Ayurvedic workhorses poised for market breakthrough, expert predicts

Ashwagandha

If you are looking for what’s hot on the botanical front in 2013, here’s the skinny from a longtime observer of the herbal arena: Open your lesson book to the first two pages, and follow after me: A is for Ayurveda and ashwagandha and B is for bacopa.

Thus spake Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council, in a conversation with NutraIngredients-USA. 

“I think there are some botanicals from India that are going to reach a higher level of market acceptance in 2013,” Blumenthal said. “The two that come to mind are ashwagandha and bacopa.”

A is also for adaptogen

Ashwagandha has been marketed as an adaptogen, helping the body to better deal with life’s daily insults. The ingredient, extracted from the root of a forest plant, has been used in the Ayurvedic tradition for promotion of general health, as a support in cases of stress and fatigue, and as an aid in sexual health.

On the ashwagandha front, Ixoreal Biomed has been making a push in the market with its KSM-66 ingredient, which it has been developing for more than 10 years. The Indian company announced self-affirmed GRAS status for the ingredient in the fall of 2012. Like other ashwangandha extracts, KSM-66 is extracted from the root of Withania somnifera.  Ixoreal says its proprietary extraction process, which uses water in place of other solvents, yields a pure ingredient with a high amount of bioactives, called withanolides, and also reduces the extract’s bitter taste notes.  The new regulatory statues combined with a favorable flavor profile means the ingredient will shortly be showing up in a variety of products including cerals, cereal bars, candies, cookies and type I beverages.

Ixoreal’s ashwagandha competitors haven’t been standing still, though. In October, NutraGenesis, a Brattleboro, Vt.-based ingredient supplier with a history of experience with Ayurvedic ingredients, obtained a U.S. patent in the area of women’s health for an ashwagandha/Indian gooseberry combination called Sendara.The combination pairs two longtime ingredients in the NutraGenesis stable; Sensoril, a branded, multi-patented ashwagandha extract and Capros, a branded form of Indian gooseberry, also known as amla, both of which has self-affirmed GRAS status. The patent covers other combinations of these two components for this use, not just the branded pair. The new pairing will offer unique benefits, according to Tiea Zehnbauer, vice president of sales at NutraGenesis.

“We have it positioned as an anti-aging, beauty-from-within product and we also have it positioned as an overall women’s wellness product,” Zehnbauer told NutraIngredients-USA.

Bacopa, an exctract of Bacopa monnieri, a wetlands plant native to south Asia, has been used for thousands of years in the Ayurvedic system of medicine to enhance cognitive function and boost memory. PL Thomas, which markets a bacopa ingredient branded as Bacopa55, said human studies have shown the ingredient “significantly” promotes memory and enhances learning.

Poised to harvest demographic windfall

Both of these ingredients are poised to benefit from ongoing demographic trends in the US, Blumenthal said.

“They both speak to some of that aging baby boomer market.  I just think the timing is good,” he said.

“I think there is good research (backing the ingredients) and the marketing is based on the research.”

Compounds that come out of  the Ayurvedic tradition have lagged behind ingredients that come out of Traditional Chinese Medicine for a variety of reasons, Blumenthal said.  It’s not because these ingredients are somehow less effective, but rather, because there is greater institutional support for TCM among certain practitioners.

“I think the Ayurvedic herbs have lagged behind the TCM herbs in this country because you have a higher number of practitioners, such as acupuncturists, that use TCM in their practices,” Blumenthal said.

You don’t have schools of Ayurvedic medicine in this county like you do for acupuncture, graduating more than 1,000 new acupuncturitsts per year.”

Related News

EC: New botanical laws may take “5-6 years to implement

Botanical sabbaticals, special cases, and the EU's legal Eldorado

Ashwagandha ayurvedic herb shows stress-busting potential: Study

Ashwagandha ayurvedic herb shows stress-busting potential: Study

Natural products can equal drug effects, but the odds are low say researchers

Natural products can equal drug effects, but the odds are low say researchers

Toxic: UK medicines agency issues alert against 4 Hong Kong herbal products

Toxic: UK medicines agency issues alert against 4 Hong Kong herbal products

The marketplace features root-only ashwagandha ingredients, and one that include the leaves, too.

NutraGenesis lauds results of five new ashwagandha studies

Ashwagandha is native to semi-arid habitats in Africa and Asia. Photo courtesy of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia

Research elucidates different approaches to modern ashwagandha ingredients

Researchers on Salacia reticulata: "...may be beneficial for maintaining lipids and glucose normal levels..."

Ayurvedic salacia herb shows pre-diabetes benefit: Study

Quality assured: Eu Yan Sang's version of popular TCM, Bak Foong Pills, has no contamination concerns. Other manufacturers have not been so lucky.

€200m Singapore herb maker defends TCMs amid Chinese contamination busts

Endothelial dysfunction is said to occur in patients with diabetes much earlier than the clinical manifestations of vascular complications of the disease

Indian gooseberry extract (Capros) may counter endothelial dysfunction in diabetics: RCT

"It seems for many Chinese TCM manufacturers, the temptation to cut corners in manufacturing outweighs any perceived or real penalties."

Piracy blights fragile global botanicals sector

Sensoril is an extract of the roots and leaves of Withania somnifera, or ashwagandha.

New study supports Sensoril's psychomotor benefits in healthy subjects

Canada OKs enhanced health claims for Ixoreal's KSM 66 ashwagandha

Canada OKs enhanced health claims for Ixoreal's KSM 66 ashwagandha

Indian gooseberry

New patent covers pairing of Ayurvedic workhorses

Ixoreal Biomed self-affirms GRAS for ‘flagship’ ayurvedic herb

Australia targeted due to high supplements usage

Ripe Australian supplements sector drives distribution deal

PLT brings new cognitive herb to US

Verdure Sciences enhances serotonin profile of bacognize

FOCUSfactor claims to be 'America's no 1. brain health supplement'

New research suggests top-selling brain supplement does what it says on the tin