Herb hunting in the COVID age – podcast

There is no cure for the novel coronavirus. Still, consumers are searching for natural supplements that optimize immune function. Is there anything new under the sun?

Todd Runestad, Content Director, NaturalProductsInsider.com

June 4, 2020

Chris Kilham.jpg

Natural Products INSIDER · Herb hunting in the COVID age -podcast

Chris Kilham is the renowned Medicine Hunter. He travels the world in search of botanicals that could help with first world problems. We caught up with him during the pandemic shut-down when he was grounded at home here in the States, to get a view to the world beyond our borders. In this Healthy Insider Podcast, senior editor Todd Runestad and Kilham dig up some dirt on topics such as:

  • Humanitarian issues around the world when subsistence cultures are dealt an economic calamity.

  • Elderberries—perhaps the leading supplement ingredient consumers are buying to support healthy immunity—and issues around potential adulteration and the infamous cytokine storm.

  • Ashwagandha’s utility against stress, anxiety and sexual health—all notable topics when sheltering-in-place with a loved one.

  • Hemp CBD, because no post-modern discussion about herbs would be complete without it.

About the Author(s)

Todd Runestad

Content Director, NaturalProductsInsider.com, Natural Products Insider

Todd Runestad has been writing on nutrition science news since 1997. He is content director for NaturalProductsInsider.com and Natural Products Insider digital magazines. Other incarnations: supplements editor for NewHope.com, Delicious Living!, and Natural Foods Merchandiser. Former editor-in-chief of Functional Ingredients magazine and still covers raw material innovations and ingredient science.

Connect with me here on LinkedIn.


Todd writes about nutrition science news such as this story on mitochondrial nutrients, innovative ingredients such as this story about 12 trendy new ingredient launches from SupplySide West 2023, and is a judge for the NEXTY awards honoring innovation, integrity and inspiration in natural products including his specialty — dietary supplements. He extensively covered the rise and rise and rise and fall of cannabis hemp CBD. He helps produce in-person events at SupplySide West and SupplySide East trade shows and conferences, including the wildly popular Ingredient Idol game show, as well as Natural Products Expo West and Natural Products Expo East and the NBJ Summit. He was a board member for the Hemp Industries Association.

Education / Past Lives

In previous lives Todd was on the other side of nature from natural products — natural history — as managing editor at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He's sojourned to Burning Man and Mount Everest. He graduated many moons ago from the State University of New York College at Oneonta.


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"Cannabis is nature's most nearly perfect plant."

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