By Joel Einhorn, Founder
I first heard about Bhutan while watching “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark,” where the kingdom is shown on the map at the beginning of the film. It has always intrigued me. Several years after developing our first three HANAH products in the south of India, I got a call from a group that was looking for someone with knowledge of the herbal word to visit Bhutan. I was fortunate enough to link up with many amazing individuals, including a member of the Bhutanese Royal family, who had an interest in finding a partner to share their world of traditional medicine outside of their country.
As the doors were slowly opened, I realized that Bhutan quite literally is the land of herbs. It's known as Menjong Gyalkhab, meaning land of medicinal plants. It’s like finding a hidden Bordeaux or Burgundy that has all but been forgotten by the rest of the world. I was completely blown away.
Anyone who goes to Bhutan will notice right away that the Bhutanese wild Cordyceps mushroom is an important staple of Bhutanese culture and medicine. In a nutshell, the authentic Cordyceps sinensis is a fungus that grows on a living caterpillar, and only in very specific regions of Bhutan between 14,000 to 17,000 feet. The health benefits of this mushroom have been coveted by the Chinese for thousands of years, and the price today of this extremely rare mushroom is around $10,000 a pound. Cordyceps have become a recent fad in the health market, but the majority of the Cordyceps that are available are grown in labs and are, at best, distant cousins of the authentic wild Cordyceps that are found in Bhutan.
Cordyceps are also a very important part of the Bhutanese economy. Bhutan has a strict one-month harvest period to protect the Cordyceps and the collectors, which are local families from nearby villages. Everyone on the supply chain benefits, which is something that is extremely important to us at HANAH. For a country like Bhutan to integrate with the Western world, I believe it’s important that the people of Bhutan understand the value of the herbs that grow in their backyards, and be provided with mutually beneficial ways to bring these magical products to the rest of the world.
Working together with the Traditional Medicine Institute of Bhutan, we found an ancient recipe based on the texts of the Sowa-Rigpa that blended Cordyceps with eight other herbs and minerals, including shilajit.
We started taking the product and experienced noticeable results. I felt a nootropic brain power function almost immediately. During my time in Bhutan, we were doing a lot of biking and trekking, and I felt increased stamina and endurance, even at elevations of up to 17,000 feet.
HANAH has spent the last year building relationships in Bhutan, testing products and ensuring a sustainable supply chain in order to bring this product to the U.S. market for the first time ever. We are very excited for you to try our first of several products from the land of herbal medicine.
Read more about why 'Not All Ingredients Are Created Equal' with our 6 part series on Cordyceps