Zija is a nutritional products network marketing company capitalizing on the healthful properties of moringa.
In May 2017 they acquired Xango, making them a bigger force in the health MLM space.
Run by a pioneer inventor in the herbal supplement industry and propelled by a top Harvard scientist, Zija is setup to do big things.
We’ll take a look at exactly what Zija is celebrating. You’ll find out whether the science is there to support the claims made about moringa. You’ll also discover how well their International compensation plan stacks up in a sea that’s brimming with nutritional energy drinks (hint: Tru Vision, Isagenix, and Visi).
First let’s find out about moringa.
Moringa Oleifera is a tree found in the foothills of the Himalayas known for its drought-resistant properties (1). The seedpods are eaten in Africa and Asia. The leaves are the most nutritious part and are eaten in Southeast Asia. The flowers are said to taste like mushrooms.
There seems to be no question as to the high nutritional value of moringa. It’s a good source of protein as well as vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and phenolics (2).
But delve a little deeper and the clinical studies aren’t there yet for many of the claims made by Zija Interntional. More on that below.
Who is Zija International? The founder of Zija is Ken Brailsford. He is credited with inventing herbal encapsulation, and with helping to bring moringa to the supplement industry after watching a documentary about the health benefits of consuming parts of the moringa tree.
Mr.Brailsford is actually something of a “star” in the herbal supplement world. He started Nature’s Sunshine in the 1970s, to capitalize on his new herbal encapsulation methodology. He ran that until 1979 when he left to become a stockbroker because of a noncompete clause with Nature’s Sunshine (3). He later went back but fully retired in 1997 until he founded Zija years later.
The company is based in Lehi, Utah and boasts an executive team of “experienced MLM professionals.” That would include CEO Rodney Larsen who was hired to promote the growth goals of Zija. Mr.Larsen has been with ZI since 2006 and his LinkedIn profile shows no other data before that year. Some Zija affiliate websites do mention that he worked for NEXX and a branch of NuSkin Entrprises before joining Zija.
President Brad Stewart’s profile mentions that he has managed his career “through vision and faith”. He has been involved in network marketing his whole life.
Executive Vice President Darrell Eyre started as an Amway distributor and has been in network marketing for 25 years.
COO Michael Hershberger has over 15 years experience in management and IT and an MBA.
The takeaway: apart from the Chief Operating Officer, Zija International is run by people who have pretty much always worked in network marketing. The founder is recognized as an important figure in herbal supplement history and founded one of the oldest and most successful herbal supplement companies in the world.
Zija International is a BBB accredited business with a rating of A+.
The ZI products can be divided into three categories: moringa, ameo, and ripstix. Headed by Harvard Medical School valedictorian Joshua Plant, the scientific wing of Zija International is actively engaged in formulating new products based on moringa and other botanicals.
Moringa is believed to support a wide range of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory support, improved digestion, improved mental clarity, increased energy, anti-aging, immune system support, and blood glucose level regulation. All of these benefits are listed on the Zija International website.
Scientific evidence and clinical trials, however, are hard to find.
There is one agricultural study where mice and ruminants were given moringa tea. It was found that the white cell count in the mice who drank the tea was significantly higher. Mice also experienced reduced inflammatory responses.
In that same study, Moringa also improved cell viability in sheep and goats, and reduced oxidative stress from internal parasites. No effect on the gut health of pigs was observed, however (4). The results of this study have only been published informally to date.
The same Ag & Tech school that’s conducting that study is also looking into the use of moringa to promote animal health. Specifically, they’re researching moringa’s effects on the immune system (on B and T cells). In addition, they’re studying moringa’s effects on growth rate and performance of pigs. However, at this time it’s merely stated that more research is needed (5).
There is also a World Health Report citing the use of moringa in the use of water treatment in developing countries (6). But so far, not much has made it into the National Institutes of Health’s PubMed system.
The takeaway: moringa is incredibly nutritionally dense, but clinical studies are needed to support many of the health benefit claims made by Zija Interntaional.
Essential oils produced with clinical-grade standards and Zija’s exclusive patent-pending certification system.
Ripstix Hydration and Fitness Line – these are energy drinks in powdered form. Fitness supplements containing L-arginine (8) and electrolytes, they also contain fructose which some people try and stay away from.
There are tens of thousands of independent distributors working for Zija International. They have access to an extensive network of Zija training modules, including videos, an app, audio training, all of which is measured by a series of exams.
It’s the only MLM known to have a certification process for its distributors. Not only that, but every 90 days, distributors must re-certify. Passing exams means higher pay, too (7).
This is similar to how non-MLM companies handle their training. For example, public school teachers get pay raises when they pass graduate-level courses from accredited institutions of higher learning.
So what if Zija operates its own training, testing, and certification program in-house: it’s far above and beyond what you’ll see in other MLM companies.
1) IBOs profit by purchasing products at wholesale prices and selling them at retail (up to 25% profit).
2) Qualify to earn commission by being on autoship for at least 75 PV per month.
3) Get 10% of sales made by your personally enrolled recruits.
4) Team commissions and further bonuses as you advance in rank.
Zija appears to offer a good product. They have done a lot of things right and have a unique niche in the competitive nutritional supplement industry. But the income potential isn’t worth my time.
I’m not saying Zija International is a bad company – they’re not.
With any MLM, peddling products to your family members and friends at church might work for a couple months…maybe over a year if you’re lucky.
In the end, it’s still the sad story of selling hype and chasing the hot opportunity.
There is a better way.
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