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Becoming a Herb Combining Expert At Home with Mason Taylor (EP#169)

In today's podcast episode, Mason shares the intentions behind each SuperFeast bundle and breaks down the combining of herbs and usage of single herbs within the context of Taoist tonic herbalism so you can feel empowered when integrating SuperFeast single herbs into your lifestyle and diet.

At SuperFeast, we take great pride in the quality of our superior tonic herbs and medicinal mushrooms. We follow Dì Dào (地道) philosophy and do our best to empower and educate you, our community on this ancient form of Chinese medicine sourcing that delivers the highest quality herbs and mushrooms imbued with integrity and powerful healing properties.


New to SuperFeast or not, chances are at some point on your tonic herbal journey to health sovereignty, you have wondered one or some of the following questions:

  • Which blend/formula is best for me?
  • What is the intention of each formula?
  • How many single herbs can I take at one time?
  • How many SuperFeast blends can I take at once?
  • Which bundle should I get at this point in my health journey? 


In today's podcast episode, Mason answers all these questions and breaks down the combining of herbs in tonic herbalism and the usage of single herbs within the context of Taoist tonic herbalism so you can feel empowered when integrating SuperFeast single herbs into your lifestyle and diet.

Mason brings in some contextualisation around the different grades and classifications of tonic herbs, explaining why SuperFeast chooses to use (safe) superior tonic herbs and the difference between taking practitioner-level single-herbs and classical/traditional Chinese medical system single herbs. There is a big difference, and both have their place.

There is a place for advanced clinical herbalist specialisation to treat specific symptomology and advanced disease states, and there is a place for individuals having their own decentralised tonic herbal engagement underpinned by an intention of proactive, sovereign, glowing health. Plants and herbs are for the people, and tonic herbalism is there for all of us to engage with on different levels.

Mason dives deep into the intentions behind each SuperFeast bundle and goes into the layers of nuance when creating tonic-herbal formulas that are both good for the general population and support a specific system within the body. 


SuperFeast Di Dao grown herbs

"But when you get into taking of a single herb, that's when you start getting into that aspect of Taoism, which was taken away. Which was that connecting with the livingness of a herb, the personality of a herb, the magic biophilia aspect, where something awakens in you, and you can really have communion with the individual consciousness, direction, or energies of that herb. And you learn a lot about yourself because you've got a single herb coming into your world- something awakens.".  


- Mason Taylor

Mason discusses:

  • Combining herbs.
  • Herbal formulations.
  • Taking single herbs.
  • Advanced herbalism.
  • How to take the herbs.
  • Formulation in tonic herbalism.
  • What are superior tonic herbs?
  • Major, minor and supportive herbs.
  • Biophilia activations with single herbs.
  • The combining of herbs in tonic herbalism.
  • The classification and safety rating of herbs.
  • The purpose and intent of each SuperFeast bundle.
  • The distinction between clinical and tonic herbalism.


Click here to listen on apple podcast

Mason Taylor

Mason Taylor is the CEO/Founder of SuperFeast and a renowned tonic herbalist. On a soul mission to bring people back to their body and nature while bursting through dogma, he shares passionately and uniquely in his workshops, podcast, and content on how to cultivate healing and potentiation through health sovereignty. An expert in Daoist tonic herbalism, Mason has helped tens of thousands of people globally discover medicinal mushrooms, adaptogenic tonic herbs, and the healing philosophy from which they emerged. Mason is also a budding comedian; bursting the bubble on the “health scene” with his antics.

Resource guide


Mason's Instagram

SuperFeast Instagram


SuperFeast Blends 

SuperFeast Bundles

SuperFeast Tonic Herbs

Relevant Articles: 

Tonic Herbs, What Are They? Everything You Need To Know.

Medicinal Mushrooms: The 8 Most Powerful and Potent Mushrooms

Relevant Podcasts:

Yin Yang Wuxing For Inner Harmony with Rhonda Chang (EP#89)

Entering The Imaginal Realms with Stephen Harrod Buhner (EP#88)

Herbalism: The People's Medicine with Erin Lovell Verinder (EP#141)

Preserving Classical Chinese Medicine with Dr. Simon Feeney (EP#127)

The Science and Spirit of Herbal Medicine with Sajah Popham (EP#109)

Relevant Books

Plants For The People Book- Erin Lovell Verinder

The Lost Language Of Plants- Stephen Harrod Buhner

The Secret Teachings Of Plants- Stephen Harrod Buhner

Plant Intelligence And The Imaginal Realms- Stephen Harrod Buhner 

The Ancient Wisdom of Chinese Tonic Herbs- Ron Teeguarden book



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Check Out The Transcript Here:

Mason: (00:00)

Hello beautiful people, welcome to the podcast. Today, I'm going solo and we are talking about the combining of herbs in tonic herbalism. We're going to be talking about herbal formulations and we're going to be talking about the using of single herbs. So we're going to be doing this within the context of Daoist tonic herbalism. We're going to also be bringing in some contextualization around combining herbs or the viewpoint of taking single herbs from a practitioner level, classical or traditional Chinese medical system, because they are different. And some of you that have been on the deep dive for a while, sometimes you'll come across a conversation with a practitioner that is just within the institution of healing and more advanced herbalism. And they will assume that the rules that they've been given that anything that's considered a Chinese herb should only be taken in a formula and they should always be formulas that are either put together or prescribed by a professional.


Mason: (01:15)

In the context of them using what we call the lower and middle herbs, or even using the upper herbs, which are the superior tonic herbs that we're involved with here, in using them in clinical settings when there is symptomology involved, when there is a disease state or an invasion involved, then they're right. That's the time when we need that specialisation, that we need a practitioner that has understanding of herbal combinations that are there to get in deep and tend to a symptom or an extreme dysfunction in temperament, that's a lot of the time where the middle herbs really become involved, or just extreme disease states. So you don't want to be randomly swinging for a result by taking shen, or Schisandra, or Jing herbs, or Chi herbs when you're in that setting, which is clearly when you're out of your depth and your body is going through that learning process of what it's like to have something invade or have something become dysfunctional and not flow internally. And you're like, I'm out of my depth here.


Mason: (02:31)

Okay. So you have to go to a practitioner. If you've got a good practitioner, hopefully that will become an extreme learning scenario for you. You'll be like, what happened? What made me susceptible, what made me vulnerable? What is it about my constitution that you can teach me to end up that I don't end up back here. So that's what you want to look for. But when you're having conversations, if it ever does come up that people talk to you in this manner, be like, you're completely right in that setting. But we're talking about Daoist tonic herbalism. And that's why I have so many acupuncturists and practitioners on the podcast and have in the past, because we need to create that integration of when it's time to decentralise. And that comes to herbal practise that comes to treatments of symptoms that are within our purview. So we're not out of our depth dealing with certain symptoms because we can tend to them with lifestyle, can tender them with tonic, herbs, sleep, little bit of breath work, a little bit of a change direction in life, relationships, careers, so on and so forth. So that's where we are at with tonic herbalism. It is the herbs of the people.


Mason: (03:44)

These tonic herbs are the ones that were listed in the classics as those herbs, which were so safe, although need to acknowledge that they do have their medicinal actions as well. They're so safe that they can be integrated into the lifestyle and into the diet. So let's go a little bit deeper. When we're talking about actual the combining of herbs, there's certain questions that come up, should I take a Superfeast formula or other tonic herbal formula or should I take a single herb? How many blends can I do at once? How many single herbs can I do at once? What's the point of formulas? What's the point of single herbs? We're going to go into that. And I'm going to try and be as succinct as possible. The point of this is that this is so foundational to ones engaging with herbs. And there's certain little nuances here that you will be able to gain some insight on.


Mason: (04:41)

And most likely you'll be like, I've instinctually been doing that combining anyway or if I have instinctually felt that a single herb has got this intention or seems this way, whereas a blend is a little bit different. You'll feel a lot of that today because you're on the tonic herbal path. And we want to take you deeper onto this tonic herbal path, because it is a path and it's a lifelong path. That doesn't mean you have to be taking herbs every single day. But what these tonic curves represent in that decentralisation, moving away from an institutionalised health, towards the cultivation of our own personal health sovereignty, personal health culture, personal relationship with herbalism and then therefore nature. So taking single herbs, remember there were certain herbs in tonic herbalism which we'd say, like Ron Teeguarden, who was one of my mentors, gave herbs at a five star rating.


Mason: (05:43)

And so their herbs like Schisandra, Chaga, Eucommia bark, Goji, Albizia flower, Cordyceps. These herbs are at a five star safety rating. And tonic herbs, which with a five star safety rating, including all the ones that you see that are available as single herbs at Superfeast and many that aren't offered as single herbs, they are the ones where no matter what's going on, even if there is a little bit of symptomology, there's only... This is Rhonda Chang. I talked to Rhonda Chang about this when she was on the podcast, an amazing acupuncturist and amazing Chinese herbalist. Written many books, you've heard me talk about it lots of times. And I was asking, "What's a tonic herb?" And she's like, "Everything's tonic. Because you can take the most dangerous herb and use it in the most perfect scenario. And that is going to be a tonic for the body."


Mason: (06:44)

And I was like, "Great, but what about the ones that are tonic in the sense that they can be used really widely by someone who isn't a specialist in herbs?" And she's like, "Okay, I get what you're saying. And they're the superior herbs." And she's like, "Like ginseng, Schisandra, Astragalus." Because there's not really that much that can go wrong, especially if you're not symptomatic and you're taking them. And so the whole point of these herbs versus the... So we've covered why single herbs are used in tonic herbalism sometimes a little bit. There's just that distinction between clinical and tonic herbalism. We're going to go into it a little bit more later, but yes, we are very intentionally using single herbs in tonic, herbalism.


Mason: (07:30)

And quite often why it's misunderstood, why would you do it? If you're a clinician and you've learned the dangers of using herbs and the fact that you have to combine herbs in a formula expertly, and we'll go through what that formula is for formulating very generally, because they're so ensconced in that world and you can understand. But when you get into taking of a single herb, that's when you start getting into that aspect of Daoism, which was taken away, which was that connecting with the livingness of a herb, the personality of the herb, not to personify, the magic that biophilia aspect where something awakens in you and you can really have a communion with the individual consciousness, or direction, or energies of that herb. And you learn a lot about yourself because you've got a single herb coming into your world, something awakens, but we're going to get to that a little bit more later.


Mason: (08:35)

So when we do formulate in tonic herbalism, it's because that's the place where it is safe for you to have a play around. So we're not using major dangerous herbs. And this is where this herbal combination, this formula I'm about to give you, this is where you can start to really lean in as a lay person or a hobbyist like me when it comes to Chinese medicine, you can start to lean in and start engaging with some aspects of herbalism, which have previously been blocked out. No, you are not allowed. This is our area. So what happens when you create a formula, there's often the leading intention and that's the major herb and there's other archetypes that you can bring in. Maybe I'll bring in the general of of the formula in, but we're just going to go some pretty approachable terms, the major herbs.


Mason: (09:26)

So they're the major function of the formula. So it's often the major dose. And that has the dominant effect on the body system but these herbs are indispensable in the intention of the formula. So just quickly on that one, looking at major herbs, you can generally see anyone that's formulating there's going to be a central one to three, maybe four, herbs that's what we want to deliver, that particular effect that they are bringing to the body or the interacting effect. So even when you come to tonic herbalism, sometimes it is important to use this formula, which will go down major herbs, minor herbs, supportive herbs, and guiding herbs.


Mason: (10:09)

But the difference is quite often, this is what Ron Teeguarden taught me, one of my teachers in tonic herbalism, that these tonic herbs, although we can say there's this huge tonic system, he has a five star rating. And so they can go from one to five in terms of their safety rating in being a tonic. So it's not a one star rating isn't going to be the same as one of those lower herbs that have been cited in Shandong Materia Medica, those that are used for disease states. And then they are often poison, needing to be poisoned, because they're used very carefully when there's extreme disease states. So the herbs like Eucommia bark, yes, you can take that on its own. It's a five star herb. It's a five star safety rating. And not to say that there's certain settings where taking Eucommia bark isn't going to be right for you. Because remember this is medicinally active. I'm not saying it's safe for everyone. Go for it no matter what's happening. It's just an opening of the door to be able to interact with herbs in this way. Same with Astragalus.


Mason: (11:18)

And I can hear and feel there's all the conversations I've had with acupuncturists, but you can't use Astragalus if there's this going on. You get into a micromanagement which is not useful unless there is genuine symptoms that can be tilted over and you can be made worse. But the thing is, as Rhonda Chang has said, "Even if someone's in a pretty disease state take ginseng. There's only so much you can do." So that fear, sometimes the practitioners are right and they need to strike the fear of God into you, or the fear of the Daoist immortals as I should say. But quite often what you want to realise that there is a balance there, and there is a dynamic where you don't want to be crying wolf because people do need to be able to lean in and realise quite often it is safe. I've been doing this now for 11 years. Majority of the time it is extremely safe and it's not used crying wolf just for those few times.


Mason: (12:12)

What you do need to do is, like we are now, engage in conversations I had with acupuncturists where nuance and IQ is increased through the community to gain this understanding and respect for the herbs. But let's look at another formula, say, that is a tonic herb formula. Meaning it's one that you don't need to take when there's something wrong with your temperament symptomology disease, you have it for a forward leaning intention. Something like a bupleurum blend. Bupleurum is a tonic herb, but sits at about the three star safety rating, which goes to show you don't really want to be having bupleurum on its own. And when you look into herbal formulations and tonic herbalism, it's quite often maybe useful, in the sense I'm going to talk about a little bit later, to gain a really beautiful understanding of exactly how does this herb work when it doesn't have a bunch of other herbs distracting me from having a relationship with it. That's something I really enjoy doing and a lot of other people who are maybe listening to this. I know you might enjoy going through that process.


Mason: (13:22)

And we don't have bupleurum but you can go and you can order it from many places and boil up a little tea and just get that feeling, just get that sense. Just have a little bit, because it's toxic but there's something that can come about. But I would not say it's one that you'd want to be having consistently on its own all the time. So in tonic herbalism it's used as the major herb in the formula, say, free and easy wonder and bupleurum is like an entire category. Even in clinical Chinese medicine, it's an entire category of herbal formulations that revolves around it. So that's the major herb there. I'm not going to go into it right now, I realise I'm going to start taking up too much time by going in that rabbit hole. But if you look at any bupleurum formula, there's a very intentional major herb, which is the bupleurum and few others, peony is another and [inaudible 00:14:19]. Look up that formula it's there's those top three.


Mason: (14:22)

And then the minor herbs come in. These are herbs there to assist the major herbs of the formula in their function, as well as working on unique channels that are missed by the major herbs to fulfil the intention of the formula. So you can see we're not wanting to, in this instance, just go, yes, major herbs. I just want you to do your thing and we're just going to strengthen what you are doing. When we have a formula, there's an intention that we have for the system, for the person, for the body, for the regulation of yin yang wuxing that we are wanting to cultivate. And so the minor herbs are there to assist and to make sure maybe there's a little something that we've missed. And so that's the beauty of formulations.


Mason: (15:04)

Then there's the supportive herbs they're used to tie the formula together. Often these herbs are harmonising and promote smooth action from the major herbs while increasing their ability to be absorbed. And then there's guiding herbs. When you get to tonic herbalism generally, you don't need to be honed in as tight on these, but you can feel the intentions, even if the dosage doesn't change as much, you can feel what's needed there. But guiding herbs is definitely needed in clinic. There's focus on the action of the blend on a particular channel. These are not often used in tonic herbalism, as I said, where our intentions are not so clinical, but they're just more for general health. So those guiding herbs, especially if you're dealing with toxins, you want to make sure that you're guiding straight over into a particular layer of the body or channel of the body. So it doesn't end up somewhere where it could start playing silly buggers within the body.


Mason: (16:05)

So it's fun, even if you have your own single herbs sitting around whether it's Superfeast or anything else, you have your single tonic herbs, you can even start having a little bit of what's the major intention here I have, or what's the major herb I want to start bringing in. And you might start instinctually feeling I'm really revolving around Chaga and Astragalus at the moment. And then you think, what's the minor herb? And you start thinking the major function for me and this is where you start engaging, this is where you can stumble. You start slow. You don't have too many herbs of course in the beginning. Let me put all those little checks in place.


Mason: (16:49)

But we do have a high IQ community who for over a decade has been en engaging in this. And I've seen people awaken that ability for themselves to intuitively navigate their own body, learn about their own body, and learn about the herbs who are doing this. So what's that major herb? Chaga. That real deep adaptive energy that can't be mucked around with. That deep dark pigment that has such a Jing element as well but it ensures that I'm feeling I've got the ultimate protector deep on the inside. And then I can feel another major want to balance that out with the Astragalus ensuring that I'm bringing some really wirey electricity surface strength to that immune system. And minor herbs, you might feel it would be nice to add a little bit of Cordyceps in there, make sure that I'm really getting that yin yang balance, maybe heighten that kidney action of the Chaga, which is maybe not understood and known while bringing some fortification to that lung action of the Astragalus.


Mason: (17:55)

And then supportive herbs used to tie and round formulate the formula together. For you in this instance, it might just be something a little bit grounding. Say, I'm just going to bring a little bit of, say, Schisandra in there or you might just say, I want to just bring that beauty blend and just put a little bit of that beauty blend in there. It's got those real harmonising Goji berry, it's got that harmonising Schisandra berry to make sure that the liver's processing all of this and that there's going to be smooth action. So that's a lot of the time you're going to see those supporting herbs have a little bit of liver action. But again, there's no rules here. You just get to engage. What's the 1, 2, 3, major, minor supporting, and just see where your mind goes and see where your intuition goes. Sometimes you'll be like, I'm so intuitive, I'm so on to it. And then you'll be like, God, I didn't enjoy that blend, that combination.


Mason: (18:51)

But that's the thing. This is tonic herbalism. It's there for you to engage with. So there's many, many tonic herb formulas that are out there. Ron Teeguarden has documented a lot of them in his book. There's a lot that are used clinically and a lot that are used just in the household. And so that's what I've interacted with as well, creating tonic herb formulas just around the edges and make sure that the intentions that are coming forward are good for the population, but are general intentions for cultivation, general intentions around energy, what we relate to as immunity, general peace of mind. You can see it's not about the individual herb, it's about the formula supporting the system. So it's about the Jing formula from Superfeast range supporting the personal cultivation of Jing, the awareness of your Jing, what helps you feel that you're more fortified, what takes you in the other direction and just takes you in that direction of making that aspect of yourself healthier.


Mason: (20:03)

A lot of people taking Jing have no idea of the herbs in it, and that's okay. Some people do, but I quite often forget about the herbs that are in there when I'm taking it. I'm not focused on that. And that's what the formula allows me to do. It's very practical and very accessible because you don't have to think a lot about the thing that's coming in. The thing that's coming in is geared towards making your overall system regulated. And it's got a smooth delivery that comes in and does that. So hope you're all getting that understanding of why formulas are important. You can see why that's really important for tonic herbalism in general. So quite often when people will call up and want to know where do I start with tonic herbs, or I've heard about Cordyceps, and I've heard about lions mane, I've heard of Astragalus. So look, this is where I'm at. I'm stressed, got a couple of kids. I'm getting quite exhausted. I don't want to get sick.


Mason: (21:07)

You can see there is a practicality and convenience and an ease. Not that I'm saying that this is the less advanced way or anything like that, but you can see there is a certain amount of desire for ease. And we don't want to be thinking too much every time we pick up our blends and herbs. So in that instance, I wouldn't be saying to that person, they mentioned Cordyceps, or they mentioned Astragalus, or lion's mane, but what wasn't present it, wasn't this affinity and that's what you're often looking for. So are they focused on their intention in their own body, in themselves, which I know when I'm really running around like a headless [inaudible 00:21:55] that's where I am at. Or when they mention that lion's mane, did they say I saw a picture of it or I saw a friend harvest it, or I've seen them grown at the markets, or I've read an article on them.


Mason: (22:10)

Something awakens and they go, there was just something about that herb or I've watched a few of those videos of you in China. This happens quite often. And there was just something when you're at the deer farm and just something was awakened in me that I just thought maybe this herb could be amazing for me. This deer antler could be amazing for me. In that instance. It's not them going, okay. I want to cultivate sexual vigour. I want to ensure my bone marrow health is healthy and I can regenerate, that wasn't the leading, that'll often come afterwards. So from what I understand about deer antler, it does these things. That sounds pretty good, but what came first was the affinity. What came first is the word biophilia comes to mind when we can feel and experience the aliveness of nature around us. And that's quite often what happens in that instance. A lot of time people will go, lion's mane was another example. They are just like, oh my gosh, there was just something about it is just calling to me.


Mason: (23:16)

For me it was like that with Chaga. When I was just like, "I don't know what it is. I've just seen pictures at this point. I've read a couple of stories about it. And I was reading about Reshi and Cordyceps and all these other mushrooms." I was just like, "There is something calling out to me about the Chaga." And I don't need to really necessarily go into the nuances of that, of what that is, but there's something in the sense of the body feeling and relating to, and seeing it's either got a healing journey to go on with that herb, that perhaps it's going to be the perfect medicine to prevent something from happening in the future, or to treat something that's going on right now that you might not even know about.


Mason: (24:00)

You see it often like Steven Howard Bunner runs through the process a lot where he'll have people go into their body and go into that heart perception space and utilise the way that the heart and the mind, the brain, talk to each other. There's channels and the way to integrate the sensors coming in from nature, running through the heart sensory organ first, rather than going straight to the brain for analysis and interpretation. But walking someone through feeling the nature around them and feeling their heart and a good herbalist will be able to pick up and feel that, and then that person will guide themselves, or the healer will be able to pick up on the person could live vicariously and feel vicariously through the healer, but quite often the healer or herbalist can facilitate that person getting drawn towards a particular herb or a particular formula.


Mason: (24:52)

And it's the body saying and telling, this is what is healing for me right now. And that's very much easier walking through a herb garden, getting into that sense and asking the questions about what's going to be best for me. And this whole process is in one of the Steven Bunner books. I think it's the Secret Teachings of Plants where this is documented. There's many other documented. I think the Heart Math do quite a lot of it, not in the herbal sense, but they do a lot of the science around it, but that's biophilia, that aliveness. And that happens and quite often it'll happen sometimes if someone shut off and they do have a healing experience with a herb, they will forever be bonded with that herb, now feel that herb.


Mason: (25:35)

And I know there's stories of four herbalists. None of them speak the same language going down the Amazon river and all of them, unbeknownst to them, had a healing experience with a herb, ahosancho, and ahosancho got a medicinal bright light shining aspect to it. And all of them, all of a sudden like bang, they were on a canoe and they looked off to the right. All of them were looking in the same direction. And there was someone with them who was documenting their journey and was like, "What's going on? Did they see something? Is there an animal?" And all of them were like, "We've got to go over there. I think I saw something." And they were like, "Is it animal?" "No, no, no." What they were all seeing was this bright light and the person documenting it, the fifth person, they couldn't see it.


Mason: (26:19)

And that they all knew there was something there and they'd all went and they found, and they went beyond the foliage. And they found there was ahosancho there, and this herb was there. And they'd all then realised that they'd all had extreme healing, like clinical experiences, healing something with ahosancho and other herbs. But ahosancho was the one that did the healing. And so they all just had that connection. That's how I feel with Chaga. My whole body comes alive when I'm around Chaga, when I've had the opportunity to forage Chaga it comes alive. The there's no need for me to generate gratitude, and respect, and love, and reverence for that herb. It's just in built because something happened when I took it for that long.


Mason: (27:07)

It was especially after three months. Reshi I did some great stuff with, and I feel Reshi. I took them both for two years, but something was healed with Chaga and we are kin now. Whereas Reshi, a very beautiful friend and I understand it because I took it for so long and I fasted with it and I've learned a lot. And that's what I was able to do intentionally with Reshi. It might not be that whiz bang, huge connection, but I really wanted to learn from Reshi on its own, individually. And so I went and did that. So I took it on its own for so long. And now I have such an insane... I'm so drilled in and understanding how Reshi is going to work in my body. I know when it's time and when it's not. And it's not a dominant herb in my life right now, but I've always got it there in my belt as a relationship because I know it so well, because I was able to work with it individually.


Mason: (28:03)

And Chaga is one of those ones for me where it can call out to me on its own consistently. That's the point of going through these one-on-one usages of tonic herb. So going back to that woman she's not doing that. So I recognise cool. This probably isn't a time to use a single herb, why make it more complicated? Round the edges and find out what the intention is and match the intention of the formula to the person. That's the easiest way of least resistance and the best way. Long term, you will use herbs in that way for compliance. Eventually even if you are doing your own formulations, you'll end up creating a bulk formula for yourself. So you don't have to be constantly thinking about it. Most of the time, some people want to go and live in the mountains and just don't work, just constantly meditating their practises, their life or they teach practise. And so they're in that place have been highly tuned.


Mason: (29:05)

And I like living there. It wasn't practical for me to stay living there. So that's when I was like, okay, what am I going to take today? This is a major herb and lion's mane coming in and polygalus need to come in to create that linking towards that kidney heart connection so will can become passion and love. And I was in that space and it's just not practical for me right now. And so I want to round the edges and make it easy for me to comply, which is formulas. And so that's when that person would call, if we go back into the stake in the ground, when that woman called and she's like, "It's energy, immunity and just that kind of stuff," I'd go, "Great." We've created formulas to make it easy for you in the wide population. So the most common place to start, especially if you want to build those foundations, those Jing herbs are going to be really great for you because it's not giving you energy, but it's helping remember how your body how to cultivate that energy.


Mason: (29:57)

Make sure you plug the gaps from where you're leaking energy and you're leaking Jing. And then, oh gosh. That's my intention, I'm being met there. And as well we're just going to get you on the Mason's mushrooms blend, because you've said something, you said vitality, you've said something about digestion. You've said something a lot about immunity. And so there's a lot there, so because we want to wide array of intentions in the body met, the mushrooms are probably the best wild card. Because they're just going to get into core, because maybe you are not at the absolute source of what needs to happen in your body, but we're going to get the mushrooms in there just because they can attend to so many different areas of your system and bring some regulation and bring some destressing. And it's like, oh my gosh, that sounds great. Thank you. So it's easy. So now we've got that in where... What's the word I want to use?


Mason: (30:45)

We're engaged with our herbal practise, where if we go on Reshi's this incredible herb they call it the herb of immortality. It's the queen of the medicinal mushroom. She's got these amazing things. She works on the liver wood. She's incredible for liver wood. She's actually Jing as well. She's actually Jing Chi shen, but she's mostly shen and it gets complex. What is this personality again? So you have to go out and meet that individual herb versus if we just go here's the Jing. Jing meets you and this intention over here. So both are amazing. And so it's just great for everyone to realise when you're approaching herbalism as well. And when you've got people in your life approaching herbalism, there's that little nuance that you can bring into the conversation. Let's bring some expertise into this community here. It is time for decentralisation of formulating of herbs to happen.


Mason: (31:38)

But that can only happen because we're asking for respect from clinicians and institutions to realise where the bridge needs to happen to everyday home usage. So we stay out of the practitioner's office. It's got to work both ways. You can't just be like, screw those institutions and I'm going to do it all myself. And I'm going to become an expert in formulation. At some point, unless you specialise in this and it becomes a career, you're going to get out of your depth. And you need to respect when it's time to start engaging with that clinical setting and with those specialists. So experiment but don't be silly. Don't think the rules don't apply to you. Just because sometimes I talk about the magic being cut out of Chinese medicine and the spirit being cut out of Chinese medicine, it doesn't mean what we have in clinical settings shouldn't be respected and have all the formulas to be that specialist integrated aspect of our lifestyle.


Mason: (32:40)

And it's not like they're not out there helping cure diseases and symptomology. Just make sure you've got some respect and realise where that line is and then just play it safe. If you're like, oh gosh, I'm feeling a bit uncomfortable. This herbs may be not in the super safe barrier maybe don't do it or go and take it to your acupuncturist and tell them, I'm feeling like I want to use this herb. If you've got a good one, they'll help you. So how many blends? So in terms of how many single herbs can you take at one time? There's going to be many different people. I think I've talked about this quite a lot. But some of you are the people that are like, I want every single, single herb that there is. And I've got them all there and then I'm going to have all the formulas there, and you've got maybe a couple of other brands and a couple of other single herbs.


Mason: (33:30)

Some people, kind of like me, I'm just that herbal world or the wellness intention, the longevity intention. And I don't mean longevity necessarily in adding gears to the life. Although that's a happy consequence, but some constitutions just love it and thrive on it and want a huge tonic bar. Just make sure you're aware of whether that's you or not. Because quite often it's two to three products at a time. Or even if you've got more products sitting there two to three at the front of the cupboard, or out of the cupboard, and down on the window seal, or down on the kitchen bench. So they're in your face, you can see them. That's as most as anyone's intention can spam. Now, as I said, for sure if you're one of those people like me in those days who are like, I want to combine a little bit of the shen blend and I'm going to get a little bit of extra Schisandra in there and then you can go hog wild in terms of experimenting with tonic and to find your sweet spot.


Mason: (34:42)

But generally when I used to do events, I go on for three hours about herbs and then people would come up afterwards and be like, oh my God, I need everything. And they'd get six or seven products. And they hadn't really engaged in herbalism before. And the crew was all taught to be like, "Hey, what's the number one thing that... Was there an affinity?" So was there a single herb and sometimes there was also a formula based infinity. When Mason was talking about the Chi blend. I thought I needed Jing, but I don't know. Just thinking about the spleen and the lungs and taking my food and my energy and cultivating that and turning that into the Chi that I use through the day. I feel that's where I'm at, but I also think I need the Jing. It's like, whoa, let's start with that affinity. That's where we start first. And that also might happen with a single herb.


Mason: (35:32)

Then what's the other thing you're really working on. Okay. Well, okay, so there was the Qi. But the other thing I'm really working on is just my fatigue, especially my mental fatigue. It's like, oh cool. So actually, Qi is really great for that already, but it's just the general vitality. If you're feeling Jing depleted, are you exhausted? Actually, no. I just think I am because I get so mentally fatigued. It's like, oh great. Well, have you heard the neural nectar is another place that you can start meeting that intention directly. It's why it's formulated and it's formulated for people in your setting. It's also formulated for Mason's mom, who's got a traumatic brain injury, and it's also gentle enough to be used there, but it's for extreme momming, extreme professionals, extreme athletes to keep that mental acuity. So it's wide.


Mason: (36:26)

Great. So that's good. So you're feeling good there. So that's two products. That's really great. You can keep focused on those intentions that those formulas have, and you can not get distracted by other formulas that take you out of your intention and get you chasing. Gosh, that's right. What am I missing that I'm trying to get for Jing? Because it's not connected to a genuine intention. Not that it's detrimental, it's always going to do good things if you put Jing in there, but you get the difference of the energy of being connected to it. First going, what's Jing about again? I can't even remember. It's about energy. That's right. I'm exhausted. I'm low on energy and it might not even be your truth.


Mason: (37:05)

And so that's where that two products, so it's perfect. But then that three, is there anything else that really stood out to you? Yeah. I think finally that liver beautifying aspect, it rings so true to me. Wow. Great. Something like the beauty blend and they go actually Schisandra, which one should I take? Schisandra or beauty blend. What was it about Schisandra? They go, I don't know. It was just really exciting. Okay, let's go Schisandra, let's try both. They're going to be in that same intention, but we've been there. Beauty blend is going to cover it really well rounded, but this sounds something about Schisandra you really want to interact with.


Mason: (37:48)

Yeah. Great. That's three products. That's probably good. So that was someone that was maybe going to go six. So just remember that. It's always always exciting and dopamine inducing getting lots and lots of herbs and I do it quite often. Just check your intention capacity. So that's it. If you are in a place where if you feel you can handle 10, for sure. Just remember not to overextend yourself too much. Okay. So now I'm just going to go through at Superfeast in terms of that herbal combining and that intention setting. I'm just going to run through the bundles that we've got at Superfeast, because that's a really great place for me to explain intentions. And with having bundles, it's just the whole point.


Mason: (38:37)

You'll see they're in twos and threes. It's just taking away that need for someone that doesn't want to go through that process of going, okay, and this and that. They've just gone. I will go into it. I've got a broad intention just around immunity. Okay, we're going to keep you from these two herbs and then boom, that person can engage. And then for them it's about immunity. So for them, like in this instance, the Qi that they're taking and the Mason's mushrooms that they're taking is about immunity. And for them, say, someone who's doesn't know tonic herbalism, doesn't know all this, that's enough. They don't need to know just how incredibly well rounded their body has been tended to with the Qi and with the masons mushrooms. What we're looking for is for them to start their tonic herbal journey and engage.


Mason: (39:23)

And we need that consistency of taking the herbs, the compliance aspect is where it needs to be at. And Ron Teeguarden used to say, maybe does say still, that the tonic herb, you don't take will do nothing for you. So it was just about the compliance aspect. It's not meant to be, oh my God, I got to take all the herbs so they do everything for me. So that's that immunity bundle. That's where you can see where we are meeting that intention. So can someone can very simply engage, but let's go through them. The three treasures bundle is definitely my favourite. Because quite often people ask, "Can I take the Jing and Chi together or can I take the Chi and shen together?" And I'm quite often like, "You can take them all together. It's all good baby."


Mason: (40:06)

Taking Jing, Qi and Shen, at the same time and experiencing what happens when you have three very intentionally put together formulas in their own right. Then you take those blends and all those herbs and bring them in together into this super herbal formula and feel what happens. And it's very easy for you to be like, what's primary? Jing. Secondary? Chi. And then what's supporting? Shen, or other way around. I love that. I love that bundle. I think that should probably the most, well... As a gift that'll be my favourite seeing people get. And then the essentials bundles, that's the one I brought up before, Mason's mushrooms, Jing. People when they engage with Superfeast for the first time that don't have any of those biophilia activations of any other single herbs, or haven't really had too much, they just heard good things. That's where they're going to start, Jing and Mason's mushrooms. And why wouldn't you? That is such a beautiful combination.


Mason: (41:01)

Women's health bundle. This has been brought to the forefront because so many women ask, I want to just be sorted on all levels. And yes, the I am Gaia is there, it's very easy to go about. And yes, the Jing is there and most women in our community know that's going to be probably the most important treasure and the system, the organ systems, that lead to your Jing not leaking is probably most important for women. And the I am Gaia is there. But just to present, I am Gaia, Jing and chi, it meets that broader intention. And that bundle comes in and wraps you in a cuddle. And it's like, just put us all in a little tonic together and let's go ahead. Perhaps at times you'll feel I'm really going to hit the Jing and hit the I am Gaia. And then you're going to go realise there's a point, okay, I'm going to back off the Jing and hit the Chi a little bit more. That's all beautiful as well. But what an amazing bundle, another amazing gift.


Mason: (42:01)

I don't even know how to name in terms of naming this next one, stress less bundle. I'm stressed, I'm anxious. I just can't handle all the emotion and there's so many places that could be coming from, so we're not here to treat it and go, well, that's all going to go away if you take these. Just remember tonic herbalism is about on a lifestyle level supporting the system, hopefully so that you, your consciousness, your actions can get on top of these things that are starting to become chronic in your life like stress. And obviously physiologically, energetically based in Chi and your yin yang transformation cycle, the herbs are going to be there hopefully ensuring that you stay fortified enough in your organs, that we don't lead to something chronic popping up. But that stress less bundle, Jing hit that kidney system, hit the foundations. Because so much goes right stresswise physiologically when you get that Jing in and then hit it from the heart.


Mason: (42:59)

Shen, just bring a smoothness to the thought forms, smoothness to the way the emotions have been processed. Beautiful. But as I said, stress especially anxiety, there can be quite a few places it's coming from. So of course, with tonic herbalism, our expectations aren't unrealistic. We're just going, let's just see if we can help a little bit. And if it's getting clinical, it's getting bad, it's getting out of control, of course, go to a practitioner or go to an acupuncturist or of course, if it's mental stress there's going to be other appropriate practitioners, but you can go to an acupuncturist like, what's going on. He might say it's actually your spleen. Not that the Jing and the shen isn't going to have been tending to you and giving you broad capacity to stand in the face of stress. Remember these are broad herbal strokes supporting the system. If it's something really going on in the spleen and you are not digesting your thoughts, and you are not digesting properly, because you got a sopping wet spleen and it's all soiled down there, which is the element, then great.


Mason: (44:10)

Then you get a little bit of treatment going in and maybe they can offer you a change in direction. Actually, I think you should bring some Qi in or some mushrooms in. You'll be amazing. It's not like you were taking the wrong thing. You're just learning about yourself. That's what always these tonic herbs do. Remember we're not trying to cure anything with these. We're trying to learn about ourselves and we're trying to engage with ourselves. So even if we don't end up taking the perfect formula that treats this and that, remember there is an intention that we can still be cultivating in the background. And then you learn a little bit of something through taking the formulas. Maybe you get a little bit of capacity, or strength, or willingness to even go, cool. I'm going to go to a practitioner. Now I'm going to go to an acupuncturist. Then you actually get to the bottom of it with.


Mason: (44:53)

Maybe that wasn't possible if you hadn't started engaging yourself in taking herbs and you just didn't want to be swept away and finding another practitioner that just didn't actually empower you again. But you're actually feeling a little bit of empowered. You're engaged. I'm doing this for me, and myself, and my family with these herbs. Now I've got that foundation. Now I feel really strong enough to go to a practitioner and ask the questions and patiently learn about my body from them in that technical way. Anyway, moving on. The passion and desire bundle. The SEO smashes you, the search engine optimization, if you have the word libido in there, but Jing and deer antler look out. If you get on the Jing and the deer antler look out, you will become very able in your capacity to have spontaneous sexual desire. And it will be wonderful, especially that deer antler. Gosh, love it.


Mason: (45:47)

Embodied detox bundle and then MSM, it still sits there. It sits in there and it's such an intention. Even though detox is such a broad topic in terms of engaging your body's, in the western sense, elimination channels, which the elimination channels is very relevant in a Taoist sense as well. But when you come to it, this bundle, for anyone who is engaging with that detox and embodying detox, the MSM, as a sulphur mineral, is a little bit easier for someone to see it's actual permeability, the cell that it's working on. It is a mineral that's working on phase two, liver detoxification, so on and so forth. But then when you tend over into that beauty blend, it's working in so many... Yes, we can get western physiological. But when you look at what it's doing in terms of the function of the liver wood system and the kidney water system, it's bringing your ecology, the ecosystem that is your body into a place where it can refresh itself, replenish itself, which is the idea of what detox is. That's why we called it embodied detox.


Mason: (46:53)

Radiant skin bundle. Why not? Why wouldn't you? Beauty blend, tremella, chi, what an incredible formula. You can see for some people, maybe for you guys, a lot of you listening are like, oh yeah. Maybe you don't feel you need to go buy the bundle. Maybe you just need to go and add Qi in. But someone who's like, I've chronically got this things going on with my skin and there's nothing really wrong going on. It's not an autoimmune issue or anything like that, I got checked out. I just really want support of my skin. Bang. There you go. It's such a strong intention. It's a good one. It's not a vain one. It is showing you something and here's a bundle. Beauty blend, tremella, Chi mix them all together, get that skin radiating again and connecting to that reality of it's your organ function and that collaborative organ function that especially the lungs and especially the liver that helps your skin really shine vibrantly.


Mason: (47:50)

Men's health bundle. Why not? Ashwagandha, Eucommia bark, Cordyceps, boys get on it. Brain gains bundle. Neural nectar, chi. That combination, if you've got a meeting and you need your mental acuity to be on, sure. Just take a neural nectar if that's all you got. If you can get that neural nectar and Chi bundle and someone who's like an entrepreneur, or a hustler, or all that stuff, you get them on the neural chi, get that in an espresso for them. They will froth on just how on their mind is.


Mason: (48:23)

And then sweet dreams bundle. Little bit of Ashwagandha, little bit of Reshi. So many people have that intention. I don't have a sleep blend. I don't know if I ever will do a sleep but blend, but I feel amazing for people to be able to connect and bring these herbs in, bring the Ashwagandha in, bring that Reshi in and experience what it happens when they help you down regulate at night. And then you can start actually having some beautiful, healthy, sleeps with the help of our herbal mates. We've gone nice and deep as we always like to do. I hope you've enjoyed that. We've talked a little bit at the bundles at the end, but we've really been able to go deep in talking about formulas, the taking of the individual herbs. Hope you've been now been able to increase your awareness, hopefully that deepens your tonic herbal practise.


Mason: (49:08)

And I know for many of you, you're in the position where you are sharing the herbs with other people. So I hope that gives you greater capacity to communicate your love for the herbs, help people in your environment, stay on that tonic herbal journey, because we know just what happens if you stay on that front foot, you're keeping that regulation of the yin yang. You're keeping that protection of the Jing Chi Shen. Well we're much better set up to just not cross our fingers and hope that something takes us out. We are engaged and we are in that path of prevention. We're in that path of cultivation. And then that's when we get lots of elders. So that's when we got lots of wise people running around in our society that desperately needs it. So love you all. Love some feedback on this. So hit us up whether it's email, or Instagram, or podcast review, whatever it is would love to hear from you, what you learned from this, what you enjoyed most. And if you've got any other questions as well, hit us up. Love you all. Catch you next time.

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Adrenal Fatigue and Repair with Sage and Dan (EP#170)

On the podcast today, we're bringing one of our favourite recordings out of the SuperFeast catalogue; Mason, naturopath Dan Sipple, and herbalist Sage Dammers discuss Adrenal Fatigue and all dimensions of Adrenal health.

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Adrenal Fatigue and Repair with Sage and Dan (EP#170)