History - Wakunaga of America


Our Proud History

A Strong Foundation

Mr. Manji Wakunaga

Wakunaga supplements were conceived in Japan during the post-World War II era by Manji Wakunaga, a banker with a unique insight and the strong desire to help enhance the health of his countrymen. Mr. Wakunaga strongly believed that pharmaceutical companies should be devoted to research and developing products that would improve and support good health. He also believed that this was particularly critical during the years after the war, since many of the least healthy were left to fend for themselves, often with poor results. Instead, in the post-war era, he saw many pharmaceutical companies promoting misleading claims to maximize their profits.

Dr. Eugene Schnell

He was not alone in this quest for better solutions to improve the health of the public. In 1954, Mr. Wakunaga met Dr. Eugene Schnell, a German physician and former professor at Berlin University who had immigrated to Japan in the 1930s. At the time, Dr. Schnell had been recruited by the American military to head the newly formed Drug Administration of Japan as part of the efforts to restore the country. Dr. Schnell’s mission was to rebuild the country’s pharmaceutical industry and provide medicine for its population.

Growing up in Germany, a country where the use of natural medicine was well established, Dr. Schnell proposed the use of garlic to ward off infection and promote overall heath. This ignited the imagination of Mr. Wakunaga and the two men joined forces to develop and truthfully market natural garlic-based products designed to help the Japanese people regain their physical strength and protect against post-war ailments.

In 1955, Mr. Wakunaga founded the Wakunaga Pharmaceutical Company in Osaka, Japan. Soon after, Dr. Schnell developed a unique process for aging garlic that not only eliminated the herb’s strong odor but also enhanced the beneficial compounds responsible for garlic’s health benefits. The result was a safe and highly effective Aged Garlic Extract supplement. During the ensuing years, the supplement gained wide popularity throughout Japan.

The American Dream

Mr. Gisuke Wakunaga

Fast forward to 1972. Mr. Wakunaga, together with his son Gisuke Wakunaga, established Wakunaga of America to bring Aged Garlic Extract’s benefits to the United States. Originally headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii, Aged Garlic Extract supplements were marketed to American consumers under the brand name “Kyolic.” The brand name combines the Japanese work “Kyo”, meaning strong or powerful, with garlic: Kyolic = Powerful Garlic. Since then, Wakunaga of America has become a global force in the natural products market, creating a growing number of supplement formulas based on Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract, as well as additional products designed to benefit specific health needs. In fact, two of these product lines—Kyo-Dophilus and Kyo-Green—have become legacy brands with over 30 years of distribution.

In 1989, Wakunaga was one of the early supplement companies to recognize the benefits of probiotics for improved digestive and immune health. As a result, Kyo-Dophilus probiotics were developed using three well-documented, clinically researched human-strain probiotic bacteria. Those strains, known as The Friendly Trio, have been the foundation for all the Kyo-Dophilus formulas.

During this same time, Wakunaga again set the stage for innovation with the creation of Kyo-Green superfood greens. Available either as a powdered drink mix or in tablet form, our Kyo-Green line was truly ahead of its time for plant-based supplements, providing consumers with an easy-to-use way to increase their intake of green nutrients. Kyo-Green quickly became a favorite among consumers because of both its convenience and its quality, making it a staple in health food stores for more than 30 years.

The third generation of the Wakunaga family is still closely involved in every aspect of the company today. We are proud of our history and commitment to offering beneficial, clinically researched supplements to health-conscious people throughout the world along with providing educational support to consumers as well as our retail partners. We are dedicated to continuing Manji Wakunaga’s vision of safe and efficacious supplements that are truthfully marketed and supported by science. These are our enduring values. This is Wakunaga.


1972 — Established and incorporated in the state of Hawaii.

1975 — Started distribution of Kyolic® Aged Garlic Extract™ products in Health Food markets across the United States.

1980 — Started overseas sales in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Asia.

1981 — Started complete, in-house manufacturing division in Torrance, California.

1986 — Started full-line production in Mission Viejo, California using Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

1988 — Launched Kyo-Dophilus® Probiotics and Kyo-Green® Powdered Drink Mix product lines.

1993 — Received GMP certification from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of Australia.

1998 — Supported the Nutritional Benefits of Garlic conference sponsored by Penn State University. Re-incorporated as a California corporation. Received ISO certification.

1999 — First company to achieve National Nutritional Foods Association GMP certification.

2004 — Acquired distribution of Moducare® portfolio of products.

2009 — Research on Kyolic AGE and its constituents exceeds 650 publications.

2011 — Production moved to new state-of-the-art pharmaceutical-grade manufacturing facility in Mira Loma, CA

2013 — Research on Kyolic AGE and its constituents exceeds 750 publications. Acquired distribution of NuvoCare® SlimCentials™ and Probiata™ portfolio of products

2014 — Supported 2014 International Garlic Symposium co-sponsored by Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and University of Florida.

2015 — Kyolic Brain Formulas product line launched. Kyolic Liver Support product introduced

2017 — Wakunaga of America celebrates 45th Anniversary. Kyo-Green product line re-branded, new Kyo-Green Sprouts Blend product introduced

2019 — Supported 2019 International Garlic Symposium in Hiroshima, Japan. Research on Aged Garlic Extract and its constituents reaches 870 publications. Kyo-Dophilus Probiotics line re-branded, new Fifty+ and Max Probiotics products introduced, www.probiotics.com website launched