Factors Advancing Botanicals in 2017


by Chris Kilham -

As 2017 comes to a close, Ashwagandha Advantage checked in with Chris Kilham, aka The Medicine Hunter, to gauge the progress of botanicals in the U.S. marketplace.

Ashwagandha Advantage: What is currently driving interest in botanicals in the U.S. market?

Chris Kilham: Word of mouth, constant flow of science, disillusionment with conventional medicines, advice from retailers, favorable media and good experiences with other natural remedies are all driving this interest.

Ashwagandha Advantage: Do you see increased interest in botanical/herbal products from India, particularly those used in Ayurveda?

Kilham: To the extent that companies promote these products, yes. The market is increasingly familiar with Indian botanicals, and this helps to ease the way for more. All botanicals need advocates, and this function is served by savvy companies.

Ashwagandha Advantage: Specifically, what do you see as the market opportunity for ashwagandha?

Kilham: Ashwagandha is a stress-buster, and this is an enormous benefit. It helps people to get a good night's sleep, and this is a major health issue right now. Additionally, the cognitive-enhancing properties of ashwagandha are significant and can enhance anybody's life. Add increased energy, endurance, stamina and sexual function, and the market opportunity is endless.

Ashwagandha Advantage: What should manufacturers and marketers of ashwagandha products consider when promoting them to consumers?

Kilham: Certified organic is critical. A company that operates according to rigorous standards is of paramount importance. Choosing an ashwagandha root extract that enjoys numerous human clinical studies is obviously very smart.

Ashwagandha Advantage: What should formulators consider when selecting an ashwagandha ingredient for their product?

Kilham: Use one that demonstrates efficacy in human clinical studies, and use the full clinical dose in any product.

Chris Kilham Chris Kilham

Chris Kilham is a medicine hunter, author and educator. The founder of Medicine Hunter Inc., he has conducted medicinal plant research in more than 45 countries. Kilham works with companies to develop and popularize traditional plant-based food and medicinal products into market successes. These include kava, maca, rhodiola, schisandra, tamanu oil, cat’s claw, dragon’s blood, ayahuasca, and hundreds of other plants. He also works to bridge worlds, regularly sharing information about other cultures through presentations and media.