Catherine, where did the formula for Kick-Ass Immune come from and how did it get such a catchy name?
In the early 90s here in Boulder I had an ND request a basic immune formula with certain attributes, and that ended up being its name—Basic Immune Formula. This name was around for a long time. Even when we came out in retail in the Rocky Mountain Region, it sat on the shelf with this label.
One day I was in a store, talking to staff members, and I was holding the bottle and said “This name is not going to cut it on the shelf; it’s way too boring.” I knew what the formula could do in terms of effectiveness, and I knew that it was particularly dramatic in that sense, and also I knew that it needed a name that said what it did.
I was having an exchange with people whom I knew fairly well and I started joking around and saying, “You know, something like Kick-Ass Immune. Cause this really kicks ass!”
One of the staff members says, “Yeah, that!”
I threw my hands up and said, “No, I can’t do that! I can’t sell that to my Amish customers in Ohio!”
But the staff member was persistent and ended up convincing me that it would be a great name.
At that time we were already able to run and print labels in house so I decided to go ahead and make a label and put it on the bottle to see what would happen. So we did that, and this store placed some of the little 10z pocket remedies up at the cash registers, and it started selling like crazy!
That was my first big experience with merchandizing, or branding, and what kind of effect that has on sales. Even something like a name can be so important.
Kick-Ass Immune became popular because it appealed to a wider customer base than most supplements. Construction workers, as well as young people, used it. There were some people that were offended by the name, but it had a much wider impact than I ever imagined. Of course to have that impact the formula had to deliver on its promise. And it did really kick in the immune system to protect at the onset, particularly in regard to viruses. So that’s how it got its name.
Why is Kick-Ass Immune so effective?
This formula uses a specific strategy; let’s call it the kick-ass family of therapeutic approach and formulation. There are a number of members in this family, this group, including Immune, Sinus, Biotic, and then you have the children’s versions of all these formulas. This kick-ass underlying strategy is also used in the KungFlu Fighters group of remedies, and is the core strategy in the lactation line for the Happy Ducts (formerly the mastitis remedy).
The attributes of this formulating strategy are full-on antimicrobials, good strong ones, with a particular viral or anti-viral focus. And the team leader of the anti-microbials, the anti-virals, is Osha (Ligusticum porterii). It is a main component of Kick-Ass Immune. The family of Osha, the umbelliferae family, has a number of fairly strong anti-virals that we’ll use depending on where we are in the sequence of the immune response. Is it early on? Is it onset, mid-stage? Or is it a hanging-on, late-stage cold inflammation where we might move into Lomatium?
If it is cold-stuck or the flu we might move into Angelica, which is also in that umbelliferae family, and is an herb that keeps head colds from moving into the lungs, like in the Deep Lung formula.
Osha is the team leader of the anti-virals, and that is half of the effort here in the Kick-Ass Immune. The other half, and what puts the kick in the Kick-Ass family, is the lymphatic team. This lymphatic team takes it to a new octave. This is what makes it so much more effective than just anti-microbials on their own.
In a store, in a good category, there are a lot of great immune things. That is one of the things we do best with natural products, herbs, and supplements. But why does this Kick-Ass family push the envelope forward? Because of the lymphatic team.
Catherine Hunziker is the Owner and ChairWoman of, and Chief Formulator at, WishGarden Herbs.