Minerals, botanicals, & Ayurveda: Lessons from 2016’s special editions

By Adi Menayang

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Related tags Ayurveda Ginkgo Ginkgo biloba Medicinal plants Us

Supplements are sourced from many parts of our planet. This year, we dedicated some of our in-depth coverage to ingredients from the land: Minerals, botanicals, and the ancient South Asian system of Ayurveda. This is part of a series of our special edition roundups for 2016.

February: Innovation in minerals

Minerals have benefits that can affect everything from the bones to brain power. There was some bad press around calcium supplements and its negative effects on cardiovascular health, which some experts we spoke to dismissed as unfounded​.

We also found that the market is thriving—leading mineral magnesium experienced double sales growth​ across multiple channels, and zinc enjoyed a 40% sales growth​, getting closer to magnesium’s top spot.

March: Delivering Ayurveda’s Promise

Elements of South Asia’s ancient medicinal system, Ayurveda, is slowly entering US mainstream awareness​. It has led to an increase in sales for botanicals such as turmeric​ and ashwagandha​ in recent years.

“Ayurveda became part of the Brahmanical or socio-religious system of knowledge early in its development,”​ Dr. Kenneth Zysk, Head of Indology at the University of Copenhagen , told NutraIngredients-USA. “In this way, it was fully integrated in society and therefore held a meaningful place for people. It endured the test of time simply because in most instances it worked to relieve suffering.”

Additionally, and increasing tide of research is helping Ayurveda grow stateside, according to execs from manufacturers Natreon​ and Organic India​. “There has been a definite change in the conversation around Ayurveda, and an increase in interest,”​ Amy Keller, director of education and training at Organic India told NutraIngredients-USA. “Many Americans see allopathic medicine as failing them and this has prompted them to look into Ayurveda.”

September: Botanicals

Published around the time FDA’s first NDI draft guidance was released, experts in the sector were worried that botanicals innovation will dampen​ if the draft were to remain as is. (Fast forward to the present day, many comments on the newest NDI guidance still think it will stifle innovation​ overall without increase in safety).

We reviewed what has happed to the NY AG 7 (Echinacea, garlic, Gingko biloba, ginseng, Saw Palmetto, St. John’s wort, and valerian), and found that the ingredients experienced mixed sales performances​—year-on-year growth for Echinacea, garlic, and gingko, but declines in ginseng and Saw palmetto. We also took the streets of Chicago’s downtown and Chinatown to get a pulse of what consumers feel about botanicals​.

Nonetheless, in a time of much consumer doubt, experts at the Rocky Mountain Dietary Supplement Forum pressed that, no matter how costly, it’s important for brands to be able to vet their supply chain, and the best way to do this is by traveling to the source​.

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