Bowls and Leaves

The Life and Times of Malcolm K Harker M.H.D.

With Malcolm’s retirement from the company, we’re celebrating his amazing achievements as a master herbalist, respected author and founder of Harker Herbals

Malcolm K Harker in his garden

When you’re sick of being sick...

It’s 1978, and Malcolm has just returned from several years working and playing hard in Australia. He’s very, very sick. Diagnosed with nephritic kidneys, Crohn’s disease and a pre-cancerous colon he undergoes treatment with prescription drugs and surgery. Nothing relieves his symptoms and actually healing his body seems a long way off.

That’s when Malcolm decides to learn everything he can about healing naturally using traditional herbal remedies and good nutrition. Several months after embarking on this new path, Malcolm is fighting fit. Feeling and looking the best he has for years, word of his turnaround in health slowly spreads through the community.

So business begins...

Malcolm K Harker pouring ingredients out of pots
When people start arriving on his doorstep looking for answers to their own health problems, Malcolm opens The Herbal Clinic. With a 5-litre pot and a one-element stove, the enterprising naturopath concocts herbal remedies to treat everything from skin disorders to lung congestion. He enjoys huge success, treating patients all over New Zealand. Then he goes on to train as a master herbalist, earning a Master of Herbology in Advanced Herbal Medicine from Emerson College, Quebec. The rest, as they say, is history.

The company Malcolm began 35 years ago still proudly bears his name: today Harker Herbals makes and distributes more than 50 tonics, balms and syrups in leading pharmacies and health stores throughout New Zealand.


Exploding tonics no deterrent to a thriving business

Growing a small herbal dispensary from an Auckland suburb into a significant thriving business was not without a few hiccups along the way. The most significant being the time-delayed exploding herbal remedy range: fridges and wallpaper suffered!

Malcolm’s first herbal tonics used organic apple cider vinegar which, combined with bitter herbs, were not the most pleasant tasting. Malcolm’s solution for his grimacing patients was to add 30% Manuka honey. So far so good, except for the resulting fermentation – the tonics self-destructed after a week and Malcolm had to quickly revise his formulas!

Dry ingredient being poured out

Making herbal remedies more accessible

Malcolm played a large role in bringing traditional herbal remedies out from small herbal dispensaries and making them more accessible to the wider community through mainstream distribution channels. So much so that in 1999 The Natural Health Industry of New Zealand honored Malcolm with a Lifetime Achievement Award for raising public awareness of the benefits of herbal medicine.

The legacy of Malcolm K. Harker M.H.D.

Today Harker Herbals continues to produce Malcolm’s original tonics, balms and elixirs, staying faithful to his original formulas. His famous tonic Deep Lung Support (previously Emphysemol), continues to be one of the most popular tonics in the Harker Herbals range.

Now in his 70s, Malcolm is enjoying a well-earned semi-retirement with his partner in Waipu. He continues to nurture the next generation of talent with his own natural health course while his book Health & Healing about his holistic approach to wellbeing is now in its second print run (and available at our Waipu store or from our website).

Thank you Malcolm!

Malcolm K Harker standing in front of ingredient pots
All our team at Harker Herbals wishes to express our utmost gratitude to Malcolm for his enormous contribution to herbal medicine and his enduring legacy: to restore good health and wellbeing naturally.

Thank you, Malcolm, for helping thousands of New Zealanders and others around the world on the path to better health and vitality. Wishing you a long and happy retirement!

The team at Harker Herbals

Harker Herbals. All Rights Reserved 2017.The Fine Print

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