QI Blend: The Incredible Benefits - Energy, Vitality, Animation

by Sophia Richmond-Manno February 10, 2020 29 mins read

QI-blend

The SuperFeast QI Blend Is Finally Here - Hoorah!
Before We Dive Into The Benefits Of This Epic Blend Let's Learn A Little More About What Qi Actually Is...


Qi - What Is It?

Qi (pronounced chee) has been roughly translated into English simply as ‘energy'.  However, the word/Chinese character for Qi can take on various meanings within different contexts, combining with other characters to represent a myriad of energies both within the body and beyond.

 

In the West, Qi is generally seen to represent literally everything in this known Universe, as in, everything in the Universe is seen to be comprised of Qi energy.  This is a fair statement, the Taoists also shared this view on Qi, however, in the context of this article and our new QI blend, we will be placing our focus primarily on the Qi that lives within the body. The Qi that impacts our experience of life and health directly through the vessel of the body. 

 

When looking through this lens, we see Qi as one of the three primary Treasures or “Original Substances”, along with Jing (Essence) and Shen (Spirit), those of which our human nature is comprised.

 

As the second Treasure, Qi is most simply summed up and perceived as our vitality. Our Qi energy is responsible for the animation of our physical body (Jing), it is the force that governs all bodily function and thought. Qi energy provides nourishment and protection to the body, cells and primary organs. 

 

It is said that Qi is the child of our Jing Essence, and when our Qi becomes strong our Shen (Spirit) can shine bright. You can dive a little deeper into the relationship of The Three Treasures here.

 

How Is Bodily Qi Created And Where does Does It Come From?

At the physical level, Qi has three origins: the first being the "Original Qi" or yuan-qi that is prenatally inherited by a child from their parents at the time of conception. The yuan-qi contributes to an individual's constitution.

The second origin of Qi is "Grain Qi" or gu-qi which is procured through the process of digestion, gu-qi is derived from the food we eat.

Thirdly we have "Natural Air Qi" or kong-qi which is the Qi extracted by the Lungs from the air we inhale/breathe.

The above three sources of Qi combine to produce the "Qi" that animates an individual's entire being, permeating their complete cellular landscape, giving rise to the expression of their health and vitality as a whole.

 

How Healthy Daily Qi Keeps Us Vibrant

When we digest well and consume a diet that is constitutionally appropriate and nourishing, the Spleen is able to harvest an abundance of gu-qiand send it to be combined with the kong-qiof the Lungs. This becomes our daily energy currency/Qi.

Once created, this Qi is sent to the body's exterior to provide surface immunity (Wei Qi - the Yang expression) and protection from pernicious elemental invasion from wind, heat, damp and cold. This Qi is also distributed through the meridians to nourish the inner Organs (the Yin expression).

If the Lung and Spleen systems are functioning well, the body can operate solely on this daily Qi currency, rather than drawing on its deeper Jing reserves. Running on Qi, not Jing, in our daily lives is a key factor in the longevity of our health and happiness. 

 

*This is the herbal intention of the SuperFeast QI blend, to help one optimise their ability to extract daily Qi, so that they may experience life in a more vital way. To not only stop drawing on Jing, but to continue to cultivate Qi and Jing in the body so that a longer and healthier life is possible.

 

Okay, Now We've Got That Cleared Up...

What Is the SuperFeast QI Blend?

 

QI-blend

 

As we've explored above, Qi is the invisible yet palpable force that animates our body, mind, cells and organs; it is the ‘energy’ that drives the plethora of their functions.

The SuperFeast QI blend is a beautifully crafted formula comprised of the most revered Qi tonics of the Taoist tradition. These are the herbs that have been used historically to tonify our metabolic fire so we can access greater daily energy and gain higher levels of vitality. 

Qi is derived from the air, the sunlight and the food we consume. The herbs in the QI blend are prized for their ability to amplify the conversion of these elements to deliver more Qi to the body system daily.  Through the tonification of Spleen Qi and Lung Qi, in particular, these herbs work deeply on the body’s digestive and respiratory powers.

We cultivate Qi with the intention to increase the body’s capacity to build and move Blood, eliminate stagnation and regulate body temperature and Fluid level. To get the full download on the QI blend listen to our QI podcast here.

 

The QI Blend As An Energy Tonic

From the SuperFeast range, the QI blend is our energy tonic. Those who wish to support the creation of energy directly through the use of herbal medicine will benefit greatly from this formula. 

It is important to note that these herbs are not stimulants, and their effect will not be experienced in the same instant and forceful manner as coffee or caffeine. It may take some time for you to cultivate vitality as the herbs assist your body to recalibrate and restore Spleen and Lung Qi. 

Tonic herbalism places a strong focus on longevity and the QI blend is not intended to be a quick fix. The cultivation of Qi through both herbal and physical practices allows you to learn how to sustainably energise and revitalise your body from the inside out. To understand how it feels to be energised naturally, not from external sources such as caffeine or stress, but from the optimal function of your Organs and body as a whole.

 

General Commentary On The QI Blend

The energy of the QI blend is powerful yet subtle at first. As mentioned above, it may take some time to enhance your body’s charge/Qi in order to notice the full vitality-enhancing effects of the blend.

If your cup has holes in it, e.g. you have a deficient lifestyle and are lacking sleep and proper nutrition, you will be leaking your Qi as soon as you fill your cup. 

The Qi herbs will still assist to keep you moving and animated in these instances, however, if you wish to begin accumulating a reserve of Qi within your cells and Organs, it is imperative that you begin to embody a more sustainable lifestyle. One that allows you to really feel into the transformation that becomes available when you begin supporting the cultivation of your Qi on all levels. 

Factors such as diet, lifestyle, herbal practice, breathwork and movement help to keep your Meridians open and allow Qi to flow smoothly through them. When this happens, health is a state that can become known. Using tonic herbs, such as those present in the QI blend, in combination with the practices mentioned above, increases the amount of Qi you are able to cultivate and sustain.

 

QI Blend - The Herbal Formula

The herbs in the QI blend help to support the organs, primarily the Lungs and Spleen, that allow our bodies to adequately manufacture and disperse Qi. In the Taoist system, these are the herbs that have been used traditionally to increase the body's energy and vitality. These herbs include:

 

Primary and Direct Action: 

Astragalus Root (Astragalus membranaceous)

Poria Mushroom (Poria cocos)              

White Atractylodes Root (Atractylodes macrocephala)

Codonopsis Root (Codonopsis pilosula)

 

Secondary Action:

Gynostemma Leaf (Gynostemma pentaphyllum)

Turkey Tail Mushroom (Trametes versicolor)

Supporting Action:

Jujubue Fruit (Ziziphus jujuba)

QI - blend

If you wanna charge up your Qi and feel vital, head to our online store to pick up your batch of QI blend today!

Where Do The Herbs In The QI Blend Grow?

The herbs in the SuperFeast QI blend are sourced Di Tao from various regions in China. See below for sourcing regions, harvesting medium and extraction method:
Astragalus
  • Sourced from the Gansu and Inner Mongolia regions of China.
  • Semi-wild harvested from the soil of its wild mountain landscape.
  • A dual extraction of the herb body (root) is used.
 
Poria Mushroom
  • Sourced from the Yunan and Hunan regions of China.
  • Semi-wild harvested on wild Duan Wood Pine.
  • A single water extract of the herb body (fruiting) is used.
 
Codonopsis
  • Sourced from the Gansu and Shaanxi regions of China.
  • Semi-wild harvested from the soil of its wild mountain landscape.
  • A single water extract of the herb body (root) is used.
 
White Atractylodes
  • Sourced from the Zhejiang, Anhui, Hunan regions of China.
  • Semi-wild harvested from the soil of its wild mountain landscape.
  • A single water extract of the herb body (root) is used.
Turkey Tail
  • Sourced from the Changbai Mountain region of China.
  • Wild harvested from the wood of deciduous trees that grow in the wild earth.
  • A single water extract of the herb body (fruiting) is used.
 
Gynostemma
  • Sourced from the Hunan, Guangxi and Shaanxi regions of China.
  • Semi-wild harvested from the soil of its wild mountain landscape.
  • A single water extract of the herb body (leaf) is used.
Jujube
  • Sourced from the Xinjiang, Shandong, Shaanxi regions of China.
  • Semi-wild harvested from the soil of its wild mountain landscape.
  • A single water extract of the herb body (fruit) is used.

 

A Spotlight On The Herbs In The QI Blend

Astragalus

Botanical Name: Astragalus membranaceus.

Plant Family: Fabaceae.

Chinese Name/s:  Huang Qi,  黄芪.

Organ/s & Meridian/s: Lung and Spleen.

Energetics: Warm.

Treasure/s: Qi and Blood.

Taste/s: Sweet.

Part/s Used Medicinally: Root.

Key Herbal Actions:Raises Yang Qi, tonifies Spleen and Lung Qi, inhibits sweating, facilitates urination, generates flesh. 

Herbal Commentary:

  • Astragalus is one of the most famed herbs in the Taoist herbal system and often remains as a permanent fixture in the diet of Taoist herbal initiates. 
  • Astragalus is a potent immune herb used primarily to strengthen the Lungs and Wei Qi (surface protective Qi), particularly when one is prone to spontaneous sweating and recurrent infection.
  • With the ability to potentiate Wei Qi, Astragalus increases the circulation of Qi in the body’s subcutaneous tissues, providing suppleness to the flesh and accelerated wound healing and tissue repair.
  • Astragalus enhances the body’s metabolic, respiratory and detoxification mechanisms. This allows the body to perform its basic life functions with greater ease, leaving more Qi/energy to be utilised in other areas of life.
  • Astragalus supports muscle strength and energy and is revered for its adaptogenic qualities. For these reasons Astragalus is primarily used by those who require the strength of the arms and legs, are physically active, work outdoors and need to withstand the cold.
  • Astragalus is used to promote urination, assisting the release of accumulated Fluid that often results in swelling/oedema. The herb performs this action when taken singularly and in combination with poria. By warming and reinforcing Yang transport and transformation, Astragalus enables Fluid metabolism to function at optimal capacity.
  • Astragalus has a strong ascending nature, nurturing the Upward flow of Qi. This enables the body and its organs to comfortably resist gravity and align with the Earth’s levitational forces that emerge from the ground up. For this reason, Astragalus is a primary herb used in cases of prolapse, a longevity tonic that assists the body to stay upright and strong. When the body becomes deficient in ascending Qi it will begin to descend towards the earth, this is often what we see in the hunching that occurs in the ageing population. 

Poria

Botanical Name: Poria cocos.

Plant Family:Polyporaceae.

Chinese Name/s:Fu Ling,  茯苓.

Organ/s & Meridian/s: Heart, Spleen, Bladder, Kidneys, Lungs (minor).

Energetics:Neutral.

Treasure/s: Qi.

Taste/s: Sweet, bland.

Key Herbal Actions:Promotes urination, alleviates damp, strengthens the Spleen, tonifies the Middle Burner, calms Shen, transforms Phlegm. 


Herbal Commentary:

  • Poria is among the most famed and administered longevity herbs of the Tonic Herbal system, its use is on par with that of licorice. 
  • As a Yin tonic, Poria balances the energetics of the QI Blend beautifully, complementing the Yang raising functions of both the Astragalus and White Atractylodes present in the formula.
  • Poria is said to improve the flow of water through the body, helping water metabolism find a healthy balance. The herb achieves this action via its ability to strengthen and tonify the Kidney, Bladder and Spleen. Allowing for further water regulation and diuretic action to maintain proper Fluid metabolism and flow.
  • Poria is an immune tonic used regularly in Asia as a formula against abnormal cell growth. The herb is becoming validated for its action on immunity in contemporary literature, due to its action on alpha-interferon. 
  • In the classical texts, Poria is said to alleviate pain below the heart, which is often linked with emotional outbursts such as rage, fright and fear palpitations.
  • In the Shen Nong Materia Medica, it is said that Poria tranquillises the mind and the long-term consumption of the herb can relieve hunger and lengthen life.
  • A mild sedative, Poria is used to calm the nervous system and reduce stress, actions that aid the expression of the Western lifestyle perfectly. 

Codonopsis

Botanical Name: Codonopsis pilosula.

Plant Family: Campanulaceae.

Chinese Name/s: Dang Shen,  党参.

Organ/s & Meridian/s: Lung and Spleen.

Energetics:Neutral.

Treasure/s:.Qi and Blood.

Taste/s: Sweet.

Part/s Used Medicinally: Root.

Key Herbal Actions:Tonifies The Middle Burner, reinforces Spleen and Lung Qi.

Herbal Commentary:

  • In Tonic Herbalism, Codonopsis is a potent Qi tonic said to perform a similar action to that of Chinese ginseng. The herb is often used as a replacement for ginseng in herbal formulas that require a softer energetic. Especially in instances where the use of ginseng is inappropriate at a constitutional level. 
  • Many refer to Codonopsis as the “poor man’s ginseng” however this name truly undermines the herb’s unique medicinal power and the respect it holds within the Tonic system.
  • Codonopsis carries a neutral energy and is used primarily to strengthen the functions of the Lungs and Spleen. Actions that replenish the Qi andpromote the production  of body Fluids 
  • Codonopsis nourishes stomach Yin and supports the lubrication of the Lungs, encouraging balanced Fluid production in these areas without causing Dampness or excess.
  • Codonopsis is a Blood building tonic used to remedy chronic fatigue and support those who have been weakened by illness. Chinese women use the herb postpartum to support the production of breast milk and increase its nutritional value.
  • In the QI formula the action of Codonopsis is amplified by the presence of Poria. White atractylodes, codonopsis and poria are traditionally combined in formulations that strengthen the Spleen and digestive function. In the context of the QI Blend, Codonopsis provides potent Spleen tonification, while Poria and White Atractylodes drain Dampness and prevent any stagnation (cloying) that may occur due to tonification.

White Atractylodes

Botanical Name: Atractylodes macrocephala.

Plant Family: Compositae.

Chinese Name/s:  Bai Zhu,  白术.

Organ/s & Meridian/s: Spleen, Stomach.

Energetics:Warm.

Treasure/s:.Qi.Taste/s: Bitter and Sweet.

Part/s Used Medicinally: Root.

Key Herbal Actions:Tonifies the Spleen, augments (increases) Qi, dries Damp, promotes water metabolism, reduces sweating.

Herbal Commentary:

  • As a Qi tonic, White Atractylodes is held in the same high regard as astragalus and codonopsis. Known for its ability to rapidly build and invigorate the body’s Yang Qi, White Atractylodes encourages muscle growth, strength and power. 
  • White Atractylodes influence on Yang Qi increases digestive power, aiding nutrient assimilation. In a more folky context, the herb is said to increase the fire under the stomach, an action that supports the stomach’s “cooking” process, this allows the body to harvest a larger yield of Qi from the food that is consumed.
  • In the Orient, White Atractylodes is used in combination with other Qi tonics, to help regulate the appetite, increasing it in those who are weak and reducing it in those who are overeating. This function is associated with the proper function of the Spleen Qi. It is used in many formulas where Dampness in the Spleen needs resolution. A condition that is very common in the West due to poor/inappropriate diet and weak digestion. As such this will be one of the primary benefits experienced by the herb, especially when in combination with poria. 
  • White Atractylodes has a warming action on the middle burner, assisting the dispersion and flow of Qi throughout the body. This helps to clear excess moisture and Fluid from the entire system. In the QI formula, Poria and Astragalus potentiate this action increasing the herb’s medicinal power.

Turkey Tail

Botanical Name: Trametes versicolor.

Plant Family: Polyporaceae.

Chinese Name/s: Yun Zhi,  云芝.

Organ/s & Meridian/s: Spleen, Lungs, Liver.

Energetics: Cool.

Treasure/s: Qi.Taste/s: Sweet and Bland.

Part/s Used Medicinally: Fruiting body.

Key Herbal Actions: Invigorates Spleen, eliminates Damp, arrests chronic cough/asthma, modulates immunity.

Herbal Commentary:

  • Turkey Tail is one of the most important immune tonics in the world. Holding a strong presence in the medicinal systems of China, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Germany, Mexico, Japan, English Folk, Malaysia and more.
  • In Classical Chinese Medicine, Turkey Tail is primarily used to clear Damp and Heat from the Spleen, assisting the body to regulate water and temperature. In this context, the herb is used to remedy instances of loose stools that occur in the presence of poor digestion and appetite.
  • As a Qi tonic, Turkey Tail is used to support circulation and bring life to the body. The herb is particularly useful post-illness when individuals are experiencing general fatigue and weakness.
  • Turkey Tail is often added to formulas that clear inflammation especially when skin eruption/s present as a primary symptom. This is due to the herb’s regulatory capacity as an immune tonic.
  • In the QI formula, Turkey Tail brings in additional immune fortification, alongside astragalus and the other Qi tonics in the blend. Sharing it’s potent immunomodulatory powers, whilst also reinforcing surface immunity or Wei Qi.
  • The Taoists revered this incredible mushroom and would use it in their tonics to restore Yang Qi and protect the entire system.

Gynostemma

Botanical Name:Gynostemma pentaphyllum.

Plant Family: Cucurbitaceae.

Chinese Name/s: Jiao Gu Lan,  绞股蓝

Organ/s & Meridian/s:.Spleen, Lungs, Kidneys, Liver and Heart.

Energetics: Slightly cool.

Treasure/s:.Jing, Qi and Shen.

Taste/s: Sweet, Slightly Bitter.

Part/s Used Medicinally: Leaf.

Key Herbal Actions: Moistens the Lungs, tonifies Qi, generates Body Fluids, dispels Phlegm.

Herbal Commentary:

  • In Asia,Gynostemma is highly revered as a cure-all tonic, often referred to as “magical grass”  due to its potency and vast medicinal application.
  • A powerful longevity tonic that reinforces overall health,Gynostemma is recognised as one of the most potent adaptogens in the plant kingdom. The herb holds this esteem in both Taoist Herbalism and in modern scientific literature. 
  • In Southern China, Gynostemma is a daily staple, the regular consumption of the herb is recognised as a key factor in the extended lifespans the people of this region experience.
  • Gynostemma shares a similar chemical profile to that of ginseng, so much so that the herb is often referred to as“Southern Ginseng”. Saponins are the compounds responsible for Gynostemma’s remarkable adaptogenic qualities, specifically gypenosides. Gynostemma containsthe most extensive range of saponins present in any single plant in nature's kingdom, includingover 80 different types of gypenosides.
  • Medicinally speaking, Gynostemma is complete all-rounder. The herb enters all five major Organ systems and tones all three Treasures. 
  • In the QI blend, Gynostemma comes in with a supporting role, to penetrate deeper than the layer of the Spleen and Lungs, as it is strong in its ability to tone Qi and vitality on all levels. The herb has a cooling quality and along with neutral poria, balances out the warming nature of the blend.
  • Gynostemma helps to reduce inflammation, manage weight-loss via its action on the Spleen, move mucus, reduce coughs and treat bronchitis via the Lung. 

Jujube

Botanical Name:Ziziphus jujuba.

Plant Family: Rhamnaceae.

Common name/s: Red date, Chinese date, jujube, Da Zao,  Jujube Berry, Zizyphus, Black Date.

Organ/s & Meridian/s: Spleen, Stomach.

Energetics: Neutral.

Treasure/s: Qi and Shen.

Taste/s: Sweet.

Part/s used medicinally: Fruit.

Herbal Properties: Sedative, nutritive, Qi tonic, Blood tonic, Shen stabiliser.

Key Herbal Actions: Tonifies the stomach and Spleen, augments Qi, moderates/harmonises the properties of other herbs, nourishes the Blood, calms the mind, moderates Shen (spirit), clears heat.

Herbal Commentary:

  • Jujube is one of the most important herbs in the Chinese herbal system. Used primarily to moderate the actions of other herbs when used in combination, to treat Spleen Qi deficiency and address Shen disturbances that are a result of Heat or Blood/Yin deficiency.
  • Traditionally Jujube is said to cleanse the twelve major Meridians, providing special nourishment to the body’s centres; the Stomach and Earth element.
  • Regarded as a Qi tonic, believed to extend and nourish life, Jujube tones the Spleen, assisting the reduction of excessive mucus.
  • As a Yin tonic, Jujube brings the final balancing energy to the Yang herbs present in the QI formula. Assisting to disperse Qi throughout the body so Qi does not accumulate and cause stagnation. This is an important aspect of the function of the QI Blend as a whole. Highlighting the formula’s ability to assist those who tend to overuse Yang tonics and experience QI obstruction as a result. 

Five Major Benefits Of The QI Blend

QI - Immunity 

The QI blend is a protective formula that offers nourishment and tonification to the Lung and Spleen systems. The herbs in the QI blend help to build strong Wei Qi, the Yang protective Qi that circulates underneath the skin and in the subcutaneous tissue. 

Wei Qi is our surface immunity. This provides subtleness to the flesh and adaptive energy to the skin. It is Wei Qi that provides energy for the body’s defense mechanisms of perspiration, shivering and goosebumps. When Wei Qi is deficient, environmental forces such as heat, wind, cold and damp can penetrate the flesh and invade the vital organs. With the most revered Lung and Wei Qi herbs, the QI formula is the perfect ally to help the body maintain its protective Aura.


In its own right, the QI blend is an incredible immune tonic, specifically focused on supporting surface immunity or Wei Qi as we’ve explored above. When combined with our Mason’s Mushroom blend (Mason's offers deep overall immune support) the two products offer the body ultimate protection and powerful immune potentiation.

QI - Digestion/Spleen Support

Many people in the West experience Spleen deficiencies or Damp Spleen due to constitutional weakness, poor/inappropriate diet and lifestyle stress. Weak digestion, loose stools and Fluid retention are all signs of Spleen deficiency. 

 

In the QI blend, White Atractylodes and Poria play a primary role, working to nourish the Spleen, increase the digestive fire and drain excess Fluid/Damp. The addition of Codonopsis in the blend allows the White Atractylodes and Poria to perform these actions without over-drying the Spleen. 

QI - Respiration, Beauty, Skin Health

When it comes to beauty, cultivating healthy radiant skin is generally a primary intention. The organ systems that primarily govern the health of the skin are the Lungs and the Liver.

 

Cosmetically the Lungs have a direct influence on the health of the skin via respiration and the dispersion of Qi throughout the body.  The Lungs oxygenate every cell within the body, allowing the entire system to function at optimal capacity. Clear, radiant and supple skin is not only a sign of healthy Lung function but also illustrates that the entire system, including the immune defenses, are robust and strong. The QI blend is a potent Lung tonic that will assist the health of the skin via the tonification of these important Organs.

 

Often in the West the skin issues presented are not derived directly from a Lung deficiency. More so from impaired Liver function, resulting in Liver stagnation, endocrine dysregulation and hormonal imbalance. This is where the  Beauty Blendreally shines as our primary beauty tonic as it acts directly on the Liver. Working to move stagnant Qi, enliven the Liver’s detoxification pathways and support the cultivation of Yin Jing essence and sexual fluids. Foundational factors that allow beauty to shine through the skin, eyes and beyond.

 

The Liver is responsible for dispersing a consistent smooth flow of Qi throughout the body’s organs and meridians. Therefore Liver harmony is strongly associated with the experience of overall body harmony, and harmony creates radiance from the inside out. This radiance is what we speak of when we refer to “beauty”.  

 

As a formula, the QI blend works to deliver the potential for this radiance/beauty as it encourages Qi to circulate freely throughout the entire system. Qi is life and will animate any space it occupies or penetrates, allowing that space to shine and flourish. In this context, the QI blend is a wonderful beauty elixir and pairs well with the Beauty Blend to encourage full-body radiance from the inside out.

QI -  Energy/Vitality

In the Taoist system, Qi herbs such as those in our QI blend, are the herbs most associated with increasing our daily energy and vitality. Those of us under stress can preserve our Jing by keeping our Qi flowing and abundant. If our Jing is the wax of the candle that gives us substance and structure, Qi is the flame that brings the spark of life to our entire body.
As we've explored above, Qi is related to the function of the Lung and Spleen systems, we generate our daily dose of Qi through the air we breathe and the food we digest. When these organs work more efficiently, we have abundant, free-flowing Qi.

Qi energy animates everything from our physical body to our thoughts (and the world around us). It is the difference between us being a bag of chemicals and a living, breathing human! If you find you’re feeling heavy, stagnant (in your digestion, energy, or thoughts) and fatigued, then it may be time to work on your Qi treasure. This will also help you preserve your Jing.

One of the great Taoist immortals, sage Lu, said: “To stabilise Jing, one should guard the Qi.” Those of you who love our JINGblend may find the addition of our new QI blend to be a powerful combination. Or try QI alone to experience the free flow of energy and to increase your reserves of Qi.

QI - Blood, Circulation And Healing

Qi generates Blood and Fluid within the body. When our Qi is optimal our Blood and Fluid will flourish. This means that Qi herbs can indirectly contribute to the normal supply of Blood and Fluid within the body, and are in fact essential elements for this to occur. 

 

Qi governs Blood, and Blood will follow Qi, to remedy circulatory issues, or simply maintain a well-nourished body and cellular system.  We must maintain a robust flow of Qi, one that will inspire the Blood to saturate its entire cellular landscape. When Qi is able to expand its reach within the physical and energetic bodies, there is a greater potential for tissue healing, protection and regeneration.

 

Many of the Qi tonics are known for their ability to promote wound healing and regenerate flesh (especially Astragalus). This is primarily due to the herbs' ability to increase the circulation and flow of Qi throughout the body. This action naturally enhances the flow of nutrient-rich Blood to the deficient or wounded site. Blood follows Qi, remember?

 

Delivering Qi to deficient or wounded tissues is literally like delivering life to them. Where there’s more life, there’s more flow. Therefore there can be more Blood, more nutrition for regeneration and more Fluid to enable cellular communication within the immune system as a whole. 

QI And The Traditions - Bridging Heaven and Earth

You will often see Qi tonics (which include most medicinal mushrooms) taking permanent residence in the diet of Taoists and those who understand the herbs on a deep level. The Taoists knew that humans were the bridge between heaven and earth, and that walking the middle path between the Yang of the Heavens and the Yin of the Earth was an important function of their human nature. The Taoists knew that having a strong herbal practice was necessary for cultivating longevity and a happy, progressive life. 


The tonic herbs were viewed as messengers from Heaven, and as gifts from the Earth that allowed them to maintain this balance. The Qi tonics were the herbs that resonated with this intention the most, and allowed the body to become the place where the sky/Heavens (Tian) and the Earth (Di) came into harmony.


Tian-Ren-Di translates to mean Sky-Human-Earth, this represents the concept of humans being the bridge between heaven and earth. There are the 3 primary Treasures within the Tian-Ren-Di, with each entity having its own 3 Treasures:

 

Sky- Sun, Moon, Stars.

Human- Jing, Qi, Shen.

Earth - Water, Wind, Fire.

 

Humans are most closely related to Qi, the middle Treasure (as above). This is why Qi herbs and lifestyle practices that cultivate Qi, ultimately became the foundations used to maintain balance between the Heavens (Shen, our spirit) and Earth (Jing, Essence). We use long term herbal and Qi practices to ensure we ourselves can remain in harmony and walk the middle path with efficacy and grace.

Using The QI Blend

When people are starting out with tonic herbalism or are going through periods of very high stress, they’re often feeling exhausted, burnt out or have a low libido, which are all signs of Jing deficiency. So in these instances we place our primary focus on the herbs that nourish Jing directly, and a lifestyle that promotes restoration and eliminates stress and excess. 


When one's Jing is deficient we can and still do take Qi herbs, however, the Qi herbs take on more of a supporting role. 


It is common to feel extremely energised by the Jing herbs as they replenish what is deficient, however, after a couple of months or years (yes it can take this long) the direct uplifting feeling may cease. This is a sign that Jing has been restored and is no longer being leaked from the body via diet and lifestyle. This is when the Qi herbs become the primary focus and the Jing herbs step back into a supporting role, to maintain and cultivate more essence.


When you have strong physical foundations in your body (Jing), you will feel the full nature of QI brighten you up, enliven you, and bring further vitality to your entire being. Throughout each and every day we require this fuel to animate us, help us think clearly, process emotions, bring vitality and clarity to our human function and keep us feeling light and energised. 


The experience of cultivating and optimising your daily Qi can be subtle for some (definitely not for those who are more sensitive), however it is a process that does not have a glass ceiling.

 

When we start to get very good at cultivating Qi through our food, breathwork, sun exposure and lifestyle, we begin the process of putting savings (Jing) back in the bank (Kidneys) of our health. Once we are living sustainably and have an abundance of Qi circulating throughout our bodies, we can start saving the excess.

JING Or QI... Which Is the Right Blend For Me?

You can definitely use the QI and JING at the same time, especially if you're really feeling into them both. They're our Treasure blends, crafted specifically to nurture the Qi Treasure and the Jing Treasure. However if you are wanting to go with just one product/blend at this time, you may like to consider the following:
 
The JING blend is required when an individual is exhausted, has a weak lower back/knees and low libido. For those who physically don’t have what it takes to get through the day, those who get out of bed with no energy. Whereas the QI Blend is for individuals who feel lethargic and find themselves running out of vitality throughout the day. For those who don’t become completely exhausted but feel like they lose their daily energy too fast and then require pick me ups such as coffee or sugar etc, especially during the afternoon.
 
The QI Blend is for those who can get to the middle of a task/intention but don’t have the gumption to get to the end. Those who can’t reach completion with luster and spark.
 
When you have no will to do something, to be active or to create etc, you have no Jing. In this instance the JING blend will support you.
 
If you have will but get frustrated as you don’t have the charge or ability to animate yourself in order to achieve your intentions/goals, a Qi deficiency is likely. The QI Blend will offer primary assistance here. 

 

To read more about our favourite herb pairing's take a look at our blog on the subject here.

Can I Use The Blend QI While I'm Breastfeeding?

The majority of our herbs are safe to use while breastfeeding, this includes the medicinal mushrooms, tonic herbs and our JING, QI and I Am Gaia blends. We always suggest to introduce new herbs slowly and in low doses, this allows the body to adjust and benefits to unfold at a pace relevant to your individual system.

If you are pregnant check out this blog postby SuperFeast mumma Tahnee, here she'll give you the full download on the herbs we like to use during this special time. 

QI Blend Recipes

Like the rest of the SuperFeast herbal apothecary, the herbs in our QI blend are fully extracted and not sensitive to heat or cold. This means you can add the QI blend to any food or beverage of choice.

 

Qi tonics tend to carry a sweet flavour, for this reason we love taking QI blend straight off the spoon! To make a simple tea add 1/4-1tsp (depending on your constitution) of QI blend to boiled water, sip and enjoy the beautiful benefits. If you want to get a little more creative, try the recipe below:

QI Digestive Fire Tonic 

Ingredients

1 tsp QI blend
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp honey
1 tsp grated ginger
Spring water

 

Method

Hardcore Herbalist Version
  1. Simmer fennel and ginger in 1.5 cups of water for 20 mins (use a timer so you don’t forget!)
  2. Strain and stir in honey and QI blend
The I-Don’t-Have-Time-For-That Version
  1. Steep your fennel and ginger in the teapot 3-5 mins
  2. Strain and stir in honey and QI blend

The QI Blend Pairs Well With

In the context of health optimisation and the Taoist tradition, tonic herbs are not directly used to treat or clear individual symptoms, rather to create harmony within the system as a whole. To further utilise the medicinal magic of the herbs in the QI blend, pair its use with the actions below:

  • Chewing well.
  • Eating a nourishing diet that is easy to digest. Foods that charge your constitution and allow your body to build Blood and Qi,
  • Living or at least eating in a parasympathetic state of rest and digest. Drawing deep calm breath into the belly will help to create this parasympathetic environment within the body. As will a gratitude/appreciation practice of choice. Any practice that helps you stay in a calm and grounded space will assist your Spleen to extract life-giving Qi from the food you eat.
  • Raw/cold foods. If you’re eating a lot of cold, raw foods the QI Blend will help you to maintain your digestive fire and digestive capacity so that your body is able to utilise and draw nourishment from your diet.
  • Pranayama/breath-work, practices that enhance the depth of the Lungs.
  • Digestive weakness and chronic bloating.
  • Immune enhancing protocols.
  • Fascial stretching/Yin Yoga/Taoist Yoga.
  • Joint mobility exercises.
  • Qigong and inner alchemy practices.
  • Cold plunging - to protect the body from cold invasion.
  • Warming herbs like cinnamon and ginger.

Is The QI Blend Right For You?

The QI blend can be of great assistance if you experience any of the following:

  • Tired limbs
  • The weight of the world on your shoulders.
  • Shortness of breath - this can be a sign of Qi deficiency.
  • Reduced appetite.
  • Weak digestion, bloating etc.
  • Low immunity, frequent illness, colds/flus etc - The QI blend and Mason’s Mushrooms are a great combination to fortify immune defenses; *avoid use in acute stages of colds and flus.
  • Frequent diarrhoea/loose stools.
  • Prolapse of vital organs, especially the uterus, stomach and rectum.
  • Slow wound healing.

 Contraindications

  • Best not use the QI blend in the acute stage of colds and flu's. In these instances, the invading pathogen/s will have only penetrated at surface level. We cease the use of the QI blend at this time to avoid pushing the pathogen deeper.
  • If conditions are chronic, we use the QI blend to regenerate and enliven the body in order for it to fight off deeper infection.
  • Constipation and stagnation; depending on the level of severity, the Qi blend can be useful to help get things moving. However, if symptoms including congestion and firmness in the abdomen prevail or worsen, there may be a hard blockage/stagnation of Qi that QI blend is unable to move through. Physical manipulation (abdominal massage/Che Nei Tsang) and herbs that have a more aggressive draining action may be necessary. In these cases it is best seek the guidance of a trained practitioner.

Resources

The Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs - Ron Teeguarden

The Power Of The Five Elements - Charles Moss

The Web That Has No Weaver - Ted J Kaptchuk

There you have it folks, the QI blend - our wonderful new SuperFeast friend, stoking the fire in our bellies, bringing animation and vibrancy to our cells and organs, potentiating our surface immunity and helping our skin radiate and shine <3 I don't know about you- but I'm off to have a big ol' cuppa QI right now! Yum!
 

Sophia Richmond-Manno
Sophia Richmond-Manno

Her love of helping individual’s find their own rhythm and vitality is what makes Sophia tick. Creating content and educating others on the healing effects of tonic herbs, Sophia brings intention and love to all her human interactions. Sophia’s back ground in naturopathy, paired with her knowledge of the subtle energetics all around, allow her to subtly lead you down the path of your own good health. Sophia is the Customer Service angel at SuperFeast, she is most likely on the other end of the phone, when you give us a call.



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