How did a Malibu financier go from heading the ultimate 21st-century industry—hedge fund management— to promoting a medical product that was developed thousands of years ago?
“It worked,” Malibu resident Dan Palmer, founder and CEO of Elanveda Inc., said.
Some seven years ago, Palmer and his wife Pamela were experiencing health issues that were not responding to modern Western medicine, so they investigated Ayurveda.
Ayurveda (Ayur = life, Veda=knowledge) is an ancient system of medicine that has been practiced in India for 5,000 years and has recently made its way to the west. Based on a philosophy of bringing balance to a diseased body, Ayurveda is regarded as part of a complementary method to traditional Western medicine in successfully treating everything from skin disorders to cancer.
Ayurveda stresses a balance of three elemental substances or “dosas”—wind, bile and phlegm – that is analogous to classical humorism. The theory is that every person possesses a unique balance of the three dosas and people become ill when the dosas are out of balance. Plant-based materials make up the bulk of therapeutic medicines, but the practice also focuses on exercise, yoga and meditation.
Palmer was sold. He teamed up with Dr. Marc Halpern to produce a product line that treats headache, sinus, digestion, allergy relief and other everyday ailments. Literally launching their company in the garage of their Malibu home, they introduced the Elanveda line in 2008.
“The idea was to roll out the best formulas possible made from the best possible herbs and essential oils,” Palmer said. “The first two years, we had a great product, but we went about marketing all wrong. We kept trying to educate the public about an ancient healing practice and they couldn’t even spell it.”
Thinking that customers trolling the aisles of a local CVS would just want something that quickly addressed the problem at hand, they re-labeled their serums and supplements simply - “All Headache,” “All Sinus” and “Healthy Hair.”
It worked. Currently available in Bristol Farms, Sav-On, Pharmica and Erewhon (and P.C. Greens and SunLife Organics locally), Palmer is looking to expand distribution through managed growth and creating new formulas in response to market need, at prices everyone can afford.
Ayurveda products are beginning to pick up steam with contemporary industries that traffic only in immediate effect. Palmer sent samples of his Muscle + Joint serum to physical trainers for the Kansas City Royals and the L.A. Dodgers. Nick Kenney, head trainer for the Royals, now incorporates it into team therapy and the Dodgers are testing it. As word spread about the product’s efficacy, major PGA players started to request it.
What makes a product initially developed a thousand years ago so effective? Dr. Halpern said, “These medicines were tested over thousands of years. People today suffer from many of the same conditions described in the traditional texts. The ancient remedies work as well today as they did a thousand years ago.”
Halpern is president of the California College of Ayurveda and author of the book, “Healing Your Life; Lessons of the Path of Ayurveda.” He said that his principal job is designing the different formulations in a manner that brings together ancient traditions, modern science and a deep well of experience.
“Western medicine is beginning to embrace Ayurvedic practices in combination with modern methods,” Palmer said. “In this way, Ayurvedic is not stuck being marketed only in esoteric health food stores. I want to see Elanveda products in the big stores so that all consumers have access to them.”
“Our next goal is to develop products that address contemporary ills—stress and sleep disorders,” Palmer said. “Ayurveda has shown that it can work harmonically to treat so many different disorders. It makes ancient medical practices relevant to today.”
To find out more about Elanveda products, visit elanveda.com