Mark Blumenthal’s top 10 botanicals for immunity and vitality – podcast

Make yourself a ginsandra beverage (that’s gin and schisandra) and listen to this in-depth conversation with the American Botanical Council founder and executive director.

Todd Runestad, Content Director,

October 28, 2020

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ToddCast, Vol. XXIV: While being careful to not pick winners and losers, ABC founder—and now anointed as one of the luminaries gracing the Mount Rushmore of the Natural Products Industry—identifies botanicals vital for vitality and immune health. But really, though, that's not even close to the half of it. Listen in as they till the fecund fields of the mind and talk about:

  • Evolutionary biology and the kindom—no typo—that links plants and animals on this fair planet.

  • The conflict between vitalism and reductionism in how herbalists think about health care.

  • How DSHEA could have been different had botanicals been regulated as a separate category of medicines. 

  • The List. Immunomodulators, sure, but also herbs for vitality.

About the Author(s)

Todd Runestad

Content Director,, Natural Products Insider

Todd Runestad has been writing on nutrition science news since 1997. He is content director for and Natural Products Insider digital magazines. Other incarnations: supplements editor for, 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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