Our frequently asked questions come from you, our SuperFeasters! We love how super-curious our customers are about our herbs, and we take our mission of sourcing the best herbs available very seriously. We are always transparent about our herbs and supplements, about their efficacy and their origins, about our process and about how we use and enjoy them. If your question is not answered below, please feel free to email us via our Contact Us page, and we'll get back to you ASAP.
Tonic herbs were first mentioned in the Emperor Shen Nong's Classic of Herbal Medicine around 2,000 years ago. This text was a culmination of thousands of years of traditional herbal wisdom from the many healers in ancient China. The text classifies herbs according to three distinct categories:
Luckily, tonic herbs fall into the “superior herb” category. These are the herbs that are collectively known to be safe, gentle, well-tolerated and effective. Tonic herbs do not force the body to change, but rather work with it to adapt, allowing a measured, nourishing and normalising effect to unfold within the body and its systems. Traditionally consumed daily in small doses to promote longevity and prevent illness, these remedies offer nourishment to the vital organs, strengthen essential functions and improve quality of life, without negative side effects.
Tonic herbs are further categorised Yin Jing, Yang Jing, Qi, Blood and Shen tonics, as they nourish these fundamental energies of the body, which are also known as the Three Treasures. You can read more about the Three Treasures here.
Many of the tonic herbs also fall into a category of foods called 'adaptogens' as they aid the body to modulate one or many of its functions. The term adaptogen has become a buzzword and risen to fame in the health world in recent years. As such, it is important to remember that even though tonic herbs have an adaptive and normalising action within the body and its systems, they are not all technically classified as adaptogens in the Western sense of the word.
The term adaptogen was coined around the 1940/50’s when scientists were investigating the use of various herbs on individuals who were required to thrive in extreme conditions, for example: soldiers, pilots, sailors, astronauts, athletes etc. Within this context, it was found that a herb could be classified as an adaptogen if it was to embody certain characteristics such as:
The herbs within the SuperFeast range that are generally viewed by the scientific community as adaptogens include Schizandra, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Astragalus and Cordyceps.
The terms ‘tonic’ and ‘adaptogen’ are often used interchangeably, however, their origins are derived from two very different spheres of application; tonic from the Daoist healing system and adaptogen from Western clinical herbalism. These days the term ‘adaptogen’ is further expanded into three tiers including; primary adaptogen, secondary adaptogen and adaptogen companion. It’s a slippery topic which can get quite confusing, especially in our modern landscape where the terms are thrown around willy nilly without context.
Drawing our inspiration from the Daoist perspective, we love to place our focus on the gentle yet profound healing qualities of the tonic herbs with which we choose to work. We’re not super concerned with whether or not they’re all technically classified as adaptogenic, rather that they share such wonderfully nourishing qualities with our bodies and organs.
Tonic herbs are not a trend. Their medicinal use is grounded in thousands of years of empirical evidence. The safety and efficacy of many of the tonic herbs is beginning to be acknowledged by modern science, confirming the effects the ancient herbalists monitored over thousands of years of practice. You can read more about them here.
Medicinal mushrooms are unmatched in their ability to build immunity and adaptability within the body and are among some of the world’s most prized tonic herbs (see above). In the wild, medicinal mushrooms are tree dwelling, favouring the bark of the particular trees in which to grow. Chaga thrives on the bark of the birch tree, we source it wild, it can’t be wild harvested like our Reishi. Wild Reishi is extremely rare and insanely expensive, we consciously harvest ours on wild oak as this enables us to supply you with a herb that boasts the most robust and adaptive medicinal profile possible. This is our intention and focus for all our SuperFeast products. Many other companies, nearly all who occupy the market today, supply medicinal mushrooms that are grown on a cereal medium, usually a grain such as rice, this leads to a false reading when we start delving into the world of active constituents such as polysaccharides and beta glucans, but that’s a conversation for another time! Our herbs are traditionally gathered from the trees they love to grow on, allowing you to receive the maximum medicinal benefits. Check out some of our favourites here.
Medicinal mushrooms are definitely magic in the way that they allow their medicine to unfold within the body, however they are NOT magic mushrooms, you know, the psychedelic kind Timothy Leary was into. There is some emerging evidence that suggests the active compounds in these varieties can also be of medicinal benefit, which is super cool and exciting for some folk. We’re more interested in Taoist Tonic Herbalism so this is what we place our focus on.
Well yes of course we are! Given our powers from the earth, sky, moon, sun, the stars and the herbs that harness these cosmic energies… But guess what you are too!
The SuperFeast crew are an allegiance of SuperHumans brought together by the SuperPowers these beautiful tonic herbs have given us. You can call us the The Dao Dream Team baby! Kidding! But seriously you can if you want, it’ll make us feel special.
Miron glass only allows ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) light to penetrate. In the Taoist and Yogic traditions, violet light is thought to express the highest vibrational frequency of (720 – 770 billion Hertz) of all the colours, corresponding exactly to the vibration frequency of our central nervous system. Research shows that products stored in this special miron glass are not only exceptionally well preserved but also enriched and activated, providing protection against degradation for up to three years. How’s that for longevity!
Check out our article on #mymiron to get inspo on how to repurpose your jars.
The short answer is yes! Repurpose those jars people, they are too good to throw away or even recycle. We want you re-using! The earth (and the fairies) need your help!
We deliberately choose to only work with herbal extract powders, we do so, simply, for their convenience and medicinal potency (ours are extracted at a 10:1 ratio; 10kgs of herb is reduced down into a 1kg concentrate). We wholeheartedly believe the kitchen is the heart of the home and feel herbs extracted in this way can be easily integrated into the daily diet as functional foods. Traditionally tonic herbs were incorporated in a similar way, primarily taken in teas and culinary dishes throughout the day.
Most herbs need to undergo some form of processing in order for their medicinal properties to become bio-available for human consumption. A process that may involve steeping the herb in boiling water for 20 mins - 2+ hrs or leaving it to extract in alcohol for weeks, months or even years! This can be a lengthy process and who has time for that in this modern age..
Although we do highly recommend exploring that if you're keen! When extracting our herbs, we want a product that the mum of 4, the busy student, the executive and the intrepid wanderer are all able to use with ease, this ensures longevity in the practice, and longevity is what we’re all about baby! We feel these herbal extract powders offer just that. Our herbs are fully extracted, have a 2 year expiry, and are not heat sensitive, so they can be added to any hot or cold foods and beverages of choice.
You know how the Greeks used a big wooden horse filled with soldiers to take down the city of Troy? Yeah, genius right? We use a similar method to help get these beautiful herbs into as many bellies as we can, even the most reluctant ones. We sneak or “trojan horse” these herbs into coffees, teas, smoothies, soups, stews, bliss balls etc We have so many mums and dads that are seriously championing this approach, the family spaghetti bolognese is a real winner on this front, the kids will never suspect a thing! Check out our recipe page for more inspo!
To extract means to pull or to draw out, when you apply this concept to plant materials such as tonic herbs and medicinal mushrooms, it essentially describes the process used to obtain the compounds responsible for the plants medicinal profile. These compounds are generally extracted using a solvent such as water or alcohol. We use both of these mediums to extract our herbs, singularly and together. Each method is beneficial, and use is dependant on the particular active constituent/s we wish to extract. Alcohol is used to draw out the fat-soluble components of the herbs, such as triterpenoids. While water is used to obtain the herbs immune-boosting polysaccharides. Some herbs contain active constituents that are both fat and water soluble, this is where we bring in the dual extraction method. Here both water and alcohol are used to acquire the herb’s full medicinal profile. When extracting our herbs we use quality spring water and organic non-GMO rice alcohol, this ensures a product that is both full bodied and potent. To simplify - If you've ever had a herbal tincture from the naturopath, you're taking an alcohol extract; if you've ever boiled herbs in hot water for a long time you've had a water extract.
After extracting our herbs in either water or water and alcohol (for a dual-extraction), the concentrated liquid extract is dried using an ultra high-speed spray dryer. During this process, the herbal liquid concentrate is atomised into fine droplets, which are thrown radially into a moving stream of hot gas. The temperature of the droplets is immediately increased and fine droplets become dried instantaneously. The whole drying process is completed in just a few seconds, ensuring herbal potency is retained at the maximum level.
In the spray drying process, heat and mass transfer while drying occurs in the air, protecting the vapour films surrounding the extract, preventing it from being damaged by the heat. This protective envelope of vapour keeps the particle at the saturation temperature. As long as the particle does not become “bone-dry”, evaporation is still taking place and the temperature of the solids will not approach the dryer temperature. This is why many heat-sensitive products can be spray dried easily at relatively high temperatures. The herbal extracts are then sifted through a fine mesh, to achieve a uniform consistency to the final product.
SuperFeast tonic herbs are packed by hand, with love, in our Byron Bay warehouse by an epic bunch of (super) humans. We use ultra violet miron glass jars (the herbs are also available in bulk) to store our herbs, this preserves the integrity of herb by protecting it from the entire visible light spectrum.
The herbs are packed by weight, not volume and each herb has its own unique profile. Some of the herbs are dense, while others are lighter. This may result in a variance of the space the herbs are able to occupy in each jar. For example, Neural Nectar and Beauty Blend, are heavier in nature and will settle at a lower volume in your Miron jar or Kraft bag. Whereas Astragalus and Lion's Mane are fluffy and light, and will therefore take up more surface area, which results in their volume appearing fuller in your Miron jar or Kraft bag.
We don’t just sell these herbs, we take these herbs, we give them to our families, we give them to our friends. Therefore we only focus on producing products of the highest quality and purity. This is our mission, burning passion and deep desire with SuperFeast. To ensure this happens our herbs go through a series of rigorous testing.
We test all our products, In both China and Australia.
We obtain Certificates of Analysis (CoA’s) for all our products from our manufacturer in China, these are completed in house by trained scientists employed by our herb manufacturer. If you would like to see our CoA's please contact our lovely Customer Service Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
We test for: Aflatoxins, Heavy Metals, Pesticides and Microbiological Data. We also obtain fingerprint chromatography for each of our herbs, this ensures each herb is correctly identified as the species we want to work with (eg. red reishi is Ganoderma lucidum - botanical name).
In Australia, we test at two TGA approved facilities.
1. National Measurements Institute: here we test for Pesticides (herbicides, organochlorine (OC) pesticides, carbamates, organophosphate (OP) pesticides, synthetic pyrethroids, fungicides etc) Heavy Metals (lead, copper, mercury etc)
2. Chemical Analysis Lab: Microbiological testing (yeasts, moulds, bacteria etc)
Our herbs are grown Di Dao, in environments completely free of pesticides, here the wild ecology of the land flourishes, allowing the herbs to prosper within their own seasonal rhythms. There is absolutely no need for the introduction of chemicals of any kind into these wild settings, the intelligence of companion planting keeps things in check. Our test results confirm this, with results showing a zero reading for each of our products every single time. You can read more about our traditional Di Dao growing methods below. .
We do not standardise our products, nor do we focus on isolated compounds. We believe in the medicinal value of the whole herb. We use traditional extraction methods to ensure that the full range of medicinal compounds and energetic qualities are extracted from our herbs. We feel this results in a potent product that is just as nature intended. We never synthetically isolate, manipulate or standardise our herbs for particular active constituents. We test our herbs to ensure that certain active compounds are naturally present at levels compliant with the Chinese Pharmacopeia, in this regard therapeutic effects are guaranteed
Generally we recommend taking the herbs daily in small doses to begin with, this allows you to develop an understanding and acknowledgement of how the herbs are unfolding their medicinal magic for you. Start with 1/4-1/2 teaspoon per day, building up to a good heaped teaspoon per day once you feel it necessary within your unique body system.
Doses can be taken as high as up to two teaspoons per day, however most people find their sweet spot with one heaped teaspoon per herb, per day. We call this sweet spot your "lifestyle dose".
Dosage is very personal, some people require larger doses - larger bodies, stronger constitutions, while others need smaller doses - smaller bodies, more sensitive constitutions. Your body will let you know if you need more or less as you experiment, and we encourage you to trust your body’s innate wisdom and intuition.
The flavour profile of the herb/blend will also influence your dosage range and often dictate how high you can take your dose. Listen to this guide as it is very useful in finding what is appropriate for you.
A dose taken in the morning is usually well received, however you can take the herbs at any time that suits your daily flow and lifestyle. A warm Jing is a wonderful way to welcome in your day, while Reishi is a beautiful night time tonic, assisting a restful nights sleep.
Building your dose up over a couple of weeks is a really lovely practice and allows the space for awareness and understanding to develop in regards to how your body, mind and spirit are receiving the herbs.
If you would like to learn a little more about how to use these beautiful tonic herbs, click here to listen to our SuperFeast 101 podcast, Mason answers all our commonly asked questions. A insightful and informative listen.
How long your jar lasts will depend on the amount you are taking each day. There are approximately 50 1/2tsp serves in a 100g jar and 25 1/2tsp serves in a 50g jar, if you are taking more or less than those quantities then adjust the math accordingly.
This is very subjective as we all have unique body systems, so there is no cut and dry answer. When you experience results will depend on your level of internal awareness, constitutional sensitivity and current health condition. Benefits may be felt immediately or it may take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month for you to feel the shifts within your body. We’re all about consistent action taken with intent, with space left for your health to unfold in a way that is unique to your own individual life path.Tonic Herbalism is all about consistency, with medicinal benefits accumulating over time. Longevity in the practice cultivates longevity in the body, and as long as you are taking the herbs they will be working their magic for you. We recommend consuming one or more of our products regularly for at least 30-100 days to really allow the medicine to unfold within your system.
Our herbs are fully extracted and can be added to any hot or cold foods or beverages of choice, no need for activation here folks! Just mix, blend or stir them into your favourite drink or meal and voilà! A tonic treat awaits you. We’re all about upgrading your practices, taking what you’re already doing, supercharging it and making it better! Revolutionising your health through simple intentional actions.We love adding our herbs to hot cacao, tea, coffee (if we’re vibing it) juices, smoothies and tonic elixirs. For more inspo check out our recipes page and our "How To Make A Tonic Drink" article.
The tonic herbs work in synergy with one another and were traditionally formulated to carry a certain intention and energetic within the body. In this regard they are well suited to be added to your foods, drinks and tonic elixirs in combinations aligned to your individual intention and needs.
Our blends all contain four or more herbs, when mixing up your favourite medicinal potion feel free to invite a few of your herbal friends to the tonic party. We just ask you be considerate of the dose and ratio when doing so. Say your vibing Jing, Cordyceps and Mason’s Mushrooms be aware that Jing and Mason’s also contain Cordyceps so when mixing all three you’re getting a triple (approximate) Cordyceps dose, nothing to be concerned about, just aware. In this regard we encourage you to feel out your dosage and take the amount that feels aligned and innate to your individual body’s needs. Generally ¼ - 1tsp of each herb per day is great for most people.
We also really love working with the tonic herbs individually, as this gives us the space to cultivate an accurate awareness of how their medicine is unfolding in our systems. We love making a ritual out of our tonic time, taking pause to really align with our intentional choice to work with a particular herb. Taking Reishi for meditation is a great example here. Whether your approach is one of a mad scientist or a zen master, the tonic herbs are versatile and gentle enough to be used daily. Include them into your diet in whichever way suits your daily flow.
When mixing your herbs together it is great to be aware of the energetic nature each one encompasses. For example, if you’re using Qi tonics such as our Neural Nectar, Astragalus or Schizandra and know that your system is energised easily or very receptive, use herbs that encourage the movement of Qi, such as those mentioned above, at appropriate times. E.g. take these herbs in the AM rather than the PM to ensure you’re alert when you need to be and sleepy when it’s necessary.
Yeast and fungal overgrowth (for example, Candida albicans) in the body is a critical health issue being faced by many. Much of the time these yeast and fungal conditions are expressed in the body due to a lack of gut health, immune function and an inability to detoxify pathogens. It is assumed by many that all edible mushrooms contribute further to this issue, however this is a misconception when it comes to the medicinal mushrooms. By reestablishing a strong, efficient and intelligent immune system, you dramatically enhance your capacity to bring that infection under control. Medicinal mushrooms are the most efficient food source of the building blocks of your immune system, and they contribute to this by boosting bone marrow secretion rates, enhancing natural killer cell function, contributing to immunological adaptability and feeding systemic immunity via the high polysaccharide content of medicinal mushrooms. Time and time again medicinal mushrooms such as Reishi, Chaga, Lions Mane and Cordyceps have proven to be a powerful addition to the diet for those working to overcome candida overgrowth.
Tonic herbs, the kind we sell at SuperFeast, come in to one's lifestyle as a supportive measure to assist the smooth flow of Qi within the organ systems and the body as a whole. We offer any recommendations we make from this place. Any advice we provide is to educate, not to treat, diagnose, or cure. At SuperFeast, we use these potent tonic herbs to help the body return to its innate rhythm and flow, encouraging vibrancy and lightness within the body, mind, and spirit.Tonic herbs are generally warming, building, and nourishing. In the context of health optimisation and the Daoist tradition, tonic herbs are not directly used to treat individual symptoms, instead to create harmony and strength within the system as a whole. In this regard we generally recommend our Reishi and Eucommia Bark during pregnancy as there is quite a lot of empirical use of these herbs in pregnancy in Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Daoist Tonic Herbalism. There are no studies that restrict the consumption of red reishi (SuperFeast Reishi is red reishi) to any specific person. However as pregnancy is a very individual journey, we recommend checking in with your health care provider when starting on any new herbs or supplements as they will have a more comprehensive scope of your medical history. Reishi is used to fortify immunity, adaptability and hormone health and offers the nervous system deep support. In the eastern philosophy there is a concept of “reishi babies”, this is a beautiful quality observed in babies whose mothers took reishi during and after pregnancy. Eucommia Bark replenishes Kidney energy and helps to build a strong and flexible skeletal structure (especially the knees and lower back), it also supports tendon and ligament health. Our founder Mason, and his partner Tahnee used a variety of our tonic herbs and medicinal mushrooms pre, during and post partum with their daughter Aiya and created a great series of podcasts on the topic, sharing the herbs they used on their journey into parenthood, we recommend you tune in here and here to gauge what is appropriate for your individual system. Postpartum we recommend our I Am Gaia blend. The process of birth depletes a woman of her Qi and Blood and the herbs in the Gaia formula assist to rebuild these foundational aspects of a woman’s health. For more insight into postpartum care we recommend listening to this podcast. The majority of our herbs are safe to use while breastfeeding, this includes the medicinal mushrooms, tonic herbs and our JING, QI and Gaia blends. We always suggest introducing new herbs slowly and in low doses, this allows the body to adjust and for the benefits to unfold at a pace relevant to your individual system. We do not recommend Beauty Blend, Schizandra or MSM at this time as these herbs influence the body’s detox pathways, especially through the Liver. Mobilising toxicity while breastfeeding is not ideal. If intuitively you feel the Beauty Blend, Schizandra and MSM are relevant to use at this time, please do so in small quantities or under the guidance of your health care provider. We also do not recommend Neural Nectar while breastfeeding as Mucuna, a herb present in the blend, has been shown to inhibit prolactin. The study that reported this finding used men as the test subjects so the jury is still out in this regard. We suggest using Lions Mane instead of Neural Nectar while breastfeeding.
We send newsletters regularly with offers, as well as offering sales throughout the year.
If you’re trying to enter your discount code in at the checkout and it’s not working, contact us.
Our promotions are while stocks last, and unfortunately we are unable to take preorders or honour sale prices after the promotion has ended.
If you, like us, live in a humid climate, we advise taking extra special care when storing your herbs. Bulk bags can be kept in the freezer in a sealed container. If keeping bags outside the freezer, just ensure you push the air out before sealing and they will stay fresh.
It’s important to use a clean dry spoon each time you dose your herbs to ensure no additional moisture finds its way into your jar or bag. If this happens your herbs may start to go clumpy or solidify completely (if left for longer periods).
It is best to maintain a consistent herbal practice once the seal is removed, this will minimise the chance of your herbs hardening.
If you are in a humid area, and you only have a small amount of herb left on your jar, it is recommended to occasionally shake the jar to prevent clumping and setting.
If your herbs go hard please contact us via email at email@example.com or call 1300 769 500
It is somewhat of an annoying initiation for long term SuperFeast users when the end of a jar becomes hard, but please know that we’re here to support you all the way.If any moisture does get into your products, you may find that your powders can end up clumpy or hard, especially if you’re not using them at least weekly. All the more reason to use your herbs regularly! The reason the end of a jar or bag tends to be more susceptible to solidifying is due to the fact that humid air becomes trapped inside once resealed. To minimise this happening push the air out of your bags when closing, and ensure you don’t leave your jars unused for weeks at a time. Or at least shake them up if you do.
Remember that keeping your jar or bag in the freezer is your best bet for long term storage.
If your herbs do clump or solidify, don’t fret! The herbs are fully extracted and are still perfectly fine to use, although just a little more difficult to work with, we get it, it’s annoying!
Depending on how much herb is left in your jar, you can remedy the situation in the following ways:
1. Ideally you’ve caught the herbs just as they’re on the edge of clumping into small balls. If this is the case simply shake your jar vigorously or crush the hard herb between your fingers outside your bag and you’ll be good to go.
2. If you only have a small amount of herb, say 1/4 of a jar, you can use boiling water to dissolve the whole mass (if possible) and then store it in the fridge in its dissolved form. From here you can add it into your smoothies, hot drinks and cooking.3. If you have say 1/2 a jar of herb left, you can pour hot water into the jar and dissolve off a good daily dose in layers until the jar is finished. Pouring the dose you’ve dissolved into your foods or drinks. If your herbs have completely solidified and no amount of shaking or boiling water is gonna budge the solid mass, please send a picture of your product and its expiry date to our lovely Customer Service Team at firstname.lastname@example.org who will remedy the situation for you <3
We work primarily with Daoist tonic herbs and therefore source all our medicinal mushrooms and tonic herbs from the pristine mountain regions of China and surrounds. We do so as this is the spiritual homeland or original place of the herbs we love to work with. Sourcing in this way is a method called Di Dao, a practice deeply rooted in tradition and respect for the herb and the land it grows on. You can read more about Di Dao below.
We only source the finest, most potent and robust herbal extracts nature can provide, these are the herbs we take ourselves and share with our families, friends and you, our beloved customer. To do this we go straight to the source, the areas where the tradition of tonic herbalism and lore are established and deeply rooted. We source via the Di Dao, an ancient practice that loosely translates to sourcing something from its “original place” or “spiritual homeland”, a method that results in a product that is both full spectrum and medicinally robust. We want our JING blend to actually have ‘Jing’ (as in Essence) in it! We source traditionally harvested herbs (this includes medicinal mushrooms) from the pristine mountain regions of China and surrounds. Our founder Mason Taylor, works intimately with the independent farmers who nourish and care for these beautiful and potent tonic herbs. Mason has personally observed the practices these individuals employ, walking alongside the farmers, witnessing first hand, their methodologies that are deeply grounded in tradition, ritual, sustainability and respect for the land.
We source our MSM from OptiMSM in the USA. We believe this is the best available MSM on the market. You can read more about at OptiMSM's website.
Our Deer Antler is extracted from Cervus nippon deer bred in Heilongjiang province in China. It is made from the tips of deer antler that have not been ossified. Deer antler velvet is harvested from stags when their antlers are soft and rich with nutritional components like minerals, amino acids, vitamins and enzymes. In the Spring, antlers naturally grow at an astounding rate of almost 2 cm a day. At approximately day 60 of the growing cycle, the free range deer are gathered together and the antlers are harvested under the supervision of licensed and trained veterinarians. Tourniquets and anaesthetics are used to make sure the deer are not hurt in the process of removal. After a few days, when it has been determined that the animals are all in good health, the deer are returned to range free for the remainder of the year. The deer are NOT raised for meat; they too valuable as a source of deer antler velvet and are deeply revered in China.
Once harvested the deer antler is freeze dried and sliced into thin wafers. These thin slices are processed into our potent and full spectrum extract. We only do full spectrum extractions because we believe nature constructs the products to a state of perfection in relation to active ingredients. When you take a natural product like deer antler, and try to boost the levels of one or two of the ‘active ingredients’, you may be getting the intelligence of the product, but you may be leaving behind the wisdom. We source and process herbs as close to nature as possible, in its potent, nutrient rich, non-toxic, full-spectrum glory.
Check out Mason visiting our Deer Antler Velvet farms here!
Our herbs are not organic.
We prefer to source medicinal mushrooms and tonic herbs that have been traditionally grown as per the Di Dao. Di Dao is an ancient practice that loosely translates to sourcing something from its 'original place' or 'spiritual homeland,' a method that results in a product that is robust, potent and medicinally sound.
We want our JING blend to actually have 'Jing' (as in Essence) in it! We believe herbs sourced Di Tao surpass the reductionist approach outlined in the organic certification criteria.
Our love of tonic herbalism was born through our keen study and exploration of the traditional Daoist herbal system, and we feel Di Dao herbs offer a medicinal profile that is directly aligned with the initial reverence placed on these potent tonic herbs.
We prefer to work with independent farms whose methods are aligned with our 'earth-friendly' ethos, where growing practices nourish the land and follow the lineage of the herbal lore. We're not so keen on supporting large umbrella companies as these operations are generally business driven with focus placed on market profitability as opposed to traditional herbalism. This is just the nature of their structure and incentive.
Generally, products with an organic certification have more security in regards to shelf sales than those that are grown via traditional practices, so it is in the interest of these companies to hand out organic certifications to the farms that work under their business structure.
For SuperFeast to become certified organic, it would mean that each time we wanted to bring in a small amount of herb from a new farmer, we would, again, have to pay a certifier to go to each individual farm, a process which is not feasible for us due to the exorbitant costs organic businesses charge.
Our independent farmers are independent; they don't have a large company overseeing and directing them and handing out certifications. For example, our reishi farmer, Mr Lee, has been farming reishi for 20 years and has also been teaching others in the village how to grow Di Tao reishi. We have been purchasing Mr Lee's top stock. We want to support this independent industry that is working to empower the local village and keep the tradition of tonic herbalism alive.
Perhaps we will go organic in some areas as we know we are eligible. Right now, we are allocating our resources towards sourcing quality herbs and thorough in-house and independent third-party testing in alignment with TGA and FDA standards.
Ok, so let’s break down the difference between the fruiting body and the mycelium; the mycelium is the actual living network of the organism, the portion of the herb that has recently been praised for its high polysaccharide content. The fruiting body is the herbs reproductive structure, its expression of new life.
The fruiting body contains beta-glucans and triterpenoids and research shows these compounds are present at a much higher level than those found in the mycelium. Beta-glucans and triterpenoids are the medicinally significant compounds responsible for the mushrooms immune boosting qualities. While the mycelium serves its purpose more so as a prebiotic substance. You can think of these two parts of the mushroom as the tree (mycelium) and the actual fruit itself (fruiting body) so naturally they will serve different medicinal purposes within the body.
Thanks to modern advancements in scientific study we know both the mycelium and fruiting body hold their own merit in regards to health and healing. However we prefer to use the fruiting body for our medicinal mushroom herbal extract powders as this is the portion of the mushroom that has been used as a medicinal food throughout the Daoist Tonic Herbal tradition, a system in which we align our inspiration for SuperFeast with.
We feel the actions of the fruiting body are superior to those of the mycelium, however this is not the argument we choose to focus on when comparing the two parts of the mushroom. It’s not so much about the efficacy of mycelium, but rather the modern sourcing and processing of this mushroom medium. In the industry today most mycelium products are cultivated in laboratories and fed on a cereal medium, usually rice or grain. There is currently no approved test to measure the beta-glucan content present in a medicinal mushroom so the beta-glucan content of these products is often falsely recorded. Producers are unable to distinguish the actual percentage of beta-glucans present in the mushroom, measurements are instead recorded to show the mushrooms total polysaccharide level instead. This reading is misleading as tests are unable to clearly identify the starches (polysaccharides and beta-glucans) that are produced by the cereal growing medium (such as grain and rice) and those produced by the actual mushroom mycelium that is ingesting the grain. This has lead to a high volume of medicinal mushroom products circulating throughout the market that are not what they say they are.
The FDA does not classify mycelium as a mushroom, and specifies it cannot be sold as such. If mycelium is used, it must be clearly labeled and CANNOT reference any clinical research that refers to the fruiting body of the mushroom as a whole, as the two are entirely different ingredients.
Organic certification is also a an issue here. The vast majority of medicinal mushroom products that are sold on the market today are sourced from the organic industry in China. Here practices aren’t as strictly regulated as other parts of the world and medicinal mushrooms that hold the Chinese organic certification often contain high levels of heavy metals such as lead, arsenic and cadmium, as well as toxic fungicides. This is why we choose to source our products wild, Di Tao, “beyond organic” from the pristine mountain regions of this country from small operations that are following the traditions and lore of the land and herbal lineage. All our products go through rigorous testing to comply above industry standards.
We primarily work with the fruiting bodies as opposed to the mycelium for all our medicinal mushrooms, however we do have one exception: Cordyceps.
Wild cordyceps (sinensis) are rare and extremely expensive to source. Fully wild cordyceps consist of a blade-like mushroom body growing from the head of a caterpillar. In China they commonly call this mushroom “winter worm’ or “summer grass” so you get the idea! Due to the prohibitive cost of wild cordyceps, the Chinese developed a cordyceps mycelium which they now grow in liquid fermentation tanks. This pure mycelium product is known as Cs-4 and this is what we use at SuperFeast.
A large body of research has demonstrated that Cs-4 has a similar medicinal profile and active compounds found in wild cordyceps. Several years of compositional analysis as well as clinical trials have demonstrated that Cs-4 acts medicinally in a manner consistent with that of wild harvested cordyceps.
The term Cs-4 translates to mean the 4th strain of the cordyceps mycelium. Many strains of cordyceps mycelium have been researched and scientists have found that only the 4th strain of the cordyceps mycelium could be grown using liquid cultivation methods. This method produces effective levels of all the active compounds found in the fruiting body of wild cordyceps.
Cordyceps Cs-4 is cultivated via liquid fermentation and is produced using the following method:
A bioreactor (an enclosed stainless steel tank) is half filled with water and added nutrients, (usually a mixture of various grains) This solution is then cooked for a period of time, usually around 3-4 hours, until a nutritious broth is created.
The solution is sterilized and allowed to cool. At this point of the cultivation process a piece of living cordyceps Cs-4 mycelium is added to the tank. The broth is stirred, and the the carbon dioxide is vented out. The mycelium uses the liquid broth as the nutrition in which to grow off.
It takes 48-72 hours for the Cs-4 mycelium to consume all the nutrients in the tank and reach maturation, at which point the Cs-4 mycelium is filtered out, dried and then extracted, in the same way as all our other products.
At SuperFeast we’re are inspired by the traditions that were laid down by the ancient Daoist Tonic Herbalist’s, those who walked this path long before we did. These masters of herbal wisdom primarily worked with the fruiting body of Lion’s Mane, prepared using a water extraction. This is why we use this preparation method for our SuperFeast Lion’s Mane.
Through our work with SuperFeast we have seen many people improve their mental and cognitive performance, heal nerve injuries, gut issues, improve mood and immunity and other unexpected positive outcomes such as healing tinnitus and restless leg syndrome using our water extracted Lion’s Mane, and for this reason we stand by the medicinal potency of our product 100%.
The study of mushrooms is an ever evolving and interesting space. One where new discoveries are constantly unfolding as science transverses this ever expanding terrain, sometimes colliding with traditional lore. Primary studies using the aqueous extract of Lion’s Mane have shown it to support brain health and be beneficial in the regeneration of nerve tissue. We are not against the use of alcoholic extracts of Lion’s Mane, nor are we against the use of Lion’s Mane mycelium. However these are avenues we choose not to specialise in. We strongly encourage all individuals on the path of sovereign health to follow their innate wisdom and explore all avenues of interest, making their own minds up along the way. We’ll be here doing the same, rocking our SuperFeast style, always happy to support and connect with you whatever path you may choose.