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How To Live For Longevity with Mason Taylor on Mind Body Plants Podcast (EP#128)

Mason goes through the entire SuperFeast apothecary in both poetic and articulate detail; What's in the mindfully curated blends, the Organ systems they nourish, how the herbs are sourced, the seasons they best connect to, and the stories behind the formulations, this episode covers it all.

We're bringing you a special edition on the podcast today, as Mason steps out of the interviewer seat and is interviewed by Tommy Moore on the Mind Body Plants Podcast. If you've ever wanted to listen to Mason go through the entire SuperFeast apothecary in both poetic and articulate detail; What's in the mindfully curated blends, the Organ systems they nourish, how the herbs are sourced, the seasons they best connect to, and the stories behind the formulations, this episode covers it all.


Tommy asks some great questions, and Mason dives deep into the world of Daoist tonic herbalism, discussing the lineage and how these heavenly messengers oscillate through Mind/Body/Spirit to bring healing and longevity. Mason opens up about his decade-long journey with SuperFeast, from grassroots beginnings to the epic company it has grown into; Still maintaining the same core intentions of supporting people in maintaining wellness and longevity through tonic herbs and medicinal mushrooms. In comparing the western medical system with classical Chinese medicine, this conversation goes many places. Mason lays down what you need to know about Jing herbs, cultivating Qi, Nootropics, Brain health, Dì Dào (地道) sourcing, and living in harmony with yourself and nature. This episode is the reminder we all need to stand empowered in our sovereign health.


"In classical Chinese medicine what you're looking at is the capacity for Qi to transform through a particular Organ system. And so you're looking at supporting that baseline regulatory capacity for inner transformation at all times; The ability for your body to accept and enable change to constantly occur. And you can see how different that clinical approach is going to be. You can see why Western medicine likes to just go, 'Yep, do that, bang. And now we're fixed'. Whereas if you take responsibility for helping someone move through changes in their body and in their life, that's a massive responsibility, and it's harder to be effective. It takes more keeping your finger literally on the pulse. Our medical and wellness system doesn't focus on or value that right now. It seems boring to focus on that constant capacity of 'this too will change'... Why? Because then you can't be right, and you can't dominate".


-Mason Taylor



Tommy and Mase discuss:

  • Mycology. 
  • Tonic herbalism. 
  • The Daoist lineage. 
  • Yin/Yang cultivation. 
  • The culture of SuperFeast.
  • The nature of Adaptogens.
  • The SuperFeast apothecary.
  • Dì Dào (地道) sourcing and preserving tradition.
  • Superior herbs (lifestyle herbs) and dosage.
  • Autoimmune conditions and medicinal mushrooms.
  • Brain health and nootropic herbs for neuro-plasticity. 
  • The journey of SuperFeast; 10 years on from grassroots. 
  • Psychedelic mushrooms, micro-dosing and mental health. 
  • Cultivating organ health, longevity, and wisdom through herbs.
  • Western medical system and classical Chinese medicine system.



Mason Taylor is the founder of SuperFeast. Mason was first exposed to the ideas of potentiating the human experience through his mum Janesse (who was a big inspiration for founding SuperFeast and is still an inspiration to Mason and his team due to her ongoing resilience in the face of disability). After traveling South America for a year, Mason found himself struggling with his health - he was worn out, carried fungal infections, and was only 22. He realised that he had the power to take control of his health. Mason redirected his attention from his business degree and night work in a bar to begin what was to become more than a decade of health research, courses, education, and mentorship from some of the leaders in personal development, wellness, and tonic herbalism. Inspired by the own changes to his health and wellbeing through his journey (which also included Yoga teacher training and raw foodism!), he started SuperFeast in 2010. Initially offering a selection of superfoods, herbs, and supplements to support detox, immune function, and general wellbeing. Mason offered education programs around Australia, and it was on one of these trips that he met Tahnee, who is now his wife and CEO of SuperFeast. Mason also offered detox and health transformation retreats in the Byron hinterland (some of which Tahnee also worked on, teaching Yoga and workshops on Taoist healing practices, as well as offering Chi Nei Tsang treatments to participants). After falling in love with the Byron Shire, Mason moved SuperFeast from Sydney's Northern Beaches to Byron Bay in 2015. He lived on a majestic permaculture farm in the Byron hinterland, and after not too long, Tahnee joined him (and their daughter, Aiya was conceived). The rest is history - from a friend's rented garage to a warehouse in the Byron Industrial Estate to SuperFeast's current home in Mullumbimby's beautiful Food Hub, SuperFeast (and Mason) has thrived in the conscious community of the Northern Rivers. Mason continues to evolve his role at SuperFeast, in education, sourcing, training, and creating the formulas based on Taoist principles of tonic herbalism.





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Check Out The Transcript Here:


Tommy Moore: (00:00)

Mason, first and foremost, welcome and thank you for joining me on this podcast. Been following your work for a little while now, and I'm certainly thrilled to be able to welcome you here and to have a chance to speak to you and get a bit of a deep dive into some adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms that I personally take on almost a daily basis. So, before we get into all of that, how do you describe what you do?


Mason: (00:28)

Yeah, it's been definitely a mixed bag of what I've done in the wellness space. My company, SuperFeast is at this point, I guess what I'm most well-known for nearly, it's going to be 10 years in May that I've had that company and it has evolved somehow despite my flippancy and desire to not be shackled down by the responsibility of business, it's grown to be a very... Yeah, it's a really beautiful, healthy business. I still feel I'd still own completely. So, it's still very grassroots and just ensconced in what my original intentions back in the day were. Before I started the company, I was just in my last year at uni and just trying to find ways to just to have my body be a little less lethargic, and I was a little bit worried the way I saw it.


Mason: (01:22)

It's like I worried about my trajectory and what I saw, how I was going to be at 80 years old or 90 years old, or even 60 years old. And that kind of spurred me on to, even though I was gung ho and I was jumping into the deep end of extremism of diet and detoxification and just becoming basically an extremist and a purist in the health space. Ultimately, my intention was a real long term sustainable one. And so, I had the juice to kind of go extreme back then, but because my intention is what, where SuperFeast is at still and what kind of the mission or the intent is behind it at the same, what I have for myself, which is to just find whether it's practises or capacity to continually change and evolve with at different times of life, psychologically and physically, and just to find the herb, so on and so forth, that's going to facilitate and support my deepest health intentions to come true.


Mason: (02:17)

And so, that, for me, when I was in uni studying herbalism, I wanted to potentiate the body. And so, that meant I didn't go for things that were problem-solution kind of herbs. Western herbalism didn't really interest me back then because it was more clinical. You take it for this, take it for that. But Daoist herbalism, the ancient Chinese philosophy and path of the Dao, their herbs were... They had this whole dialogue about cultivating organ health and cultivating the body. And that just really made sense to me because I didn't want to have a problem solution and initial problem-solution approach to my health and life. And that's where SuperFeast is basically at. It's just this gentle, this we source medicinal mushrooms. And when a lot of people know adaptogens in a way that's based on the Daoist tradition.


Mason: (03:06)

So, it's just make getting them as close to nature as possible and having them be as robust as possible, so that with the same intention that they've had for thousands of years all over the world using herbs for health, it's just to keep you that little bit healthy, go get you on the front foot that little bit more. When you get a little bit more juice in your body, and you're not having to worry about symptoms and degeneration, or even fatigue. Even though these things can still be there in variants, if it's just like a little bit less of that, if you're a little less immune compromised, you don't have to waste your energy or your Qi on surviving. Those symptoms, you can get on the front foot and develop yourself and ultimately, when you get a little bit older, you're not degenerating and hopefully, you've had the power to overcome developmental issues, psychological issues.


Mason: (03:51)

So, you're a little bit less of an asshole and you're actually someone who's got some wisdom and someone who... It doesn't have to be so reliant on external stuff in order to stay healthy, and that's basically what SuperFeast is. Back in the day, I was like, "No, I just don't want to see any more degenerative disease in the world." And that's still a nice, lofty mission that probably won't ever come true because it's beautiful, it's relating to decay has been bad, but I really was mourning at the, seeing so much unnecessary degeneration and wasting away of the body and not living in harmony with yourself in nature. And so, I'm a really at a point at that SuperFeast, it's just like people have intentions around their health.


Mason: (04:38)

I don't have an agenda about where that leads them, but through our education, because we have educational courses as well, and about living in harmony with nature and yourself, but then especially the herbs and the medicinal mushrooms that we saw. So specifically, they can really just help the organs flow, cultivate the organs, get the immune system nice and healthy so that there's a little bit less for people to worry about and they can go on, making their health intentions come true and becoming less of an asshole and more of their awesome selves.


Tommy Moore: (05:07)

I love how you speak to the Daoist tradition because thousands and thousands of years ago, when we didn't have science, we didn't have all of this empirical evidence or clinical evidence about any of these herbal medicines or medicinal mushrooms, but that had practised this for so, so long, and they didn't necessarily need to know what a biochemical was because I guess back then, what they would call a spirit, we would now possibly call a biochemical. And so, I really, really loved this link between science and spirituality, especially when we're talking about mushrooms and herbs, that they can change how we feel. They can change how we act and our behaviour. They can make us feel more connected to each other. Now, this will be the first time that I've spoken about medicinal mushrooms and herbs. So, before we get deeper into science and philosophy, let's start with some basic definitions. What is meant by a herbal tonic? What is meant by a medicinal mushroom, and also what is meant by an adaptogen?


Mason: (06:19)

Yeah, good order that you've put them in. So, tonic herbs is, that term is a rough translation over from about 2000 years ago, we get the first herbal materia medica, cataloguing herbs and their uses and categorising them. And, this is why I study a Daoist path because it's the ancient Chinese, the ancient health nuts, as I kind of refer to them. At times, they're the ones that documented it and came up with terminology, whereas right now, you don't see a [flowering 00:06:54] just yet of the Australian herbal tradition, because it was verbal. It was a bit more, I guess you'd say more spirit-based versus 3D-based, and that's in a lovely way. The Daoists documented specific, very physical practise-based health practises.


Mason: (07:15)

And so, since it was written, it's like it's there on offer and able to be utilised, which is a little bit different to a verbal tradition, especially one that's been consciously wiped out and hopefully not forever. And there's beautiful people preserving that and slowly, we own the right to be able to partake in that once we get, how to do that with respect and not just to be treating it as a commodity, which is the worst thing that happens in the wellness scene, in the herbal scene as the things that are based in basically, as you said, spirit, so it shows and the science can be there, but that's doing something following a path in a way that it's complete. I guess holistic is the word that's a bit bastardised, but nonetheless, it's like, we partake in tonic herbalism and we reflect on it based on the entire system of Daoism and reflecting on where the civilization was at, not just take a scalpel, which is what Western herbalism and Western medicine does a lot of time.


Mason: (08:11)

Just we'll just get a scalpel and just like... We'll take that and we'll leave the rest. And we'll talk a little bit more about that when we get to adaptogens, because that's not a bad thing, taking something out and going, this is an adaptogen used in these scenarios. As long as you leave a thread back to the complete system and where it came from. But, over 2000 years ago, we got the first materia medica by the emperor, Shennong, and it's basically an accumulation of knowledge, thousands of years of knowledge. Many, many people contribute to say, "This is what we know so far." There's three categories of herbs, as far as we kind of practise, which is the inferior herbs or lower herbs. They're the ones that are used for disease states. There's a lot of long-term symptoms. We can damage the body. They're basically using poisons, very good in emergency situations and acute illnesses.


Mason: (08:59)

And then, middle herbs, regular herbs. They're long-term management of symptoms says still a little bit more... They can go in organs placing those herbs. And then, there's the superior herbs. And the superior herbs can also be used clinically. They are the ones that you can get on the front foot and utilise in the body. The Daoists would say, ``We'd use this to lighten the body or to ward off ageing, ward off premature ageing, to bring the spirit through." So, what is the spirit through is, just imagine, yes, you can develop yourself and use like, say a disease state to gain more perspective and wisdom in life.


Mason: (09:36)

But if you don't have to have these disease states to be the catalyst for your growth, if you are already on a path of growth, you don't have to spend all this time going and dealing with disease or symptoms, or whatever, like mental health issues, so on and so forth. If you can do that, then you're going to be able to develop yourself psychologically, you're going to be able to work on your perspective in life, you're going to be able to transition through the initiations of life where you kind of get a little bit less about you at some point, more about the community. And that's what the Daoists were interested in. The superior herbs could be used in that instance. There were some of the grandmas for thousands of years had been, grandpas had been putting in the soup to keep everyone healthy without them knowing.


Mason: (10:17)

So, they're the tonic herbs. So, tonic herbs are those that preserve life, and it doesn't mean a lot of people... I've been doing this a long time now and I've been kind of talking. It's been interesting how do I talk about these and get people engaged with these herbs while respecting them, because it's not just the herbs that you can take as much as you want of. They are like herbal foods, but they're still medicinally active. And the whole point of them is, yes, you can take them and it's not like you're going to... It's hard to do damage with these tonic herbs. And that's why they're the lifestyle herbs. But still, people need to be aware that you're going, you need to go slow with these herbs, and sometimes if you're feeling that you need, then you do trust your instinct to start taking big doses of say an extract powder and do two big teaspoons a day.


Mason: (11:05)

But then, you need to be able to listen to yourself and that's time to lower that back once again. So, although these are the superior herbs, they're also very active. They're like any food. You're going to want to rotate and keep your instincts alive, but they're the herbs to preserve life. They're the anti-ageing herbs. These are the ones that they use to keep their bones healthy, mind sharp, keep their organs flowing. It's about preserving your life and the Daoist talk about you being made up and everything they made up that your body may be made up of three treasures, especially the three treasures.


Mason: (11:40)

Your Jing lives in your kidneys. You're given that when you're born. It's how much wax you have to burn through the candle of your life, right? And so, if you burn the candle at both ends, bang, you're going to get rid of that wax. Yes, Western medicine can keep that flame alive, but keeping a flame alive on just a wick and having no substance there for it to burn through, it's not much of a life to live. And that's why a lot of people die for a long time once they get to 50, 60, 70, they’re kept alive, but they're dying for ages. We want to avoid that if possible and that's what the Jing herb's about, not bringing that premature ageing strong bones. They're the foundational essence.


Mason: (12:16)

Qi is the second treasure. Qi is like, you take fuel in, you cultivate Qi, keeps the engine going. Keeps your thoughts moving, keeps your fluids moving. This is what keeps you going through every day of life. It's your breath, it's the food that you're taking in, and you can maintain a lot of vitality and a lot of energy by keeping that Qi cultivated. And then, the final treasure is Shen, which is your spirit and your consciousness that comes through. And as you develop more wisdom, that equates to being able to develop more Shen and so more virtuous nature. So, you genuinely cultivate kindness and forgiveness and loving. And then, note that there's other aspects in from consciousness that come from the heart, especially, but there are other organs that you cultivate. Say, for instance, that are going to bring about the wisdom of having really strong boundaries by your really beautiful boundaries, so on and so forth.


Mason: (13:14)

So, it's not just all pie-in-the-sky, lovey-dovey shit, quite completely. And that's the theory of Daoism in the organ system, and each organ has its own consciousness. But then, as you keep the Qi going through the organs, the idea is you are not burning through your three treasures. Your Jing, your Qi, your Shen. You cultivate life. That's what tonic herbs are, the superior herbs are. And it contains mushrooms and berries and barks and deer antler velvet, and minerals like pearl. There's some animal ones like a particular type of ant, so on and so forth. And so, in our day and age, they're the ones for like, then nootropics fall into that kind of category a lot of the time. Energy herbs, like ginseng, fall into that category. And a lot of adaptogens fall into that category.


Mason: (14:01)

So, clinically, an adaptogen in the west was really identified in the 1970s by the Russians. And they classified, let me see if I've still got this, classify the adaptogen herbs as ones that are going to have an accumulative effect on the body. So, the longer you take them, you're going to accumulate benefits and it's good for everyone to be mindful that that's just not linear, the more your take, gets better. At some point, you hit a glass ceiling of how much energy you can have, and the adaptogens then kind of flesh out and can maybe help you modulate the immune system a little bit more, modulate your nervous system a little bit more. So, it's not just getting better in one direction.


Mason: (14:41)

Once you restore homeostasis within your adrenal, that bottom, I'll talk about the HPA axis in a second, but say your adrenals get back into sync all of a sudden, then you might not keep experiencing more and more benefits from that ginseng or ashwagandha in that same direction. You might start opening up to being able to experience benefits in other directions, if you're not attached to just external gains coming from the adaptogen. So, I just need to flesh that one out there. Second classification of adaptogens is it can create any additional harm or stress to the body. The general rules, taking things like ashwagandha, ginsengs, schizandras, reishis, chagas, these kinds of herbs. For the majority of the population who are symptomatic and are dealing with disease states, they're not going to move you into harm or stress place. They're going to help your body adapt to stress, right?


Mason: (15:38)

And so, they're regulators. And especially the mushrooms, they're immunological regulators. As well, if you're very sick, you don't just go charging into taking adaptogens. You want to still be... That's a very general kind of classification, as well, and no more harm or stress. And then, the third one I kind of touched on is their regulatory. They have a non-specific action in the body. And so, we generally know that it's going to take cortisol down and the majority of the population's say for ashwagandha cycle, a lot of these herbs, because [everyone's 00:16:11] high. But what about instances where cortisol is low? There are instances where it's actually helping the body get back and increasing that cortisol to a healthy level at appropriate times during the day.


Mason: (16:20)

So, that's non-specific. That's like the medicinal mushrooms are used in auto-immune conditions. When people look at them like a reishi and cordyceps, they want to be working with a practitioner. This is you with autoimmunity. But you're looking at those herbs and you're like, "Wow, they're really incredible for lifting the immune system, helping us adapt to pathogenic influx, and fight these things off." But then, there's really solid instances and data coming through around people who are really excessive in their immune activity to the extent where the immune system attacking itself in autoimmune conditions and mushrooms are used to regulate that immune function down. Too very handy having such sophisticated medicine doing that, rather than just using a drug to suppress the immune system. You're going one step further and going where's the trigger site for this unhealthy flurry of pro-inflammatory immune activity and let's go and start regulating the immune system down on that level in an inappropriate way.


Mason: (17:18)

So, you're not taking the whole immune system down. You might just be taking a certain part of the immune system down and maintaining surface immunity, right? When you take complete immune suppressants, you're going to see... And then, you're going to be more likely to get sick. That's what an adaptogen is, those three things. No additional harm or stress to the body, accumulates benefits over the time, non-specific activity in the body. And the medicinal mushrooms kind of fall under that banner of a tonic herb, right? And then, some of these herbs in the tropics, adaptogens and nerve veins, and that they're kind of have the Western herbalism, we'll kind of comment on what some of them are, but they're not all adaptogens because some of them are just pure nourishes, right? Some of them like a tremella mushroom, truly beautiful for lubricating the lungs, therefore lubricating the skin. If you've got dry skin, it's just such a nutritive, gentle herb.


Mason: (18:11)

And they use a lot in post-surgery or disease states just to get a lot of juice back into the body, and fluid back in the body, and yin essence back into the body, as well as people that just value beauty and vibrance in their skin. It's not really an adaptive fact. They will discover it has slightly adaptogenic elements because it's a medicinal mushroom and feeds the immune system. But right now, it's just seen as a nutritive. So, it's not clinically adaptogenic, but it is a tonic herb. It is a herb that can be used to cultivate Jing, Qi, Shen, which is that's what a tonic herb is. So, the mushrooms come into their medicinal mushrooms, not the culinary portobello kind of brown mushroom ones that you get on your pizza.


Mason: (18:49)

I'm not talking about psychedelic mushrooms. We are talking about generally tree-born mushrooms. Those mushrooms like shiitake, maitake, agaricus, poria, Reishi, lion's mane, cordyceps, is grows off caterpillars. We can't do that in terms of a product. It's generally going to be a... For us, it's a fermented cordyceps in a VAT, so that's a vegan one, but that's a kind of an example of a nontree-born medicinal mushroom. But, that's generally going to find medicinal mushrooms. The mycelia is going to grow up through the tree and utilise the carbohydrates and basically, eat those carbohydrates. And then, essentially, don't want to personify it and humanise it too much, but essentially, the genitals come out and then we pick those genitals where the spores come out of and utilise those.


Mason: (19:45)

And they're so amazing for the body. They're just so regulatory, whether it's immunity, nervous system, endocrine system. And clinically, what the possibility of using these in real specific instances is just endless, but getting onto them preemptively, I mean, it's at this point, it's just too good not to be taking medicinal mushrooms. I think that's a long form answer to your question.


Tommy Moore: (20:13)

That's perfect. You've answered that brilliantly. Yeah, and you're so right. There's so much about Western science and medicine that is almost exclusively looking at symptomatology. And of course, this can be effective in short term treatment or acute treatment of particular diseases and getting back to somewhat of a baseline. But what do you do from there? There's so many people who get unwell, say with cancer or a degenerative illness, and all they're doing is managing their symptoms and to me, that doesn't make any sense at all. It makes sense to the point of not causing further damage, but it isn't encouraging people to get healthier and healthier over time. And so, I appreciate how these medicinal herbs and mushrooms are working on our body as they do have that accumulative effect. They're helping us over time to get better and optimise our organ function and our circulatory system over time so that we can firstly, get to baseline and then go beyond that, because science can be quite slow in these fields.


Tommy Moore: (21:26)

Often when we're trying to raise money or get funding for research, it has to treat something. And the way you described it earlier with the inferior herbs that you're looking more at disease states and getting someone to baseline level seems to be how our working science and clinical research at the moment. It has to be for someone who's already ill. And so, the Western way of looking at things is almost waiting for that clinical research to prove its efficacy. But as we mentioned earlier, there's probably thousands upon thousands of documented evidence through the Daoist traditions that prove that efficacy without having to go through the Western clinical path.


Tommy Moore: (22:10)

But there's so much merit in these medicinal herbs and mushrooms because they can have such a huge impact on our health and our longevity and optimising the way our body works and improving our brain function and our performance. And it really is multidimensional how they do exert their effects in our body. And you began to allude to the anatomy of the mushroom being the mycelium and the fruiting body, because I find it incredibly interesting how both plants and animals evolved from fungus. To understand their anatomy and understand the constituents is really helping us to understand ourselves and how our body functions. So, can you speak to the anatomy of a mushroom and what are some different types of mushrooms and the different parts of the mushrooms that are working to help us?


Mason: (23:05)

Yeah, I mean, this is a huge conversation. I got to the point in studying mushrooms, that I was like, there's a reason that the school of, the discipline of mycology exists because it is its own profession and I'm not going to be able to do it justice. I kind of, at one point I was like, cool, I am going to stick to my lane of tonic herbalism because once again, we've got a little bit further down the track and everyone's like, "Can you identify this mushroom and this mushroom?" And I'm like, "Oh my gosh, I definitely do not want to and cannot do that." But in terms of, it's a good question because mushrooms still have an overall stigma and people relate to the word mushrooms as in that's an appropriate blanket term.


Mason: (23:57)

Whereas mushrooms are, you think of the plant kingdom and you go, "Yeah," and you know immediately you understand that there's diversity in the plant kingdom. You think in the mushroom kingdom and people are slowly starting to open up and realising that there's more, if not for people's perception of just as much diversity within the mushroom kingdom, different types of mushrooms, different evolutionary parts, styles of reproducing, so on and so forth, vastly different environments, way more so than plant matter with living within the mushroom kingdom. And so, the biggest organisms on the earth, besides the earth itself, have been mushrooms, all of a sudden you can see what our mushrooms are like. We don't even really know. There's all debate about whether they came from the spores, or came from space.


Mason: (24:51)

And I know there's definitely been evidence to show that up, right up as far as you can get in the atmosphere, pretty much their spores and sitting up there. And I think that the work, the studies have been done on saying that seeds and spores can survive the vacuum of space. And so, there's all these weird and wonderful theories about them being aliens coming in and helping to... And we know that fungus basically, kind of up there, just after maybe water had such a pivotal role on helping literally everything evolve and everything is, [bay 00:25:28] is reliant on land and is reliant on that fungal system. They're helping whether it's the procreation, whether it's the sprouting of a seed, you see the mycelium within this particular spore, billions of spores, trillions of spores, just sitting dormant within the soil. And you see these symbiotic relationships as that's perf as the seed and the spore, as well as other conditions align that the seed will start to sprout. And then, you'll see a collaborative effort from that spore starting to sprout, all the mycelia coming up and finding. So, the actual body of the...


Mason: (26:03)

... its sprout or the mycelia coming up and finding, so the actual body of the mushroom coming up and helping basically encase and, again, not my area of expertise, but the way I romantically talk about it, create a womb for that seed, and go down and extract minerals from deeper down, and feed that up into the tree, and then be involved within basically that interconnectedness of a forest and interconnectedness of many elements of the world running up in through the trees. And you can see, once the symbiotic relationship evolves through helping to procreate and create a nursery, basically. And then once that tree is an existence, you see a [mycorrhizal 00:26:42] relationship where you'll see the little spindly bits coming off of the mushroom cells. They can drill essentially into the wood, and then they release enzymes so that they can then basically digest externally and then get access to those carbohydrates because there's underground darkness. There's no access to light, so the mushrooms need to get access to their energy source, the carbohydrates, in another way, and that's how they do that.


Mason: (27:09)

And then from there, continues to be a collaborative effort in terms of, for many trees, the mycelium growing in through, and then sometimes sprouting out, and then as well as those mushrooms and the mycelia that just sprout their own mushrooms, coming straight up from the soil. So in terms of what they are, I mean very genetically close to humans, mushrooms. We've definitely co-evolved. That's where you can see the immune system seems literally hardwired. So a lot of people know that now we can see we have the endocannabinoid system, it seems like we're actually hardwired some way to have herbs in our diet, whether it's regularly or not regularly, or just having a top up, or just being around the plant. It's the same way with the way particular [immunopaths 00:27:55] work, where you're taking in compounds from mushrooms. And because we've co-evolved, you can see that the immune system is there waiting to have particular receptors so it can identify fungal invasion and then take it to places where it can invade it off.


Mason: (28:14)

Whereas in the medicinal mushrooms, the tree mushrooms, you take that in and, because it's got a high molecular weight, it'll bypass digestion, get into the gut, and then hit immune cells within the lymph tissue in the gut. And it's like a mystery shopper vibe, or it's like playing war games, where we're going to war ... the immune system's like I'm going to war with this, but it's not an actual threat that's coming in. And so what happens is you take on that beta-glucan within the mushroom, and then that macrophage cell will pass through particular pathways and go deeper into the immune system, metabolise that compound, and then spit it out, but it happens to be what it spits out is in perfect formation to hit deeper immune receptors within the innate immune system, which is a bit deeper to get into a constitutional level like that. And then what you see happening is rather than an activation or stimulation of the immune system, you actually see ... Stimulation was the word I meant to use there first, you actually just see an activation of the immune system.


Mason: (29:18)

Whereas the lights start turning on, the intelligence starts turning on, an irregulatory capacity can start to occur. And it's just too perfect, those pathways. And it can happen with other substances, but it doesn't seem to happen with such efficacy. And it's not to say that there's definitely indigenous tribes who hadn't identified this and weren't reliant on tree mushrooms, but it's just too perfect. And so we're utilising that, but I mean I've just danced around what I do know about mushrooms, and then obviously taken it back to their implications around herbal medicine and human consumption, which is what I'm comfortable with. But it's a big, wonderful world and I think there's a lot of nostalgia there. At the moment, you can see mushrooms are going off, whether it's culinary, lots of people are back-buying shiitakes and even lion's manes, and it's really getting into mycology pages on Instagram and just going off, the weird and wonderful world of mushrooms. And so it's definitely the wave's broken on everyone.


Mason: (30:21)

And huge Facebook pages, amateur identification groups, people going out and wanting to harvest their own mushrooms. It's a huge little underground thing now, and just even around here, in Byron, there's a few specialists mushroom harvesters that deliver those to some of the more fancy or progressive cafes or restaurants, and just chefs doing really cool things. Yeah, it's just nostalgic and for me, offering medicinal mushrooms to people, that's what basically I see happening is they're like, "Oh man, that feels good. It feels really good being on those mushrooms." They just feel it's very protective, it's a very safe place to be. And it just feels like we just had such a deficiency of connection to that world, that mushroom world, so it's nice to see people waking back up to it.


Tommy Moore: (31:10)

Yeah, definitely. And just to continue that topic of this wonderful, intricate interconnectedness or this symbiotic relationship that we have with everything else and that everything else has with us, because it's something like 92% of trees depend on the mycelial network to exchange nutrients and to have conversations with each other. So the trees almost represent our organs and the exchange of nutrients that happens at each of those organs, and the mycelial network is, I guess, like our neural network, and our central nervous system, and peripheral nervous system that's all working together in this beautiful harmony, and creating this wonderful symphony that is our human body. I suppose, for some people, this might sound a little bit woo-woo or spiritual, but I guess it is a little bit like that.


Mason: (32:04)

It is a bit, and look, there's a lot you got to ... As I said earlier, I'm quite romantic sometimes when I talk about these things and I'll just shoot past what's been shown within the data. I'm in a good place with our herbal tradition because I walk a very traditional path and chose not to become a practitioner, but rather I work with a lot of practitioners. I have a lot of practitioners coming onto my podcast. We always advise people once we get past a certain lifestyle. It's like if someone is sick and all of a sudden it's no longer just getting good sleep, and getting hydrated, and making some food changes, if that's not an appropriate thing at the moment because their symptoms have gone beyond just having that advice, that's when it also goes beyond tonic herbalism in terms of going, "Just take this and this will help." So because I've created that for myself, yes, the scientific literature is slowly catching up to what's known, and that's fine because you just get realistic about how the Western mentality works, and it's going to require that legitimization, and it's going to be scrutinised.


Mason: (33:20)

And sometimes it is rightfully scrutinising because the wellness scene, and I'm guilty of this back when I first started out, you get a little bit over excited, you get a little bit counter-culture, and you start just saying these extreme things, which perhaps are rooted in truth, but you start saying them with no nuance, with such conviction, when maybe you're saying it with conviction maybe because you were in a group that believes it or because your person that you idolise says it, and you haven't actually gone back to the source of why that's been said, and so you don't know where someone might be taking a little bit of liberty to say something that's whatever. You're not at the source of it. So it's a good balancing measure, I find, but nonetheless, I mean, for me, it's just like the grandma's not scientifically adding Poria mushroom and reishi mushroom into a broth. You don't need that scientifically validated. Maybe toxicology reports are really good. People can make sure that there's no significant interactions with drugs that people are on in the family.


Mason: (34:25)

But at some point, why I like the herbs is it gets you perceptive of your body. And I like sourcing in a particular way that's [Dì Dào (地道) 00:34:34], where the herbs are grown as closely as possible, if not wild, in consortium with the elements around them. Living on wild spring water or completely rural areas. And people can go to and see photos and get videos of me up there, high mountains or low valleys. It's just in such a shit to get to these places in China. And why do we go to China? Because no-one's growing these tonic herbs. And you can't grow Dì Dào (地道) these herbs wild on wild wood, say for the mushroom instance. And the other thing about Dì Dào (地道) is the spore or the seed needs to come from the microclimate. So in that textbook I told you about earlier, the Materia Medica, [Shennong Ben Cao Jing 00:35:19]. And he says you need to go to this province and in this microclimate, that's where you get the best reishi. That's where you get the best [Schisandra 00:35:27].


Mason: (35:27)

And so that's what I do. That's what we do. We can look at doing it elsewhere and in other ways, but you're not going to get the best. And I want to preserve that tradition. That's just what I'm doing. And there's other options out there. And then we test for metals, and aflatoxins, and pesticides, and all those things at TGA Labs, and so it's an extremely clean product you're going to be getting every single time. I mean when you start connecting, you're talking about there's that crossing over of spirit and science, at some point, it's rather than even crossing them over, if you have the capacity to hold your awareness of each at the same time is when you start getting this beautiful integration, you have respect, real deep ... that's not right, reverence of both of those spaces, rather in the beginning, it's nice to try and watch where they splice over. We were talking about this. Science is explaining that that's the spirit, that must be what spirit is, you watch the mind again take over. Whereas if you can just hold this spaciousness within yourself and respect both paths, and you hold them in your mind, and in your heart, and then in your gut together without trying to layer them over each other, all of a sudden you become this bridge of awareness of where the crossover is, and you don't need to try and do it too consciously. Some people are specialising in that, and it's really fascinating, but for your own benefit, because the science and the way our culture's bent, we'll generally take all the spirit and the romance out of that style of herbalism. And if you're constantly looking for gains and outputs, you go back and you check in with those things to associate yourself every now and then. It's good to document what actually happened and how they hit that goal. Maybe the herbs contributed or you can definitely see an increase, or you start taking it and you've got an aura ring on, or something like that, and you immediately see you're able to sleep longer and deeper because you're taking a herb. That shit is epic. I absolutely love it.


Mason: (37:27)

But nothing beats saying when you get onto Jing Herbs, talking about Jing being the kidney foundations, you've been exhausted. You might be doing panels of cortisol levels because you might have a practitioner who lucky enough is into adaptogens, because they like measuring the HPA access, the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, you know that if you've got that healthy, that axis in your body, that you are able to handle stress with much more efficacy, and therefore they get you on adaptogens, and they test your panels, and they go, "Wow, you're actually getting better." Now, that's all well and good, but they might get a new one, we've got a formula called Jing, it's just replenishing when people are exhausted. We get them replenishing back those foundations. Now yes, getting those inputs and going wow, your mind can go, "This thing is effective. We like doing that," but nothing beats your capacity to observe you building back and cultivating the functions of your organs and the flow of your chi yourself. That can never be forgotten within your body. You develop a very deep memory, and part of that memory is wow, I can do this.


Mason: (38:38)

This isn't me going to a practitioner or me just taking a herb, and that practitioner or herb doing something for me. Those are good, but we don't want to do that our whole lives because that can excessively form a dependence externally. And we don't want to become too prudish in rejecting those kinds of things either because that will lead to extremism, going, "No, I never need to go and see a doctor. I never need to go. I can do it all myself," and that's when people can get into shit in the extreme wellness community, or conspiracy theory community, just that excessive world. If you can start though just to watch the fact that you are partaking in a practise, which is say herbalism or whatever, slow, gentle movement, energetic practise, you're meditating, and you watch yourself cultivate that energy and get a little bit more space from when you react to a situation, you're able to, with more ease, get yourself up out of bed in the morning, and go move, and get that yang energy moving.


Mason: (39:38)

And then you're able to consciously come down and descend with the yin energy at night, and really participate in making your sleep practise better. That's all you, and even though you'd made to be taking a herbal, this Jing formula, you feel yourself building back that kidney function, which then correlates to adrenals, HPA axis, not feeling as exhausted, but it installs a sense of sovereignty and not dependence. And that's why it's nice for you to be able to go into a tradition that's grassroots and folksy, because it doesn't excessively separate you from your capacity to self-regulate, which is what the full excessive Western model does. It just creates divides and cuts things. It's a scalpel. It's just a scalpel. It's what they do in anatomy, they just cut things apart, and they can't relate then to a part of the body, like the knee relating to the neck, or the liver relating to the nervous system. They just don't get it because they've already got a scalpel and they've cut through all the fascia that connects the whole body.


Mason: (40:46)

And they haven't attempted to understand the body as a whole, which is super useful at times, and super not at other times, which is why there's epidemics of degenerative disease, and metabolic disease, and people wasting away, and people just not having any capacity to look after themselves in their older age, which is bullshit, and it's extremist, and it's a dangerous perspective. It doesn't mean we throw the baby out with the bathwater. That's why we need more mature people, people that aren't married to an institutionalised way of thinking, they're not dying on the hill just because they've been educated in a certain way. It's just such a boring, immature, way of looking at the world. And I don't know who these people think they are. The amount of all-knowing people on the internet, I think, is such a crock of shit. And I think it's the benefit for everyone, why I like using these herbs, I talk about becoming less of an asshole and more of an awesome, genuine self. I talk about myself specifically a lot. I definitely don't feel any ...


Mason: (41:53)

Just the next trap is feeling the superiority because you're someone that can hold that middle place. It's like no, that's another little trap there. But generally, why I like the philosophy of tonic herbalism is because it can make people not only malleable, it can keep you agile. Doesn't mean as you get more into yourself and go along this path, which so many people are doing, millions, you become more principled in your perspective but you become agile within that principle. You're not projecting. As the organs get into flow and you develop, in general, through life, which is the whole point of these herbs is to help you develop through life, through different stages. And some stages, you just need to go into fully in order to get that perspective of wow, now I can integrate that and go down another path, or go into another stage. But the whole point of these herbs is to support that development so we have people who have wisdom and we don't have these people who get so externally identified with a label, or with a profession, or with an institution that becomes their identity for life.


Mason: (43:12)

And therefore, I find that person to be really boring and I find it boring when I do it. And what you want, I think, is just to go on a malleable path and just find what self agency means to you. And that's all we're doing through the herbs. That's all I can hope for. I don't necessarily have an agenda anymore because I just don't assume to know what's right for anyone out there. So that's why I'm also, I feel really open and welcoming whenever anyone here is like, "This is what I want to work on in myself," and I'm like, "Yeah, amazing." Just having a health intention, and if you trust yourself, and go in that direction of an intent, and develop yourself, and stay malleable, the whole idea of the herbs is just to uncrack that stuckness as much as possible, lighten you up so that you can further develop, and same with exercise and hydration, sunlight, and all those good things. But yeah, it's good. There've been people getting perception, which can't ever be taken away.


Tommy Moore: (44:20)

Yeah, there are too many people who are very much self identified and there is a huge place for certain herbs and mushrooms to, I guess, dissolve this sense of self identity and really move away from this man made self, and be more perceptual and sensitive to bodily sensations, and be more connected to yourself. I actually want to divert this conversation-


Mason: (44:49)

[crosstalk 00:44:49] psychedelic mushrooms as well, go into that conversation as well.


Tommy Moore: (44:51)

Well absolutely. Yeah, it's interesting that you bring that up because I do volunteer for a charity called Mind Medicine Australia, and they're actually looking at psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for mental illness.


Mason: (45:04)

How far along are they? Mind Medicine Australia, are they doing the certifications? Is that right?


Tommy Moore: (45:11)

Yeah, so we're in discussion with the TGA at the moment, so we're in the rescheduling process. There's an interim decision that's been made. So I know it has been accepted in that interim decision, [crosstalk 00:45:23]-


Mason: (45:24)

You can put me in touch. Who's heading it? Because I'd love to chat with them a little bit [crosstalk 00:45:30].


Tommy Moore: (45:30)

Yeah, totally. So it's Tania de Jong and Peter Hunt. So they're the two co-founders, but we've got a huge advisory board, from researchers, and philosophers, and people all over the world who are looking at this pretty closely. I know a lot of people in the States are, people like Rick Doblin, or Dennis McKenna, or people like that.


Mason: (45:50)

Oh man, I'm so keen because this area is massive. I mean this is where people ask me all the time, "And what about psychedelic mushrooms?" and it's the same. And psychedelic mushrooms, brought it up on my podcast recently, I had someone who really explored psychedelic mushrooms, and I'm like, "Oh man, everyone always thinks just by osmosis, I'm going to be taking a lot of psilocybin-containing mushrooms," and the guy who was there, he's like, "I would never think that. I can tell straight away." And I'm not saying, "Yeah, because you're not conscious, man. You can tell that for sure." But I do get that, people like, "Oh yeah, well where can I get the psilocybin psychedelic mushrooms? You must be into them. Let's talk about them." I'm like I've got good things to say, but like mycology, I do stick to my lane now.


Mason: (46:41)

And then you're working in the ... And the benefit of having that angle is it opens me up to going, "Yeah, cool." And then I'll talk to people like Tanya and yourself, who have actually got the insight of what's what's going on. I like just sitting on the sidelines, to an extent, and just be an observer of that, and just chat about it, because I mean we've been talking a lot about suicide just behind the scenes here, and on the podcast, it's been coming up. Anyway, I won't go into it right now, but just even for that preventative, I'm pretty sure ... Do you guys have that as a focus around [crosstalk 00:47:22]?


Tommy Moore: (47:22)

Yeah, I mean the whole spectrum of mental health really within Australia, we look at the stats, we look at the lack of treatment options, and then we look at the statistics based on what we're seeing with psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in trials that are happening all over the world. And the neuroimaging side of things, like Robin Carhart-Harris and David Nutt are doing over in Imperial College London.


Mason: (47:43)

Who are they? The neuroimaging?


Tommy Moore: (47:46)

Yeah, absolutely. So David Nutt and Robin Carhart-Harris are leading a lot of the trials over in Imperial College London. So they're, I guess, head of the Centre for Psychedelic Research as far as I'm aware. So their centre focuses on the action and clinical use of psychedelics with a particular focus on researching the treatment of depression. And they've done some really, really interesting studies there, obviously looking at the psychedelic state and what's happening at the level of the mind, or sorry, I should say the level of the brain in terms of neuroimaging, and also doing very interesting comparisons between the psychedelic state and the meditative state. They've done some comparisons of neuroimaging between Buddhist monks who have had 10,000 hours or more practise of meditation, and then comparing that to what the brain looks like during psychedelics, and some very, very awesome comparisons that they're finding and the similarities in terms of ego dissolution, and moving away from this mind-made self. But I'm certainly more than happy to chat about this.


Mason: (48:56)

I was saying before, when you were talking about the mushrooms somewhat acting ... They act like an immune system. You can see tree-based immunological compounds moving between the mycelia between certain trees and sick trees, and also acting like a nervous system. My download, when I was on a medicine journey years and years ago, was that the mushrooms more relate to the fascial system. And the fact that within the Chinese herbal tradition, the mushrooms are seen as fluid regulators, and regulators of decay as well, they help move decay from the body, and allow it to be just metabolised and transformed. And I just started realising if you look at fascia in the body, just the biggest organ in the body, it's not skin, it's the fascia, and it's now I think technically classified as an organ, and it's such a regulating organ. And if you can maintain, as well as everything else, fascial health, you have a really good chance at staying really ... you have a high ability to stay more adaptable within your physicality. And I see that there's this energetic element to it, that it helps you just integrate experiences.


Mason: (50:17)

And if you can stay connected in different parts of your body, which is likely you can see there almost being this photon transfer through the fascia in the body, and therefore how much light there is based on ... information there is based on light. And you can see that you can have information transfers to your body, therefore your body's going to be able to stay, basically what I can see, up to speed on what's going on elsewhere, and you can stay more unified as a whole. And then when I started bringing in mushrooms to the say the plant medicine community, and started seeing just how many of my friends, whether they were serving or whether they were regularly going into ceremonies, just felt a significant impact of taking medicinal mushrooms pre and post, pre especially, just to prepare your body and also ensure that you're not going to destroy your nervous system, that you've got this robustness to get through sometimes just how hardcore these journeys can be, but as well, the medicinal mushrooms afterwards to support the process of integration, huge, man.


Mason: (51:19)

It was massive and it was this huge missing link. And I think as well, for anyone, it just goes to show it's not just plant medicines, when you're doing anything that's deep cathartic, and you're doing deep work with a therapist, whether it's plant medicine, you're deep diving in your yogic meditative practices, and so on and so forth, you can't just stay deep in these huge mind-exploding experiences. You can't get reliant, I think, long term on that being what's going to fix you or heal you. You go deep, you release the pressure valve, hopefully reduce some acute symptomatology, and then you will need to be able to catch yourself back up on ... If you've blown yourself out into the sky and you've gone deep into your psyche, you need to be able to hit that middle-


Mason: (52:03)

Blind yourself out into the sky and you've gone deep into your psyche. You need to be able to hit that middle ground and come back to your lifestyle and your personal everyday practises, your own meditative practise, your own gentle movement practise and your own herbal practise in order to ensure that you're staying level and not becoming, again, externally reliant. Can happen on Western medicine, can happen on these plant medicines. It can happen with whatever, deep dive therapy, deep dive meditations. And, that's, where's the self agency. And that's where I really find the mushrooms to be super useful. And generally the tonic herbs, they're massive, and they are now that you see practitioners of all lights utilising them and getting their clients on these tonic herbs, as well as ensuring that they've just got their lifestyle factors rock solid. And you've got this constitutional discipline and the way you live your life to give yourself these basics, so as well as sleep and diet and all these things, because it's necessary, if you want to evolve in these areas, it's just paramount. Otherwise you can just keep on. You see all the good research in the beginning, because it's under watchful eyes and experts, whether it's a Shaman or whether it's a practitioner, they're a psychologist utilising psychedelic mushrooms or MDMA in all these other places. And there's a facilitation process, but if you aren't moving along on your own accord, if you keep on relying externally, you can start and you don't do so under a real watchful eye and someone that isn't just thinking, yeah, the more, the better, you come back and we'll keep you moving ahead using this thing, you start to loop in these subconscious kind of states rather than actually having the capacity to move slowly beyond them.


Mason: (53:43)

And that's just important for everyone to remember that it always, from my perspective it's why I like the tonic herbals. It's like at some point, don't be relying on the external practise or the substance. Come back to your lifestyle. It's like the Buddhists and they're like chop wood carry water, that's where the magic happens when you've been chopping wood carrying water for 20 years and 30 years. And then you get a little insight, then you move past it and you just keep on doing your chop wood, carry water. Everyone needs to remember that it is in this scene because everyone's suckling at the teat of someone who does it for me. To get the research out there that discovers the therapy, that's going to help fix me inside. And I relate to it a lot in my early days as a big seeker.


Mason: (54:24)

And it's just a really important reminder, I think for everyone to just constantly and now, if you can, as soon as you can, land with two feet on the ground and just keep your feet on the ground in that disciplined state. And I think then you can really start unlocking the magic. And if you're feeling dependent, unless you're in a dependent state where you find it's a really useful collaboration that you are working with it to get your head above the ground so you can work. But if you're feeling quite stable and you're still ambiguously, keep going back to look for some, there's got to be something more there for me, it helped me so much before. And now there must be other stuff. It's probably that seeking energy without acute symptomatology is there. It's probably time to just put all that aside for probably a few years. And so, anyway, just want to throw that out there.


Tommy Moore: (55:17)

Yeah, absolutely. And just while we are on the topic of psychedelic mushrooms, I do think it's important that I bring across what is the therapeutic mechanism of something like psilocybin and psilocybin being the active constituent in psilocybe mushrooms. Now, I don't want to lose anyone in the chemistry of psilocybin because as we know, scientists and researchers are always using complex names. So stay with me as much as you can. I'll do my best to simplify some of the complex words that I'm going to discuss.


Tommy Moore: (55:51)

But when we are studying the mind and studying the brain through material science, we do need to understand our limitations. We know that changes in brain activity or changes in blood redistribution within different areas of the brain can cause alterations in our state of consciousness, but we can't necessarily say, or don't necessarily know for sure where or how they exist. That is to say how we consciously perceive them.


Tommy Moore: (56:18)

So firstly, let's just recognise the distinction or disassociate brain and mind. Do thoughts simply appear as electrical signals? Can we see thoughts through observing the brain? So I guess the three therapeutic mechanisms of something like a psychedelic mushroom, or all classic psychedelics being things DMT or LSD, neuroplasticity, functional connectivity, and modulation of the default mode network, and they're all correlating positive therapeutic outcomes of being more connected. I alluded to earlier, this feeling of connection to other people, to the greater good, to the universe, to ourselves, to everything. Feeling boundless, wonder, ineffability and a sense of gratitude for this human experience. And I did speak to the sense of ego disillusion, which is often referring to a psychedelic experience. And that is an experience that is beyond this level of mind, that we so often associate with our default state. Now, of course, people are going to have their own connotations and associated perceptions of the word ego, but let's start with that first therapeutic mechanism that I mentioned, which is neuroplasticity. And I know neuroplasticity can be linked with other herbs and medicines like lion's mane.


Mason: (57:46)

There's another one. I completely mind blanking ironically when talking about herb's for neuro-plasticity. There was another one the other day and someone was using it. Maybe we're talking about niacin, we're talking about maybe the use of Ginkgo biloba rather than niacin. So more for that diluting factor using herbals rather than B3. So yeah, lion's mane, I think that's quite well established and there's a bajillion people now, thankfully doing lion's mane and microdosing in their own little settings. And I'm sure they're all legal. I was talking about neuroplasticity the other day in terms of a woman doing a masters on adaptogens and mental health. And she's a naturopath. And just going through the mechanisms in which neuro-plasticity is maintained. And it was nice because people use lion's mane and these nootropics. These other nootropics, herbal nootropics like ashwagandha and Rhodiola and Macuna and to an extent Ginkgo biloba. They use them in a way that's either healing.


Mason: (58:59)

I use them on my mum on a traumatic brain injury, an acquired brain injury aneurysm. Or for study and mental output and mental acuity. And so they're good, not saying [inaudible 00:59:13] but then there's no grounding factor of just, if you can maintain your neuro-plasticity, you are less likely to find yourself in roadblocks that stop your psychological development or stop you from hopefully, we'll have to look at the data, but stop you from getting a neuro degenerative disease state later in life. And so that is exciting because I had this really calm relationship to neuro-plasticity, which is what I think it needs. I think the nootropic and the neuroplastic seen as far as herb's needs, needs to calm chop wood carry water association as well. So yeah, I'm excited about that side as well. Sorry for cutting you off.


Tommy Moore: (59:56)

No, that's all good. Yeah. Just on neuroplasticity, I guess it is quite adaptogenic in a way, because the way most people think of neuroplasticity is just getting smarter or, very linked with the nootropic side of things like alertness and stimulation, but neuroplasticity in much the same way adaptogens work, is that it's progressive over time, you don't grow these neural pathways in a day or even a couple of days, it happens over weeks or months. And so if we're talking about neural pathways in the sense of a thought pattern and these neural pathways that are built up over time, it may be a negative bias that we have that is then becoming subconscious because we're using that pathway so often becomes easier to access. And it becomes part of our subconscious state or our default state when we're not necessarily doing anything. We're not involved in any external tasks. We're just being.


Mason: (01:01:00)

Would you say, you mean, you talked about when you're not doing anything. So I've got a couple of connectors here from my way of thinking or approaching this kind of thing. Especially using the word rumination. We use it very specifically with a particular organ. You said not doing anything. So you're thinking, assuming there, there needs to be pretty much inherently that you would assume a rest and digest parasympathetic state has been achieved. If you're going to enter that place, you're not doing, you're busy to go into an observer state, you need to feel safe within yourself. Right. So I assume there's a connection there. Would you say?


Tommy Moore: (01:01:39)

Yeah. There is. Yeah, there definitely is, but it's also, I mean, you can be eating something and be, I guess, being in rumination. And so I wouldn't say it's exclusively a parasympathetic state, though it most likely can be due to this rest and digest kind of not doing anything state. You can go into rumination when you're walking as well. So I wouldn't necessarily say it's exclusive to a rest and digest state.


Tommy Moore: (01:02:12)

And I briefly mention modulation of this default mode network when I started talking about the therapeutic mechanisms. It's because in this state is where the bulk of rumination takes place. But before I divert into that conversation, you mentioned microdosing and microdosing is growing a lot of interest, but in terms of a therapy or psychedelic assisted psychotherapy, we're looking predominantly at the psychedelic model being high doses, mystical experiences, the trip dose, I suppose you could call it. But there is almost next to no research in microdosing because we've been pushed back by government and policy for so long that we can't get that funding to get research into this space, to learn more about it and see how these medicines can fit into therapy.


Tommy Moore: (01:03:08)

So I think microdosing definitely holds some promise more so in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia possibly in combination with lion's mane. And lion's mane is an interesting one because I guess it possibly can optimise this neuroplastic state. I'm not sure if there's a lot of research done in lion's mane, but I don't necessarily need to know the scientific evidence or have that research in front of me to know the psychological effect.


Mason: (01:03:42)

Exactly. That's where it's nice not having to rely on Western terminology. Just because something's been identified in the Western sense, it doesn't invalidate the energetic perception that occurs within say the ancient Chinese or [inaudible 01:04:02] or say, I don't know South American or Australian shamanic traditions, because a lot of these, the perception of energies was based on a person's perception of their body, which is ultimately, and then you do see crossovers of the ancient traditions perceiving the same realities of energy. And it doesn't invalidate that path. You can see that's a completely different path to path that's purely waiting for something to get proven. And then we name it based on the function. But that function is naturally not going to be connected to other parts in the body because we're perceiving something. We're not perceiving the movement or the trajectory of that compound. We're purely in that study, identifying what it's immediate physiological effect is, which is super useful clinically as well.


Mason: (01:04:57)

But naturally you see that that leads to a science that can keep you alive longer with drugs and surgery, but doesn't leave you connected to your body. And that's why, do you get really inspired when you look at what 80 year olds are generally looking at in the Western world. I'm not. And so I think it's just really important for everyone to remember that those energetic practises that Daoists practise or way of perceiving is different. And maybe quite couldn't... If we've got a world that's mentally based and intellectually based, it might not be appropriate for that to be our foundational philosophy or approach to health.


Mason: (01:05:41)

And so us having a Western one, whether I agree or not, that's the dominant, but it doesn't mean that there's a little brother or if you have a patronising, not that you are, but this is what happened with Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. And this is what happened in the 50s when the communist party came into effect, they started looking at the true roots and the holistic nature of their tradition as something that wasn't able to be turned into a commodity that easily. And so they westernised it. And in that westernisation, all of a sudden there was this inherent condescending looking down at traditional Chinese medicine. And so naturally it made it less effective. Or that's why you see clinical traditional Chinese medicine, not being as effective in helping with disease states. Whereas if you go back to the classical Chinese medicine right, then that actually was the one that's been actually practised for thousands of thousand years and doesn't rely on using Western terms for disease.


Mason: (01:06:51)

So you don't treat diabetes in Chinese medicine because diabetes doesn't exist. You know what I mean?


Tommy Moore: (01:06:57)

Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Mason: (01:06:57)

It doesn't mean you can't be aware that in the Western system, diabetes has been diagnosed and that perhaps can point you in some directions, but you don't get out of the lane if you're a practitioner, if you've going to someone like that of you don't want that treated because there's no treating that thing that's based on pathology. It doesn't exist in Chinese medicine. And so if people can start to get that as a society, we will see there is something we are craving in terms of an approach to medicine that the Western world has completely gone down a path and shown that it is never ever going to be able to do it on this scalpel, cut everything into its own little place.


Mason: (01:07:44)

Heart disease goes over here. I specialise in kidneys. Eyes are connected over here and we're just going to treat eyes with all these little contraptions. It's going to be good at really acute symptomatology. And it's so beneficial. So I'm excited to see where it all goes. It's never going to be able to create an intricate web where you can get a further perception of yourself and make you possibly a really healthy 80 year old.


Tommy Moore: (01:08:11)

100% and diabetes is a primary example. A perfect example of how we are treating the symptoms. Someone has diabetes, they have fasting blood glucose levels higher than normal levels. Here, have these pills and this will lower your blood glucose. So where's the diabetes coming from? You have to look at the entire discipline of health. You need to look at sleep. You need to look at hydration, stress levels, all of those things. Yes, you can obviously look at the level of the body. You can look through science and data to see that there's a blockage of this receptor that isn't allowing the insulin to attach to the cell, therefore not allowing this. And where did that process start? Well, you need to look at the whole body. You need to not just look at the symptoms of what the causation is. We need to understand which aspect of health is falling short. What part of our system and our lifestyle is not serving us?


Mason: (01:09:17)

Well. Like you were talking about the nootropics to sin. It's like within that system of the classical Chinese system, if we look at the brain, the brain is not actually an organ and that's not where you think. The brain is actually bone marrow, right? And so they call that the sea of marrow and what regulates the marrow is the kidneys. And so if you can ensure that, say the foundations of the body, the kidneys are maintained and healthy, and there's particular herbs we're using that Jing herbs are what we use long term. We've got an appropriate, up down way of living during the day and sleeping really effectively. Many other factors. If you're living sustainably, you don't blow out your kidney energy. You don't go through the wax too early and therefore you have the capacity to regulate your brain.


Mason: (01:10:02)

And there's many other factors that go into it that can put the power back in your hands, right. Rather than just trying to get these little minute chops and changes going on through taking the tropics. And that's why having a tropic blend it's [inaudible 01:10:20], but it's not about the brain. Actually, the brain doesn't exist within. The brains are within the organs, in the centres, in the body. And there's different thinking that comes out of different organs and that might be really conceptual to people and they don't want that. But it's interesting to think about because it can help you.


Mason: (01:10:41)

You might have the foundational way of thinking as Western. You don't have to let go of that, but if you want to become a little less dogmatic, you can just slip over into other ways of thinking for a little bit. And you might see, "Oh, I'm kind of free from an institutioned way of thinking, and I can start to perceive what's going on in my body, without just being dictated to, by the terms that you've been given by your basic religion, is what it is of relating to your body and medicine."


Tommy Moore: (01:11:08)

Yeah, definitely. And it's really important that we do talk about this because the brain, whilst it's an incredibly interesting organ and we can talk about how important it is, and it is incredibly important, but like you were saying, it is another organ in a more interconnected system. It isn't the whole picture. Many people think the brain creates consciousness, but it's part of this system. It's more of this mediator of consciousness. And we definitely need to understand our limitations in empirical science, because we are just looking at what we can see. And we know that what we can see makes up only 0.001% of the observable universe, that is to say 99.999% is free space. So, but it is interesting to talk about and to continue the conversation around the default mode network. Being a network of brain regions that is responsible for self reference, referring to traits and descriptions of oneself, the theory of mind, thinking about the thoughts of others and what they are thinking. Consolidation of information, mental imagery, emotions of oneself, reflecting on one's emotional state.


Tommy Moore: (01:12:27)

And as far as we can tell through neuroimaging, it's where the bulk of rumination takes birth. The self narrative or autobiographical self. Now in many situations, this can be wonderful. It's where we can form memories about ourselves that are positive in this self-talk and this encouragement, but it can also be incredibly damaging. So if not monitored or understood can cause us so much self-imposed thinking or feelings that are negative biases. So this brain network is the seed of the self or the ego. Again, to the extent that we can say that in terms of brain imaging. Empirical and observational evidence can only take us so far.


Tommy Moore: (01:13:16)

And again, we're talking about this psychological phenomenology, the feeling, the experiences of these alterations in energy or consciousness that is really distinct about traditional Chinese medicine and also psychedelic medicine. And it's through these changes in our own self perception is where the birth of new perceptions are made.


Tommy Moore: (01:13:40)

Yes, there may be structural changes that take place through neuroplasticity and neurogenesis or spinogenesis, but to understand how psychedelics can improve mental health, we need to look at the core of mental illness. Mental illness exists as a rigid negative self concept or self narrative. And we need to figure out where that came from. And so through dissolving this sense of self and through spinogenesis and neurogenesis, that is to say, the ability to connect different parts of your body to your conscious awareness. You can then start to realise where this difficult subconscious state came from, but I'm currently sipping on this wonderful tea that I have, and I will divert this conversation slightly, but it's got Gotu kola, Ginkgo biloba and ginseng. And I guess I want to understand what your brain health philosophy is.


Tommy Moore: (01:14:42)

Now, we have spoken quite a lot about the brain and nootropics and neuroplasticity and all those wonderful things that are associated with brain health. And we obviously understand the importance of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle has in terms of our brain health, as well as intellectual stimulation, social engagement, circulation and vascular health is paramount. And that is obviously linked with nutrition and diet and sleep, but then of course, brain plasticity. So when it comes to the brain or the mind in terms of perhaps sharpening focus or being more adaptable or feeling stimulated, what herbs or herbal combination comes to mind?


Mason: (01:15:25)

Yeah, it's a weird one because it's still, I mean, the Western world, when you start talking about brain health around herbalism as well. And I kind of really fell into this when I created my nootropic blend. One out of respect for the people who are in my community, needing me to talk in that way, where I'm referring to neuroplasticity, just the cultivation of things like the capacity to retain information, just long-term, short-term memory. Whenever you talk about this sea of marrow being healthy in Daoism, it would be associated with an enjoyable wit, a social wit as well. And so you're just able to be just quick and savvy and that's something that's obviously desirable because it's going to make you an enjoyable person to be around. I really am trying to settle back and not get swept into that world more and more.


Mason: (01:16:21)

And it's interesting because you bring up the rumination. You bring up the concept of rumination. So when we talk about, say, we talk about nootropics and neuro-plasticity, the capacity to process information, have greater retention of information and keeping the synopsis of the nervous system within the brain as well healthy. Ensuring that the neurotransmitters and hormones, like dopamine in healthy levels, it gets to a minute place that falls to at some point you can see, you need to specialise in that rather than being able to keep a bird's eye view, which I do and I like both of them. And I've really been teaching myself to keep a bird's eye view more and more, as much as possible.


Mason: (01:17:11)

And in that sense, when I was developing my nootropic blend, I could feel it was a real point where I was really back and forth between those places. And that's where I can see Macuna being in there. Mucuna contains a hefty amount of the precursor dopamine within the Macuna. And so you can, it's used a lot in Parkinson and instances of [inaudible 01:17:38] Parkinson and nervousness and addiction, as well as depression in these areas. But that gets a little bit too micro at some point. And also the way I extract herb's isn't for a substance like L-DOPA but I extract it for the holistic energetics of the herb. So it's more appropriate to take it long term, whereas if I start-


Mason: (01:18:03)

... Energetic of the herbs. So it's more appropriate to take it long term. Whereas if I start isolating a substance because it's clinically proven, or it's easier to market say, in a sense, and I increase the percentage of that. In order to increase it, I'm needing to cut out other parts of the herb to make room for that increase of percentage generally is the way it works. But just throwing off the natural ratio, even if I take the whole extracted herb, and then I throw in a supercritical extract of L-DOPA, it's going to throw off the ratio of the herb, which is... There's a reason these herbs have reverence. It's because the whole herb was extracted very well for thousands of years and people really enjoyed the effects. And then the Western world in a good sense, sometimes clinically went well, let's make it better.


Mason: (01:18:43)

Let's find the thing that's actually working and then make more of that. And that can be good in particular instances, but not for me when I'm taking things long term. So taking things long term, like a Mucuna all of a sudden it takes me out of the fact that I am looking for something to increase dopamine. Whereas what I really am looking for within that blend is something which is a beautiful qi tonic and almost a qi stimulating tonic. And you can see that association of creating pathways within the nervous system within the brain and increasing the electrical activity within the nervous system, you can see that being associated with vitality.


Mason: (01:19:25)

But that stems from the Mucuna being a jing herb, which happens to have that combination where you see an increase of those things we associate in the West with things say like, capacity to ward off depression, or capacity to not become massively reliant on an external substance and imbue this powerful energy within yourself and come towards a place where you're not as reliant. And that's Mucuna, that's why it's in that nootropic blend. For me, it's the same as lion's mane. What essentially lion's mane is to me is a spleen tonic and very nourishing spleen and digestive and gut tonic. And so when you talk about excessive rumination being the key dysfunction there, what you were describing earlier, that's where we see a lot of depression and anxiety coming from, not from a disturbance of the spirit, which is where it happens a lot of the time within the heart.


Mason: (01:20:28)

But actually the spleen in our system is the grounding. You need to be standing on the earth as you go through all the elements associated with all the organs, the spleen is associated with the earth and you need to keep your feet grounded on the earth and you need to be able to constantly digest what's coming through. And when you can't constantly digest, because you're stuck in a loop, and I was talking about this loop earlier, you're ruminating and you're constantly ruminating, you're constantly thinking, you can't actually digest that information that's coming through to you. And that's the spleen within our system. And so you can see, the way I'm looking at it, that example brings out the fact that brain health is like the fruit in the Western world, it's like the fruits of your labour of keeping your other organs flowing and holistically healthy within the system that we walk.


Mason: (01:21:18)

And so you don't focus on the brain, that's the marrow, you focus on all your other organs and getting all your lifestyle ducks in a row to the best of your ability. So you're living sustainably and you're going to see a more long-term focused neuro-plasticity in that you're able to evolve through different stages of your life. You're able to maintain a capacity to retain information if you're focused on the big game, the long game. And so that's why lion's mane is important for me. But no one in the community gets that, so it's hard for me to communicate it at this time, but that's why I'd focus on lion's mane. Same as rhodiola. It's a powerful kidney and qi tonic, as is Mucuna.


Mason: (01:21:59)

Cordyceps is such an incredible herb for brain acuity and health, right? That mushroom, what is it? It's a yang again, a yang, kidney, qi tonic. And so you can see what a lot of people are wanting is the yang kidney essence to be strong, so they've got a foundation for output. What they don't realise a lot of the time is herbs like schisandra, he shou wu, goji, which are the yin herbs, which I've gone and put in my nootropic blend. I've got it, I've got a white peony there to keep the liver flowing and flow back so we can get a yin cultivation. Not as much because just many, many reasons. It takes a lot to create a formula that's tonic and for the general population.


Mason: (01:22:44)

But I will work with people if that's a little bit too much yang, and it's a powerful blend, because it is a yang tonic, so for say, a lot of women, they're going to go a little bit of that Neural Nectar formula, but then I'm going to go a lot of like the Beauty Blend or the I am Gaia Blend, which has a lot of yin herbs, because that yin is that substance. So the yang's that function, that fire and it creates that foundation. It's got a fire within the kidneys that heats up the water and that water and vapour can then rise up and be used so that you can see that goes up and can be used and so that you can get function and output of the body during the middle of the day. But you constantly need that fluid being regenerated. So you've literally got essence there to use in order to get mental output.


Mason: (01:23:28)

And that's why sleep has gone hand in hand with nootropics lately and all biohacking because that's where the yin is really cultivated. And that's why white peony is in there for me. But then there's just other general studies around these herbs being nootropic. And then ginko for obvious reasons around circulation, but it's just such a strong qi herb and a blood invigorating herb and one that has this acuity towards the marrow. But I use it more as a qi tonic to an invigorator, but you can see within the data that it moves the blood, especially up in through the brain and especially affecting that blood brain barrier in getting it and just increasing that exchange there. And yeah, so they're the herbs I go towards.


Tommy Moore: (01:24:22)

For sure. And people do, or can get carried away with nootropics or any kind of brain stimulatory effect or supplement where you need to treat the body and the system as a whole, and the way you describe it in the Dao, the yin and the yang, or I'm not sure the correct pronunciation of each of those, you speak to it a lot more purely than I do, but it really does come down to the roots. You need to have those basic foundational health functions down pat, before you start looking at optimising your brain function. But yes, you can, if you're coming from perhaps a poor lifestyle and you start supplementing something like a lion's mane or a rhodiola, and you then feel that energy to then take you on the first step towards health, because perhaps, maybe that's the reason why you went out for a walk in that first place, maybe that herb or that tonic or mushroom got you that first step. And I think that can play an important role there. And as you were saying before, we need to keep feeding those roots for that fruiting body to come out.


Mason: (01:25:41)

And sometimes they need to, this is why I was saying with the herbs I like seeing someone's health intention. And I find part of myself, this is what being... I'm not really judging myself this heavily, but let's just say, I'm being a bad teacher, is when you move past, say an excessive time of life, and you can see that someone's going too hard on the supplements or too hard on the yang or too focused on whatever, the money or the entrepreneurial, it is in the business. And the judgement kind of comes through you around, I got to help this person realise that doing that isn't going to lead to that much happiness and blah, blah, blah.


Mason: (01:26:19)

Whereas in reality, they have a health intention and the educational process. You know for people, it's harder when you're younger and a bit easier when you get older, knowing that there's going to be an evolution of thought at some point. So if you can maintain yourself being in touch with your capacity to digest information and just have a healthy spleen. If you can not become too externally associated with being a biohacker, being an entrepreneur, whatever, being all these things, it's just like, that's going to be a path. And at some point maybe you do finish in that path and you maintain the explanation to people that you are an entrepreneur. But the door will close on your identification with that. And if you externally identify too much with a dietary way of living, keto, vegan, entrepreneur, whatever it is, you will get stuck too far out there and not be able to come back to that part of the brain where you do connect to the observer and your self-agency.


Mason: (01:27:20)

And it's very existential and you either got to double down and keep on going down, being overly associated and basically be excessively dogmatic, or religious for the rest of your life and defend your position. Maybe one of the lucky ones that just happens to be like, yep, you find where you're meant to be and it's all hunky dory. That's possible. Otherwise, what a lot of people do is they'll get burnt out and they'll either blame themselves and their own stupidity, or for being gullible, or they'll reject, like, I now reject that veganism or keto or those body motivational, entrepreneur people, they're actually hurting people and destroying people's lives. Just remember you're going to open many doors. And when you're there, if we can maintain the awareness that this too will change. And get ready for the fact that there's going to be a transformation of energy.


Mason: (01:28:08)

And if it's a smooth process, you'll just integrate your lessons from that, from the various paths, sometimes they go for 10 years, but if you can do that, then you're going to be able to maintain a real, an easy... That's the skill that's going to help you maintain long-term mental health, I believe. And so, yeah, you might need to just go and explore excessively all those supplements, but get ready. It will change. It will change, and you better be able to adapt. And this is the key difference between traditional Chinese medicine that got westernised and classical Chinese medicine. The term qihua is when they'll look at qi in traditional Chinese medicine, they want to diagnose it. It's stagnant, it's deficient, it's excessive. And then they'll just try and get you back to balance.


Mason: (01:28:56)

But in classical Chinese medicine what you're looking at is the capacity for qi to transform through a particular organ system. And so you're looking at supporting that baseline regulatory capacity for inner transformation at all times, or the ability for your body to accept and enable change to constantly occur. And you can see how different that clinical approach is going to be. You can see why Westernism likes to just go, yep, do that, bang. And now we're fixed. Whereas if you take responsibility for helping someone to move through changes in their body and in their life, that's massive responsibility and it's harder to be effective. And it takes more keeping your finger literally on the pulse.


Mason: (01:29:45)

And so you're going to have to do that because our medical system and our wellness system doesn't focus or value that right now. And it seems boring to focus on that constant capacity, this too will change. Why, why is it boring? Because then I can't be right. And then I can't dominate, whatever. It might be the other side of it. Someone might avoid domination, just accepting that you are interested in a particular place and you want to explore it. They might resist that. But no, you need to honour your health intentions, but don't lose yourself and then get ready. It's going to change.


Tommy Moore: (01:30:23)

Yeah. 100%. And it's in that self prescribed identity. I follow a mostly vegan diet and it's a diet that is obviously focused on whole foods and a diverse range of whole foods, lots of colours and flavours and textures and so on. And I get asked, are you vegan, are you this, are you that, it's like, well, no, the foundations for healthy living is the same across the board. You're moving away from processed foods. You're eating as much of whole natural foods as you possibly can, but it's in that identification where, what you refer to, this too will change, and I'm not necessarily saying that everyone's values and beliefs, they're going to change inevitably. And I don't think that's what you're trying to say either, but when we prescribe to a particular identity and the something that comes up that goes against that, perhaps it's an argument against your religion or your diet or whatever it might be.


Tommy Moore: (01:31:28)

If we're identified with that value, then we feel personally attacked and then it becomes this, us versus them. And it's becoming this war of ideas when it doesn't necessarily need to happen that way. But I think social media is playing a huge role in that. If you're following a lot of, it could be vegan pages or health pages or anything like that. And the way Instagram or any other social media platform algorithm works is that if you're following all these pages that are supporting a similar view, then you're going to get more pages, or more advertisements that are confirming that. And then if we see something that is contrary to what our belief system lies in, then we find ourselves defending our position. And if we find ourselves defending our position too often, then perhaps there's an attachment underneath. I


Mason: (01:32:31)

And I feel it. I felt it with myself the other day. Just how much I'm being pulled in micro ways around political views, or the way I'm relating to social justice and all these kinds of things. It's just far out, I could feel just because I went in a particular direction at one point, it's all curated in a particular way to pull me off centre and more get me associating with a particular side more than another. And then all of a sudden I start taking on all of those dot points in which to show that the other guys are wrong and that these... I'm like, far out, it just gets you so quickly.


Tommy Moore: (01:33:19)

Yeah, it does happen quickly. And it just creates this division of polarity. And that's not what we need in this world. And you don't have to have the exact same belief system as everybody else. Everyone is exposed to different things. Everyone has been brought up in their own environments and we need to forgive people. We need to help people. We need to understand each other through understanding ourselves and our own vulnerabilities.


Tommy Moore: (01:33:52)

And just to close this one out, I don't want to keep you here too long, but I've very much appreciated this conversation, but do you have three recommendations, one for enhancing inner work. So at the moment, I'm very much gravitating towards a lion's mane and reishi combination. I don't know too much in the herbal space, so it'd be good to have a recommendation there. One for exercise performance. So I've been using cordyceps for that, and I've used rhodiola and ginseng and other herbs in the past. And the last one for longevity. I know longevity is obviously a very umbrella term and can mean a lot, a lot of different things obviously, but yeah, one for inner work, one for exercise performance and one for longevity.


Mason: (01:34:46)

Longevity, I can use the example of some superfeast products, but let's just assume we're talking about the tonic herbal system in general, because it goes beyond my range. Longevity is an inevitable outcome when you're using tonic herbs. It's absolutely inevitable. Now in terms of where that sits, where we're sitting in a world that has such toxicity, such poor air quality in some places, we've got poor water going in, so on and so forth. Is it creating longevity in the sense that it's warding off the evils that are going to decay us early? Including stress? Yeah, it works in that capacity, but then once you start building a life that's less revolving around stress responses and say, more of a response of clarity or capacity to digest, capacity to feel your own observer, or generally feeling love as you go through life.


Mason: (01:35:48)

You can go from there and then get good water and diet approach, eating seasonally, so on and so forth. That's when you actually start getting to the place where you build back jing, and that's the whole point of longevity. Stop leaking jing, which is hard and start to cultivate jing. And so they are longevity herbs. The Daoists saw these as the messengers from heaven and that's how special and how much reverence they have. And so I see longevity of capacity to be loving and accepting of people around you. And imagine the longevity factor of not just living a long time, imagine getting to 70 and not being stuck in these projective ways of what it should be that you put onto the family around you. But you can still maintain, you'd have done so much work and through having the healthy organs, you've been able to evolve your consciousness to the point where you're not complaining to the people all around you and you're not being a victim. Think about the difference in your life when you're 70 or 80, and that's the case.


Mason: (01:36:56)

It's so huge and that's longevity as far as I'm concerned, because then we'll actually have elders, not just old people that think they deserve to be listened to, you know what I mean? Both are relevant, but one I know where I'd like to go. For inner work reishi for sure. That's the only mushroom herb that's depicted in heaven in Daoist art. That's because it's known as the herb of spiritual immortality and bringing the spirit through. It's a heart tonic. And it's got the perfect combination, it seems, of working on other organs to serve the emperor of the organs, the heart, to really come and shine through. And that creates a bridge there for what that observer or that capacity to be, some call it your higher self, to bring that through. And that's one of the core intentions of Daoist herbalism.


Mason: (01:37:55)

And so you're going to do it no matter what herb you take, because if you work on one treasure, jing, qi or shen, or one organ, you're going to start affecting the other. But you can get a little bit more specific reishi. Yeah, absolutely beautiful. Lion's mane has its own effects, I've talked about in terms of what your intentions are, and then another blend I've got it's called Shen, which is really, really focused around that full spectrum, bringing the heart out and just how having the heart shine. All those herbs that the Daoists would use for spiritual development, bringing virtuousness forward more. So becoming much less of an arsehole, and being able to especially fly, they say the herbs they will help you fly. And that's all about being able to get that broad view, especially when you're meditating, so you're not reactive.


Mason: (01:38:42)

And athletic performance, cordyceps is the obvious one. The biggest thing about athletic performance is, if you are depleting yourself and you're not recovering appropriately, you're going to become more fatigued and exhausted. You need to become more reliant on like the jing herbs. I got the Jing formula. It's good to have them in there. If you can recover really appropriately, you're going to find that a little bit of jing every now and then, because a lot of times you're doing an unnatural amount of using your energy, if you're an actual athlete. You might need to continue having jing herbs every now and then just to top yourself up and keep your kidneys not leaking. But most of the time you're going to really start enjoying the qi tonics.


Mason: (01:39:26)

They keep the engine going, right? And keep you effective in your movement, your metabolism and your circulation, basically just keep you animated. And that's where a lot of the performance. So herbs like astragalus, white atractylodes. I've got a formula called Qi, and so a lot of athletes love that, but you can also see the herbs that a lot of the athletes cross the bridge between kidneys and qi, like rhodiola, like cordyceps. Ginseng, really pretty full on qi tonic which we really love as well, but yeah, Qi tonic is going to be really good in that instance. And then you can get some bad-ass ones you bring in every now and then like the chung by black ant. I don't have that, but I got deer antler velvet as well. And every now and then if you're an athlete flogging yourself and you need to really regenerate, deer antler velvet, that's only if you're not in a Olympic style sport where they'll look against the growth factors, but if you're just ripping it yourself, CrossFit or something, then yeah.


Mason: (01:40:26)

Deer antler velvet is such an incredible life enhancing replenishing herb. It's anyone that's deficient in libido and sex drive. You start with the jing tonics, that's what you deplete first, you know? So the Jing formula, if you can, if you can't get it over the line with that, you move on to deer antler velvet, you bring in the big guns because if you've got no libido and you can't generate sexual juices and willingness, then it's a big, big... If it's not every single time for some people, that's just their constitution. But generally it's going to be a huge factor to look at that, that there's a big warning sign there that it would be very useful for you to look at long-term.


Tommy Moore: (01:41:03)

Perfect. You summarised that brilliantly. Thank you very, very much. Mason, I appreciate your time, I've appreciated this conversation and everything that's come from it. You're very knowledgeable in this space. It's awesome to bounce off you and to hear your view on things and to look through the lens of Daoist herbalism, and Daoist tradition and all of the philosophy that came from that era and continues to come through modern times and you're depicting this tradition in such a beautiful and eloquent way. I think we're both on a very similar path in the sense of translating a lot of ancient traditions and spirituality and philosophy and understanding the limitations of science and how science works and realising the difference between science and spirituality and what that means for the Western world. So I appreciate that. Thank you so much for your time. Now, if people are wanting to reach out to you or find more information, perhaps on what we've discussed, where can you guide them?


Mason: (01:42:13)

Superfeast is the place to find that, in the Americas and in Australia and the rest of the world. And the superfeast podcast. We go deep in lots of different topics. If you look for my Instagram, Mason J Taylor, that's just more of me being a scallywag and taking the piss out of the health and wellness scene, therefore taking the piss out of myself. So don't expect for me to be having my hand on my heart, talking about herbalism there, that's maybe being, yeah, but I have a lot of fun doing it. So if you want a little giggle go over there, but, super feast is where I'm going deep into this and we've got free courses, free tonic herbal courses if you really just want to focus on tonic herbs and mushrooms, we've got a free tonic herb course on there and a bunch of other goodies. That's what I'd recommend. I like sharing the insights of what's going on in the business as well. And I do that in the newsletter.


Tommy Moore: (01:43:13)

And that transparency is huge. I think when people see where you're coming from and see your passions and how you're linking this all with health and longevity and connection, all of that, putting together, people really resonate with that. And having that scientific understanding and having that philosophical understanding altogether makes it an awesome organisation. And I appreciate everything you do. I appreciate you coming on and I'll make sure that I link you up with some of the guys from Mind Medicine Australia, because I think there's some really, really good work happening and it's an exciting time. And I think you'd be interested in that. So I'll make sure I do that, but thank you so much.


Mason: (01:43:55)

Thanks bro.

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Motherhood, Birth, and Embodying Your Truth with Jinti Fell (EP#129)

Jinti Fell is a woman who embodies her truth. The mother of three (currently pregnant with the third), has become known for sharing her family's unconventional, nomadic, intentional lifestyle with the online world.

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Motherhood, Birth, and Embodying Your Truth with Jinti Fell (EP#129)