Category Archives: Press

20th Anniversary Media Release


…Canadian owned and operated natural wellness company celebrating myriad milestones since being founded in December of 1999

DUNCAN, B.C (Tuesday, February 12th, 2019) – PURICA, a Canadian-owned and operated whole food and natural supplements company, is marking its 20th Anniversary in the natural health industry with a year-round celebration at and on social at @puricawellness and

Among the milestones is the second consecutive inclusion of PURICA Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer & Chief Formulator Jason Watkin on the OptiMYz Magazine Top-100 Influencers in Canadian health.

“We’re just so grateful to have the opportunity to serve active living Canadians and all of those who have come to rely on our products for results that they can feel,” said Jason Watkin, who teamed up with his brother Trevor Watkin, Chief Operating Officer at PURICA, to create the company in December of 1999.

“We are of course pleased to celebrate our 20th Anniversary and proud to be part of a natural health industry that is manifold larger than it was when we started,” said Watkin. “The most important thing for us is to say thank you to the customers, retailers and suppliers who have made PURICA what it is today. That will be the single biggest theme in our 20th Anniversary celebrations throughout the year ahead.”

Watkin is once again among 100 natural health industry entrepreneurs, professionals, trainers, media personalities and celebrities on the OptiMYz Top-100.

“The members of this elite group are connected by a single passion: improving the long-term health and wellness of people in Canada,” said David Holt, Editor-in-Chief of OptiMYz Magazine. “They represent the five brand pillars of OptiMYz Magazine: health, fitness, nutrition, adventure and mental wellbeing. Put them together and you will see the direction of women’s health in Canada.”

Also on the list in recent years are Canadian Health Food Association President Helen Long, golfer Brooke Henderson – Canada’s female athlete of the year in 2018 – tennis player and social media personality Eugenie Bouchard, actress Kim Cattrall of the iconic television series Sex in the City, health and women’s rights advocate Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, Canadian Olympic Committee President and former Olympic rower Tricia Smith, Canadian Olympians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, Clara Hughes, Hayley Wickenheiser, Heather Moyse, Rosie MacLennan, Karen Furneaux and Ellie Black, Canadian Paralympic Committee CEO Karen O’Neill, Paralympian and cabinet minister in the Canadian federal government Carla Qualtrough, and Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod of “Body Break” fame.

For a glance at the full list, visit

“It’s such an honour to be included in the company of so many of the transformative people who have made it their personal mission to help Canadians lead healthier and happier lives,” said Watkin. “That notion is central to our company philosophy and our mantra of Nature. Science. You.”

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Contact: Tawnya Ritco, Content & Education, PURICA 1-604-649-8445 OR 1-877-746-9397

PURICA Foundation cause raising on two fronts

Kate, Marnie Watkin (Chair of PURICA Foundation), Tawnya Ritco (Alexa’s Mom), Barbara and Andrea of PURICA

PURICA Foundation Chair Marnie Watkin shared good news on two fronts earlier this month on TSN 1040: $182,000 raised for the Cowichan Valley Hospice House project and a new campaign in support  of the BC Ambulance Infant Transport Team at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at BC Women’s Hospital. Join us in support of the NICU

PURICA Foundation Expands Scope to Support Care and Well-being Throughout Full Spectrum of Life


…from its new campaign for the BC Ambulance Infant Transport Team at BC Women’s Hospital to its ongoing support of the Cowichan Valley Hospice House Project, the charitable arm aims to help and protect the most vulnerable of children and those in need of end-of-life care

DUNCAN, B.C (Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018) – PURICA, a Canadian-owned and operated whole food and natural supplements company, is expanding the scope of the PURICA Foundation to span those in critical need throughout the full spectrum of life; from the most vulnerable of babies cared for by the BC Ambulance Infant Transport Team at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at BC Women’s Hospital to those who will benefit from care at the future Cowichan Valley Hospice House. Continue reading

Heal like a child

PURICA founder Jason Watkin shares his philosophy and inspiration behind the brand.


Growing up in British Columbia, Jason Watkin loved to play sports. He saw the downside, however, as many of his athletic friends had knee and back injuries. At age 16 he was in a serious car accident. As he recovered, he gained a new awareness of how the body reacts to stress, which can come from injury or illness or just living in the modern world. “Stress alone can break you down,” he says.

He gravitated to science and sports medicine, studying biochemistry at the University of Victoria and also Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Then, he followed his cousin who is a dancer to Europe and worked as a nutritionist with the Royal Dutch Ballet. There, he saw how prone dancers are to injury. The difficult movements and repetition inevitably take their toll. To make things even more challenging, they are also under constant pressure to keep their weight down.

“This is very destructive,” he says. “It makes them susceptible to autoimmune and connective tissue issues. Life in the theatre world is very exciting, but behind the scenes there is a lot of inflammatory disease. Dancers can end up with eating disorders and gut problems that rob them of essential nutrients.”

This experience in Europe sparked his interest in developing natural products to reduce inflammation. After doing research in the literature, he started formulating a product to help dancers come back from injury. He investigated traditional medicines that use plants, including the polyphenol class such as bioflavonoids and catechins found in teas and berries.
“I wanted to create products that help you heal as you get older,” he says. “I wanted to optimize how cells behave so you could heal like a kid.”

He found that certain plant-based compounds help tissues become more stable and more flexible. They increase the fluidity and flexibility of cell membranes, which helps them to receive hormones and decrease insulin insensitivity.

The initial formulation, later called Recovery, was based on EGCG, proanthocyanidins, theaflavin and resveratrol for joint and muscle pain and stiffness. As it gained traction in the world of dance, his brother Trevor used it successfully on his own long-time skin condition. The family decided it was time to build an organization to market this initial product. His brother Trevor and his parents mortgaged their houses to launch PURICA, based in their hometown of Duncan, on Vancouver Island.

The name PURICA combines “pure” and “care,” reflecting the natural purity of the products and the care they put into their formulations. The logo incorporates a modified triskelion, a Celtic symbol involving the interplay of three entities, invoking the PURICA mantra “Nature. Science. You.”

As Recovery was gaining traction, a veterinary version was tested on horses that had been given corticosteroids for inflammation. In turn they needed antibiotics because the steroids were suppressing the immune system, leading to inflammation and actually decreasing muscle mass and eventually bone density.

The results of a trial in the United States was published in Horse Journal. The company went from nowhere in the industry to the phone ringing off the hook. “There is no placebo effect with animals,” says Watkin. “The vets either see improvement or they don’t.”

Later Watkin developed PURICA Provascin, a product that targets cardiovascular issues, after his uncle had a ruptured aorta and his father had a heart attack on the operating table. That was 25 years ago. As an added benefit, PURICA products are safe to take with pharmaceuticals. MDs use Recovery and Provascin along with conventional medications. “My father used to take eight drugs plus Provascin,” says Watkin. “He’s alive and healthy and 75.”

States of body and mind

As science has shown, there is a clear relationship between stress and disease. “When the mind is relaxed you feel like you’re getting along in the world,” says Watkin.

“This the opposite of the hypercompetitive world we live in today. Younger people handle stress well, but over time it breaks down our bodies. We are aging faster.”

Central to the stress response is the difference in the balance of the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic is for “fight or flight” and the parasympathetic for “relaxation and recovery.”

The fight-or-flight mode is designed for short-term energy. It helped our ancestors deal with physical threats. Now most of the stress is mental and the energy boost actually turns on the body. Too much time in the sympathetic can be destructive, interfering with blood clot formation and other basic functions.

“I looked at the individual cell as a reflection of the body and mind,” says Watkin. “When we stay in the fight-or-flight response, our minds become inflexible. We are filled with tension. We can’t remember things. Our sugars spike and we are tired and have mood swings.”

Ironically, the pressure of creating new products and running the company took its toll. Watkin was working too much and sleeping too little. He started investigating psychology, which has a big influence on how people respond to the world. “If you live in a state of stress, of ‘dis-ease,’ it initiates the sympathetic state,” he says.

He began to spend time in nature and get more exercise, including yoga. He investigated the ancient wisdom traditions that help people feel calm and clear-minded, studying comparative literature and philosophy. He focussed on the Indo-Tibetan tradition. “I wanted to learn more about how the mind works. How can people stay relaxed and calm?”

While immersed in subjects like anti- aging techniques, digestion and sleep, he focussed more on the mushrooms that have been used traditionally in Tibet and China as the “top tier of their medicines.” These include Reishi, Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps and Chaga.

His research led him to develop Immune 7, a formulation of six medicinal mushrooms and nutricol® to support immunity, strengthen the body’s response to stress and optimize health. It is used for serious conditions and just to strengthen the immune system.

Then he formulated PURICA Complete 360, based on Ashwagandha and mushrooms, to help people feel younger and have a clear mind. “Complete 360 helps you to live like when you were a child.”

Today researchers at PURICA continue to develop new products to help people both physically and psychologically. “It’s the idea of body, mind, spirit. If people don’t like the term spirit, we can say we help you spend more time in the parasympathetic state. We are seeing age-defying results.”

Asked about his own philosophy, Watkin muses and replies, “You could define me as a Buddhist/ Celt. There is no one perfect way to live your life.”

While still active at PURICA, he is launching a new business Beachside Kayak on Salt Spring Island to provide kayaking and paddle boarding on the ocean. It has connected him with the First Nations people in the Gulf Islands. “The wisdom traditions of the world bring ancient messages back into our lives,” he says. “They help us to open up, to realize the lives we live are not always who we really are. We ask: Am I over-reacting to the world?”

Watkin has a science background, but he sees the downside of our obsession with technology. “I think the new generation will eventually get enough of all these machines that are set up to make you tired,” he says. “They will see the negative side and want to heal. We are faced with constant distractions and ridiculous information overload. We resist being present. When we are part of a real community, we feel better and perform better. We need to get back to this.”


Best Mushroom Award for PURICA Lion’s Mane


…Duncan, B.C.-based whole food and natural supplements company recognized for excellence in natural health for PURICA Lion’s Mane as Best Mushroom

DUNCAN, B.C (Wednesday, September 19th, 2018) – For the second straight year, PURICA has been selected as a winner at the National Nutrition Awards presented by, a Toronto-based online vitamin, minerals and supplements retailer.

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PURICA Launching New Formulations at CHFA East


…PURICA Curcumin Extra Strength 30% BDMC Anti-Inflammatory, PURICA IonicBone Vegan Bone-Building Formula and PURICA Zensations mushroom cacao drinks to be introduced in Toronto September 14th-16th, 2018

DUNCAN, B.C. (Friday, September 7th, 2018) – What happens when you combine the power of PURICA® medicinal mushrooms with the magical taste of cacao? The answer to that question – PURICA® Zensations™ – will be one of the highlights of the Canadian Health Food Association Conference and Trade Show (CHFA East), September 14th-16th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in downtown Toronto.

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Chicory root enhances status as dietary fiber officially recognized by the FDA in the United States


…New category inclusion by US Food and Drug Administration not only benefits products such as PURICA Fiberlicious but shows growing strength of natural health foods in North America

DUNCAN, B.C. (Thursday, June 21st, 2018) – The latest food and nutrition labeling regulations in the United States recognize Chicory Root – the key source ingredient in PURICA Fiberlicious – on the newly–released list of approved dietary fibers. The consolidation of Chicory Root on the official list of dietary fibers was formalized and announced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this past week after an extensive period of review of non–digestible carbohydrates by its Nutrition Science Review Committee.

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PURICA launches Immune Pet – immunity support for small animals


…the Canadian makers of Recovery SA® and related products for humans and horses strengthens the PURICA commitment to natural supplements for pet health

DUNCAN, B.C. (Tuesday, June 6th, 2017) – – By launching PURICA Immune Pet – designed to provide immunity support for small animals — PURICA is this summer strengthening its commitment to developing the finest natural supplements for cats, dogs and other pets.

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PURICA Launches Purola Granola Bars


…leaders in micronized medicinal mushrooms to introduce new granola bar product in two flavours: Chocolate Rush with Cordyceps and Vanilla Chill with Red Reishi at CHFA West April 8-9

DUNCAN, B.C. (Friday, April 7th, 2016) – PURICA will launch and test sample its new take on healthy granola bars – PURICA Purola — at the Canadian Health Food Association’s CHFA West trade show at the Vancouver Convention Centre April 8th-9th.

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Introducing PURICA Power Vegan Protein


…the makers of Recovery® and micronized medicinal mushrooms to unveil a new fermented, highly-digestible, low carb vegan protein at CHFA West April 8th-9th in Vancouver

DUNCAN, B.C. (Friday, April 7th, 2017) – By launching PURICA Power Vegan Protein this coming weekend at the Canadian Health Food Association’s CHFA West trade show at the Vancouver Convention Centre, PURICA is ushering in a new era in the growth and evolution of the natural health food company that is committed to empowering people with the finest whole food products, supplements and lifestyle solutions.

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