Interview with Scott Cote, the Founder of Banyan Botanicals
A couple of weeks ago I sat down with the modern-day healer, an ayurveda enthusiast, and just a fun guy Scott Cote to talk health, ayurvera, and organic herbs. He is a Co-Founder of Banyan Botanicals, a company that provides premium quality Ayurvedic products made from certified organic herbs that are sustainably sourced and fairly traded. The beginning of the interview is at Modern Hippie Mag and below is the rest of the interview.
Nadya: Did you try Ayurveda before you moved to NM and decided to devote your life to Ayurveda?
Scott: Yes, I tried Abhyanga, a massage with pure sesame oil, and began to learn about Ayurvedic herbs. My introduction to Ayurveda was through Dr Lad’s book Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing. Back in the 80’s you could call Dr Lad for a phone consultation, and so I did. During our conversation, Dr Lad said that he would feel his own pulse while I was speaking, and determine my constitution. It seemed unbelievable, and I wanted to learn more of this ancient tradition.
Nadya: What is Banyan’s philosophy or mission?
Scott: Our mission is simple – to produce the highest quality herbs and products, and provide excellent service. Certified organic herbs & products, sustainably sourced so as not to endanger the species, and fairly traded, so that farmers in India can live well. We ship out all orders same day. And we believe our products should be priced affordably, so as not to be exclusive. I want awesome products that I can take myself, and give to my kids.
Nadya: Are most of your products oriented toward treating something, or toward staying healthy?
Scott: Both. We have general products like Triphala, which is an excellent detoxifier and rejuvenative. We also have products that are more specific, like Nasya Oil. People may learn of Nasya oil when they have a sinus condition, but once they try it, it can become part of their daily routine.
Nadya: Initially, most of your products were targeted to the Ayurvedic Practitioners. What about now? Do you have to be a doctor, or can a person who just read a book on Ayurveda buy your products?
Scott: We began by selling wholesale to practitioners, and after several years began a retail catalog. It’s the science of self-healing, and so we encourage those interested in Ayurveda to be pro-active with their health. We cannot make medical recommendations, but we try to provide as much information as possible on Ayurveda and on our products. When a customer is seeking advice, we encourage him or her to seek an Ayurvedic practitioner in the area.
Nadya: What was your first product?
Scott: Triphala powder, and then some other bulk herbs. Later we added tablets and oils. All items were originally produced in India, but as we grew we decided to produce in the U.S. Today, our organic herbs are grown in India, but most of our products are made here.
Nadya: Do you take any of your products yourself?
Scott: I do. I’ve taken everything we have over the 15 years. The one that I take regularly is Triphala. It’s a panacea. Very good for cleansing in general, especially for the blood and GI tract, which promotes healthy skin. Ashwagandha is useful too. It is very strengthening, so it can be helpful with strenuous activities such as hiking or climbing.
Nadya and Scott