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Herbs For Performance and Di Dao with Mason Taylor on The Awoken Athlete podcast (EP#130)

Mason chats with Jansen Andre on The Awoken Athlete podcast about herbs for optimal performance and SuperFeast's commitment to Di Dao sourcing.

The words Di Dao  is a concept that most of our SuperFeast community would be familiar with, as it's the way we source our herbs. Di Dao herbs are of the highest quality and grown with integrity to ensure optimal, powerful healing properties. For a herb to be classified as Di Dao, it must have been grown in its natural habitat; Which means the right region, soil, and microclimate for that specific species. The beauty of Di Dao herbs is they perform optimally, much like the human body when it is holistically cared for and nourished the way it needs to be. In this episode, Mason chats with Jansen Andre on The Awoken Athlete podcast about SuperFeast's commitment to Di Dao sourcing, the best herbs for optimal performance, and offers a holistic perspective of the nuances that affect performance within the body at all levels. Mason explains the integrity behind Di Dao sourcing and how it ensures the livelihood of micro-farming stays alive; Continuing the wisdom and teachings of Di Dao within provincial communities. Whether you're an athlete or not, we're all being physically, emotionally, and mentally pushed with hectic and often under-nourished lifestyles. With great detail, Mason breaks down the subtle layers that affect our capacity to perform and the go-to herbs that support lifestyle and performance on all levels. Tune in for empowered health.



" Di Dao. Going to the spiritual homeland of the herbs and buying and growing them there. Far away from industry. You're getting the spore or the seed from that area and making sure it's a particular microclimate in which it grows. This is based on texts over 2,000 years old that tell you how to do this."


- Mason Taylor



Mason and Jansen discuss:

  • Qi and performance.
  • Cordyceps and performance.
  • Adaptogens and performance.
  • Jing, Qi, Shen; How they work.
  • Comparing Di Dao and organic.
  • Preventing injury and exhaustion.
  • Jing; nourishing a solid foundation.
  • How to take SuperFeast tonic herbs.
  • Di Dao; growing, sourcing, and integrity.
  • Disease, healing, and building the body back up.
  • The colonisation and institutionalisation around healing ourselves.
  • Performance in business and the freedoms of staying investor-free.


Who is Mason Taylor?

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





Mason Instagram
SuperFeast Instagram
SuperFeast Apple Podcast
The Awoken Athlete Podcast
Mind and Body Peak Performance with James Newbury (EP#106)


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Check Out The Transcript Here:


Jansen Andre: (00:00:00):

All right, Mason from SuperFeast, thank you so much for coming on The Awoken Athlete podcast today. For those of you who don't know, Mason runs a beautiful company called, SuperFeast, which is based around tonic herbs. Do you want to give us a little introduction, Mason, about what you do and how did you even start?


Mason Taylor: (00:00:23):

Yeah, thanks for having me on. As you said, SuperFeast is about to turn 10 years old. So I've been doing it for a while now. The majority of the time when I started out, what I wanted to end up doing was Taoist tonic herbalism. So it's that style of herbalism that springs from the classical texts of Chinese Medicine and gears more towards prevention, the cultivation of life, the cultivation of potential, having the ability to not fall into early degeneration and wasting away, which is what we see as the norm in the western world.


Mason Taylor: (00:01:01):

And even though I was really interested in performance, I had that drive in my early twenties when I was exploring this to see what was possible for my body. I was really curious in that, from a business sense getting into herbs, I was really interested in the trajectory that I was on towards the 70 year old self and 80 year old self. And the only place, at the time, especially around herbalism, I could see conversation or I could see terminology around how to get into a lifestyle flow utilising things like herbs that in a western sense and even in a modern Chinese Medicine sense is used just for symptoms. If there's a problem, respond with medicines, with herbs.


Mason Taylor: (00:01:48):

The Taoist approach, had a conversation of how to cultivate life so that you can put the odds in your favour more and more and more not to end up in practitioners' offices. Not that I'm averse to it. I like working with practitioners as well, but not end up institutionally dependent. I will go into terminology a bit later in describing what these, so the three foundational treasures are, in the body. So the elements that make up what either keep you functioning and stop you from degenerating, keep you large over your life and then ensure that your best self is coming through, is Jing, Qi and Shen.


Mason Taylor: (00:02:28):

And I just had conversations and practises in herbal usage around how to ensure that we really guard these treasures. That just really translates to hopefully, if it's maybe a little bit more or a lot more when we enter into our elder stages. Which of course then is going to mean that throughout our entire life we're a bit more robust and healthy. When we get to those later stages, you've got a relatively strong body. Your bones aren't wasting away. That's the Jing.


Mason Taylor: (00:02:56):

You're hormones in a foundational level, are able to stay adaptive and if you don't have Jing, it's what people waste away with hectic lifestyles, no sleep and all that kind of stuff. You've got lots of Jing when you're a kid and that's why you burn it at both ends, but then people keep that up and they don't adjust and they don't get wiser as they get older, therefore their bones start wasting, their hips, their body has no strength. They lose that foundational energy. That's Jing energy.


Mason Taylor: (00:03:24):

And so we want to make sure that that's safeguarded as well as our Qi. That's what enables us to stay mobile and regulate our heat, regulate our fluids, move us. Basically put the spark in the machine. Living Jing is just like, just say your body is just this machine of potential and flesh and if it's not animated, it's just sitting there, you need that thing to be rock solid. You need it to be really strong and have a lot of genetic potential. That's your Jing. And then you put a spark in and it comes to life and you can move through the world and animate through the world and regulate all the functions of the body. That's the Qi.


Mason Taylor: (00:03:59):

That's the other thing we want to be nice and strong in our body throughout our entire lives and then the point of that is the Shen. Which is essentially if the heart's really healthy, the heart fire, which is not just the physical heart. If all the organs are really working well and showing that the emperor that is the heart, is really flowing, then throughout our lifetime, our consciousness, our virtuous nature, are part of us that's determined to be less of an asshole and more of an awesome person that isn't projecting all over everyone and actually has the capacity to learn from experiences, go through psychological developments, let go of ideologies, step more into our own truth, so on and so forth.


Mason Taylor: (00:04:43):

That comes forth and what you see then is if the Shen's really allowed to express as you get to 70 and 80 and 90, what you see in people who are just, you know, they are these people that have evolved themselves, they're not vomiting their opinion all over everybody, they're not resigned, they're not resentful, they're not fearful, they're not unable to forgive, stuck in their ways. They can be fun, they can take the piss out of themselves and they're someone who's not a burden on the family. Not that I'm not judging these things, but it's like, that's the whole conversation.


Mason Taylor: (00:05:20):

That's a very diluted one around this concept of Taoism and then get rid of the word, Taoism, ancient Chinese philosophy kind of stuff. It's just humans that were just like, how can we can just make this... Just keep us healthy for as long as possible and it's not deity based. You don't have to buy into a religion or anything like that. It's just around your own potential and your own discovery path. And that's what I started to discover before I started SuperFeast and I was like, that's... I wanted to get into herbs and then I discovered there were these herbs that were in that longterm focus and intention, so I just jumped in then and I didn't focus on the herbs back then, because I didn't think there was a market for it.


Mason Taylor: (00:06:00):

And then I did actual markets for years and then people were coming to me with bigger and bigger intentions around their health and I was like, well, the only thing that's really going to help from what I can offer, at least, medicinal mushrooms like Reishi, tonic herbs like Astragalus and the Lion's Manes and Ho Shou Wus and all these really, the precious herbs, the Taoists call them. The superior herbs. They call them the messengers from heaven.


Mason Taylor: (00:06:25):

And so over the years I just kept on adding them in and I've started doing a few formulas and educating people about this style of herbs that is more folky and it's not about, a lot of the time, practitioners and especially modern Chinese practitioners are like, "No. Herbal practise is for us. We dish out the herbs." Like this and you can't meddle with that. And you go back to the classics and there are these herbs that are like, these are really safe. And really beautiful. And can be used with a little bit of education, as long as you're determined to keep on listening to whether you can use these in everyday life.


Mason Taylor: (00:06:59):

And that's the point of it. Take out the colonisation and the institutionalisation around healing ourselves and keeping ourselves healthy. And so I educated more and more about that. And then at some point my wife, now wife, joined me in the business about five years ago. We started taking it a bit seriously, because I have a bit of Peter Pan syndrome and I run off doing whatever I bloody want all the time. And then we took it seriously and it started really taking off and now we're a decent enough company, still family owned in Mullumbimby here now. I started off in Sydney.


Mason Taylor: (00:07:28):

And yeah, we have a bunch of formulas and really, a bunch of crew here, working and helping us manifest the mission to help people just take that little bit extra control of their body. Feel that sovereignty and their capacity to not just cross their fingers about not getting sick. And then also as well, having longterm intentions and just having relationships with these herbs. They're really beautiful. I mentioned a few there. It's like the Schisandras. I don't have Ginseng, but the Ginsengs, these herbs that everyone would have like... We started the Cordyceps. These herbs are, yes, they're adaptogens and people are using them in a really cool way to help their body become more adaptive and to get greater output.


Mason Taylor: (00:08:18):

That's when you look at them as an adaptogen herb, a Westerner. This is an adaptogen that's going to help you adapt and get better output. And that's sick. But that's an agenda based kind of in, output, what benefit to me. And that's cool as well. I don't mind that, but an adaptogen herb, like Schisandra, Rhodiola, or Ginseng is a herb that's going to help you. It has a non-specific effect in the body. So you don't know where the markers in the body are going to go or where the energy is going to go. You just know that it's going to harmonise more. And so it's not just going to take the immune system up and stimulate it, for example.


Mason Taylor: (00:08:54):

It might lower it in some situations, like autoimmune conditions. And then it has an accumulative effect on the body. So the longer you take it, the greater effect you see. And this is how the Russians describe adaptogens. And then also, it has a non-toxic, non-harmful effect on the body, which is basically what 2,000 years ago, the first medic, Shennong, was like, hey, these are the herbs you take that are non-toxic. But then, yeah, so adaptogens good, people are using them.


Mason Taylor: (00:09:22):

But then tonic herbalism and Taoist philosophy and then you take away the Taoism, it's just the philosophy of having a relationship longterm with this herb to help a dream of your own or a vision of your own health stay present throughout your life. And you're an athlete and you can see a lot of athletes all of a sudden go, I really want that potential now, and it's a strong intent, but I also, I'm starting to realise that I don't want to come out the backend of my professional athletic career and be flogged.


Mason Taylor: (00:09:49):

And they start thinking about their 50 and 60 year old self and so, the terminology around tonic herbalism starts helping to align your outer actions and your lifestyle to that longterm intention as well as taking a shit load of Cordyceps or whatever now, to in order to get a really good workout and recovery in this instance. So yeah, that's kind of a long way of answering your question.


Jansen Andre: (00:10:15):

So, yeah. Overwhelming, but you mentioned and I know on your website that these herbs and plants you source are ancestral to China. But I read you kept it that way except for Cordyceps. Is there a reason for this?


Mason Taylor: (00:10:33):

Cordyceps is in China. It's just the wild Cordyceps is really rare and expensive and unsustainable to meet the demand. And so there's a technology there to ferment it in a broth and so, still then, it's the only one, so it's our only mushroom that's not grown on wood, grown outdoors, that kind of thing. We've got a very specific sourcing philosophy that we take very serious and Cordyceps is the only one that isn't strictly Di Dao. For that reason, but we just do our best. We've got a really unique broth recipe.


Mason Taylor: (00:11:05):

It's why our Cordyceps is unique and isn't just like all the other CS spores in the market. And we've got a team of herbalists who tend to it and we don't grow on grain which is a big for me. A big no no. And I definitely don't have hardcore judgement of everyone that grows mushrooms on grain, but I don't personally agree with it, because it's not the native food of a mushroom. The native food of a medicinal mushroom is wood. And there's an alchemical process that occurs when that mushroom is growing through the wood. It has an enzymatic reaction with the wood. Is eating the carbohydrates within that wild wood, right.


Mason Taylor: (00:11:45):

Quite often, people are like, it doesn't really matter. You can grow on grains and oats and coffee and some people even grow on paper. And it's cheap. What we do is expensive. And having integrity a lot of the time and upholding in the sense of wanting to uphold a tradition is really expensive and a lot of people are like, look, it doesn't matter. There's similar biomarkers in the one grown on whatever, even like a [inaudible 00:12:10]. And that's what the scientific community goes, you can just pick out, that's what scientism does. You go, I'm going to pick out one variable to justify that ours is just as good as the others.


Mason Taylor: (00:12:22):

But then if you go back into true science, which is thousands of years of usage and subtle understandings through thousands and thousands of practitioners and people that have laid down the foundations for science to then jump in and create variables on this kind of herbal system, there are certain things that aren't measured yet, that they are aware of. Like you need to do a complete, full extraction of that herb so that it's not just that one beta glucan or chemical that you're justifying the awesomeness of your product with. There's undiscovered chemicals which are symbiotic to the entire reason that this herb is being revered for 5,000 years knowingly. And probably further back than that.


Mason Taylor: (00:13:16):

And that's why we just kind of let them speak for themselves. People often find a really science data, we're data driven, but a real, pick a variable and market it kind of product and then people are like, that's good. And then they'll kind of want more, because they don't want to just trust that it's good and good stuff's happening. A lot of people will find our stuff and then they'll take it and there's a little "je nais se quois," a little special something that's present in the herb that they'll go, oh, it just feels a bit different. And yeah, when you get longterm, you feel more safe and comfortable taking something that is complete and it's been grown in the way as close to possible that our ancestors and our immune system have evolved taking it.


Mason Taylor: (00:13:58):

And so there's a special little softness and trust that you can ease in and as well, then placebos start getting activated which just means you're not anxious and tense and just you're not trusting the mind's data and believing in marketing. You can feel that there's something with substance and essence going into your body. And that's why, and I'm definitely not the only one doing it, this is a very ancient tradition, growing herbs Di Dao. Going to the spiritual homeland of the herbs and buying and growing them there. Far away from industry. You're getting the spore or the seed from that area and making sure it's a particular micro climate in which you're growing in. This is based on texts over 2,000 years old that tell you how to do this.


Mason Taylor: (00:14:47):

And people are like, oh, but it's not organic. And it's like, yeah, you can buy organic certifications very easy and I like organic certification, but the way I... I could go organic really quickly. Or I could drop, I'd have to pay through the nose. It's exorbitant what these people expect me to send out there. It's a big business which is I'm like, well, I don't need to get you out, just pay you thousands and thousands to go to every single little micro farm. And these are micro farmers. These are villagers who we're growing from and that's why organic farms are these huge growing operations, which are really good and can do high output.


Mason Taylor: (00:15:30):

And they're doing it really well, a lot of the time, but they're doing it in a way that's not, you can't go right up into the mountains and grow in that capacity. And you can't do it with wild wood in that capacity in order to cheaply be able to just get that person out to certify organic, that big farm, indoor lab that you're doing. As good as it is. And I really, like a lot of my friends who are competitors who do that, because they're then able to do actually do mass market stuff. But for me to go organic, I'd have to dramatically take a back step in effectiveness. Because I'm a little, first of all, I'm a small company and we also support people in the village, say where we're growing Reishi.


Mason Taylor: (00:16:13):

Like one of our farmers, Mr. Li, is training other people in the village so that there's actually jobs locally. That's localising the industry. It's keeping it traditional. It's keeping it family owned. It's not this huge herb, these overarching companies that own all the farmers and tell them, like me having investors telling me you can't do it that way. You need to work this way. And I'm like, no, no, no, but we're going to lose the integrity and they're like, look, it doesn't really matter. If people don't know about that standard that you set and then majority of people won't really give a shit. And we're like, no, but I give a shit and that's the same with the farmers. They give a shit upholding this tradition and they know if they produce the best Di Dao herbs and we have people who know how to test that, try it.


Mason Taylor: (00:17:00):

I know how to test it, try it and go, hey, the quality is, this never happened, but I've done it before when I was doing my testing of right in the beginning of knowing that they say that's Di Dao, but that's not true. And you grill them. They go, oh yeah, that's actually a commercial spore that we're growing with. It's not a wild spore, Reishi, from the area in which we're growing, because that's hard to do. And so, yeah, it's a very difficult thing to do, growing in this way. But it connects you to something. It connects you, you're going back to the source of these, why these herbs were revered and so those farmers that are growing this way know that there is an impact, a viability of their product, if they make it the absolute best possible and don't compromise.


Mason Taylor: (00:17:53):

They know that there are companies like mine that will buy that top notch Di Dao product. And so we get a little, we get Mr. Li teaching a young woman locally, how to grow Reishi and the first few years she might not be doing the absolute best, but there might be a little bit of crème de la crème that we will be able to buy off her in the beginning. And we've got people going out there and making sure the area is clean. We test in TGA labs for pesticides, metals, aflatoxins, all and beyond, and then all these things that actually aren't needed to be tested for, but we do, in China and in Australia.


Mason Taylor: (00:18:32):

And so what I would need to do for organic is send out this guy who charges thousands of dollars in order for me to maintain this little thing that they think is a marketing hole in one, is having an organic symbol. And pay him a thousand dollars to go this woman's farm, check it out, pay them, whatever, three thousand dollars a night for them to stay over the night and then go back and do some other little testing in order for them to go, yeah, I'm going to tell you what you knew already. It's good. There's no pesticides in the area. And is that worth it in order to support the localization? It's good, I want to support this woman, but I'm not getting enough Reishi, but I want to support her.


Mason Taylor: (00:19:17):

And so these are the nuances of behind the scenes of how our company works. And I know you started talking about Cordyceps and we just went into discussing why it's a good question, why isn't Cordyceps at that same level as the other herbs. And it's just because we can't leave the crop in abundance. It's like Reishi. We don't do Reishi wild anymore. We did when we started. And now it just got too popular. Before it became an issue, we opted out and went to the best possible farming practise. And we've done that with Schisandra as well. In the beginning it was just like, there's just no way we're going to be able to ever get through this much wild Schisandra that's in Changbai Mountain and sure enough, yeah, actually when this probably doesn't seem too healthy.


Mason Taylor: (00:20:03):

And we work with good local governments. We move provinces in China if they're irresponsible with the land management which I know people who like China, that's not true, actually no, it is true. There are local governments, some that are like ours, that are really harshly regulating the population of pine trees or the amount of pine nuts that are up in the Changbai forest and soon to be the only amount of Chaga that's been harvested in order to maintain and preserve. So we work with that, but then go beyond that just to make sure we don't strip the environment. You've got to leave it better than you found it.


Mason Taylor: (00:20:44):

So yeah, we've gone now to, I think, the majority farming of... You know, it's still incredible Schisandra. It's still in the wild. It's still the most amazing Schisandra being pumped out, but it just makes it a little bit better for everyone. But yeah, I can't do that with Cordyceps. So do that in a broth.


Jansen Andre: (00:21:03):

So you're adjusting, from what I gather from that, determining, depending on how popular or how much of a certain thing you're selling, you have to go back and look, is it possible to keep getting it from the same source?


Mason Taylor: (00:21:21):

It's a never ending analysis. So the biggest at the moment is Chaga. So the last time I was in China, we were going up to Chagang to harvest Chaga up in, near the North Korean border, it's a mountain called, Changbai Mountain, a national park there. And they were just moving in the direction of, it sounded like there were some, the way it worked is the guys that would go in, they'd go on week expeditions to go and harvest Chaga, because it's quite deep where you go and they've been doing it for 20 years, at least.


Mason Taylor: (00:21:56):

So they know how to ensure that they're not stripping so much that they're not going to have a crop for the next year or in five years and 10 years. A lot of them are getting their kids ready to do this as well. But now it was getting popular, so we're like, okay, it was getting a few two minute noodle harvesters, as I call them. As always. Going like, I can do this. But the barrier to entry seems to be holding. It's a skillset that can't just be, people just can't all of a sudden know how to go and find the Chaga. There's snakes and shit and people are scared of going there and doing these expeditions. So the barrier to entry seems like enough, but I've already talked to my team over there and been like, let's just watch it.


Mason Taylor: (00:22:47):

Because North American Chaga is not being managed really well. Now it's starting to, but it's not a sustainable harvesting of Chaga that's going on in North America and people think it's the same happening in China. And it's not at that point yet and the government's also about to start regulating and licencing the people that can go in to this particular area to harvest Chaga. They've already done it with pine nuts and it's really, they're not just a little slap on the wrist. You get really scorned if you go and break those rules.


Mason Taylor: (00:23:17):

And so yeah, we haven't had to do that yet for Chaga, but I've got a back up source that's my second favourite place to get Chaga from, if need be. But yeah, that's an example of keeping our finger on the pulse. And with Poria, for example. Poria, really not well known in this kind of, in my community. Maybe my community a little bit more, but a really popular Chinese herb. Not so much in the adaptogen community, Poria mushroom isn't really well known. And it requires pine to grow and so wild pine is what you want. And the primary place to grow Di Dao in the centre of China, the government wasn't regulating the harvesting of pine.


Mason Taylor: (00:24:05):

And so, even though the people we would work with, we're pretty sure, especially because they ended up moving with the operation, but they were adhering to harvesting methods that weren't going to be stripping the whole ecosystem. The government wasn't regulating it and so there were people around taking advantage and it leaves a bad vibe on it and so you don't want that vibe. And you can't do Di Dao if you're involved in something that isn't going to sustainably leave the environment as it is. So we went to our second ideal place to grow Di Dao down in Jinlun province.


Mason Taylor: (00:24:41):

And there, the government harshly regulates for each person how much pine you're going to be able to go and harvest. Where you can harvest. Ensuring that you're planting and contributing back to the replanting to the extent where it's like we'll go and trek up and ask you to show where you've harvested yours and then if they find anything else in the vicinity, they'll investigate it and have it be marked as being a particular farmer's quota. And so those are the things that go in behind the scenes that people don't realise to actually grow a Di Dao herb and that's why it's hard.


Mason Taylor: (00:25:15):

You can imagine, it's like oh, screw this. Well, let's just get pine from a domestic pine farm. But that's, of course, it's so easy and that needs to be happening to an extent, because you can't give the world how much Poria it needs of all wild pine. But there is a way and maybe it stops at some point. I don't know. Maybe at some point I need to just have, all right, here's the Di Dao range and then here's the other range. Here's the one that's maybe a little more for widespread consumption. But yeah, at the moment we don't have to do that. But yeah, that's everything that kind of, the other stuff that goes in behind the scenes.


Jansen Andre: (00:25:56):

Very interesting. It seems like a very intense and long process as well as people putting their lives on the line in terms of wild animals and nature and stuff to go and forage and harvest these herbs. I just want to strip it back, right back for people that are unaware of adaptogens and herbs. What would be a reason that somebody would consider taking medicinal mushrooms or tonic herbs and what are the main few that you focus on at SuperFeast that you would include in say, your average person's daily consumption that you would consider the most important. Considering we live in such a Yang, fast lifestyle.


Mason Taylor: (00:26:51):

Good question, man, good question. There's many directions I could take why people take tonic herbs. I'll start seeing if I can rattle them off and not distract myself. So clinically, the tonic herbs in general, a lot of them are used in formulas in order to overcome particular disease states. But I leave that to a practitioner. The intention of tonic herbalism isn't, and my formulas, for instance, isn't to treat disease states.


Mason Taylor: (00:27:27):

But when you're in that instance where you're working with a practitioner, say how they would use it is perhaps they would get you onto medicinal mushrooms alongside a treatment... A really good example is chemo. There's a lot of people who have identified that you can take medicinal mushrooms alongside the chemo. So a lot of people are out there going to medicinal mushrooms, specifically for the treatment of cancer. And there are institutions researching that and there are countries that utilise that in their actual conventional medical system. But that's something that we're not at that place yet.


Mason Taylor: (00:28:11):

But there are a lot of practitioners that have realised that having medicinal mushrooms going into conjunction to cancer treatments like chemo and radiotherapy, the intent there being to ensure that the body isn't destroyed by the treatment itself. So keeping the immune system adept, strong, activated. So that's one area where people might use tonic herbs or a practitioner might use tonic herbs.


Mason Taylor: (00:28:38):

In the convalescence stage of a disease, so the healing and the building back. So after you've undergone... Someone with, I'm just trying to think of an example, if someone's gone through two years of hyperthyroidism and they've been undergoing lots of little micro herbal treatments and hormone therapies and they get to a point where they're feeling, okay, I don't feel like I'm sick anymore, but those years absolutely wasted me. And took it out of me mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically. And so at that point tonic herbs are going to have a lot to do with the rebuilding of the body, right? That's when they're really beautiful and tonifying. They can tonify functions of the body.


Mason Taylor: (00:29:28):

There's also, we could say the same for preparing for big surgeries. Preparing the body for huge medical treatments and that doesn't just have to be things like chemo. There are a lot of herbal treatments or even someone who's sick and flies over to Mexico and is getting that hypothermia treatment and they're doing the oxygenation of the blood and they're doing lots of colonics and whatever it is. Those take a lot out of the body. You need a lot of strength and so people would use tonic herbs to strengthen the body and prepare it in those instances.


Mason Taylor: (00:30:06):

Then there are people who are looking to, they're looking to prevent injury, prevent acute illness, thinking about just preventing illness in the future, preventing exhaustion creeping in the future. They watch their parents' minds kind of waste away, their brains kind of waste away or the bones waste away. And so there's an intent around prevention. And a lot of people are starting to realise that there is this class of herbs that are basically herbal foods that can assist you and might not be perfect and there's no guarantees, but it's like, why are we going and upgrading the quality of our water from tap to filtered to maybe the best spring water we can find and adding in some hydrogen.


Mason Taylor: (00:30:58):

Why are we going from yeah, cool, I'm getting organic veggies from the health food store to try and include some wild foods in your diet. It's because you're upgrading and potentiating and trying to get these habits to norms that will mineralize the body and potentiate the body. Tone the water of your body into this beautiful crystaline substance that can help you maintain a high quality of life for longterm. And that's the same with tonic herb intention. And so there's that instance.


Mason Taylor: (00:31:31):

There are people who will take it further from the Taoist intention who want to cultivate longevity. And that can be the longevity of your ability to undergo big psychological evolutions and initiations. So a lot of people have the strength to really get past maybe that leap from 50 years old. It's going to take, all of a sudden everything that you'd identified as important and what makes you up, becomes less important internally to you. But you don't have the ability to let go of that identity, shed the skin and go into that next phase of your life. Because it's scary and I don't have judgement of that.


Mason Taylor: (00:32:17):

I've had to learn. It's been tough for me, even just going, feeling from 30 and becoming a new dad and identifying with being one particular way and then all of a sudden having a business and needing to land, basically. And not just be flying off with the fairies and so on and so forth. All these different little changes and shifts that happen throughout our lives. To be able to move through them with a skip and a step. That takes a lot. And just in order to ensure that our bones stay healthy. People want longevity for the sake of making sure the kidneys are healthy. The kidneys regulate the bone marrow, the brain, the dewy substances.


Mason Taylor: (00:32:54):

The brain in Taoism is considered marrow. So ensuring that that aspect of the body is supported by its core organ so that we have greater capacity to think in really complex ways and feel in really complex ways when we're older. Basically, all that comes down to in Taoism as an intention, is cultivation of life. Cultivation of the treasures. Our Jing, our Qi, our Chen. And cultivation can literally be as we burn through it. Because you only have a certain amount of Jing, say, like the wax of the candle. As you burn through it, you add a little bit more on.


Mason Taylor: (00:33:30):

Well, that's actually adding a little bit more, it's more so keep living off Qi. Keeping living off breath, diet, the herbs and that's the energy you use to get through the day and you don't have to take the wax off the candle and put like a coal burning oven. And get your energy in a non-sustainable way. If you burn through your Jing too early, you're going to not have the foundations the thrive. And you might live a long time, but people are really dying a long time.


Mason Taylor: (00:34:02):

So that whole intention around longevity in that sense, which our culture does not value as much as, really supporting people to become elders, in a sense that they're healthy and that they're in this capacity to share their wisdom lovingly and willingly with younger generations. That doesn't exist that much. You need to take that into your own sovereign intention. And so in that sense, that all comes down to there are transformation of energy going on through your organs at all times as it continues to circulate. And that transformation is Yin Yang, Yin Yang, Yin Yang, Yin Yang.


Mason Taylor: (00:34:47):

And that's just your capacity for your Qi to transform smoothly and constantly, which means you're going to constantly have emotions and they can constantly transform and lead you in places where you can get a little bit of a virtue going. And then the fear comes back and boom, boom. So that's all that. And then when you go in on that, that's the five organ system, the Wuxing, five elements. Even though the elements is a rough translation. So the whole point is to ensure that the energy is moving through the heart and the spleen and the lung and the kidneys and the liver and it's able to just transform.


Mason Taylor: (00:35:28):

Yin Yang, Yin Yang. And that's like that fire Qi. It's just a Yin Yang transformation of Qi going from substance, from something of Yin and consolidation to the Yang through expression and movement in unique ways. And in the heart, it kind of like, ah, that reminds me of fire. It feels like fire and in the spleen, it goes to the spleen. That's really earthy and soil kind of phase transforming through the kidneys. It's like, ah, it's got that water quality. It's just a feeling of what's out there is also in here. But it's really simple. Just, your lifestyle just keeps it going. Just keeps it transforming.


Mason Taylor: (00:36:10):

And if you're transforming smoothly, you're not wasting your Jing, Qi and Shen. And at some point you can cultivate your Jing, Qi and Shen. The idea, so you're less of an asshole and more of an awesome person when you get older and you're quite healthy. So that's another intention there. And that's probably the reasons why people would get attracted to it and then now it's as well. People are just, I need my brain to be on this morning, so I'm drinking Neural Nectar. This incredible herbs supporting that marrow of the brain and other areas that I know translate to me feeling sharp and there's blood flow through the marrow. I can feel wit and cloudy and supplementing of the kidney energy that's supporting that what we see as mental capacity.


Mason Taylor: (00:36:54):

So in a Western sense, the Nootropics. They're just helping me nourish the brain, getting some L-dopa in from the Mucuna. Helping me to regulate my moods, so on and so forth. So I also have very micro, not a lot of the time, probably an 80/20 macro intention to micro intention. But there's a micro intention today, because I've got this podcast and I'm having someone on mind, I want to make sure that I can talk and think in really lateral ways without using what's actually not there to be used. You know what I mean?


Mason Taylor: (00:37:31):

And so there's that as well. And that's kind of where it falls, you know, take Cordyceps before you work out so that your lung is nourished in full Qi flow, so it can function in its Western pulmonary capacity, blood oxygenating capacity, in a better way. While it nourishes the kidney energy and balances out the Yin Yang in the kidneys which is where strength and endurance and power emerges from, if that Qi is flowing. And so do a little short term. Yeah, have that Cordy before an event so that I'm feeling really incredible and that little bit of extra capacity. But then eventually, that becomes, huh, I can embody that at all times and not have reliance on the herb to do it in an immediate manner. Yeah.


Jansen Andre: (00:38:19):

So back on what you were originally just talking about with Cordyceps and different types of adaptogens, what about an athlete? What would be the most useful kind of tonic herb or adaptogen to use to increase performance, prevent injury and be mentally sharp and clear for everyone listening. Say, for instance, someone was about to go and compete, about to go and do an endurance event, in the lead up to the event, would you say use it for four weeks to gain, I know you were saying before it's accumulative as well on the body. What's kind of your thoughts on that and timeframe with consuming something like that to get the best benefit of it so that when it comes to race day, you're ready?


Mason Taylor: (00:39:18):

It's sooner the better. Day before is awesome as well. The intention is, maybe people can relate with say, their breath work. Maybe they're like, oh cool, I'm going to start doing some breath work for this event and wow, that really helped me get prepared and I feel like I had greater output and recovery during the event. I'm going to do that again for the next event and then the one afterwards, they just never stop the breath work, because it's like, ah, this helps me feel good all the time. And all of a sudden it becomes like drinking water or having a smoothie or whatever.


Mason Taylor: (00:39:56):

That's generally where tonic herbalism is going to land you and you'll realise it's got three intentions, they say. A really direct one in order that you might pick up the usage of particular herbs, which I'll get into soon, before an event in order to ensure that specifically your lungs are really potentiated and your kidneys as well are really potentiated during the event. So you have a high athletic performance while you're actually in there.


Mason Taylor: (00:40:23):

So that's the first and then you might pick up some of those herbs at the beginning, in the weeks leading up. Then you're going to have herbs for your recovery to ensure that you haven't, you want to ensure that you in flogging yourself, you're not "flugging" the substance of your body. And I'll get into those as well. And then there's going to be just your everyday regular intention, like taking your medicinal mushrooms, like a Mason Taylor:'s Mushrooms blend that we've got.


Mason Taylor: (00:40:50):

It's got a lot of herbs that will help potentiate you for the event, but you might not have that association. In the lead up, you might want to go focus on things like Cordyceps and Astragalus and the Qi herbs and the Yang herbs to help you get ready for that. So that might just lock into a... And then when I'm just between events and I'm just wanting to keep myself healthy and going, then I'll take my Mason Taylor:'s Mushrooms or there might be something else that you're interested in, like Schisandra.


Mason Taylor: (00:41:16):

Ironically, all the tonic herbs are going to help. But some of them just have the brand and the proclivity to help an athlete perform much more. So let's have a look at where you're going to be at in the build up and I've mentioned them already. There's going to be a combination of, a lot of the time it's the Jing herbs and the Qi herbs which people are going to be more attracted to when wanting output. And that is also going to depend on how sustainable your recovery is in training and your lifestyle is in training.


Mason Taylor: (00:41:54):

If you are really good at sleeping and really good at taking days off and really good at getting into your parasympathetic nervous system regularly, and not feeling fearful. You're not an athlete, you're not looking for performance out of fear constantly, because you're not an enough, you know. There's an actual, really soulful intent that isn't, your identity isn't dependent on the outcome. That shift's going to mean that your athletic intentions aren't going to leak your Jing as much as someone that is doing those things.


Mason Taylor: (00:42:30):

So not to put, that's all of us. We're all learning through this process of getting into the dojo and a lot of the time, while we're younger we're not going to be very good at it, so a lot of athletes really like the Jing herbs. So the Jing formula, Cordyceps is another amazing one. I'll even throw Schisandra and the Beauty Blend that we've got over at SuperFeast into that one. It's going to really ensure that you actually have the substance in your kidneys to feed the power and the strength and the adrenaline.


Mason Taylor: (00:43:04):

When you're leading up into that, Cordyceps kind of takes the reins. I know, I don't like, I'm pretty a lot of people fall into the tonic herb space who do like Yang herbs, like Deer Antler Velvet, there's a tonic by ant that people will get into or it might be Tongkat Ali and other beautiful tonic herbs. Siberian Ginseng, these are those going over towards these Yang tonic herbs that will take the substance of your body.


Mason Taylor: (00:43:34):

So it will take, say, the water of your body that holds all your power and strength in the Yin of the kidneys and the Yang will start heating it up and turning it into vapour in your body. And so that you become really lubricated and that power and that potential in the water is spread through the entirety of your body and germinating the Jing so that you can really express. That's what the Yang is about and why you're going to be attracted to those Yang herbs.


Mason Taylor: (00:43:59):

A lot of the time, a primary example is the Cordyceps. And that's why Jing herbs are really popular going in, but if you are feeling really good with your lifestyle and your recovery and everything, at some point you'll see a switch go over the main herbs that you're going to use to prepare for are the Qi herbs, like Astragalus, Ginseng, White Atractylodes, Codonopsis, even Poise. And they are like, so I've got a Qi formula which people will, all of the athletes will go, yeah, Jing. Oh my God, the Jing and the Cordyceps, that's like, I need these and I can feel them feeding me.


Mason Taylor: (00:44:39):

But at some point they click over into, they feel like they've got a good flow that they're always ready to perform and then they go, uh huh, now I just need to bring a refinement by the way that I animate myself and I move myself and they start tonifying. And this is an interesting one, because the Cordyceps is a Jing and Qi tonic. And this is why it's the perfect intro for people. But then they start adding in Astragalus and the Qi formula and all of a sudden their lungs' ability to bring in vitality and energy to the body, so it can animate itself and not get fatigued, that's what becomes more important and you've always got the foundation of your Jing through your lifestyle and maybe taking of Jing herbs in your recovery stage. Does that make sense?


Jansen Andre: (00:45:28):

Yeah. Yeah, wow. I was literally just about to ask you about the Qi blend. As you describe on your website, the Energy Blend, but it is a slower building effect on the body in terms of stimulant and hit as per se.


Mason Taylor: (00:45:43):

Yeah, it's a slower build, because most people don't have the foundations within the kidneys in order to really get the most out of their diet and their spleen to produce Qi and the Qi that you're extracting from the air. But that is the true, they combine the Gong Qi that you get from your food, from cooking your food and the Gong Qi that you get from breathing. Your body harvests that and combines that and then there's Yin Yang expressions of that.


Mason Taylor: (00:46:20):

One goes to the surface of the body and it's known as your Wei Qi and the other goes through the organs and the meridians and charges the organs so that you've got daily function. That's constantly happening. And so it's a more direct Qi, but in the beginning, people need to experience their own Jing, because everyone's trying to just have heaps of Qi energy immediately without having the foundation. So they need to take the Jing herbs, they need to learn how to sleep and recover and being Yin, because otherwise see what happens. People are constant heating up all their waters and creating vapour. What happens if you don't replenish the water?


Mason Taylor: (00:46:56):

Boom, you become deficient. And so once you do have that good flow, so I like talking like James Newbury, the crossfit guy in my podcast, because our first podcast, he was just like, it was all recovery. And I was like, yeah, good message. And so for a lot of people listening, Jing's going to give them those, holy shit, I feel so good on the Jing. And they think it's giving them this energy. But no, it's all of a sudden you're plugging holes and you're not used to the holes being plugged and you're not used to holding onto the water. You're used to constantly needing to replenish the water.


Mason Taylor: (00:47:31):

I don't know what that is in the athletic community, but it's like energy drinks, coffee. Doing all hardcore Yang breath practises so that you've got some oxygen coursing through your veins and so you start becoming less dependent on these extreme ways to get energy into yourself. But once you've done that, to an extent, not that I don't like these things. They can just be done sustainably. Once you've done those, then you start doing the Qi tonics and then it starts, you really start feeling the quick vitality come back.


Mason Taylor: (00:48:04):

But it's just a really good way for people to know if you're not feeling like there's a... If you can't feel with the Qi herbs that you've got a really good, slow build of energy occurring, it's like, okay, maybe I don't have the foundation. You can do your Qi herbs, your Qi blend, alongside Jing herbs, Jing formula. There's no rules. You make your own way. I need to make rules so people feel like they have a framework to enter, but really, you can just go slow and steady.


Mason Taylor: (00:48:32):

There are no rules in tonic herbalism. It's your herbal practise, but then that's why we're here to help you as you go. Change the framework to make it more unique, but I also have to give a general one when you're entering. And yeah, so then at that point the Qi herbs is what you find eventually, it's the bridge. The Shen is what connects you to the heaven. Your virtuous nature, your kindness, your generosity. Which is also really at some point in your athletic career, you realise it's really important to cultivate as well, right?


Mason Taylor: (00:49:10):

Your ability to accept. Your natural ability, so on and so forth. Staying humble if you're like an absolute maniac and naturally the best ever. That Shen, heavenly, virtuous nature is really a beautiful thing that you're going to need to cultivate as well, so maybe your Shen herbs is something as well that you take in the aftermath in order to process. How did I feel when that person that I used to be better than has started beating me? How am I feeling about that? And processing that. That can be the Shen blend in herbs like Albizzia Flower, Asparagus Root, Reishi, Pearl or Oyster Shell. Again, not plant based, but these are those herbs and they've got a Chen formula there.


Mason Taylor: (00:50:00):

And it can be part of the Shen formula, because it's not vegan, then just Reishi on its own and even again, like Schisandra is also a really beautiful shen tonic in itself, but you can sit and contemplate, how did I feel about that win? What does that win mean to me? And how can I, what is now my, did it feel vacant? Did it feel amazing? Chen is really that processing stage as well, so that can be really useful and that, but that's the heavenly. The earth based, just being a physical body is the Jing. And so a lot of the time you will see Taoists and people who get really just clicking to auto mode with the herbs, will just constantly be on the Qi tonics.


Mason Taylor: (00:50:43):

And that's the mushrooms as well, mostly. Munda mushrooms, like the Chaga, Lion's Mane, Poria, Reishi to an extent, Maitake, Shiitake, Turkey Tail, Tremella, they all have a proclivity for regulating water in the body through a spleen function and heavily a lung function, heavily a regulation of Qi through the liver function, so they're seen as those middle to good Shen, Qi, Jing. Qi is really helping you translate and be that bridge between heaven and earth, which is what the Taoists see that we are, bringing virtuous nature. Generosity, kindness, love, infinite love, to the absolute physical realm. And where we've got the capacity through Qi to bridge those two dimensions.


Mason Taylor: (00:51:34):

And so you'll find people in automatic mode. You'll click into just taking medicinal mushrooms and Qi herbs. And that will just be keeping you, because that just keeps the spark in the machine. Your lifestyle's keeping the machine healthy and not flogging it and recovering. You know you've got a Gong to put in practise and maybe spending time in nature so you're naturally cultivating that Shen a lot of the time, because you have a desire to be as good a person as you possibly could be. Not that good, bad has anything to do with it.


Mason Taylor: (00:52:03):

And so you just take the Qi to kind of, so that you're getting the most out of your breath, the most out of your food. You have a good diet. You're not too stressed out all the time, so you can actually breathe. You don't have to do crazy where I'm half breathing all the time in order to get that breath. Although they're really cool as well, all of a sudden your whole lifestyle's geared towards keeping the spark in the machine moving and keep everything regulating so you're evolving and just living as harmoniously as possible.


Mason Taylor: (00:52:32):

And then at times you might spill over and go, cool, I'm in winter now. I'm getting off coffee for 30 days and taking Jing. We've got a 30 days of Jing challenge. And you go, cool, I'm going sit and really consider my kidneys and my fear and look into the deep waters of my body and cultivate that Jing. That kidney water energy where the Jing is kept. You have to look at your mortality at that point, what that means and see what arises from that fear. Feel like, oh, what was useful fear? Just actually keeping you alive. And then where's it irrelevant or irrational fear? So there might be times when you go really deep into the kidney Jing herbs for that emotional intention as well.


Mason Taylor: (00:53:17):

And then you're kind of like, cool, now I just need to not think about my tonic herbal practise and just click in a order with the mushrooms and the Qi herbs. Or whatever. For a long time, people are going to just be clicking into just, oh cool, I'm just taking Jing herbs. And that's fine as well. Again, there's no rule, but you just got to listen and check in every now and then to adjust.


Jansen Andre: (00:53:39):

So let's talk about a framework. It's obviously an intuitive kind of practise of taking these herbs, but say for instance someone is constantly jacked and hyped all the time. They're not focusing on their breathing. They're not doing meditation and they're constantly tired. But they want to find that inner Qi and they want to get back to ground zero and get grounded. What would you say, how would they all start to include these to channel that?


Mason Taylor: (00:54:11):

I mean, okay, so let's look at your really, if you're really looking at longterm, that that's your identity and you don't really know your body and you don't really know the path back to harmony, because you've gone too far off into power lifting or the triathlons or whatever it is. And a lot of the time, and I've been there heavily with my identification of being this perfect, healthy specimen. I've had a long time as a raw foodist, pretty much a vegan vegan, it was kind of where I was coming from. And it was really great for me, but at some point I went way too far off centre into my own ideological dogma.


Mason Taylor: (00:54:53):

And then I just in tracking back took a long time. And I enjoyed that process. So it's like, if you're willing and wanting to do it on your own, then very good. But it's going to be a slow process and it's going to be a matter of you slowly getting the terminology that can help explain where you're at. Maybe that's a Western terminology, maybe that's a classical Chinese Medicine terminology of whether it's a Yang deficiency, primarily, or a Yin deficiency or maybe it's just like in a hyper way, your inner sympathetic nervous system creates excess cortisol, maybe.


Mason Taylor: (00:55:31):

It doesn't matter what. You need a terminology and a framework to take you back to centre. And if you're too far off it's just, cut the time and go find a classical acupuncturist or maybe a really good naturopath who can do your markers. And so that way, just to start with, I'll say that, because if you're feeling a bit lost and anxious about it, that's a way, in a grounded way, to do it with tonic herbalism is really good, but it's a big stab in the dark that might not actually hit the specifics for your treatment.


Mason Taylor: (00:56:06):

Because that's potentially, you're on a trajectory towards early degeneration or not. And so although it might be like a lot of lifestyle factors, like adding in some tonic herbs, starting to getting some Jing yoga in or some Qi Gong into your practise, like all these kinds of things, they're going to be lifestyle things that you're going to want to work on. At the same time, your proclivity and need to go that extreme, is something that you'll need to address. And you need to get really in touch with your body. So although it's not seen as a real symptomatic illness or anything at that point, you want a practitioner. Because you don't get too many opportunities in your life where you clock onto that intent to come back into harmony and live in harmony for longterm, and you want to take advantage of that opportunity really quick and really work with someone to get an understanding of exactly who you are and what your body is and how it relates.


Mason Taylor: (00:57:01):

And a classical acupuncturist can really help you go like, look, you're... You know, for me, me and a friend, we both are entrepreneurs. One of us is more geared towards a Yang deficiency, the other more towards a Yin deficiency. For me it's a Yin deficiency, for him it's a Yang deficiency. And so, just little things for him are really specific. For Yang it's sitting on the surface of the body and you go and do extreme saunas. You're wasting, you're releasing all of your Yang. And so it's not really a useful thing to do and so maybe getting in the sauna without having that excess sweating.


Mason Taylor: (00:57:35):

So those are little things that where it's going... And for me it's otherwise. For me it's the end action of the substance and the Yin of the body, is what I'm constantly needing to adjust my lifestyle to cultivating. I'm not someone as well who does run on Yang. I'm a very Yang type person, but then I'm able to see over the last four years, at some point I hit this, I had an identity about being this outspoken, I'm this huge personality and I'm Yang and I'm achieving, but at some point what clicked in, which is something that's on all of my charts, if you look at my human design and my astrology and all those kind of things, at some point I need to come back and do a cave and reflect over the last few years. It's far out.


Mason Taylor: (00:58:24):

I've been constantly drawn back to just being in darkness and in a hovel and I've kind of judged myself for doing that. And going like, why am I doing this? Why my like is, why am I not out achieving? So on and so forth. But when I start actually working with, I can actually, whether it's through a bit of therapy, a practitioner or majority is just getting my own reflection back into forgiveness of myself and love of myself constantly. I know when it's like, now I need a little click on the ear to stop whinging and get up and do something which you know is right for yourself. Or when it's like, hey, you've got to listen to yourself right now.


Mason Taylor: (00:59:04):

And in that instance it's because I've gone really towards Yin depletion and so for me then I just kind of, then I need to find my way and to live sustainably so that I don't chronically do that to myself and then have to have these episodes where I just can't see anyone. That's not a healthy way to be. And so you've got to listen. But, and then coming back to the fact that someone's being extreme in the athletic world. Just generally, you're going to want to start getting onto some Jing herbs, because generally, you would have depleted yourself.


Mason Taylor: (00:59:40):

The Jing formula I've just got there is a neutral balanced Yin Yang. It doesn't throw you through fire in any direction. Generally really good for the population to start, giving you the experience of your kidney water Qi flowing so that you can feel that you're not wasting anymore. You're not leaking it. And then with that you maybe notice a distinction around ah, maybe I should drop some coffee and maybe you can just do some good sleep and then so that's a good entry.


Mason Taylor: (01:00:06):

And then the mushrooms. Because they're just so all over the place regulating of the body and protecting of the body. It's like a formula, like the Mason Taylor:'s Mushrooms formula, if you want capsules, like the Mushroom M8. And other brands as well. If anyone ever has any questions about other brands, I'm not precious. I just do SuperFeast, because I learned, I had a problem for years and years about talking about my own company. I don't know why, this is my thing.


Mason Taylor: (01:00:34):

I didn't like having products and felt uncomfortable with it, but I can see people listening to me, listening to this podcast, SuperFeast is there as a place for them to access these really precious herbs so I do just talk about it in the SuperFeast context, but feel free to send me others if you just want me to give you a heads up on different things.


Mason Taylor: (01:00:54):

The mushrooms are just, they're in every organ. Like a formula like that, they're in every organ. They're immunologically getting yourself potentiated and modulated and so a lot can just start going right when you get onto the mushrooms. And you just start there. And you do two months and you start with a quarter teaspoon of the extract powder and then you maybe get up to a teaspoon. Some people are more sensitive, they like just a half a teaspoon. Some people, whether it's the Mason Taylor:'s or the Jing formula, some people are like, my body wants two heaped teaspoons a day. Is that okay?


Mason Taylor: (01:01:28):

So, yes. Listen to your body. And that might happen for a week. Sometimes people do that for two months. I took mushrooms, two tablespoons of mushrooms of Chaga and Reishi for two years, basically, straight. Every day. Pretty much. But that was because I'm very extreme. Always very excess too. I found a pendulum, my pendulum doesn't swing so far anymore, but that's my personality and what I needed to do in order to initiate myself into the world that I'm in right now and really understand the mushrooms. But what's important, is as much to listen to that part of you that wants to up the dose, is to listen to that part of you that knows when it's time to down the dose.


Mason Taylor: (01:02:10):

And not, because the tonic herbs are beautiful and you don't form dependencies. They help you cultivate capacity, right? And so that's the only little thing there. If you go up to two teaspoons and you're feeling good and you go, I kind of want to change now, but you have a fear that if you take it away, then you're not going to feel this good anymore. Just be aware that it's very valid. And maybe you just lower the dose kind of slowly, but that's the whole idea, is that with lifestyle and just with your own, you felt what it's like to build your Jing back and not be exhausted anymore.


Mason Taylor: (01:02:47):

Take note of that process and remember that's you and your body, right? You can always, you see that's what sovereignty is. You felt what it's like to go from depleted to in harmony. And to flowing. And that will never be able to be taken away. Even if you take the herbs away, you will always still have that feeling and that knowing. Even if it's dark, you've done that track before, right? And so you can feel your way with a little bit more familiarity. And so, just remembering that. Yeah.


Jansen Andre: (01:03:16):

I'm nodding my head, because we are very similar in terms of I have such a Yang personality that I have to, I've got to do these things to kind of self-regulate myself, otherwise I feel like I will burn out. So for anybody else listening, if you're interested at all, I will leave your website in the show notes and the learn section as well, because I know I went through your website and learned quite a lot myself about different tonic herbs and how you can use them.


Jansen Andre: (01:03:53):

But on that note, these tonic herbs, although taken exact same by different people, they would obviously have different effects. And as you said, it's got to be intuitive and we should take these things and listen to our body and how it kind of responds. I was going to say to you, is there a safe sort of consumption for these, but you kind of already answered that in terms of how you were taking two tablespoons a day.


Mason Taylor: (01:04:23):

Yeah, and tonic herbalism is all about a little consistently. And then you get 10 years down the track and you go, holy shit. You don't, for me, those two years, although pivotal for me, because this is my path now or my career, to put it in a matrix way, what have been more significant for my actual intentions around my body and my life has been the small amounts I've never stopped doing.


Mason Taylor: (01:04:58):

And I don't mean, it doesn't have to be every day. It's not a rule based thing, it's just I find how it fits into my life, into my personal culture and that's when I look back. I go, oh, that's what's built the foundations of my temple. It's those little bits consistently. Not those big, mega doses.


Jansen Andre: (01:05:19):

Yeah. And I guess it's more of a sustainable change rather than a quick fix, so if you're going to be starting down this path, just know that it is a slow build to build that foundation rather than, and it's more healthy to do it that way rather than be like, cool, let's go out and do a massive healing. Although those are great, it's better to work on things daily at a slower rate. But my last thing that I want to talk about, how to take these herbs. For people listening, what is the best way? Is it with food, is it in smoothies or just hot water?


Mason Taylor: (01:05:55):

I always think about a grandma or grandpa or mum or dad who are really involved in the kitchen and what the family are eating, say anywhere in the world. Someone that's connected to the land and herbs of where they live. And them going, let's go to a more ancient China. And they're going, right, I want the family ingesting these. How am I going to do it?


Mason Taylor: (01:06:23):

And so what they would do, they'd throw Astragalus or Ginseng into their broths and into their soups, into the congees. They would make Schisandra rice wine and so on and so forth. Or they would make a tea. They'd make a Schisandra and Reishi tea which is just boiled in hot water. And all of those things, you feel that intention there. You can bring into your day and age.


Mason Taylor: (01:06:51):

You've got your hearth in your home and perhaps you're alone, living alone or perhaps you have a large family. But it doesn't matter. You feel like how you're nourishing yourself already. Maybe it's through smoothies. Maybe you've got a family and, you know, you're really enjoying this autumn, going into winter energy of making broths and soups and so goes in the smoothie, goes in the soup, goes in the spag bowl. Maybe you really love making coffee in the morning. Bang, goes in the coffee. Right?


Mason Taylor: (01:07:24):

Maybe you love chai. Bang, in the chai. In your hot chocolate. Maybe you don't do any of that and you've got that type of mind that just wants to be focused on the herbs itself. You don't want any other delivery methods. Dissolve it in a little bit of hot water, bang it down. Right now, a few guys who just I know through, one of them has been on the podcast, and the other has just come to a few talks and just become Instagram friends, they just did the raw dogging challenge.


Mason Taylor: (01:07:54):

And so I've never heard that term, but raw dogging the herbs. Just spooning them straight in their mouth and filming their reaction and then calling out mates to join the raw dogging challenge. And so I call that recipe the hardcore herbalist. And sometimes when you're travelling, that's what you do. You just take your Mason Taylor:'s Mushrooms and you bang it your mouth. Yeah, and that's a way to do it as well for some people.


Mason Taylor: (01:08:17):

I've got capsules now, which I think, I know a lot of people have... Some people are like, oh, why are you guys doing capsules? We always liked the flavour and you taught us to integrate it into your house and your family. I'm like, yeah, but it's just some people. You've got parents and grandparents that they want to see taking mushrooms and having a capsule of mushrooms is just without a doubt.


Mason Taylor: (01:08:44):

I resisted and it was through requests of the community of wanting to enter into those worlds, which is why we did that. But that's an option now. And it's paid. Yeah, it's why you get to see it. You see them popping up in particular places. I mean, it's a very special... Are you up North, yeah? You know Tugun BP?


Jansen Andre: (01:09:05):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yep. It's my favourite petrol station.


Mason Taylor: (01:09:10):

I think that should be everyone's favourite petrol station. I didn't know about it and I walked in. It was the best health food store ever. And I went up to watch some stand up. My friend, my mate was getting up for the first time and through my hat in the ring and getting up and doing some the first stand up comedy bit in two weeks up there.


Mason Taylor: (01:09:33):

And we left and one of the comedians was just like, you're from out of town. Have you been in there? And I was like, no. He's like, get your ass in there. And I was like, holy shit. Look at this bloody petrol station. I'm going to have to get SuperFeast in here. And then low and behold, SuperFeast is sitting there near the cash register. And the capsules are there with the Jing and Mason Taylor:'s Mushrooms and some Lion's Mane and some Reishi. I was absolutely blown away. That's a special example, but the powders, yeah, but the capsules, especially, you start seeing them sprout up in these places which you just never ever would have expected in your wildest dreams.


Mason Taylor: (01:10:11):

And that's the mushroom make. It's a completely, it's a listed medicine. So that's backed by the TGA zone science that they've got on their database there for managing the immune system. There's no reason that's not in all pharmacies, in hospitals. It's starting to kind of enter into that world, so yeah, it's exciting times.


Jansen Andre: (01:10:35):

That's so incredible. Honestly, I go to that petrol station when I go for my bike rides, because it's stocked up with everything and now that I know that I can get your product there, that's even better. I just want to wrap it up, but I want to leave this last one up to you. Do you have any parting things that you want to say or shine a light on anything that we haven't covered on what you do or that you can provide value in for people listening?


Mason Taylor: (01:11:06):

Covered a lot. Remember there's no right or wrong way to approach this. You might be in a place where you've just got things you feel aren't right or you want to kind of fix and that's a perfectly valid and beautiful intention. And still have an element by itself like that. It doesn't have to all be big picture, longterm health, although it's nice to touch on that. You don't have to live in that space all the time.


Mason Taylor: (01:11:31):

These herbs aren't there for you to form dependencies on. You can go on and off them. You just want to make, if possible, you don't come to it. Once you feel that they work, because you don't want to just be, I think these are working and therefore that Mason Taylor: guy seemed to be really confident and I really want what he talked about, so I'll just keep on going. If that's the case, get in touch through whatever, SuperFeast Instagram or call the team or just try a little bit more, up the dose.


Mason Taylor: (01:12:01):

If things are going on, either get in touch or try another angle, because you can feel that they work and that's probably the most important thing to just make sure that you give yourself. That will open up a really longterm relationship with these Taoist tonic herbs and then who knows where it leads. Maybe the same intention leads in the future to you having your own Permiculture garden, growing some of these medicinals, foraging for medicinals that are in your direct area. As well as maybe developing a really beautiful longterm relationship with these Chinese herbs.


Mason Taylor: (01:12:37):

Where you can reflect at 60 and be like, my God, I'm so glad I found Schisandra Berry. I feel like that absolutely transformed my life over taking it over the last 25 years. You might have that. So give yourself the opportunity. Yeah.


Jansen Andre: (01:12:53):

All right. Awesome, man. My mind is, I wish could talk to you for so much longer, but my mind is just absolutely ticking so rapidly at the moment. But for everyone who is interested, I will leave your website in the show notes. There is a plethora of information and different tonic herbs and adaptogens that you can explore to improve yourself and your wellbeing. So I just want to say thank you for taking the time to connect and yeah, it's been an incredible chat today.


Mason Taylor: (01:13:28):

Thanks so much, man.


Jansen Andre: (01:13:29):

There's so much information that I'm going to take on board for myself as well and I've got a lot of your stuff already in my cupboard and I'm going to make sure I get back onto it.


Mason Taylor: (01:13:43):

Yeah, do it. Thanks so much, man.


Jansen Andre: (01:13:45):

No, you're welcome.

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