Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Baranja Student Luka Soldo Awarded €25,000 for Business Idea of the Year

April 19, 2022 - Luka Soldo, a young entrepreneur from Podolje in Baranja, had the business idea of the year in 2021. Having developed from his desire to quit smoking, three years later he has managed to help others do the same with the help of his herbal tea, Herbie.

As SiB.hr writes, the Osijek-Baranja County prefect Ivan Anušić praised the efforts of the young entrepreneur Luka Soldo, a 22-year-old student who founded Herbie with the help of family and friends to raise awareness of the health effects of herbal teas.

Luka gave up cigarettes with the help of self-created herbal mixtures and took the opportunity to recommend the use of herbs in the form of tea, whose effects include significant cleansing of the lungs, calming the body, and strengthening immunity, thus helping reduce nicotine addiction.

The production process of the natural mixtures takes place completely by hand in Podolje in Baranja, and Luka and his family pay special attention to the storage and packaging of the plants, which do not contain nicotine, pesticides, or any other harmful additives.

"Luka is only at the beginning of his business and entrepreneurial career, yet he has already shown great talent and effort. He started very early with a commendable project that won the award for the best business idea in Croatia and proved to be a project of benefit to the whole community, which will also help the livelihood of his family and potential employees. I wanted to meet him, hear his thoughts and let him know that Osijek-Baranja County is there for him and other young people to help the realisation of their dreams and projects. Entrepreneurship, trade, and innovation are always in our focus because only by using our own resources can we build a strong economy”, the prefect stressed.

"I am grateful to the prefect and Osijek-Baranja County for their willingness to help me and other young entrepreneurs in the implementation of our projects. This is an additional reason to stay in the county and Croatia. The idea came to me because I wanted to help my own addiction to cigarettes, as well as other people's.

We started producing a herbal mixture without nicotine, i.e. tea, with which we want to still give people an opportunity to use herbs for relaxation, sending a message that the desire to relax and calm down is completely normal, but can be done differently. So far, we have received several awards that have given wind to our sails, and we desire to expand our business outside of Croatia and employ people from our county. In one year, we managed to win the award for the best business idea, expand to all five largest cities in Croatia and present our product at an international fair in Barcelona. Now our goal is to expand to other markets, primarily in Slovenia, and to become available in smaller cities in Croatia, where we are also recording customer interest.

Still, the most important thing we managed to achieve was having five people quit smoking. As for the ingredients we use, there are 13 plants, with the main ingredient being mullein (wild tobacco) accompanied by a few herbs to improve the taste, such as bearberry, raspberry, blackberry, and rose petals. The hardest part was getting the right flavours, and now after three years of trying all kinds of recipes, we know how to hit the right ones”, said Luka.

In addition to the above, it should be emphasized that Herbie was named the best business idea for 2021 in the Republic of Croatia and awarded 25,000 euros in the international competition of the Crown program of the Sisak-Moslavina Development Agency SIMORA. A total of 300 participants from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro took part in the project.

For more, check out our business section.

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Croatian Plant Sweet Wormwood Treats Coronavirus, say German Scientists

October 7, 2020 - Medical professionals remain cautious, but German media reports that scientists in their country have evidence to suggest Sweet Wormwood is effective in treating COVID-19. Known as Slatki Pelin in Croatia, the plant grows in Dalmatia and Herzegovina

67-year-old German media outlet Deutsche Welle has written that scientists within their country have discovered that Sweet Wormwood is effective in treating COVID-19. The plant is known as Slatki pelin in Croatian and grows wild within inland Dalmatia and nearby Herzegovina.

3096px-Artemisia_annua_sl5.jpegSweet Wormwood is known as Slatki pelin in Croatia and grows in Dalmatia and Herzegovina, where people have been using it in tea as a herbal remedy © Stefan.lefnaer

Scientists from the German Max-Planck Institute in Potsdam are researching how to treat patients with the plant. Though the World Health Organisation says there is currently no evidence that sweet wormwood helps in the treatment of COVID-19, Dr Andrea Jurić, acting director of the Institute of Public Health of West Herzegovina Canton, confirmed to Deutsche Welle that she was aware of the plant's positive effects on COVID-19 patients within Herzegovina. Some of the region's inhabitants have been using the plant to make tea for use as a herbal remedy for those who have COVID-19. Herbal remedies are commonly used across Bosnia and Herzegovina.

When asked about the German media report, Croatian Minister for Health Krunoslav Capak said that no comment could be made without recognised clinical trials having first been undertaken. “We in the medical profession are primarily guided by scientific research and clinical trials of drugs and medical procedures,” he said, after reminding journalists early reports that chloroquine and some other antiviral drugs were successful in treating COVID-19 had since been disproved by clinical trials. “Only when something is proved to be useful can we talk about it.”

Sweet Wormwood or Artemisia annua in Latin, is also sometimes known as Sweet Annie, Sweet Sagewort, Annual Mugwort and Annual Wormwood. It grows naturally in North America and in Asia too. In China, it has long been used in herbal medicine and is widely cultivated for that purpose. The plant already has an established reputation for combating malaria.

Artemisia_annua.jpegSweet Wormwood © Kristian Peters

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