the no.1 cause of many chronic conditions, there is great interest in this.

We have developed the Nutrigro Hair Retention Plan using Ayurvedic-based serums and shampoos, along with supplements for hair loss. There is great interest in this with good results from user trials as there are very few solutions to Hair loss. I have developed a 24 Carat Gold Skincare Range that uses the properties of Gold to address skin concerns. A sample is available to the Global Woman readers. Coolherbals natural skincare products were selected as Best of British Products – in Professional Beauty – the largest conference/ showcase of health and beauty in Europe. There are many more exciting projects coming up.

You are heavily involved in charity work, from feeding the homeless to organising health checks for women. How do these activities complement your work with Coolherbals and the Ayurveda Institute?

The passion for wellbeing spills over into the community and charity work. Mental well-being is very important to me whether it is in the elderly or the young. So Coolherbals being a well-being company, is in an ideal position to make a difference in the community and vulnerable people.

My charity work complements the business in several ways, contributing to both social impact and business growth.

● 1. Enhanced Brand Reputation: Engaging in charitable activities demonstrates your commitment to social responsibility and ethical business practices. This can enhance your brand reputation and differentiate your business in the market.

● 2. Increased Customer Loyalty -Consumers are increasingly drawn to businesses that support social causes.

● 3. Employee Engagement and Morale: Involving employees in charitable activities fosters a sense of purpose, teamwork, and pride in the organization. It can improve employee morale, motivation, and retention.

● 4. Community Engagement: Supporting charitable causes allows your business to give back to the community and make a positive impact on society. This can strengthen relationships with local communities and stakeholders.

What are your future aspirations for Coolherbals and your charitable initiatives, and how do you envision continuing to make an impact in the health and wellness sector?

Future aspirations for Coolherbals are to make it a World Class Company in products and therapies for holistic wellbeing. Reach out to places that have not heard of Ayurveda but could use its principles of health and wellbeing. Many villages even now use ayurveda as the sole medical system. I am currently working on setting up Coolherbals  Wellbeing ‘ Cafes’ where people can come to be signposted or have a chat with a friend. The reason for this is that mental well-being is very important to me and it is something that will not go away ,hence some action has to be taken now. We are currently offering   homeless women a place where they can discuss their healthcare needs with professionals in free clinics . These will be developed into private  Coolherbals One Stop Shop clinics.  It is certainly true that health and beauty are intricately intertwined. Coolherbals is about feeling good on the inside and radiating this on the outside.

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