The Philippines is home to numerous nutrition-dense foods – but perhaps mallungay  (moringa) is the Beyonce of vegetables for  the healthy living movement in the country.

Amidst the selection of local health foods, turmeric or luyang dilaw (a common spice in Indian food), is slowly but steadily breaking into mainstream consciousness here in the Philippines, with the help of brands like Lokalitea.

Lokalitea is an all-natural, freshly brewed turmeric tea infused with fruits and herbs. Due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric or ‘luyang dilaw’ is often used for sore throat and cough relief. It can also help improve digestion as well as liver and kidney functions, treat asthma, lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and may help prevent cancer.

To mark its one-year anniversary of purposeful existence, Health Begins With Her caught up with founder Ferch Reynoso to learn more about the nutritious drink that is making a splash in the local health scene.

A Happy Accident

Last year, Ferch was shocked to find that the price of ginger skyrocketed to P300/kilo at the market. She found turmeric beside it being offered at a much lower price (P100/ per kilo), so decided to buy it as alternative.

Ferch was later told by her house helper that turmeric cannot replace ginger due to the former’s bitter flavor. She then decided to make turmeric tea base from fresh turmeric roots, and infused it with fruits and herbs to overcome the bitter taste of turmeric. Her children loved it and the rest was history.

In February 2015, Lokalitea was born, joining a tiny but growing number of other proudly Philippine-made nutritious drinks such as Bayani Brew. Lokalitea uses mineral water and organic, locally-sourced ingredients in its brew.

Lokalitea retails for P60 for a 350mL bottle and P200 for a 1L. It also comes in calamansi, pandan, and lemon flavors.

Spreading the Love

Lokalitea: Turmeric Drink
Ferch Reynoso talks about Lokalitea at OA Ako Telemag segment for the Department of Agriculture

A year later and Lokalitea has become a regular fixture at markets (BF Weekend Market, Mercato Centrale), restaurants (Krung Thai, Sari Café), and fitness centers (Beyond Yoga, Yoga Philippines). It was also featured recently at the OA Ako Telemagazine segment in Mag-Agri Tayo, a TV Program of the Department of Agriculture.

With a lean team of three members – Ferch herself, her husband, and one sales staff, Lokalitea is still at its start-up phase. Ferch approaches the business from a ladder perspective, which means she will consider expanding depending on the market demand.

Ferch says they will concentrate on increasing brand presence in Metro Manila via different channels and avenues aligned with the values that Lokalitea embodies, such as sustainable consumption and support for local products.

Related: A Quick Guide to Manila’s Tastiest Juice Joints for the Busy Woman

The Road Less Traveled

Photo courtesy of Lokalitea Instagram

Ferch initially left the corporate world to focus on her family. She now believes her purpose is to promote healthy living through her product.

“We encourage people to pick cleaner as well as encourage healthy food providers to make their products affordable so a lot more people can make the lifestyle switch,” Ferch shared.

For Ferch, it’s all about believing in yourself and having the proper attitude to succeed in the business. “Embrace it and love it until it becomes your passion.  Find meaning in what you do to contribute goodness in our society and stick to that mission,” she advises.

Want to order? Call or text 0917-813-3724 or email lokaliteaph[at]gmail[dot]com

You can also follow Lokalitea on Facebook and Instagram for regular updates!