Natur Boutique may be a small and fairly basic-looking shop with its slatted wooden shelves, but a few minutes’ browsing reveals that it stocks a breathtaking number of brands, from juices to rye bread, rice milk to quinoa.
Battersea Park Road isn’t an obvious shopping destination but Natur Boutique – just a few minutes from Battersea Park station – aims to serve the local population, encouraging them to request items they’d like to see on the shelves and offering products you won’t find in every other healthfood store, as well as regular in-store sampling and 50 per cent clearance sales.
Proprietor Anton Le Kahk is half Ukrainian and half Vietnamese and has drawn on both these cultures with products that are new to the UK: Natur Boutique is actually a family-run producer and distributor specialising in Asian herbal teas and natural remedies since 1991.
The Fitopharma range of supplements is based on traditional Vietnamese medicine, produced to high standards in Japan and often based on herbs, plants, vegetables and fruits not found in the West. Spiny Bitter Gourd, for example, is a south-east Asian fruit that contains plenty of beta-carotene and lycopene, making it beneficial for healthy vision and skin. Golden Ginseng is another popular product, as are Baby Jackfruit capsules, while other supplements are designed to help brain, immune system, liver, bone health, eyes, nerves, women on their menstrual cycle and even male potency (Fitogra – natural Viagra!).
Cinnamon slippers and insoles are another unusual find, again drawing on a popular product in Vietnam. Made from cinnamon bark and root and containing cinnamon essential oils, they are very comfortable to wear but have medicinal value too: the warming, antiseptic nature of cinnamon is said to relax the feet and improve blood flow – and they smell good too! A treat for pavement-pounding city feet at just £11.99, the slippers also help with foot perspiration, odour, fatigue, cold and dry and cracking foot skin.
I also enjoyed Natur’s exclusive teas: artichoke tea which helps digestion by stimulating bile production and boosting fat-digesting enzymes. Another great product was the gorgeous green tea with liquorice, which has a natural sweetness, so no need to add sugar. Natur Boutique offers 15,000 items to pre-order including oils, nuts, seeds, juices, cereals, products for those with dairy/wheat/gluten intolerances, cereals, breads, natural toiletries and organic foods.
174 Battersea Park Road
Tel: 020 7622 7856