The Real Story of Raw Essentials Tea



The Real Story of Raw Essentials Tea

It’s time to take it back to the beginning this week. A story that will pull at most people’s heart-strings, Janet and Jake sit down and tell the story of how Raw Essentials Tea came to be.

Here’s what we cover:

  1. The tragic story of Jake’s accident
  2. How these tragic circumstances became Raw Essentials Tea and The Roach Foundation.


Janet Roach:  So, this is the real story of Raw Essentials Tea. My name is Janet Roach. I’m an international tea master, mad dog lover, proud mother, and Real Housewife of Melbourne.

Jake Zogoolas: My name’s Jake Zogoolas. I’m the founder… co-founder of Raw Essentials Tea.

Janet Roach: This is the story about how Raw Essentials Tea began. We’re going to tell you actually what happened.

So I was living at Red Hill, it’s about an hour from the city for people who don’t know about that, the phone rang at 4:00 a.m. in the morning and it was my son, Paul, my oldest son. He said that his younger brother, Jake, had been in a fire. “Come quick mum, it’s really serious.”

Jake Zogoolas: So, I was at a 21st birthday party in Deniliquin for the weekend. The party was outside on a tennis court, so you know, freezing cold. It got cool, and we were having trouble keeping the fire going so one of the boys had two litres of burning petrol and was dribbling drops of petrol on the fire. The fire come back up toward the spout of the kettle and the boys next reaction was to throw the kettle before it blew up, which kind of sucked for me.

Unfortunately, I had my back to the fire and the petrol splashed from the kettle and all over me and the fire from it followed. Now I was covered in two litres of burning petrol and was on fire. I dropped and rolled a number of times but each time stood up and the fire kept reigniting. My friend tackled me to the ground, smothered the fire with a blanket, immediately hosed me down with cold water. That one act of hosing me down probably saved my life. Remember that; it makes a big difference.

Janet Roach: Yeah, it’s a big difference in actually saving people so I think at the time there was a nurse there and it was her idea. Great idea.

I was told that Jake walked to the ambulance, talking to the paramedics as he boarded. He sat up on the way to the hospital, giving the girl, who had also been burned at the back of her thighs, the stretcher to lay on and I was very proud of him for that. But honestly, he walked into the Deniliquin Hospital with just a blanket around him and he told the staff that, yeah, pretty much he was okay but he was a bit sore. They took one look at him as said,” No, you’re not, buddy”, and immediately put him into an induced coma for the emergency helicopter ride to the Alfred Hospital burns unit. You know, where they sort of land on the roof. Anyway the helicopter landed on the heli-pad at the Alfred Hospital at about 6:30 am on the 3rd of April 2011.

Everyone in the hospital was mobilized. It was absolute pandemonium to try and save his life. I’ve never seen anything like it. The emergency department, the anaesthetics staff, the intensive care staff, the team of burn specialists. It was just like all these people just rushing around. Now I was allowed to see Jake but only for a minute or two while all this was going on, they were getting all this stuff. He was in an induced coma and he was under this like puffy silver blanket and I lifted the blanket and I saw… I saw his naked body. It was absolutely horrific. He was covered in about a 1 centimetre grey blister… like it was… It had different parts but it was basically just one big blister. His nose and his ears were all melted. He had no hair or eyebrows. Unbelievably, his private parts were completely intact. Look I had to… cause honestly, he would have been furious if there was a problem there. So apart from that, he was pretty much unrecognizable.

Jake was 22 and I knew he was in the best physical shape of his life. Twelve months earlier, he’d taken up as a mad person this mixed martial arts as a sport and he trained all the time so he was like… his whole body was like a rock. I believed in my heart that it was really, really serious but I thought,” You know what? Jake can survive it. He is really, really fit.”

Next couple of minutes, he was raced into surgery and they said they were going to excise the burn which, I mean, that’s the proper term. They basically meant that they are going to go in and they are going to skin him alive. They’ve got to take all the burned skin off. But it was horrific! It was his only chance and the doctors warned me that he only had a very small chance of survival.

Now, Paul and I stayed in the intensive care waiting room all day. There’s a special waiting room for people in intensive care which is great because there’s not a whole lot of people in there. When all the sudden Paul and I were just… the two of us there… we were stunned. We didn’t speak, we didn’t read, we didn’t eat. We just sat like that for hours in shock.

The doctor called me in to the conference room and they were only able to take the burned skin off Jake’s leg and left arm as Jake had gotten too cold and his blood wasn’t clotting like it should. They had to warm him up overnight and operate again the next morning on his face and his torso. And I’m thinking this kids has been in this fire, all these operations… I know they’re there to save his life, but… stop with all this.

And finally at about 11pm that night, Paul and I were allowed into intensive care to see Jake. This is after the operation. Ok, this is the really bad part; I just could not believe my eyes.

Have you ever been so shocked that your legs actually go to jelly and you lose your balance? I just sort of… I took one look at him and I went a bit sideways and couldn’t… and fell on the floor and hit the wall really hard. I could not believe my eyes. Jake was super-sized.

I’ve got photos. Hold on, get the photos. I’ll show you in a minute.

Janet Roach: He was bandaged all over like a mummy. He looked like an enormous Michelin man mummy. Like, enormous! His chest was… and everything was this big. Only thing you could see outside the bandages was his lips, his eyes, and his feet. Now he had no skin on his lids. He was absolutely enormous. His lips and eyelids were bulging out and they were like proud flesh. You know what that is when the flesh really swells up? He had tubes coming out of everywhere. He was hooked up to machines and monitors. The bandages were stained with blood and this black weeping ooze. It was the most horrifying injury anyone could ever imagine. Really. Earlier that day I thought that Jake could survive… then the way he looked in the evening, I thought,” No one can survive this.” And the hope drained out of me.

I would like to show you a couple of photos of how it looked after.

I know I should’ve been better prepared, I’m sorry, so I don’t know if you can see, but that’s what his face was like. Let’s see if I can show you what his body looked like. Let’s just see if I can… So that is… I hope you can see that. It’s closer. And I’ve just got –

Jake Zogoolas: Yeah… Feels like a long time ago now.

Janet Roach: Yeah, isn’t it so amazing that it’d be… but I never had thought that we would be here. Can you see that? I’d never had thought that we’d be in the situation that we’re in now, that we would be this far past it, at the time. So…

Jake Zogoolas: After many conversations with mum, about how I should proceed with life after post-recovery and the idea of The Roach Foundation came to me. After three years of my life spent in and out of painful surgeries and treatments and I was taking a myriad of pharmaceuticals just to keep the pain at bay. But the emotional duress was almost as strenuous as the physical labours of this ordeal. During my many hospital stays I made friends with the burn… in the burns unit. It became apparent they didn’t have the access to same kinds of treatments that I did.

A friend and fellow burn survivor told me that she didn’t want to try them. They were simply too expensive and she was worried about being able to commit to them long term. In that moment, it dawned on me how lucky I am. Not all burns patients had access to what I did.

Janet Roach: You know what I think… wasn’t it… weren’t you talking to me about what on Facebook. Originally, I was looking… I was saying,” How about those other people that were in the hospital with you and I was amazed that… why weren’t they doing this stuff?

Jake Zogoolas: Yeah. I was more compelled to learn more about the options out there. I found out the government would fund operations to save your life but anything extra, especially to do with your aesthetics, isn’t covered.

Jake Zogoolas: This is how The Roach Foundation was born.

It was created to assist burns survivors and their families during the recovery process. Today, a percentage of proceeds from every packet of Raw Essentials Tea go directly towards my foundation to help other burns patients reconnect the same sense of hope that helped me through my recovery.

Janet Roach: The healing power of herbs and natural remedies have held my interest and attention since I was a teenager. I was visiting the Chinese herbalist in Lt Bourke street, in Melbourne where I grew up. I’d go down there all the time. On my overseas holidays, I sort of had this passion for collected herbs, seeds, teas from all over the place. My boys were very, very accustomed to having herbs hanging in the shed on coat hangers and all this sort of stuff.

When Jake was burned in the fire, I started to explore a whole lot of options, including expensive treatments which turned out to be incredibly effective on his appearance. While his physical recovery was tracking well, his emotional one was less so. His zest for life was really going on the couch for all day. He lacked energy and the clarity, I suppose, to see the light at the end of the tunnel. He was very… like they say about teenagers and that… he wouldn’t talk. I didn’t know how he felt. I didn’t know… ” Are you okay, Jake?”. “Yep.”

” Do you want -”


During this time… Do you remember this? This is funny… I was just trying to coax him into trying some of my teas because I believed that there’s a lot, a lot of healing power in the nourishing of your body. Look, in the end he just said to me,” For God’s sakes.” Which just made me put them down in front of him. But in a short amount of time, he started to say to me that he felt lighter and clearer. And he was starting to get off the couch, get out of bed, get showered, get dressed. He was this lovely, clean Jake. But after about a week, he broke out in these small pustules almost like he has pimples on his skin, sort of on the skin on the part of his back that hadn’t been burnt, just a small thing, cause it still had pores. Now I didn’t know what it was but I thought it might be the tea. And he was like,” Mum, don’t be… don’t be ridiculous.” So we stopped the tea for a few days and the pustules cleared up. We started it again and they came back but they were nowhere near as bad as before. And we realized it was the tea detoxing him.

He had all these pharmaceutical drugs and he was feeling really clear

So I’ve written a book called The Truth About Detoxing. In the book I explain the truth about detoxing and I dispel all these myths. I explain how a natural eliminations systems work. And I’m keen to get this truth to as many people as possible so I’m offering the book for free. You really… we’ve been told so much in the media about this stuff and that a lot of it is jus hocus-pocus.

If you’d like a copy, click the link in the content below or to learn more button.

Now as Jake was improving, and you could actually have a conversation with him. I asked him,” What would you like to do with your life, if you could do anything? If money wasn’t an issue, and you could just anything.

He told me he was really keen to start this foundation to treat burn patients, and I said,” Oh no, Jake, no.” I had supported a charity of my husbands previously, is was sort like Beyond Blue, but before that, and I knew how much work it was to fundraise. He thought about my answer for a few days and he came back with an idea which was so cheeky. He said,” Mum, you know how you love your teas and why don’t you do your teas and we will fund the foundation through the sale of your tea.

Now I’ve been a property developer, and it was sort of rape and pillage. I really… I mean would love to have done my tea. So that way we both get to do what we really want to do and that is how Raw Essentials Tea and The Roach Foundation came to be.

Now don’t forget to get your free copy of The Truth About Detox. Click the link in the contents below or hit the learn more button.

Keep your eyes peeled for the third instalment of our Tea Society challenge. We are getting the most amazing results and these people are fabulous. They’re owning their hearts and they’re explaining about what the problems are, what sort of results they gain. It’s just fascinating.

So check out Raw Essentials social media. They’ve got instalment one and two on there.

Bye for now and don’t forget, nourish yourself.


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