Origin: a Latin derivative
meaning "Gift of the Earth."
In this episode we sit down with Alex DaBell, the Director of Nutraceutical Development and Innovation for doTERRA, to discuss the brand new reformulation of the DigestZen digestive blend. He'll let you know how the DigestZen blend originally came about, the research that went into the reformulation, and why this blend is now better than ever.
doTERRA: Did you know that two thirds of your digestion takes place in your intestines, not your stomach? Our digestion is a complex system, and sometimes it may need a little help. doTERRA's DigestZen® blend has been around for years, but now, there's a new, updated formula to help support your digestive system even better.
Welcome back to Essential Oil Solutions with doTERRA, the podcast where you'll hear exciting, useful, and simple everyday uses for essential oils from experts in the field. If you like what you hear today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen. We always appreciate hearing from you.
Today, we're excited to talk to Alex DaBell, the director of nutraceutical development and innovation for doTERRA, about the new reformulation of the DigestZen Blend. Alex, thank you so much for joining us today.
Alex DaBell: You bet, I'm happy to be here.
doTERRA: So this is an exciting new launch. DigestZen has been around for a while, but now this is new, and it's updated. Let's look at a little bit of the history before we get into what's new. So how did the DigestZen blend originally come about?
Alex: Yeah, this is a really interesting question, and it's actually a question I didn't have the answer to, so I had to go to the source. And so I recently sat down with Emily Wright and learned from her some of the history and the genesis of DigestZen. And even though I've been with doTERRA now for over six years, this blend predates me, and there's a really good reason for that, and I want to explain that a little bit.
History of the DigestZen Blend
Early on at doTERRA, Emily, Dr. Hill, Rob and some others who have particular focus on the product, they understood that there's not only a need for targeted health products, but the important role that digestive health plays in our overall health. And so, couple that with their knowledge that essential oils help with our digestive health, then naturally that led to the creation of the DigestZen product.
And it was in those early days that this group of people, along with some key Wellness Advocates, did some experimenting of the essential oils, and they explored different usage models to find what would be the optimal blend for digestive health.
And they had a lot of excitement about this experimenting that they did. And Emily shared with me at the time that that this was a really exciting experience. And in reality, it is still a really exciting experience. And I worry that sometimes we let these wonderful experiences appear rather routine because they become expected, and we have learned to trust the oils, and we rely on them. And so sometimes these experiences aren't quite as exciting because we we've come to expect them.
But the oils that were selected, of course, for this blend are known for their role in supporting digestive health. So these oils are Star Anise, Peppermint, Ginger, Caraway, Coriander, Tarragon, and Fennel.
And DigestZen was first introduced, of course, as a 15 mL oil blend. But since then, we've been able to expand that line with some super convenient, super effective delivery formats. So we now have the Touch for topical application and the softgel and the chewable tablet for internal use. That's a little bit about the history of DigestZen.
doTERRA: And that is so amazing. Like you said, so much thought and effort was put in by this group of people, and it's been around for quite a while. So why was the decision made now to update this formula?
Alex: Yeah, that's a really good question. And it's honestly, it's a question that we ask ourselves over and over and over any time we consider updating such a popular and successful and loved product, such as DigestZen.
So since those early days, we've dug even deeper, and we've uncovered even more in our understanding of the oils. And just kind of as a parenthetical side note, this is something that we're constantly looking to do in our scientific areas of research at doTERRA, with all of our products, we're always looking for ways to keep our products the absolute best that they can be.
So as I alluded, occasionally from research studies and at other times from usage exploration, we confirm some ways to improve upon our products. And this is the case with the DigestZen reformulation. We saw an opportunity to improve upon this amazing product, and we seized it.
doTERRA: And why not make a good product even better if you can?
doTERRA: So can you go a little bit deeper into the research that has gone into this reformulation?
Alex: Yeah, absolutely. As a as a member of doTERRA’s science team, I love studying why and how things work. So physiologically, our digestive health is very important to our overall health. Um, it's interesting, actually our gastrointestinal tract is actually considered to be outside our body. The epithelial lining of your gut is where nutrients are absorbed into your body. So it's absolutely critical to support the health of your digestive tract.
So much digestion and absorption action is happening every day all along the lining of our gut. So you can imagine the chemical fireworks that are that are happening to break down food from its macro molecular structure to its micro molecular subunits that are suitable for absorption.
Alex: And these metabolic pyrotechnics are happening all over the place, through the function of digestive enzymes and parasympathetic peristaltic contractions that move food through your gut, and the changing of pH for enzyme activation and inactivation, and then we have the use of membrane shuttles to absorb digested micro molecules from your intestines into the entero side and into your blood.
But to get back to the product, our research supports a more prominent role for Ginger, Coriander, and Peppermint. With the addition of Cardamom to this foundational DigestZen blend, we want to be able to support all of these physiological actions and our overall digestive health.
So our development team was able to evaluate several iterations of this formula update so that we can have confidence that we were providing the best option possible.
doTERRA: And that, I mean, all of that work and the care that goes into it is just truly incredible and a reflection of how much doTERRA really is trying to put the best and the most pure product out there. So if you had to kind of sum it all up, why is this DigestZen blend now better than it has ever been?
Alex: Yeah, so a lot of really great research has been done to not only select the most appropriate oils for this blend for digestive health support, but also to have them in the optimal ratios for efficacy and for preference. And we've done some careful research and have gone through multiple rounds of evaluation of this new blend from different users’ perspective.
So we've tested people inside and outside of doTERRA: employees, executives, Wellness advocates, women, men, older, younger. We wanted to be sure to include the entire group of people. We wanted to be confident that the proposed update would be preferred and more effective across a broad group of people. And that's exactly what we found.
We conducted a specific user preference study. And in that study, we found that more than 90 percent of participants preferred the flavor of the new blend.
Alex: And we also found that without exception, 100 percent of participants confirmed the efficacy of the new blend as both a digestive aid. Eighty nine percent of participants indicated that they are very likely to continue using this new DigestZen blend. And 86 percent are confident enough with the new blend that they want to share it with others.
So you can get a little bit tangled up in the in the numbers there and how people are responding to surveys, but when we see these levels of positive feedback, when we have more than 80 or 90 or even 100 percent positive feedback, we come away with a very high degree of confidence that this new formula will be effective and well received by all.
Some of some of the people who tried the new blend actually shared some specific feedback that I thought might be useful to share. One user expressed, “The new DigestZen has a much more pleasant aroma. It's lighter. I am religious about using DigestZen, and I saw no decrease in efficacy with the new formula, which to me is a big win. The new formula helped. Prior to the new formula, inhaling would have been a challenge for anyone not liking licorice, as the smell was strong. Now my grandkids will sniff and say, “Ah, that smells good.’”
Another participant shared, “I love the order of the ingredients of this blend. I've used it several times under my tongue. After eating, I could fill a warming sensation in my stomach as it started working, and I felt great.”
And the last one I want to share is “We like the smell and effectiveness of the new formula better. It worked very quickly for stomach upset. It calms it down when taken in water.”
So you can see when we get this kind of feedback, we have great confidence that everyone will love this new formula and probably even better than they love the old one, which was also a great formula.
doTERRA: Absolutely. I know I am excited to try it, and I hope everyone else is too. Alex, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today and for sharing the incredible research and time and dedication that you and your team have put into this reformulation.
Alex: Thanks for having me.
doTERRA: Thanks for joining us and congratulations on living a healthier lifestyle with essential oils. If you liked what you heard today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen. Also, if you want to try any of the products you learned about, go to doterra.com or find a Wellness Advocate near you to place an order today.