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High Performance Herbalism with Logan Christopher (EP#214)

In today's episode Mason shares the mic with Logan Christopher founder and CEO of US company Lost Empire Herbs. The gents discuss performance based herbalism, the power of spagyrics and the Taoist approach to health, all the while sharing deep camaraderie around what it's like to grow through an evolving family owned business.

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In today's episode Mason shares the mic with Logan Christopher founder and CEO of US company Lost Empire Herbs. The gents discuss performance based herbalism, the power of spagyrics and the Taoist approach to health, all the while sharing deep camaraderie around what it's like to grow through an evolving family owned business.

Logan takes centre stage as he narrates his personal journey through the herbal landscape, shedding light on the significant role herbs play in bolstering vitality and well-being. The duo examine how herbal tonics, with their multifaceted properties, can be strategically utilised to cultivate distinct levels of health and performance, while providing a holistic approach to personal wellness.

Logan shares his insights on spagyric tinctures, and the transformative experience's he's faced while working with them, offering us a glimpse into the alchemical intricacies and multidimensional nature these meticulously crafted elixirs can embody. 

We're introduced to the concept of "health beyond danger" and reminded of the Taoist principals surrounding balance and moderation.

Mason and Logan share candidly about the challenges and rewards that come with owning a herbal business, both reflecting on what's involved in their roles as founders and CEO's. From the nuances of decision-making to the art of team-building, the men emphasise the importance of building a cohesive team that aligns with the company's overarching vision. Both sharing anecdotes and lessons learned from their journey's at the helm of a burgeoning herbal empire.

Tune in for more.

Image of various dried herbs.

"Herbs have always been medicine for people. It's a natural part of our diet and we've totally gotten away from that as a species, but the pendulum's swinging back the other way, so that's a good thing."
- Logan Christopher 

Logan & Mason discuss:

  • Logan's introduction to tonic herbs and his journey in the health industry. 
  • Herbal spagyrics and their metaphysical nature.
  • Performance and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).
  • Herbs and business; going from founder to CEO.
  • Tonic herbs for hormonal/sexual health.
  • Lost Empire Herbs latest product range. 

Who is Logan Christopher ?

Logan Christopher is co-founder and CEO of Lost Empire Herbs, which aims to bring performance herbalism into everyday people’s lives. Logan started studying plants and fungi as a result of his interest in peak performance and strength training. This includes performing feats of strength such as pulling an 8,800 lb. firetruck by his hair, supporting half a ton on top of himself in a wrestler’s bridge position, and routinely ripping decks of cards in half with his bare hands. After visiting the Amazon rainforest, he received a calling to be an “Emissary of Nature” and thus bring humankind back into alignment with nature for health and well-being. You can read more about this in his book Powered By Nature.

Resource guide

Guest Links
Lost Empire Herbs Instagram
Lost Empire Herbs Facebook
Lost Empire Youtube
Lost Empire Herbs Website
Legendary Strength Website
Logan's Substack

Mentioned In This Episode
School Of Evolutionary Herbalism

Related Podcasts
Mind & Body Peak Performance with James Newbury (EP#106)
Herbs For Performance and Dì Dào (地道) with Mason Taylor on The Awoken Athlete podcast (EP#130)

Connect With Us
SuperFeast Instagram
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SuperFeast TikTok


Check Out The Transcript Below:

 

Mason Taylor:

All right. We're on, Logan. Thanks for coming on, man.

Logan Christopher:

Yeah, thanks for having me.

Mason Taylor:

It's been a few months, run up. Yeah, it's great to connect. Yeah, I think I've been aware of Empire, well, Superman.

Logan Christopher:

Yeah, since back when it was Superman, that's a long time ago.

Mason Taylor:

Yeah, because for me, when I started in 2011, I didn't actually get the herbs in until two years later, and I remember not thinking there was enough room in the market for anyone because of Jing Herbs and Dragon Herbs from over here in Australia. But I remember looking over and going, "Who else is doing it in America?" And I remember coming across your guys' logo in those adventures.

Logan Christopher:

Yeah. Now there's room for a lot of herb companies. It's such a growing thing that... Herbs have always been medicine for people. It's a natural part of our diet and we've totally gotten away from that as a species, but the pendulum's swinging back the other way, so that's a good thing.

Mason Taylor:

Yeah, how have you found the pendulum swing when you stumbled into it? What have the waves been? What were your ideas of how it was going to work?

Logan Christopher:

Yeah, it's a good question. So for me, really getting into herbs was based on athletic performance and the whole strongman thing that I do. So not the average path a person takes into getting into herbs, but I remember I got some supplement that had Cordyceps, it might've had some other things, but I felt like more energy and drive in my workouts. So I was hooked from the beginning.


And then it was just slowly over time, opening up the world of herbs for me. Dragon Herbs, you mentioned Ron Teeguarden. He was the first one I was studying and he even taught a few classes that I went to, so that really helped to ground out my knowledge and that's where I really started with Chinese medicine. I remember thinking early on it's like, "Man, why are all the great herbs from over there? Why isn't there anything around us?" But sure enough over time would come to learn, "Oh yeah, there's great herbs everywhere." Just Chinese medicine has had this thousands of years legacy, the system, whereas we've forgotten all that knowledge of Western herbalism that actually is there if you go looking for it

Mason Taylor:

In terms of philosophy, because in the beginning I remember being in a similar way going like, "Oh my gosh, it's coming from Chinese medicine." And that's a whole nother language and it's a whole nother philosophy. I can see there's aspects and elements there within your brand and within what you do, but where's your path taken you in terms of have you allowed the Chinese and Taoist philosophy to lead you to remembering how it fits into the West or? Yeah, I saw Sajah Popham is a teacher of yours as well, so did that influence?

Logan Christopher:

Yeah, for sure. So yeah, there's definitely that foundation of the Taoist philosophy, and I still really like the ideas of radiant health, right? Health beyond danger, where you're not just trying to correct disease but really aiming for ideal health, and that herbs can support you in there. You don't need to be sick to do it. And one of the things we talk about is performance herbalism.


Again, going back to the strong men and athletic stuff that me and my brothers did. That's why we got into herbs for the first place. So yeah, herbs can help you perform there, but perform in other areas of your life like the cognitive function for working or in the bedroom, of course, a wide variety of areas. So that was a big part.


And then yeah, Sajah Popham at The School of Evolutionary Herbalism. I did two years of training with him. And in that programme he's actually pretty light on the Chinese medicine, but covers some Ayurveda than Western herbalism going back to the Greeks, but with alchemy and all this stuff in there, so that really rounded out my knowledge and kind of an understanding of the systems.


I am not super deep on any one system. My strength is really in looking wide across a bunch of different things and seeing where can we bring them in. So, what we do is we talk about the science as well as the ancient wisdom, and we're doing stuff like spagyric tinctures to deliver those alchemical benefits. And yeah, it's just a lot of fun and there's still so much room to explore.

Mason Taylor:

Can I ask there, with spagyric, whenever the conversation comes up about them, and whenever I've talked to people who own companies or people locally here who have switched from doing tinctures to spagyrics, because that's true alchemy. And that's when there's real accountability on yourself to be doing real deep work and to be on a path. And I've watched people literally fall into demise because they went into spagyrics and they didn't understand just how cultivated they needed to personally be. Have you noticed anything in terms of your own tightening up as you went into commercially selling spagyrics?

Logan Christopher:

Right. That's a great question. I've never been asked that one before. Yeah, they say that spagyrics, it's like an initiatory thing. It's not just you're taking the herbs, but it's working... We often think of just in our Western philosophy, like the physical, but spagyrics are working on much more than the physical. All plants do, but spagyrics is really working on those mental, emotional, even spiritual and definitely the energetic as well. So, it can have interesting things where it is going to initiate you in some way in your life, which can be pleasant or not so pleasant as the case happens to be.


Yeah, as I've gotten deeper, I produce a lot of spagyrics myself. We have a VIP line, that's Logan's Private Reserve, that's stuff that we can't quite do at the scale ready for the public on our website, but have that available for VIPs. And I'm doing a lot of that, and my life has been absolutely crazy these past three years, so I wonder if there's connection there.


It started, this was kind of the prologue to the things, but my house burned down in one of the California wildfires in 2020, and I was just thinking about that idea of calcination, of the burning down of everything. And then, yeah, things got even crazier than that, so it is interesting, my ramping up doing spagyric work really kind of coincided with all this. I have not connected that before.

Mason Taylor:

Yeah, and I imagine it was maybe a little bit after the actual traumatic event when you're like, "Hang on, I can equate this burning down to somewhat of an alchemical process."

Logan Christopher:

Yeah. Well, I was doing super small amounts, then I burned everything down, so I lost the kiln that I use in my equipment. So I was like, "Well, now's a good time to order more stuff I'll be able to do." So it really did grow out of that in part.

Mason Taylor:

Wow. A lot more thinking around that, especially I'm interested around your strength training and being able to go so much deeper into it and with, as you said, working on the spirit and the energetics, I'm sure other practises as well as spagyrics, how you were able to find that sweet spot in harmony where you're doing the spiritual work that allows you to make sense of or go deeper or in a more refined direction with the strength training. I'm interested about that collaboration or ecosystem.

Logan Christopher:

Yeah. I'll start with this. The way I look at health as well as performance, I kind of look across five different levels, and I think I already mentioned these, but physical, energetic, emotional, mental and spiritual. And if you're looking at healing, there's different modalities that work across all these different things.


And as I said, with the herbs, you can find herbs that are going to work more so on different levels or different preparations of them. So this can be useful for sometimes you have a physical energy, but what's keeping it, or injury, but what's keeping it stuck there is a belief or the emotional pain around that.


One of the things that I've done over the years is EFT, the meridian tapping, and I've done cases with people where we do 10 minutes of tapping and a pain they've had for nine years goes away. I'm thinking one woman for instance, she had that for something like nine years since a car crash, but we do some tapping and the pain went away after 15 minutes and it didn't return.


Unfortunately, it doesn't work that well always, but usually you can get some sort of results. But in that case, what that's telling me is that emotional block was keeping the healing from taking place. So, this is just that idea of working across these five different levels or perspectives, then you can target different things and be able to get a bit better results. It does get complicated 'cause so many modalities across these, but if you're looking for results, it is a good way of approaching things.


And I'd say the same thing for performance, too. So, with my training for instance, I went deep into hypnosis and neurolinguistic programming and, how could I take those skills and specifically apply to my strength training? And not many people have done that, but you can get great results doing that. So this is how I do things. I am taking herbs so I can improve my performance and workouts. I'm doing all these mental technologies, I'm doing other stuff as well. So that's a little bit of my overall approach.

Mason Taylor:

When it comes to the business 'cause you can see on your website you talk about having that focus on hormones, but it is about unlocking that performance. Then when you go a little bit deeper, you can see you're hinting towards, but we do acknowledge it's that connection that I'm sure I'm going to butcher the language. It was this a reawakening people to the wisdom of nature. And you're like, "All right," so then you peel the onion and you're like, wow, I can feel what I call the source idea that you and your brothers had. And then that source idea gives birth to the mission or the purpose and I'm like, "Oh, there it is." And it's like it's not about the herbs necessarily, although it is, but you go back and that's really guiding.


So, I think it's really awesome how you've been able to just synthesise and go, "And this is the easiest way for people to engage when we talk about hormones and performance." And I think it's really great the way you haven't complicated it on your website, but when you look under the hood, you can see that you guys, you do facilitate all that other stuff that comes up, emotional, spiritually. I'm just curious about that. Because I think is it cloud that's in charge of the COO and has customer service? And I was like, "Oh, I wonder what cloud's journey is having customer service where it's like 95% is just hormones, but then people are getting these results and asking about the herbs on more spiritual, emotional levels," how you've balanced that out.

Logan Christopher:

Yeah, it's tricky because we're trying to meet the masses with where they're at. And the way I like to say it, is that the herbs are kind of the Trojan horse or the tip of the spear to get nature more into people's lives. Then it's like, "Okay, here's the quick start. I want you to feel more energy, to feel a bit better just taking these pills or powders or tinctures," because very much we're in that quick mentality, short-term, pop a pill society. So if I can hook people there, but then like, "Oh, and let's start improving your diet, get you higher quality, water breathing exercises, spending time out in nature and all the benefits of that provides." How can we get the person there but using this as a good tool to do that?

So yeah. Then depending on our customers, some of them may only be interested in hormone health and sexual function. We have a lot of older guys, that if that goes away, a lot of guys are going to want to do anything to get that back. And some may be just focused on that, but we do invite, through our education and whatnot, into those deeper levels for people that want to have that. And yeah, so sometimes we get a lot of questions specifically about hormones, but then we definitely get those deeper questions as well from time to time.

Mason Taylor:

What about in terms of, I always enjoy talking to other herb company owners because there's the feedback that you get from people going, "Oh my gosh, my sexual function did come back. I can't believe pine pollen works or [inaudible 00:12:32]. Oh my gosh, I actually have energy when I took Shilajit. This is incredible."


And then I like talking about the surprise ones, the surprise testimonial when people are like, "I took it for this, but then this happened and I wasn't expecting it." And I always find that, I don't know, they're fun to talk about and they're always really rewarding ones to talk about. I don't know if you've got any legendary ones that you guys are, "Far out. That's awesome." Or just a general theme that you guys, if you ever share them with each other, just under that hood.

Logan Christopher:

Yeah, I'd say the main thing we're trying to look for is the life-changing testimonials. People can take herbs and if they get just those subtle benefits, that's fine. But a lot of people have told us, to the point where we're collecting and seeing how many of these we can get, people saying they've had life-changing results.


And literally one guy, this one brought tears to my eyes. I don't remember all the details, but he was over 400 pounds. He was on a whole bunch of medications, pharmaceutical as well as self-medicating with recreational stuff like, depressed, all kinds of things. Somehow ends up on our site, gets some stuff, and again, that quick start. And the herbs aren't everything, but from that point he begins to turn his life around and he's literally like, "Logan, you've saved my life." So it's like that's pretty cool to be able to do from a herbal supplement company, right? And that's what we're really going for. Again, it's that idea that these herbs are really powerful and humans are supposed to take herbs and you can get great benefits when you are working with those, so that's what comes to mind when you ask that.

Mason Taylor:

And there are a lot of herb companies and you can see a lot of people trying to jump on bandwagons, which I don't think is a bad thing necessarily, but-

Logan Christopher:

It just gets watered down when that happens, the quality and all that stuff. Yeah.

Mason Taylor:

And I think hearing, where people, I can relate in terms of every now and then there's a testimonial that comes through and it has that much significance and weight to it. And I imagine at times there's been that reflection to the real hard yards that you guys put in, even to the hard yards that you put in coming up with the name when all that stuff happened with Marvel and the energetic imprint that leaves to have a name that aligns with not just the hormone and performance but with the real deep source of the business, and likewise, how hard it must have been to continue to track with product that has that much genuine impact. It's hard to source that way.


So I'm kind of like when you do track back, it's been 11 years now? No, 11, 12 years? Yeah, 11 years. It's hard to get those testimonials. I think people don't realise how actually hard it is to do it and then hard it is to do that at scale. So what have you learned on that path? And being CEO there, what advice have you got for people?

Logan Christopher:

Yeah, it's not like we ran out of the gate knowing exactly what we're doing. None of us had been in the supplement industry before. It's been a matter of learning as we go along. And it does really start from that place of, "I want the best quality herbs for myself to take." And if that's true, then passing that on to customers.


So, one of the things we do is the third party, independent lab testings. Okay. So we're sourcing stuff from all over the world. China has a reputation of having some really crappy stuff, which absolutely is the case in some cases. But if we're importing there and we haven't checked out the farms, what can we do to ensure the quality of it? And then not just like, "These are the basic levels you're supposed to follow," but, "How can we go over and above on that?"


So, doing pesticide testing, of course the heavy metals, but then looking at different components in there, then making sure for the sexual herbs, there's no PDE5 inhibiting drugs that are sometimes cut with these herbs. So doing stuff like that and then just putting it out there in a way that, again, is really educational. Right? The average person coming in doesn't know half the herbs on our website, at least, right? They've probably never heard of any of this stuff. And just taking an herb if it's in a tincture or a powder, these taste awful, all this stuff. So how do you get that average person there?


And again, it's a journey you got to go along. But doing education and sharing the results of other people and personal experiences, all that is what I think has helped us to stand apart. And even now at this point, it's like, "Okay, we've done all this, how can we do it even better?" And just continually iterating on what we're doing and looking at how we can improve things.

Mason Taylor:

And how are you going as CEO? Are you grabbing it by the horns? How's that learning experience been?

Logan Christopher:

Yeah, it's definitely been interesting. So, before I started this company, I had another company that's still running, Legendary Strength and that is more strength training-based, started as a personal trainer, but have many books and videos on different aspects of that. So, that was kind of my background when we launched Superman Herbs, that now became Lost Empire Herbs.


So, as we've grown, I've just grown with it and that definitely has taught me a lot of things, getting much better at managing the finances of a supplement company, the hiring and firing, managing people, and how do you get the vision and distil that out to all the people on the team. So it's so many things along the way, and I'm definitely not done learning, but I feel like we are running a good ship at this point. I'm really proud of where we're at, and just looking forward to the next steps and where we can take it.

Mason Taylor:

Of late, what's on the cards of your development and business development in terms of is there something you're reading or do you know you're going through a psychological process at the moment to embody a certain capacity as a CEO?

Logan Christopher:

Yeah. Well, it's been interesting. So we've been plateaued out revenue-wise for a number of years, and a part of what happened with this is when the pandemic came, first of all, I knew it wasn't just two weeks to flatten the curve. I knew it would be taking a bit longer. So, we were not in a good position financially with the company, and unfortunately had to let some people go, which was something we actually had needed to do for a while because we had grown too bloated, trying to grow in too many directions at once. But we're friends with everyone in the company and whatnot, so it was hard to make those decisions, but at that time it was kind of an opportunity, although it was really hard to rip the bandaid off. And with that, we kind of streamlined down. We just started running a tighter ship and eventually grew ourselves out of the whole, even while keeping the revenue flat, roughly. Profits went up significantly, and now in the last year, this year, we're starting to grow once again. So that's been real fun.


Some of the things I'm working on right now is just taking everything we do and really tightening that up as far as our overall marketing strategy. And we're also getting back to rolling out a bunch of new products. We actually have nine different things I think we're working on in this quarter. Probably six of them will be released, so that's pretty exciting. And one of the things that we're doing, just based on the state of the world, is we started with a lot of Chinese herbs and we're not planning on going anywhere with those, we're going to continue to do that. But World War III seems to be coming, so at some point supply lines may not be there, so we are working on doing more US-based stuff, just keeping it more local. And then of course, we can do much more as far as ensuring the quality. And we have some relationships with farmers and people in the area, so we're really looking on growing that side of things as well.

Mason Taylor:

Yeah, hell yeah. When going through that experience, I definitely relate. You used a lot of the words that I've been using, bloat. [inaudible 00:20:36] go through the refinement, not a lot actually changes when looking at it, but on the inside, everything's working a little bit more and you're like, "Oh my god, working capital is there and a little bit more profit without anything big needing to change." Big lesson as a CEO. And I guess that has a lot to do with growth versus scale. I hope this is interesting for anyone.

Logan Christopher:

Growth is expensive. That's something that had to learn, that's for sure.

Mason Taylor:

So in terms of, and also relate to that shift that happens in the team, inevitably if you don't do it yourself, then you get kicked into doing it in order to protect the purpose. So, now when you look at building out that team and you mentioned about how to embed that vision, what have you learned to be discerning about and what qualities to look for in your team to ensure that they're going to be able to align fully with that vision?

Logan Christopher:

Right. Well, the first thing that's really important is really getting to know yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? And then as you're hiring, you are delegating and hiring for things that you're not good at. Or even if you're good at them, any CEO, any entrepreneur is going to be wearing 10 different hats at least. So, the thing when we are wearing 10 different hats is, "Okay, maybe I'm better at it than this person, but I'm spending 10% of my time on it, whereas they can spend 80% of their time on it, which means they're going to get better results." Right?


And then taking people, one of our best hires ever, she started out in the shipping department and is now our chief marketing officer. She does so much and just really saw that she had the potential for that and mentored her and encouraged her to grow, and she's done nicely. Our company would fall apart without her. So, that is really helpful to be able to do.


And yeah, you learn lessons in hiring both the successes as well as the failures. So just you try to pick part what those lessons are and apply them to the next one and get more targeted like, "Okay, we have all these options available. What is the thing that we really need? What is the most useful hire to look at right now?" And try to go for that. And then make sure that you don't do too much at once, unless you have the cash flow to really support that, Because then you can get bloated and you're in a new set of problems.

Mason Taylor:

Yeah, it's a weird world of actually learning. You learn a lot about how the human body works and how the universe works and what harmony is.

Logan Christopher:

Yeah. Well, that's an interesting thing. Herbalist and marketers, there's not a lot of crossover in these worlds for the most part, right? They tend to be very different people. I am a person that really is able to go widen systems and has lots of interests, so I'm someone that fits in the middle of that. But yeah, very few people do. You tend to have people out there that are fantastic marketing and they have crap [inaudible 00:23:35]. And then you have really good herbalists that know their stuff and they couldn't market themselves to find a customer at all. So, it's really hard to be the crossover in those.

Mason Taylor:

Have you found yourself using any nature-based systems or analogies to explain and understand things within the business?

Logan Christopher:

Oh yeah, absolutely. Symbiosis is a good one. So, within the US we have a couple of our suppliers and farmers, people that work with this stuff, and these are guys that I actually met in my herbalism training when I did The School of Evolutionary Herbalism. So it was really good to have that connection and they were growing things like, "Okay, how can we work together?" And we have had times where just hop on a call, "How can we help each other out more?" Be the tide that rises both ships. And although we're the bigger company than these two that I have in mind right now, we're looking at, "What can we do?"


And it's been really cool, the ideas we have got from that... Some of the stuff that I was producing myself at that small scale that I was talking about, we've now taken that formula, given it to a supplier so they can produce it at a much bigger scale, and we're able to roll that out from the VIP programme to the regular. And we actually just, talking to one of our guys who's a farmer, he needed to buy some machinery. So we're actually loaning him money as part of a kind of prepaid for future product. So yeah, "How can we grow together in this symbiotic relationship?" And I would love to do even more of that in the future, of course.

Mason Taylor:

Yeah, I'm interested in that. That's the emerging world of business symbotics. Yeah. I think Buckminster Fuller covers a lot of it in terms of how to have a syntropic environment rather than entropic. And likewise, as you said, I think for people listening, even in the conscious business space, there's still such a lack of understanding of how collaboration and all boats rise mentality can come about.


But when you talk about symbiosis, because most people think of doing good as just using your cash reserves to donate, and quite often that's the one thing I imagine you relate. A lot of the time, that's the one thing we don't have is cash because where founder-owned companies and we're cash poor. Everyone thinks all businesses are alike, but no, that's a big business with shareholders and investors. So that doesn't make sense to symbiotically just give cash.


However, when you look at the business, and this is what I think when hearing you talk about it, what do you have? You have demand for product, you have your future forecasting, you know you're going to put money into that anyway. So that's something you do have that's kind of cream off the top, you can utilise your need for herbs to go into a symbiotic collaboration with someone.


It's a real mind shifter, isn't it? And a philosophy shifter. I think at times that slow and steady pace of business, it's difficult and some people can't see the benefit of it, but I'm interested to hear you. I know listening to you, even though that seems like, "Oh, it's slow." And yes, maybe the overheads are smaller in-house for now while these guys learn, but when you look at future proofing the business, this is the approach to business which is going to emerge?

Logan Christopher:

Yeah, I think if you look at just how business is done, obviously some of the problems in our world is created from the way business is done on average. So, some of the things we're not doing, we don't plan to sell the business. We're thinking long-term, keep it in the family. Me and one of my brothers, we have children, so if they wanted to be a part of that, and they're still all young, so we're thinking far in the future, it's like, "How can we still have this business 100 years from now?" So we're thinking at it like that.


At this point, we have gotten funding before, some low levels, but now we are just running on cash reserves. We are solid in that and we're not planning on taking any more funding. Yeah, sure, we could probably grow faster if we wanted to, but again, state of the world, I'd rather have a big fat cushion so we don't get ourselves in the same sort of situation we found ourselves before. So that's some of the things that just are bucking the way businesses often done.


And yeah, if we go a little slower, so it's like we don't need to go too far. If we just look at nature in general, nature thinks on much longer timelines than us human, so if we can just grasp a little bit of that and kind of think of this company the same sort of way, then that's, I think, going to help us be a sustainable business for some time.

Mason Taylor:

And I imagine not having investors breathing down your neck, who can't fathom the fact that 100 year business, it's funny, that's what I use as well, 100 year business. I talk about in leaving after I'm gone, creating holograms of myself that are triggered if my daughter's husband tries to come in and do something that isn't in alignment with the constitution, it sparks me just popping up and being like...

Logan Christopher:

Nice. I haven't thought that far ahead, but now I am. Yeah, it's stewardship, right? So think of it, you would steward an ecology and the business ecology is an ecology, right? So just thinking in these terms, it's going to set you on a somewhat different path, which is going to, 30 years from now, lead on a much different trajectory. Whereas in your day-to-day, you may not see a huge amount of thing, but you'll start to see it after months and years, right?

Mason Taylor:

And for everyone listening, I didn't know Logan was into this style of business, I'm just discovering this right now. You're literally using everyone who's listening, who plays along has heard us use syntropic business, stewardship, steward leadership rather than ownership. We've talked a lot about the distinction of acknowledging what the role is and then the soul that energises the role, so on and so forth, which emerges from the idea of being a steward, rather than people losing their identities in their role names and the tasks.

Logan Christopher:

That's actually something I've very much been going through is, as I was saying earlier, the house burning down was kind of the prologue. My wife then got Lyme disease and mould exposure, and it's been a absolutely catastrophic three years and really tough. Things are getting a bit better, but they've gotten better before and then sink down again.


So, going through that process has been very difficult on me, but also it kind of broke me open in a way that allowed a lot of emotional healing from childhood stuff, which we all seem to have. But one of the things that I'm working with lately is realising that I had a lot of enmeshment with work and not necessarily good boundaries and doing things because they quote, unquote, "Should be done a certain way." But what I'm looking at now is like, "Okay, how can I go be more authentically me, forget what everyone else is saying and really dial that in and unwind some of that old discipline structure patterns that maybe got me in someplace, but how can I do it much better moving forward?" So that's been a fun path that is still rolling out right now.

Mason Taylor:

Heavily relate. I can't believe how similar places we actually are, especially in terms of resolving some childhood stuff and coming to terms with the enmeshment that perhaps there was with a particular parent and likewise with the businesses at the same time.


In terms of unravelling that enmeshment and seeing yourself, seeing the business as its own organism and having yourself there, feeling that role of steward, what are the main qualities that you've embodied? And especially curious of the ones that when you go back five years ago, what are the ones that you're like, "Oh my gosh, I didn't see it, but now I can see that was the way to be, even though I would've judged it"?

Logan Christopher:

Right. Yeah, it's really interesting. As a child into the teenage years, I really had no self. It was all based on the opinions of others. And even without them judging me, I'd internalised what the judgement of people would be. And that got so bad to a point where I had no friends at one point. And gradually, I pieced together a new identity that was more internally-oriented, and as I got into the strength training and the herbs and whatnot, built confidence in myself. But this was still really driving in a way towards or running away from those old wounds and was aimed at, "How can I get validation from people?"


So now that I've healed that, it's again, still a process unfolding and we got to peel layers of the onion, but now I'm able to like, "Okay, I'm really good in this place and I have created this amazing stuff. So my coping strategies worked out really well in some ways, but now that has been healed, how can I really look at what am I authentically and best at? What is my role in the world, in this business?" Really distil that down rather than, again, those things that I should be doing or, "This is the way things are done." How do I appeal that away and get more to the core of what is best?

Mason Taylor:

What are those roles in the business? Which I think this is interesting because I imagine what you're going to talk about is people listening would be like, "Oh yeah, of course that's what a CEO does." But it's coming from founder to CEO, I can relate to how difficult it is to really step into those tasks because you're still in your stuff and you're still saving [inaudible 00:33:45]-

Logan Christopher:

Yes, and there's still stuff that needs to be done that I wouldn't like to do, especially my worst thing is bureaucracy, having to do paperwork taxes, oh, I hate it, but it needs to be done to some degree. So, my passion, what I'm really good at, one, I'm great at making herbal tinctures, spagyrics. I love doing that. I have so much fun. I seem to be quite good at it, making very potent stuff that people like, so that is a big part.


And right now, we're just doing spagyric tinctures. I would love to go far deeper down the rabbit hole of alchemy. There's much to be learned there, and I plan to do that over time. So that is something that I love to do.


I love formulation and the research of the herbs and educating. I am an educator. That's the best way I learn, is by teaching others. So I love to do that, especially through writing, that's my main channel. I like doing podcasts and videos and whatnot, but writing is my strongest suit.


So, these are things that I would love to do even more of. And the truth is I'm okay being the CEO, I like most of it, and at some point I don't think I'm going to be the CEO of the company. I'm going to quote, unquote, "Retire into just writing and making tinctures," and that may be much more of my role. So, building it out where I have the team that can do much more of that stuff, that is likely where I'm going.

Mason Taylor:

So it's kind of like in a sense you have to earn your right to go back to doing that?

Logan Christopher:

Yes. Yeah.

Mason Taylor:

Man, well done. I relate. I didn't expect conversation to be... I haven't talked to anyone who's in, of course, people on the same path, but in a very, very similar position.

Logan Christopher:

You have the same business across the pond. Right?

Mason Taylor:

Essentially. And this is the next, I was wondering, wanting to talk about, in terms of that Trojan horse, what did that hero Trojan horse product, it started with pine pollen, but which of your products are the one that just seems to be that the absolute hero or heroes?

Logan Christopher:

Yeah. Pine pollen is our number one seller, so that's what we started the company with. I think we had a couple other herbs, but that was the main one, and it's continued to be our number one seller. And of course we have it in the powder, we have it in the capsules, we have a tincture. So all that is available, and that's number one herb for hormonal support, and I think it's doing a lot. Of course, it has the phytoandrogens. My hypothesis is that a lot of its effects is actually helping to release endocrine disrupting chemicals in our body. I've seen some research of other herbs helping in this area. My guess is that's actually one of the main areas that pine pollen is working with.


And this sounds silly and it's kind of fun, but we have a morning wood guarantee on that because this is an effect that we notice. You take a large dose, especially the pine pollen powder, people seem to get a little bit better results in this area with the powder than the tincture, though the tincture certainly works for some people. Take a large dose before you go to bed. Morning wood seems to work a lot stronger for guys in the morning, so that's a fun thing to be able to guarantee.


And of course, nothing works for everyone. This is something that we always state, but we have a money back guarantee if the thing doesn't work. Since we're going from a mass market sort of thing, rather than, "I'm an herbalist, I'm doing a two-hour intake with you," then selecting the herbs. We have this policy, try it, see if it works for you. If it doesn't, you can get your money back. If it does, great, you'll be a customer for life.

Mason Taylor:

Well, I like as well, because you've got that Yin Yang approach there of like, yes, the Yang is the result that you're going to be going to morning wood and you can make of that, whatever it is. But even I did see on your website, even discussing endocrine disruption, it balances that out completely. And just even the awareness that, and just remember this isn't just adding something, this is potentially, not even potentially, I think we've looked at, we know what those endocrine disruptors are.


And we've seen a lot of those products, like the indole-3-carbinols and the DIMs and all that really come through, but then kind of fall off 'cause everyone's like, oh, they were a little bit super critical extract. And coming back to the herbs that can help us, I can see you've got nettle root and these kinds of herbs that fall into that. Increasing the function to bring hormonal endocrine harmony as well as removing those kinds of things. It just balances it out and just brings that layer of integrity to the people, which it must be a nice feeling knowing you've got that there.

Logan Christopher:

Yeah, yeah. It often that yang aspect where it's more aggressive, especially the masculine stuff, can you feel more energy or morning wood or does your sex feel better? All these things, that's going to hook people a lot more. But make sure you take the yin supportive herbs too, right? You're going to need these as well to be balanced. You don't want to overdrive too much in one direction, but these ones may not be as feelable right away in the beginning, though there are some exceptions.


One of my favourites is Blue Vervain, which is a bitter nervine and something that 50% of people can notice an effect from it right when it hits the tongue. That's really cool to be able to deliver instantaneous effects. You don't need to wait a month to see if this is working for you. If you can try something like that, to me, that's really amazing, and this is one of my herbal allies. This works really well for me when I'm driving hard driving, working on the business and need to disconnect, just calm down a little bit. It's a good herb to have.

Mason Taylor:

Yeah. I know I personally feel a connection to every herb that I work with, but there's certain herbs that when it's been over a decade and I can feel it, I can see the essence of the spirit of it and it literally knocks on my head and goes, "Come back now." I get that with Chaga and Schisandra, especially, likewise, Mullein is another one of those that I've only had in the wild and has that effect. What are those big allies for you?

Logan Christopher:

Yeah, there's so many in different ways, right? He Shou Wu, that has to be one of my favourite herbs. Again, more of the yin in the background, but that is something that I'm taking pretty much every day. I take a base of foundation of herbs, chaga that you mentioned, He Shou Wu, those are a coupled. Then I'm much more intuitive or just kind of random with my other herb. As you can see, I have many tinctures lined up there and tinctures are my preferred way of taking things.


Then I can just go over there as, "What am I feeling right now?" So before an interview, I'll often do something that sharpen my mind as well as relax myself a little bit. Yeah, just feeling whatever things. So let's see, what are some other ones? Let me just look here. The mushrooms, all the mushrooms, especially Lion's Mane, which is one like trendiest and fastest growing herbs right now. We have a new formula called Mushroom Brain, which is Lion's Mane, along with Cordyceps, Reishi and Oyster Mushroom, and I'm really liking that one, right? It's just about, can we support the nervous system and everything that needs to go through? That's been a great one.

Mason Taylor:

It's interesting. I haven't had He Shou Wu for quite a while, and this morning I pulled it out of the back of my cupboard and that went into my tonic as the only herb I was taking. Do you know He Shou Wu was banned by our equivalent of FDA, TGA here?

Logan Christopher:

Oh, I not know that?

Mason Taylor:

Because here, we don't have a supplement category, so everything here needs to get classified as either a food or a medicine. So, as a small company, it's like trying to make everything a drug, and so it's expensive and time-consuming. So when we first started doing it, He Shou Wu was our first one, cost us an arm and a leg, and then two months into it, TGA banned it 'cause another company wasn't preparing it correctly. And over about 10 years, or no five years, 12 people had-

Logan Christopher:

Liver problems? Yeah.

Mason Taylor:

Yeah. Liver and kidney problems, but they turned a little bit green, they stopped taking it, boom, they were off. But it was because of the preparation method and it got banned. And so it was one of the most tragic days for Australian herbalism. I just had someone the other day write to me going, "How do I get it?" And I'm like, "Oh, you go and order it from the States, that's what you do."

Logan Christopher:

Yeah, wow. Yeah, it's crazy, just the different rules and regulations and something like that where it's like, "Oh, this herb has hurt a few people." I did an article diving deep 'cause I wanted to understand, and people were asking about that 'cause He Shou Wu was supposed to be good for the liver and kidneys, but here it is causing damage to these people. But it's like a handful of cases, reports, there's not much detail on how it's prepared and all these other factors that are most likely the culprit in what is going on, right?

Mason Taylor:

Yeah.

Logan Christopher:

And then we have drugs that are killing thousands and thousands of people. It's like, "Oh, they're fine."

Mason Taylor:

Yeah, and that's where I landed in talking about that and just looking at how many people have died from paracetamol and yet this He Shou Wu hasn't even killed anybody.

Logan Christopher:

Right. Yeah. Well, our world is anything but rational, so that's why you need to take your herbs and stay sane in it.

Mason Taylor:

Yeah. Gosh, don't we just. What a nice, again, it's such a nice business to be in, isn't it? When you think about how insane the world is. Right now, there's yet another conflict going on in the world as we speak.

Logan Christopher:

One step closer to World War III.

Mason Taylor:

Yeah, one step closer. And it's always nice to have, I guess it's like having a business that's based on a purpose, yet comes down, as everyone can clearly see, it comes and takes you through the eye of the needle and makes it a personal practise for yourself to become a certain type of person. Because that's the thing, it's hard to build businesses like this. It's rewarding. I imagine you didn't know the journey you were going to go on when you started this thing, and that's what I was reflecting on. When things happen and you feel out of control, you don't feel like you've got control, but everyone always ultimately says, "If you don't like what you see, go and build something and be a part of the rebuild." So I'm kind of just reflecting on that. It's how nice it is to be building something during all of these times. So yeah, kudos to you, man. You and your brothers.

Logan Christopher:

Thank you.

Mason Taylor:

You talked about some taking it local, but is there any other new products coming out? And I'm always interested to hear if there's anything, but I also respect if there's nothing you can share, just where are you going next?

Logan Christopher:

Yeah. Well, so we're bringing our first capsule machine in house, which will be great. We've worked with vendors to put just a small handful of our products in capsules. Ideally, it's great to taste the herbs. You're definitely more likely to see benefits in that because clueing the body in what to do. But again, trying to meet people with where they're at. And some of them, like Shilajit or ant aren't the best tasting, so I definitely understand. So that's an exciting project.


We will be rolling out more spagyric tinctures. Again, stuff that's going from that private reserve line to just fully available. That's quite exciting. So we got a Tongkat Ali spagyric tincture coming out soon. There's some spagyrics out there, alchemical tinctures, but mostly like Western herbalism. So we're taking some of the Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs in preparing them in this way. And in many cases, we're the only one that's doing that commercially that I'm able to see. So that's fun to be on the unique kind of cutting edge of that or the ancient edge, as the case may be. So that's pretty fun as well.


We have some elk antler-based stuff coming out soon. Found some farms here in the USA, so I've been working with them and we'll have a couple products, and that's been a fun one to experiment with quite a bit. It's pretty great by itself. I've been taking it, but I think it's actually especially great to formulate with some other things. It seems to have this driving capability, something like Shilajit in how it delivers things into the cell, or when you formulate it with certain things, it helps to go in that direction. So that's been real fun to play with as well.

Mason Taylor:

Heck yeah. Just before we finish, I don't think we've actually talked about ANT that much, and I'm actually, I'm working with it quite a lot at the moment, just in my personal, in creating formulas for myself. Let's just go, is it Black Ant? Changbai maybe? Polyrhachis? Yeah. Okay. I just want to get your download on it.

Logan Christopher:

Yeah, this is one we've had for a long time. Ant is one that delivers those instant effects. People will typically feel energy right away when they take this. So, it was kind of like the original one me and my brothers were using as a pre-workout, then we did formulate it for Hercules Pre-Workout Formula. So that's one that I take it pretty regularly as well for my workouts. It gives you energy that you can use for whatever you want, and that's a pretty cool benefit to have.


There's no science on it. We don't even know why it works at all. We tested it for different things like, well, it seems to turn my pee neon colours and I know B vitamins do it, but we tested it for B vitamins. It wasn't particularly high in them. It had a reputation of being high in zinc. We tested it, no, not really. So there's some sort of compounds in there that are obviously doing something, but science will have to catch up on that. In the meantime, I'm just going to keep taking it and have the benefits.

Mason Taylor:

I love it, man. Look, are you in LA still?

Logan Christopher:

I'm in Salt Lake City, Utah now.

Mason Taylor:

Oh, cool.

Logan Christopher:

And the, main business, is in Kansas City, Missouri.

Mason Taylor:

Oh, for tax reasons? Anyway, I'm trying to figure out-

Logan Christopher:

Oh, we got out of California for numerous reasons, taxes being one of them.

Mason Taylor:

Yeah, currently we're dispatching out of Texas now, so I'm trying to figure out how that all works, but slowly creeping our way over to the States. But hopefully coming over in March, so hopefully might be able to come and say g'day at some point.

Logan Christopher:

That'd be awesome.

Mason Taylor:

Be awesome to connect. Thanks for making the time and especially coming on the podcast of another herb company. I think these are the most rewarding conversations, honestly, that I have. And just especially sharing a look under the cover of what you are going through. I feel like that doesn't happen enough so that other founders and people who are thinking of starting companies can actually get an understanding of not just walking through the fog blind, but get an understanding of like, "Oh, shit, that's what it takes." And, "Oh, other people do experience that."

Logan Christopher:

It's a crazy journey. Just think it's like a child growing and you're going to go through growing pains and there'll be times like, "What am I doing with this?" You'll want to leave. But other times, I've had that ebb and flow of the passion and the difficulties in my life just... It's good at that point, I was able to step back a bit and the team running things for the most part as I was just battling absolute craziness. But now that we're recovering and I'm somewhat settled in a place, I'm able to really get back in there, and as I said, refining that authentic path for myself and reigniting the fire even further. I've always been passionate about this business, but it actually feels like it's growing much more so right now, so that's pretty amazing.

Mason Taylor:

Heck yeah. And man, just well done, first of all, of having a team that was able to go and support you when you're always going to go through those dark nights and go into the bottom part of the harmonic cycle, but likewise holding on a lot. Continue to look at the statistics of how often people don't make it to five years, but then just how many people don't make it to even the status of having a small to medium-sized business. Well done for holding on, you didn't sell, you didn't dissolve, you didn't walk away. I'm sure you could have.

Logan Christopher:

Right. Yeah. How many companies make it to 100 years without going public and thus becoming these nameless, faceless corporations, right? But we'll see. Time will tell. We're what, 12 years in? So, a few more to go.

Mason Taylor:

Yep. Power to you, man. Yeah, let's reconvene and we'll chat obviously, but let's reconvene in five years and just see what other crap has come up.

Logan Christopher:

Sounds good, sounds good.

Mason Taylor:

All right, legend, everyone, especially those of you over in the north of the world, lostempireherbs.com, and what was your strength business called?

Logan Christopher:

Legendarystrength.com.

Mason Taylor:

Legendarystrength.com. Go and check it out, guys. Thanks man.

Logan Christopher:

Yeah, thank you.

 

 

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