Originally appeared in Living Non-GMO Blog - October 2020
The story of ZYN Infused Drinks is about family. It’s about a family that traveled very far to build a future for their children, who traveled back many times to keep the bonds between the old world and the new one strong. The family’s roots — metaphoric and literal — connected them across cultures, filling them with purpose, health and life.
The founders of ZYN, Asim and Qasim Khan were born in Pakistan. They spent their early years surrounded by a large family, learning the traditional Ayurvedic remedies practiced there for millennia. Ayurveda goes beyond a medical discipline: It is better described as a way of life, addressing the individual’s physical and spiritual needs. Within this holistic system, food is medicine and the root causes of disease are just as important as alleviating symptoms. When their parents moved the boys to the U.S. at the age of 9, this practice was one of the cherished things they brought with them.
Over the years the ties with family and tradition in the East remained strong. During a visit in 2016, Asim and Qasim’s father suffered severe inflammation and pain in his foot, likely related to his diabetes and the long plane flight. Their aunt used a common traditional remedy to treat their father’s pain: a paste of turmeric root and olive oil massaged onto his affected area. Within an hour, the inflammation and pain were gone. At that moment, Asim and Qasim found inspiration to share this powerful plant — a staple of Eastern food, medicine and culture — with their fellow Americans. “Part of our goal is connecting cultures,” says Qasim.
The healing properties of turmeric are well known to the 2 billion or so people who live on the eastern side of the globe. Turmeric contains a powerful compound — curcumin — with remarkable healing properties: A natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antioxidant and antifungal. On its own, curcumin isn’t absorbed into the body very efficiently. It needs a fellow traveler — piperine — to maximize the benefits. Piperine is found in black pepper, and it can increase the body’s ability to absorb curcumin by up to 2000%.
Foods and traditional remedies that combine curcumin and piperine are common in Pakistan. Turmeric appears in most meals — on average, a person consumes around 15 of the roots per day. A Western diet, on the other hand, is generally high in foods that can increase inflammation in the body: refined carbohydrates, trans fats, added sugars and processed meats. Over time, this inflammation can increase the risk of certain health problems, and turmeric is emerging in the West as a sought-after supplement. Even professional athletes — those who ask the most from their bodies and whose livelihoods depend on their performance — use curcumin to promote muscle recovery. The pioneering brothers have relationships with some of the biggest names in sports, supplying ZYN beverages to entire teams to keep them at their peak.
The makers of ZYN do more than bring an Eastern remedy to a Western audience: They also translate it. Co-founder Asim Khan’s goal is to “take the wisdom and then package it into a form that we would enjoy, and our kids would enjoy.” Anyone who has ever told their child, “Try it, it’s good for you!” knows this is not, on its own, a persuasive argument. Kids go for things that taste good, with bonus points if it’s shaped like an animal. ZYN has a light, refreshing taste without being overly sweet. As a liquid, it will take on the shape of its container, so bring on the elephant sippy-cups!
The Khan brothers operate their business with an ambition that goes beyond making an excellent product. To them, it’s not enough to make a living; that living must actively give back to the people and the planet. As a Certified B-Corp, ZYN meets the highest standards of positive social and environmental impact, operating with transparency and accountability.
In this spirit, ZYN welcomed the rigor of the Non-GMO Project Standard. Sourcing the finest ingredients is a core promise of ZYN beverages: As the popularity of turmeric grows in the West, there’s a temptation among unscrupulous sellers to dye low-quality turmeric darker — the warm glow of deepest orange reflects the root’s strength and purity. ZYN sources their turmeric from India’s fertile valley where turmeric has been grown for centuries. The farms are sustainable and solar power is used for operations. ZYN’s curcumin (from turmeric) provider is NON- GMO Project Verified and meets the US and international standards for good manufacturing and production. Non-GMO Project verification was a natural fit for ZYN, as genetic modification is deeply unpopular in Pakistan and the founders and their ancestors grew up consuming natural foods and beverages all their lives. The Butterfly seal is symbolic of a perfect union between ZYN’s ancient origins and its Western market.
The story of ZYN is inspiring, and the brothers Khan hope you will share in that inspiration, taking a step towards the kind of balance and connection at the root of the Ayurvedic lifestyle. After all, every journey — no matter how long — begins with a single step. May yours be full of purpose and good health.
Nourish yourself every day with ZYN beverages. Visit their website to learn more – https://drinkzyn.com/.