Medicine hunter Chris Kilham is the centerpiece of a significant push by the makers of KSM-66 to educate the community on the benefits of the ancient Indian adaptogenic botanical  ashwagandha.

Ashwagandha Advantage ( a multimedia website created by Informa for Ixoreal Biomed, the marketers of KSM-66, to expand awareness of the benefits of the 4,000 year-old Ayervedic herb.

Kilham, who travels the world researching and promoting plant-based medicines, said he was approached by Kartikeya Baldwa, Ixoreal Biomed director, and invited to be part of their program.

“I completely agreed. Clearly I’m supporting that brand, but in a much larger context. I have a better forum for increasing the visibility of ashwagandha,” Killham toldWholeFoods. “In my experience with promoting botanicals, a rising tide lifts all boats.

“Ashwagandha is one of the most remarkable plants,” Kilham adds. “It’s 4,000 years old and has been used by hundreds of millions of people. Among the things it supports are fatigue and exhaustion. It also has the ability to improve sexual and reproductive health.”

What makes ashwaganda different from other adaptogens is that you experience it, Kilham says. “When you take it, you feel relieved of stress, have more liberated energy, and enhanced mood. You’re relieved of the blues. People have this experience and they like it.”

The plant was in danger of extinction about 20 years ago, says Kilham, who described his experience at an ashwagandha harvest in India as “remarkable” and said he’s pretty much a daily ashwagandha user.

Kilham will be at Supply Side West Booth EE-142 and is working through the end of the year with KSM-66, which is now an ingredient in about 500 products. Ixoreal owns and controls the entire supply chain from farms to production to distribution.

Among the other participants Ixoreal has on tap for SSW is the Indian Minister of Health.