Dounne Alexander is a spiritual herbalist, publisher, author, motivational speaker, health campaigner and award winning business pioneer.
She is founder of Gramma's (a manufacturer of herbal foods) and the Joining Hands In Health campaign, and recipient of national awards.
Born 1949 in the Caribbean Island of Trinidad, Dounne immigrated with her parents to the United Kingdom in 1964, where she studied as a Chemical & Bacteriological Laboratory Technician. She started her business "Gramma's" in 1987 and negotiating her Gramma’s Herbal Pepper Sauces into UK department stores Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, plus the top seven supermarket chains.
Dounne has self-published two books The Black Cinderella and A Mission of Love. The latter has been adopted by Coventry University as a course study text in leadership, entrepreneurship, personal/spiritual development and social responsibility.
Joining Hands In Health
In 1994, she created "Zara's Herbal Tea" which she claims healed herself and her dog (Zara) from terminal cancer.
In 2008, The Minister for Public Health[who?] approved the tea for use in hospitals and hospices. However, in 2009, an advert was pulled by the Advertising Standards Agency, stating it was misleading, irresponsible and likely to exploit the vulnerable. Dounne appealed, providing documentation containing consumer testimonials to substantiate her claims - even so, the ASA upheld their decision. Although she withdrew the advert as requested, the ASA contacted the UK regulator, who banned Zara’s Herbal Tea by enforcing the EU Food Supplements Directive and the 1939 Cancer Act.
In 2010, after presenting her case to the United Kingdom and European parliaments, she launched a petition for UK and Northern Ireland citizens. She then took the case to the UK Law Commission, Queen Elizabeth II and the United Nations, which followed the launch of the sister petition in 2012.
- Voted one of the 100 most influential black people in British history for the 2000 millennium archives (her contribution was recorded by the BBC and is stored in the British National Library for posterity);
- Honoured by Queen Elizabeth II with the MBE Medal for services to the British food industry;
- 2011 award for human rights;
- 2011 award for outstanding contribution to complementary and natural medicine;
- Name recorded in the American Chili Institute (Hall of Fame) for creating international awareness of the health enhancing benefits of hot peppers and spicy foods;
- 2012 award for outstanding contribution to Trinidad (her homeland) marking its 50th year of independence.