Clear all
Most BlackNificent Kmty! Admin

To Purchase: Sundial Herbs - Home

By I. Jabulani Tafari

Sundial's success story first began with the establishment of Sundial Herbs and Herbal Products International in the early 1970's. However, the real story, just like the recipes for the company's products, go back to at least 100 years ago. The recipes have been handed down from Baba Rahsan's Great-Great-Grandfather, who was the family healer, and a Maroon descendant of the Akan-speaking Koromantee Tribe from West Africa. He remembers that he "grew up in a family that did not use drugs. Herbs were used for cooking, washing hair, bathing, and for soap. If we had a cold we'd get cotton bush, or jack-in-the-bush. If we had a fever, or chicken pox, we'd get a bath in a tub of tea made with avocado or tamarind leaves. Most of the time, (I was) sent to gather these herbs, thereby getting a firsthand knowledge of herbs from, a very early age." Likewise, in many countries and areas outside the United States, most people still try to retain the tradition of using herbs, roots, barks and natural elements from nature to assist with the well-being and maintenance of their body. This tradition is then handed down to the one designated as the "family healer". So it was... that in the Duckett family, young Ruddy (i.e. Baba Rahsan) was designated to be the healer and was destined to become a "Bush Doctor."

Accordingly, Baba Rahsan acquired his early hands-on training from his Grandfather, Father, Mother and his Aunt Rose, and from the age of eight he has been carrying on the family tradition of making Woodroot Tonic, Koromantee Bitters and other family recipes using natural herbs, roots, barks, spices and seeds. He recalls that "If someone got sick, I was sent to pick the herb, and if I picked the wrong one, I would be sent back. Even at nights I was sent to pick herbs so I would be able to recognize them in the dark by touch and scent." Emphasizing that his Grandfather was a real agricultural scientist, Baba Rahsan explains that, "My Grandfather was a self-taught agriculturist who was the key man in the making of Hope Gardens, one of the largest botanical gardens in the West Indies. He did not get the credit for it, but he taught the staff how to do grafting and plant development. He brought Saint Julian mangoes to Jamaica. Charles Lindbergh came all the way to Jamaica to buy an orchid that my grandfather developed, which was not available anywhere else in the world. He also made American apples and pears grow in Jamaica. Jamaica's first independent nursery was Williams Nursery on Old Hope Road in Kingston. His name was Charles Williams."

Ruddy Duckett left Jamaica and came to America at the age of 16 and got caught up in the fast-moving, junk-food living and before long developed psoriasis, which the doctors could not cure. He discloses that, "Something inside said, go back to your roots and herbs and leave the doctors alone. I started to take dandelion and sarsaparilla root, stopped eating white flour products, sugar and junk-food and cured myself. That's when I started to do research into American herbs and to my surprise found that most of the herbs in America were the same herbs I used in Jamaica, but with different names." Over the many years since then, Duckett became conscious of himself as being an African, so he grew dreadlocks and changed his name to reflect his new found consciousness.

Today, the Jamaican born Baba Rahsan Abdul Hakim, ranks as an elder Afrikan Herbalist and has become well known as a grassroots "Bush Doctor". In his now expert opinion, "All one has to do is to get back in harmony with nature. The law of nature is the law of God. God said we should eat berries, fruit and seeds. They are the essence of life. They contain everything the body needs. They have no concentrated starches or acids, and they are compatible to our biological makeup as African and Indian people." As the CEO of Sundial Herbs and Herbal Products International, which produces a line of traditional herbal tonics, herbal blends and skincare products, Baba Rahsan is the creator of the original Sundial Roots tonic, which is the "Grandfather" of all Woodroot and Koromantee products on the market. He is also the owner of the Health At Sunrise Healing and Learning Center and the Koromantee Health Food Store, located at the corner of Boston Post Road and 223rd Street in the Bronx, New York.

Baba Rahsan's son Adoni manages day to day activities at the Bronx store. Adoni is also learning how to prepare the different herbal tonic combinations and how to mix the other various products while assisting his father. And Adoni's sister, Veta, works as office manager and book keeper, and also runs the company's Long Island location at 538 Jerusalem Avenue in Uniondale. Their younger brother, Ras K, is in Jamaica helping to run Sundial's operation in Hope Bay, Portland.

Thus, a quarter century after its humble start, Sundial has succeeded in establishing a very strong brand-name recognition for its product line, particularly in the northeastern United States. Sundial undoubtedly has a huge audience and a large market demand for the products from people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds, but especially enjoys a long-term and intimate customer relationship with the people of African, African-American, Afro-Caribbean and Latin American ancestry. As a result, Sundial's many products are professionally marketed and widely distributed all over North America, Canada, the Caribbean Islands, England and Africa. The Sundial products contain no chemicals, artificial colors or additives. They are composed of pure herbs, roots, barks from Africa and the Caribbean islands. Various herbal spices are used to preserve the contents and to extend the life of the products, which are made fresh daily.

The two most popular products are Sundial Wood Root Tonic and the Koromantee Bitters, which, Baba Rahsan says provide for total cleansing of the body when taken together. Other Sundial products include African Manback (for weakness in the male reproductive system and impotence), Ashanti Weight Loss (an appetite curber and energy lifter), African Shea Butter (for cooking, flavoring and, when used externally, for rashes, blemishes, etc.), Queen Makeda (a cornmeal face and body scrub and soap substitute), Cocoa Balls (for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels), Cassava Meal (a nutritious fiber and food), pure honey, pure vanilla, and the Zulu Brew, a drink consumed at traditional African gatherings, social functions and festivals in place of beer and alcohol.
Sundial imports its ingredients from Jamaica, Africa and Latin America. The herbs and roots from Jamaica are harvested and mixed according to ancestral tradition. Baba Rahsan cautions that, "You cannot just throw some roots into a pot, boil it, strain it and say you have wood root tonic, there are steps one has to take. There is only one recipe. Even if one has the right ingredients, there is a special way to balance the herbs and roots for it to be effective. There are many steps involved. The herbs must be picked at the right times and dried in a certain way that will not upset the spiritual and physical properties of the herb."

Sundial reportedly buys more than $100,000 worth of imports from a little village in Ghana, including produce like honey, shea butter, cocoa butter and a variety of roots. The Company has also established a manufacturing plant in Hope Bay, Portland, Jamaica, in preparation for exporting Sundial products to England and other Caribbean islands. By its own admission, Sundial is not only about sales but also about helping the community. Accordingly, Sundial currently sponsors the Content Basic School in the Portland district of Jamaica, as well as Las Cahobas, another school in Haiti. At the Healing and Learning Center at his Bronx location, Baba Rahsan teaches traditional herbalism, Reiki healing (healing by touch), meditation and traditional vegetarian food preparation. His learning center also provides information about Caribbean and Maroon heritage and workshops in healthy living, herbalism, and healing.

Besides giving regular on-location consultations at his Bronx store, Baba Rahsan shares his natural and traditional healing remedies on his radio program "Health At Sunrise", which is aired on a number of stations both in the New York metropolitan area and in the Caribbean. In addition he shares his expertise on various television programs, and at herbal seminars, food preparation workshops and survival journey retreats. His lectures have taken him to Atlanta, Virginia, Buffalo, Boston, Miami, England and the Caribbean Islands, while his health articles have appeared in newspapers including the Amsterdam News, Carib News, The Daily Challenge, Caribbean Life, the Jamaica Gleaner, as well as in US magazines like Encore, Everybody, Ujaama, Unfold and in the UK's Afrikan Business & Culture. And one of Baba Rahsan's many books, "Basic Herbs", is a manual on herbs, formulas, ailments and remedies, offering instructions on making tinctures, oils, and poultices.

In the meantime, Baba Rahsan is the Founder-Organizer and Chairman of the Bronx Chapter, Chapter 27 of the Ethiopian World Federation. Established in 1938 by order of HIM Emperor Haile Selassie I, the EWF's aims are to unify, educate, promote and inspire all peoples of Afrikan Ancestry, and ultimately to repatriate all those desiring to physically return to Ethiopia in order to reclaim their Divine Heritage. He also continues to work and study the varied practical applications of herbs globally, and thus Baba Rahsan's expeditions have taken him into Cuba, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Haiti, England, the Caribbean Islands and to Afrika repeatedly.

With his success to date, Baba Rahsan says he is now ready to implement Garvey's master plan with the guidance of His Majesty. Accordingly, he is making a major move take over the Black Health Food market in order to counteract the glut of hybrid and other electrically dead foods which are not compatible with Black people's digestive system and therefore throws the nervous systems of Africans out of wack. Sundial is thus spearheading a new trading company comprised of an amalgamation of almost a dozen companies mainly from the New York area. More on that in the very near future.

Topic starter Posted : 06/07/2008 12:26 am
 D Williams
(@D Williams)

Blessings from across the Atlantic. Great to hear of the successes of Sundial, long may they prosper! I'm starting a Bsc in Clinical Herbalism, aiming to restore the tradition in this branch of the family. Charles is my great grandfather. The seed though scattered, grows strong. One love ❤

Posted : 05/05/2020 5:43 am
Most BlackNificent Kmty! Admin
Posted by: @D Williams

Blessings from across the Atlantic. Great to hear of the successes of Sundial, long may they prosper! I'm starting a Bsc in Clinical Herbalism, aiming to restore the tradition in this branch of the family. Charles is my great grandfather. The seed though scattered, grows strong. One love ❤

BlackTastic to know!

Topic starter Posted : 10/10/2020 4:15 pm

Leave a reply

Author Name

Author Email

Title *

Preview 0 Revisions Saved