SHEN BLEND: The Incredible Benefits - Calm Mind, Joyful Spirit

by Sophia Richmond-Manno October 30, 2020 25 mins read

shen-blend

We're delighted to announce that our SuperFeast Blend Treasure series is finally complete! Welcome to the family SHEN blend! SHEN joins our beloved JING and QI formulas.

The Treasure formulas stand united, offering deep nourishment to the body's Essence, Energy and Spirit. Lets's dive in to: SHEN: The Incredible Benefits...


First Things First: What is the Shen Treasure?

Shen is the Third Treasure in the Daoist system of tonic herbalism. Shen, along with the other Treasures; Jing and Qi, lacks a direct translation in English but is roughly explained as one’s Spirit or higher consciousness. Shen can also be conceptualised as one’s personality, joie de vivre (joy of living) or soul.



For a more comprehensive explanation of the Three Treasures, sign up to our free herbal 101 course here or read our Three Treasures blog here. You can also take a deep dive into all things SHEN in our Shen Podcast with Tahnee and Mason here.



The Daoists view the body as the bridge between Heaven and Earth and use the framework of the Three Treasures to explain the relationship between what is above (Heaven) and what is below (Earth).

As an element of the Earth, the body is seen to be the vessel that contains our Spirit/consciousness; our Shen. Shen is the embodiment of our Heavenly nature, while Jing and Qi are responsible for the structure and function of our physical form.

The written character for Shen is beautiful and contains a much deeper meaning than words could ever convey. It is drawn as the stars, sun and moon, with two hands pulling at a rope to make contact with the Heavens. It represents the connection of the physical worlds with the supernatural gods, or the soul of all things.

 

Shen-symbol
When working to potentiate Shen it is important to create an accommodating environment for the Spirit to reside. Establishing strong foundations within the physical body (Jing), while maintaining an abundant amount of Qi through the organs consistently over time are the means required for Shen to manifest and materialise. If Jing is weak and Qi is deficient, the body will struggle to self-regulate. This reduces the capacity for one to develop spiritually and express their Shen energy.

The ancient herbalists and Daoist masters discovered several superior tonic herbs that directly assisted the body to capture and retain Shen energy. These herbs were used in conjunction with deep meditative practices and modalities focused on psychological development to nourish the energy of the Shen Treasure.
Shen herbs have many positive effects on our immunity, nervous system and endocrine system, however traditionally the intention behind their use was to directly support the emergence of our benevolent nature.


How Shen Is Expressed

Shen is expressed through the higher part of ourselves that sees life, and the situations and challenges we encounter, from a birds-eye view. Shen energy allows us to go beyond reactivity into a space where we can gain an understanding of our lives beyond the physically identified ego and the realm of right/wrong, good/bad. Allowing us to remember who we are, not only as spiritual beings but as physical beings too.

 

Shen is the energy that accepts the way things actually are without being ruled by hypothesis, victimhood and a need to oppose/fight things in life to feel seen.When our Shen is developed and expressed, we can stay calm and collected no matter what life throws at us.

 

Elders who have developed their Shen are light-hearted, do not project their misgivings onto others and generally have a great sense of humour that emerges from unwavering internal happiness.

 

Shen is not something to be solely developed overnight, nor can we arrive permanently in a place where Shen is healthy and happy. The development of Shen requires an ongoing and engaged personal practice that allows us to evolve and accept ourselves and the world around us throughout the various stages of life. There is no exact roadmap for this, as each expression of a person's unique, love-filled Spirit is so very different.


Where Does Shen Live

The Heart is the home of our Shen (Spirit) energy. One of the Heart’s primary roles is to protect the Spirit/Shen. The Heart is the embodiment of the Fire element, and the Heart Qi carries the qualities of Fire. We can view the Heart as being the fire in the hearth of the Spirit’s home.

As we know, a fire in the home needs to be regulated and tended to throughout the year to adjust to what is happening with the earth, weather and atmosphere. The same requirements occur with our Heart, and therefore adjustments to our temperament, emotions, herbs, diet and energy expenditure are needed throughout the year to ensure that the home of the Spirit is an appealing place for our Shen to reside.

If the Heart is a calm and comfortable place for Shen to inhabit, then we will be calm, contented and have the potential to develop our higher consciousness through our daily activities, gaining wisdom as we go.

Maintinaing Heart Fire Flow: Why It Is Important For Balanced Shen

The Heart Fire regulates the activeness (Yang) and quietness (Yin) of a person. In harmony (which means the Shen can be adaptively expressed), the Heart Fire allows a person to be serene and poised while also being driven in their aspirations.

A good way to identify whether the Heart Fire is balanced and in sync with the world around us, is our ability to rise with the sun, be active through the day, and retire to rest deeply at night. When there is a disturbance in the Heart Fire (and hence a lack of Spirit/Shen being expressed), disharmonies in one’s ability to be restful and/or active will become evident. If this state of disharmony becomes chronic, the body will lack the ability to embody Shen energy.

In a clinical Classical Chinese Medicine setting (which is not what we do at SuperFeast - remember tonic herbalism is about staying in harmony, rather than treating deeper dysfunctions), a practitioner will generally look to treat either a Heart Fire Yang or Yin deficiency.

 

What A Shen Deficiency/Disturbance Looks Like

When Shen is deficient the mind lacks maturity in thought and consciousness. At these times we can find ourselves having trouble completing the transition through the initial stages life. We may find we are unable to integrate and gain the wisdom needed from these transitions to establish a solid grasp on life and our place in it.

In Daoist philosophy, there is an inextricable connection between the Heart and the mind. As an instrument of the Heart, the mind acts as a means through which our Shen, soul or true personality can anchor and channel through.

The mind will be clear, crisp and quiet when the body is balanced, in this state we are more able to receive a steady stream of Heavenly Shen energy. When the body is out of balance, Shen flow is interrupted and the mind loses its purpose, becoming erratic, polarising and chatty. In the West, we call this state “the monkey mind”.

Psycho-emotional disturbances can often lead back to Shen disturbances due to imbalances in the Heart Fire.

When one is prone to anxiousness, depression or erratic emotions, the Daoists will look firstly at the person’s Shen. Personality disorders can lead back to being acute, mild Shen disturbances, whereas psychotic mental illness is seen as a result of chronic, severe Shen disturbance.

A skilled practitioner will often be able to identify the severity of Shen disturbance by looking at a person’s eyes (as well as other testing methods). Dull, lifeless eyes that lack any sparkle can suggest varying degree's of Shen disturbance. 

As there may be deeper blockages, deficiencies or other root causes responsible for the presentation of acute and chronic Shen disturbances, it’s important to remember that Shen herbs (and tonic herbs in general) are not used to treat or cure, more so to encourage a state where these types of symptoms are less likely to occur. Shen herbs can be used as adjunct therapy by practitioners, in addition to a personalised treatment plan that aims to restore an individual's overall health.

Ok So Now We've Explored The Philosophy Behind The Concept Of Shen and Learned How It Is Expressed, Let's Dive Into Our SuperFeast Shen Blend - So What Is It?

shen-blend

The SuperFeast SHEN blend is a premium formulation of the most prized Shen herbs of the Daoist tradition. These are herbs that have been traditionally used, along with practices such as meditation, to cultivate our wisdom, higher consciousness, and allow our Spirit to shine bright.

The SHEN formula contains a collection of herbs that both stabilise and tone Shen, along with others that nourish Qi, build and move Blood.

In Chinese philosophy, Shen is said to be ever present and rule over our lives naturally. However if we allow ourselves to become stuck in a state of stress and imbalance, the emotions and ego will compete for dominance, causing our Shen to withdraw and become hidden.

Shen stabilising herbs act to steady the emotions so they can play out without becoming dominant, allowing the Shen to feel safe and emerge with ease. Shen tonics directly encourage Shen to “crack” through the body and express itself.
As we’ve mentioned above, when working to enhance our capacity to harness Shen energy, it is imperative that we nourish our Jing and Qi, as the Shen requires a body (Jing) to sustain itself and radiate/shine through (Qi).

Blood building herbs support the body’s foundational Essence or Jing and nourish the energy of the Liver, the organ responsible for cleansing, storing and creating our Blood. While Blood moving herbs and Qi tonics encourage the smooth flow of Qi throughout the organs and meridians. This is an extremely important action as Blood follows Qi and Shen is carried via the Blood.

The accompanying herbs in the SHEN formula:

  • Encourage the fluid movement of Blood throughout the organs and meridians.
  • Harmonise the Blood, ensuring it is not running too hot, or too cold.
  • Stabilise the surrounding organs of the Heart.
  • Nourish and build Blood.
  • Support Liver Qi.
  • Harmonise the primary herbs in the formula, allowing the energetics of the blend to fully integrate throughout the body’s systems.
  • Nourish Qi, to ensure the formula is dispersed completely through the organs and meridians.

 

The SuperFeast SHEN Blend Is

  • A potent 10:1 herbal extract powder.
  • Gluten free.
  • Zero additives / starches / preservatives; 100% pure herbs only
  • Ethically and sustainably sourced and produced.

 

What Are The Herbs In The SHEN Blend

The herbs in the SuperFeast SHEN formula are as follows:



Chief - Primary Direct Action
Reishi
Albizia Flower
Asparagus Root

Deputy - Secondary Minor Action
Spirit Poria

Assistant -  Supportive Action
Pearl
Polygala Root
Rehmannia Root

Envoy - Harmonising Action
Citrus Peel
Longan Berry

Where Do The Herbs In The SHEN Blend Grow?

The herbs in the SuperFeast SHEN blend are sourced Di Dao (Di Tao) from various regions in China. See below for the sourcing region, harvesting medium and extraction method.

Reishi
  • Sourced from the Dabie Mountains of China.
  • Traditionally grown on wild Duan Wood Oak.
  • A dual extraction of the herb body (fruiting) is used.

Albizzia Flower
  • Sourced from the Sichuan, Hubei regions of China.
  • Grown wild in the soil of its native land.
  • A single water extract of the herb body (flower) is used.

Asparagus Root
  • Sourced from the Guangxi, Sichuan and Guizhou regions of China.
  • Traditionally grown in the wild soil of its native land.
  • A single water extract of the herb body (root) is used.

Spirit Poria Sclerotium
  • Sourced from the Yunan and Hunan regions of China.
  • Traditionally grown on wild Duan Wood Pine.
  • A single water extract of the herb body (fruiting) is used.

Pearl
  • Sourced from the Zhejiang region of China.
  • Traditionally grown in the freshwater lakes of its native land.
  • A super micro-ground powder of the oyster pearl is used.

Polygala Root:
  • Sourced from the Shanxi, Shaanxi regions of China.
  • Grown wild in the soil of its native land.
  • A single water extraction of the herb body (root) is used.

Rehmannia Root:
  • Sourced from the Henan, Shanxi regions of China.
  • Traditionally grown in the wild soil of its native land.
  • A single water extract of the herb body (root) is used.

Citrus Peel
  • Sourced from the Sichuan, Hubei, Guangdong regions of China.
  • Traditionally grown in the wild soil of its native land.
  • A single water extraction of the herb body (peel) is used.

Longan Berry
  • Sourced from the Guangxi, Guangdong and Fujian regions of China.
  • Traditionally grown in the wild soil of its native land.
  • A single water extraction of the herb body (fruiting) is used.

 

A Spotlight On The Herbs In The Shen Blend

REISHI MUSHROOM

Botanical Name: Ganoderma lucidum.
Plant Family: Ganodermataceae.
Chinese Name/s: 靈芝
Organ/s & Meridian/s: Heart, Liver, Lung and Kidney.
Energetics: Slightly warm.
Treasure/s: Jing, Qi and Shen.
Taste/s: Bitter.
Part/s Used Medicinally: Fruiting bodies.

Herbal Commentary:
Reishi’s capacity to nourish Shen is the reason why it is the most revered herb in the Daoist system. With the ability to enter four of the five major organ systems and tone all Three Treasures, Reishi is a truly impressive herb that earns the top position above ginseng in the Shen Nong Materia Medica, the oldest and most esteemed herbal text of Chinese medicine. The Shen Nong praises Reishi as “the most superior of all herbs”.

Despite having such a wide reaching action on the body, it is simply the herb’s ability to alleviate stress, calm the mind and promote vitality (especially when used in conjunction with a spiritual practice) that affords it such a powerful reputation.

Western research attributes this to increased immunity along with nervous and endocrine system regulation. However in Daoism it is Reishi’s synergistic impact on various organ systems, particularly the Liver (Blood), Lungs (Qi) and Kidneys (Jing), that allows it to have such a potent and nourishing impact the Heart Fire, actions that calm and strengthen Shen.


ALBIZIA FLOWER

Botanical Name: Albizia julibrissin.
Plant Family: Fabaceae.
Chinese Name/s: 合欢花
Organ/s & Meridian/s: Heart, Liver, Stomach (Lung) (Spleen)
Energetics: Neutral.
Treasure/s: Shen.
Taste/s: Sweet.
Part/s Used Medicinally: Flower

Herbal Commentary:
In traditional Oriental medicine, albizzia is known as “the happiness herb”. Both the flower and the bark are used to calm the Spirit and relieve anxiety, stress and depression, all of which are signs of Shen disturbance. The bark of the albizzia plant is thought to have an anchoring effect on the Spirit (Shen stabilising), while the flower is said to lighten it (Shen tonic), and the herb as a whole is considered to be one of the ultimate Shen herbs of the Daoist system. Albizzia is of the best herbs to use when one is feeling deflated, down on themselves or experiencing grief as a result of severe loss.

ASPARAGUS ROOT

Botanical Name: Asparagus cochinchinensis.
Plant Family: Liliaceae.
Chinese Name/s: 天门冬
Organ/s & Meridian/s: Lung, Kidney, Heart.
Energetics: Cold.
Treasure/s: Yin Jing, Qi and Shen.
Taste/s: Sweet and bitter.

Herbal Commentary:
Asparagus root is one of the absolute superstar herbs of Shen herbalism. The herb is said to open the Heart centre, assisting Shen to flourish. It has been used by spiritual seekers for generations to enhance meditation and increase feelings of universal love and oneness.

Long term use of asparagus root is said to create a mild manner that exudes happiness. It is the herbs’ Heart opening ability that encourages one to develop a “birds eye view” of life, allowing the user to rise above the mundane world of right and wrong to experience life from multiple points of view rather than just one. Long term use also said to make one feel so buoyant and light that they feel like they can “fly”. From these actions we can see why this herb is a foundational tool used by the Daoists in practices that encourage connection to Spirit.

As a Qi and Yin Jing herb, asparagus root nourishes the foundational elements required for the expression of Shen, invigorating the sexual energy of both men and women. In this sense the herb is used to express the love that is cultivated in the Heart on both the physical and sexual levels, with greater power.

Asparagus root is a revered Lung and Qi herb that brings vitality and radiance to the body and skin, it does so via its nourishing action on Lung and Kidney Yin.

SPIRIT PORIA

Botanical Name: Scierotium Pararadicis Poriae Cocos.
Plant Family: Pinaceae.
Chinese Name/s: 茯神
Organ/s & Meridian/s: Heart, Spleen, Kidney, Lung.
Energetics: Neutral.
Treasure/s: Shen.
Taste/s: Sweet, bland.
Part/s Used Medicinally: Scierotium.

Herbal Commentary:
Spirit poria is a special variety of the poria mushroom prized for its premium capacity as a Shen tonic and Shen stabilising herb. Spirit poria is the portion of the poria mushroom that contains the root of the pine tree upon which it has grown. Regular poria is the fruiting body of the mushroom, while spirit poria is the sclerotium. This special part of the herb is imbued with the transformational energy involved in the alchemical process that turns pine (wood) into mushroom.

Spirit poria contains all of the Spleen toning and Water regulating actions of regular poria along with its additional impact on Shen. When Water Qi stagnation occurs below the Heart one can often feel a dampening of the Spirit, the Water regulating capacity of spirit poria alleviates this state allowing the Heart Fire to shine bright once again.

Spirit poria calms the Heart, anchors Shen and nourishes the Spirit allowing Shen to become more grounded. Spirit poria is a very special herb used to help Daoist masters to attain enlightenment.

PEARL POWDER

Botanical Name: Margarita
Animal Family: Oyster.
Chinese Name/s: 珍珠;
Organ/s & Meridian/s: Heart and Liver.
Energetics: Cold.
Treasure/s: Shen.
Taste/s: Salty, sweet.
Part/s Used Medicinally: Oyster pearl.

Herbal Commentary:
Pearl is one of the most popular beauty herbs in Oriental herbalism, and it is the herbs' cooling action on both the Heart and Liver that affords it this position. Primarily pearl acts as a Shen stabilising herb via its ability to pacify the Heat associated with feelings of anger and frustration (Liver). When these intense emotions are not expressed/moved through the body they can cause anxiety and overthinking which damage the Heart. When the emotions are in harmony the Heart becomes a safe place for Shen to reside, removing stress and emotional disharmony allows one to shine bright.

Pearl has a high mineral content and is said to nourish the skin and remove blemishes when used consistently over time. Many of the Shen tonic herbs also act as beauty tonics via their ability to pacify emotional disharmony allowing the Spirit to shine through the body and radiate.

POLYGALA

Botanical Name: Polygala tenuifolia.
Plant Family: Polygalaceae.
Chinese Name/s: 远志
Organ/s & Meridian/s: Heart, Lungs.
Energetics: Warm (slightly warm).
Treasure/s: Shen.
Taste/s: Bitter, acrid.
Part/s Used Medicinally: Root.

Herbal Commentary:
Polygala is truly one of the most profound and interesting tonic herbs in existence, and it warms our hearts knowing that so many of you will be experiencing this herb through the SHEN blend.

Polygala is translated as Profound Will, a name given to the herb for its ability to strengthen the innate Will. The part of ourselves (and psyche) that is able to take thoughts and intentions and manifest them into creation through persistence, clarity of mind, confidence from self knowing and hard work. Our Will emerges naturally when Zhi, the spirit of the Kidneys, is able to express itself. This occurs when the Kidney Water is nourished and flowing. Zhi is such an important part of who we are as humans that it is considered to be the Fourth Treasure in the Daoist system. Many people in China use polygala to quit addictive behaviours such as smoking, to enable their willpower to hold strong.

Polygala is a primary Shen tonic used to calm the mind and steady the emotions so one can find clarity. The herb is used when Heart Yin is deficient and anxiety, heart palpitations, poor memory and restlessness are present.

Polygala fortifies the connection between the Kidneys and the Heart. The herb elicits this action via it’s ability to open the Penetrating Vessel, known by Daoists as the physic channel. This enables the sexual energy of the Kidneys to rise and unite with the infinite love that emanates from the Heart. Bringing a greater emotional element to our sex life, enhancing the way we connect with our own sexual energy and the sexual energy of others. Which is believed to unite the body allowing a deeper, happier experience of life to emerge.

REHMANNIA

Botanical Name: Rehmannia glutinosa.
Plant Family: Orobanchaceae.
Chinese Name/s: 熟地黄
Organ/s & Meridian/s: Kidney, Liver and Heart.
Energetics: Warm.
Treasure/s: Yin Jing and Blood.
Taste/s: Sweet.
Part/s Used Medicinally: Root.

Herbal Commentary:
As we’ve explored above, Shen lives in the Heart and travels throughout the body via the Blood. For Shen to thrive, the Blood needs to be abundant, temperate, healthy, clean and flowing smoothly. If Blood is deficient, Shen (higher consciousness) cannot reach the body’s tissues and fulfil its purpose. This is why Blood building herbs such as rehmannia, are crucial elements in the overall efficacy of the SHEN formula.

Shen disturbances can often stem from Yin deficiency, and although the SHEN formula aims to enhance health and not treat or cure, its nourishing effect on the body’s Yin energy is always an important element to maintain when working in the sphere of longevity and prevention. When one cannot stay asleep at night, often it is a lack of Yin Jing at the core of the disharmony, and rehmmania is a key herb to helps to alleviate these states.

Rehmannia is referred to as the “Kidneys own food” and has been used for thousands of years in the diet of herbalists, elders and Daoists for its safety and deeply nourishing action on the Blood, Kidney and Liver Yin. Rehmannia is a true giver of life and one of the most precious longevity herbs in the Daoist arsenal.

CITRUS PEEL

Botanical Name: Pericarpium Citri Reticulatae
Plant Family: Rutaceae.
Chinese Name/s: 陈皮
Organ/s & Meridian/s: Lung, Spleen, Stomach.
Energetics: Warm.
Treasure/s: Qi
Taste/s: Acrid, bitter, aromatic.
Part/s Used Medicinally: Peel.

Herbal Commentary:
Citrus peel is commonly used to amplify (augment) the capacity of the Spleen, Stomach and Lungs to ensure the chief and deputy herbs in a formula are integrated smoothly.

Citrus peel regulates the flow of Qi and is used to prevent any blockages

The SHEN formula contains several herbs that move and build Qi, citrus peel is a specialist herb that is used to prevent blockages, clearing the way for stuck emotions to move smoothly, riding the flow of Qi, (remember Shen travels on the Blood, and the Blood follows the Qi).

In the formula citrus peel combines with spirit poria to alleviate any dampness that has accumulated in the Spleen. This ensures the asparagus root is able to work in full effect without obstruction from conditions of Cold or Damp.

Blockages in the digestive system or Lungs, impede us from digesting past and present experiences, impeding our ability to develop and express Shen. Citrus peel works primarily on these systems ensuring obstructions are cleared by encouraging the movement of Qi.

LONGAN BERRY

Botanical Name: Dimocarpus longan.
Plant Family: Sapindaceae.
Chinese Name/s: 龙眼肉
Organ/s & Meridian/s: Spleen, Heart.
Energetics: Warm.
Treasure/s: Blood and Qi.
Taste/s: Sweet.
Part/s Used Medicinally: Fruit.

Herbal Commentary:
Longan berry is another famous Daoist beauty tonic known to nourish the Heart and support the development of Shen. The herbs fortifying actions as a Qi and Blood tonic assists it to provide the Heart with enough Blood to stay functional, enabling the Shen to travel smoothly throughout the body.

Longan is used to remedy Shen disturbances that present as heart palpitations, insomnia, forgetfulness and anxiety. Longan has a stabilising action the Shen (and emotions), especially when supporting the primary Shen tonics in the SHEN formula. The herb has overall strengthening action on the body, and has been used for thousands of years to keep geriatic patients functional.

The Three Major Benefits Of The SHEN Blend

The SHEN blend, like many of the SuperFeast products, is versatile and can be used for a variety of reasons/intentions. In general, tonic herbs are wide reaching in their action, working to harmonise the flow of Qi throughout body's organ systems.

Like the earth and its seasons, the body's Qi prefers to flow in a particular cycle. We use tonic herbs to support this innate rhythm, with the intention to encourage our physical, mental and spiritual selves to run as one embodied organism.

Shen herbs work primarily through the Heart meridian system to keep this cycle of Qi flowing smoothly. The Heart controls the rhythm and circulation of Blood throughout the body, delivering life, nourishment and Spirit to every cell (Blood follows Qi remember). In tonic herbalism the Heart is seen as the Emperor and the primary governing force behind the health of the system as a whole. 

We use the SHEN formula primarily to help release emotional disturbance, and mental chatter so we can move through our days, months and years, with a calm mind and joyful spirit, rising above the obstacles of our lived experience to gain wisdom and character.

1.Releasing Mental Stress And Calming The Monkey Mind

In the West we've become familiar with the Buddhist concept of "the monkey mind" which is characterised by feelings of confusion and mental unrest. In Daoist philosophy the Liver is the "mother" of the Heart and the organ responsible for ensuring our emotions are processed/expressed with fluidity and grace. When we are overcome with stress and mental noise (pretty common in the West right?!) Liver Qi can stagnate and become blocked, disrupting the smooth flow of Qi, this interruption damages the Heart, impairing its capacity to provide an accomodating home for our Shen.

When emotional turmoil overrides our ability to think and act appropriately the Spirit will withdraw. Shen herbs work beautifully in these instances to harmonise the emotions so our Spirit feels safe to shine through. The herbs in the SHEN formula help to pacify the patterns that lead to and result in erratic emotions, stress and mental tension.

2.Cultivating Your Wisdom And Virtuous Nature

As we've explored above, healthy Shen allows us to operate from a 'birds eye view' so we can release reactivity and approach our lives from a higher vantage point. When we are able to allow the events of life to playout and respond rather than react, we start to inhabit the domain of our Shen energy. To follow on from above; once we start to release mental tension and stress, we're free'd up to feel into the space those emotions once occupied. This space allows us to face the challenges in our lives with greater harmony and ease. 

3.Deepening Your Meditation/Spiritual Practice

Generally the aim of any meditative or spiritual practice is to know the true self, the you that is beyond the confines of your circumstance/predisposition in life. Spiritual practice in whatever form you choose, requires patience and persistence (anyone who's done Vipassana knows these two words well!). Shen herbs come in to support such pursuits not only to ground and calm wayward mental energy that serves as an obstacle to such awareness, but also to strengthen the resolve needed to persevere. In the SHEN blend, herbs such as polygala, aka The Will Strengthener, fortify Zhi, the spirit of the Kidneys, encouraging our willpower to hold strong. Rehmannia offers deep nourishment to the Blood and Kidney Yin anchoring us deeply into our physical form. While asparagus root and reishi open our Heart to the Heavenly consciousness that is all around. These synergistic herbal actions solidify the body's ability to act as the bridge between Heaven and Earth so we may channel our highest nature into all our earthly endeavours.

Is The Shen Blend Right For You?

The SHEN blend can be of great assistance when you are working to:

  • Deepen your meditative practices.
  • Cultivate a calm and quiet mind.
  • Steady your emotions.
  • Harmonise mental disturbances. Shen herbs can help bring the Spirit back into the body. Depression, anxiousness and states of panic or despondency can suggest that there is a Heart Fire/Shen disharmony. Shen herbs will not come in as an absolute treatment, rather as a nice support, along with professional care.
  • Increase overall joyfulness and sparkle. Shen herbs can be used to cultivate a feeling of buoyancy when you’re feeling lifeless and dull. 
  • Take the next step in your tonic herb journey, after replenishing your Kidney Essence/Jing.

 

Does this sound like you? If so head to our online store to pick up your jar/bag today... And get zen with SHEN!


The Shen Blend Pairs Well With

In the context of health optimisation and the Daoist 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 SHEN blend, pair its use with the following:

  • Meditation.
  • Yogic practices.
  • Qi Gong.
  • Psychological development.
  • Tantric or Daoist sexual practices (or when bringing greater love and consciousness to your sex life in general).
  • Therapy.
  • Emotional release.
  • Experiencing monkey mind.
  • Heartbreak.
  • Work to alleviate anxiousness.
  • Mental stress reduction practices.
  • Spirit work.
  • Work with master plants / plant medicine.
  • Mantra.

 

Using The SHEN Blend

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

SHEN blend can be taken at any time of the day, however it is important to note that SHEN is not a sleep formula. Some people experience a beautiful and deep sleep using SHEN before bed, however others may experience vivid dreaming, and lay awake despite feeling tranquil and calm. If you find your dreams are getting becoming so active that your sleep is affected, simply eat more grounding food, ensure your movement practice is physical and connecting you with your body, and lower your dose if you feel it necessary. 

As always. we encourage you to find your unique flow with your herbal practice and experiment with what times work for you and your unique body system.


SHEN-blend

SHEN Recipe - Heart Wide Open Elixir

This dreamy, heart-opening cacao elixir, nourishes your Shen spirit & quietens the monkey mind.  Pair with your meditation practice for optimal benefits.

Ingredients
1 cup hot water
3 tbs coconut milk
(we love the thick milk out of a can)
1/4 - 1 tsp SHEN blend
1 - 2 tsp sweetener
(we love maple)
2 tsp rose water
1 tsp cacao
Pinch salt
Method
Put all in the blender, blend & pour into your favourite
cup.
Makes 1 serve


SHEN vs Reishi

As a formula, the SuperFeast SHEN blend is a collection of the most revered Shen herbs used traditionally in Daoist tonic herbalism. These herbs work not only to tone and stabilise the Shen Treasure, but also to support the creation and flow of Blood and Qi (which are important pillars in the cultivation of Shen energy and overall embodied health).
 
Reishi is a Chief ingredient in the SHEN blend, sharing the stage with other exquisite Shen herbs such as albizzia flower, asparagus root, spirit poria, pearl, polygala root, rehmannia root, citrus Peel and longan berry.
 
As with all our proprietary products, SHEN is Mason's unique formulation, crafted with deep intention to nurture and nourish the Shen Treasure. 

Our Reishi and SHEN blend can be used interchangeably, to personal preference, one is a single herb and one is a formulation containing many herbs, created for a very specific purpose.


SHEN And Pregnancy

As many of you may know, we love Reishi and Eucommia Bark to support a woman during the gestational period, as these are the herbs that were used traditionally in Oriental medicine. We suggest using the SHEN pre and postpartum in alignment with what feels best for each woman individually.

A Final Note

As we’ve explored above, Shen herbs are those that have been used traditionally to support the cultivation and expression of the Shen Treasure, which is housed in the Heart.

Many of these herbs work directly on the Heart Fire system, or on the organs that lead to the regulation of this Fire Qi within the body.

When Heart Fire is tended to, both directly and indirectly by Shen supporting herbs and practices, it can express itself fully and freely, leading us in a direction that is aligned with our higher purpose as human beings. The development of Shen is the primary goal of the Daoist path, and the foundational intention behind the consistent use of tonic herbs.

We hope you enjoy your journey with the SuperFeast SHEN blend, may she walk with you, hand in hand, on your way back to your unique and truest expression of self. 


Resources:

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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