Zija is a multilevel marketing company that is most famous for its moringa oleifera supplements, a plant native to the Himalayas that is reputed to have a wide range of health benefits.
However, Zija does not restrict itself to supplements from this plant alone.
It’s a boutique-style setup, with slick marketing materials and a well-made website that promotes a small number of high-quality products.
Aside from their moringa offerings, the company makes essential oils, pre- and post-workout fitness supplements, and personal care items. Still, moringa oleifera extracts are its flagship offering, and form the backbone of the company’s product line.
Despite a “second wave” revamping of the company that took place a few years ago, the company’s popularity is sliding downwards. Data from search engine traffic shows that interest in the company peaked in 2013, and public interest has largely slid downward since then.
Today, traffic is still about 50% of what it was at its peak, so it’s not like the company has vanished into obscurity like some other MLMs tend to do.
There’s no talking about Zija without talking about moringa oleifera. As mentioned earlier, it’s a plant native to the Himalayas that was popularized in the west in large part thanks to Zija’s efforts.
There is some scientific research on its potential uses as a supplement, but all of it is at an early stage.
A 2007 review article in the scientific journal Phytotherapy Research summarizes some of the potential benefits of moringa oleifera (1).
According to its authors, the plant has been used historically as both a food and a medicine. The list of its traditional uses if almost comical–it has been used for tooth pain, as a stimulant, for headaches, constipation, and inflammation relief. No wonder Zija touts it as a miracle plant. These uses, however, are just anthropological records of the plant’s use.
When it comes to actual scientific studies, the documented benefits are narrower. A scientific paper published in the journal Ethnopharmacology studied moringa oleifera’s anti-cholesterol effects in rats (2). In the experiment, two groups of rats were fed a high-fat diet in an attempt to induce an obesity-related spike in cholesterol levels.
Half of the rats had their diet supplemented by a moringa oleifera leaf extract. The researchers found that the moringa oleifera extract decreased cholesterol levels in the blood, kidneys, and liver (all areas where high cholesterol buildup can cause problems).
The researchers noted that traditional Indian medical practitioners use the plant to treat obese patients, and that this experiment validated the use of moringa oleifera in obese patients with high cholesterol.
Moringa oleifera also appears to be a potent antioxidant. A scientific study by researchers in Germany found that the leaves of moringa oleifera strongly inhibit the activity of free radical species in solution (3).
This suggests that the plant, or extracts of it, could be useful in preventing aging and chronic diseases related to oxidative damage, like cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline. However, larger studies and specific clinical trials are needed to establish the efficacy of the plant.
The actual products from Zija incorporate moringa oleifera in a number of different ways. The company sells tea, protein powder, and supplements that deliver varying doses of moringa oleifera.
One problem with this plant is that the optimal dosage has not been determined, so you’ve basically got to trust the scientists and product engineers at Zija when it comes to how much to take.
If you just want the benefits of the plant and don’t want to drink tea or protein shakes or meal replacement drinks, Zija also sells simple capsules you can take like any other supplement, though they often include other ingredients. Their XM+ energy supplement, for example, contains caffeine from green tea extract, a known weight loss aid and energizers.
Joining up as a distributor for Zija is not too expensive: it only costs a yearly fee of $20 to join. This entitles you to retail discounts of 20-25%, depending on the product.
However, to be eligible for bonuses, and to earn commission on your downline, you need to keep up 75 product volume per month. This is all detailed in the compensation plan, which is reasonably understandable (by MLM standards at least) (4).
Zija is a binary structure MLM, meaning you have two “legs,” or teams of distributors below you. The structure for earning compensation is pretty aggressive. You need to accumulate 500 product volume from your weaker leg to earn your first commission.
After this, you can rack up new commission payments every 100 product volume, but getting past this initial hurdle is a big challenge. Monthly sales that don’t hit the minimum volume level do carry over, as long as you still move 75 product volume yourself that month.
Because of this, you’re incentivized to build a very “tall” downline, where your strong and weak leg both have multiple levels of distributors below them.
With the slide in Zija’s popularity and the difficulty of establishing a strong, tall downline structure, it doesn’t seem like it’s a great time to join up with this multilevel marketing company.
However, given the considerable promise behind moringa oleifera, and the potential payoffs if more advanced research comes out validating its use for something big, like weight loss or arthritis relief, the market could explode. Of course, there’s no guaranteeing some other MLM won’t swoop in and offer better or cheaper moringa oleifera products if that does happen.
This company is for people who are accepting of risk and vigilant for changes in the market.
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