WHAT IS TONIC HERBALISM? (PODCAST #1)

by Mason Taylor September 25, 2018 119 mins read

SuperFeast Podcast #1

 

 

Today at SuperFeast headquarters, Mason and Tahnee talk all things Daoist (Taoist) tonic herbalism. What the heck is Daoism? Don’t worry, by the end of this discussion, you’ll be all over this ancient philosophy (especially when it comes to herbal practice!).  SuperFeast prides itself on respecting the ancient tradition of tonic herbalism that emerged through the Orient, respecting the ancient wisdom from those before us. Mason and Tahnee dive deep into how the ancient tonic herbalists lived and how we, the modern human, can learn and incorporate these practices into our daily lifestyles. Exactly how does our current Western lifestyle affect us? The lifestyle which disturbs our circadian rhythms and promotes us being out of flow with the natural cycles of nature? Short answer - degeneration and aging; we’re here to change that. Listen to join us on this mission.

 

In this episode you will learn:

  • Daoist tonic herb philosophy
  • Macrocosm vs microcosm of herbalism
  • Why women should have as much sex as they like
  • The formula for good Qi flowing through the body
  • What Qi is and how it animates you
  • Our approach to diet
  • Why we search for the path of least resistance in health and herbal practice
  • Why an adaptable mind allows for epic health
  • How to become a ‘somanaut’ through the tonic herbs
  • Why separation from nature is the root cause of illness
  • How to prevent having “flabby” immune systems
  • Transformation through these herbs
  • Why we’re dropping reishi bombs of consciousness around the world
  • Why longevity isn’t an overnight phenomenon
  • We provide good quality, epic, non-irradiated wild herbs - based on Di Dao (Di Tao) principles
  • Tonic herbs are multi-directional and their benefits accumulate over time
  • A quick overview of the three treasures Qi, Jing and Shen - more in future episodes!
  • One of the missing links in Western philosophy, the energetics of herbs

About Mason

Mason Taylor is a wellness educator, host of The Mason Taylor Show podcast, professional speaker and retreat facilitator. He is a passionate tonic herbalist and founder of Australia’s leading tonic herb and medicinal mushroom provider, SuperFeast. Mason is dedicated to teaching people of all walks of life how to embrace and benefit from the healing forces of nature as they create a unique and dynamic health philosophy. A long and happy life is the intention. Mason also brings a refreshing and cheeky sense of humor to his talks, podcast, and life, because longevity relies on a good belly laugh.

 

About Tahnee

Tahnee McCrossin is a student of the body, weaving the ancient healing traditions of Yoga and Daoism with somatic exploration and modern scientific understanding into an integrated system that supports longevity and self-healing of the body-mind-spirit. Through her work as a yoga and meditation teacher, chi ne tsang practitioner and health researcher, she is striving to reunite the modern body-mind with the spiritual and psychological wisdom of the ancients. She is grateful to be a current student of Mantak Chia, Paul Grilley and Michael Tierra.  

 

Resources

SuperFeast Website (sign up to the epic SuperFeast newsletter for 10% off your first order!) 
SuperFeast Instagram 
Mason Instagram 
Tahnee Instagram 
SuperFeast Phone 1300 769 500 
SuperFeast Email: team@superfeast.com.au - got any podcast ideas? Let us know ☺! 
Mason and Tahnee are learning with Michael Tierra 
Shen Nong The Divine Farmer’s Materia Medica 
The Mason Taylor Show podcast episode 37:  
The Mason Taylor Show podcast episode 38

 

Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast?

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Check Out The Transcript Here:

 

Mason: Hello everybody, welcome to the SuperFeast podcast, I'm Mason.

 

Tahnee: And I'm Tahnee.

 

Mason: So today we want to dive into, especially the Taoist tonic herb philosophy, and it is gonna get a little bit more macro than just the tonic herbs, and weave a little bit further into the Taoist philosophy in general.  It's a general philosophy that Tahnee and I are completely swept away with. And then I just wanna be clear, we do expand out beyond the Taoist tonic herbs, and be very much subscribed to a planetary herbalist system.  However, nobody's done it like the Taoist in terms of cataloging the way that using tonic herbs, in conjunction with other beliefs and practices, can really help support a nice good flow within the body.  Including nice strong organs where you're really accumulating essence, Qi and just good basic minerals and function within the organs so they can stay very strong and healthy throughout a long lifetime. That's what we want to share with you today, and it's why SuperFeast is here, because I just fell so in love with that approach towards health and life.  I wouldn't say that I'm a Taoist, (in some ways I am) but we don't need the labels, it's just a philosophy that's integrated in a big way into my lifestyle, into Chinese lifestyle as well as into SuperFeast (as well as many other things).

 

Tahnee: Yeah I feel like Taoism to me is the closest system of describing the way in which nature works and the way in which the human organism relates to nature.  So it's kind of the best system we have, in terms of what I can see from my studies of all of the different belief systems and ways of explaining the world, that humans have produced over all of these years. And what I love so much about Taoism is that it places the human within the natural order of things, and it understands that the micro and the macrocosm are mirrors of each other, and so everything that--

 

Mason: Can you talk a little bit more about the macro and microcosm?

 

Tahnee: Yes so basically I studied Taoism and Taoist practices through my massage. I studied with a man named Master Mantak Chia who is based in Thailand, and his lineage is from the Chinese tradition that got pushed out of China by Mao Zedong in the Communist revolution, but I'll talk about that a little bit later.  Master Chia emphasises all of the time that we are working with the energies of the universe, the energies of the earth, the energies of the stars, the energies of the galaxies, and that's how this human body can be understood, it's by also looking outside of ourselves to the universe and the cosmos.

 

Mason: The macrocosm?

 

Tahnee: Yes the macrocosm.  So within the body (you could even see that the body is a macrocosm), little microcosms exist; a cell is a microcosm of the macro of the human body.  The cell respires, the cell breathes, the cell digests, the cell assimilates, the cell has a kind of intelligence and wisdom.  So we can kind of take what we understand of the macro and apply it to the micro and vice versa.  If you've ever gotten into math, you would have learned about the fractal, and you start to understand that every natural pattern in this world is based on fractals. So you start with this macro view, and as you zoom in it's the same thing, just smaller and smaller and smaller.

 

Mason: Something that was once a micro in relation to something else, is now a macro in relation to other micros, and that's something that especially got us inspired.  I know it has me super inspired, because when I started looking into allopathic style Traditional Chinese Medicine (that is treating symptoms), I think there's a huge part for it but not in terms of - "I'm going to attune my entire life to it".  As well as the modern medical system which is the best example.  See, I have no problems with and love the integration of those two sciences and traditions into society.  It just hits such a big glass ceiling when you go after potentiation and truly understanding the nature of your body, and you want to go through adventures in upgrading it and unifying yourself.  That's where Taoism, and keep in mind that Tahnee and myself are both yoga teachers - Tahnee has studied yoga a lot more extensively than I have, but we've both taught yoga.  So Tahnee especially and myself, we like to somewhat integrate the Ayurvedic sciences into what we're doing.  But Taoism I find, dare I say smokes it, in terms of it being relevant enough to transfer over to my Western mind.

 

Tahnee: Yeah I feel like what the yogis did really beautifully is detailed psychology, and they especially understood the mind very well.  I think there's a lot of emphasis on transcending the body, which I don't relate to.  Whereas the Taoists really embraced the body, loved the body and considered things like sexuality, food and all of these things, as really beautiful, wonderful parts of being human.  They just understood how these things interplay in your life and the way these energies weave as you move through your existence and use them really wisely. So have as much sex as you want, but just restrain from ejaculating too much, because you'll lose your essence for men.  For women, actually we can have as much sex as we want, so that's great.  But food, eat foods that are in balance with the season, so you can eat pretty much what you want as a Taoist, you just eat it at the right time and appropriately.

 

Mason: And then at the same time with the layers of complexity and philosophy that you develop, you start being able to simply - it goes beyond you can just eat whatever you choose because you start getting in attunement with your organs and with the season - you just start making more educated guesses.

 

Tahnee: You don't choose to eat crap.

 

Mason: Well it's a difficult thing to say, because if you were a Taoist back when there was no industrialization, eating whatever you want is a very relevant thing to say.  Whereas now in the West as we know, and this is where we like to bring a modern flair to this, because we understand, we grew up in this industrial Western world [witnessing the impact on food, soil and nutrients].  I feel like I'm an inside agent, I know all about it, I know how to, in a sense integrate it, because I'm not wanting to escape.  I like living here and I like living in a way that we're living.  There's a way to do it that is in conjunction with nature, with the Tao, with the rhythm, so that we can stay healthy and not degenerate. So at that point we will bring more complexity to the conversation of how do I choose the food - but that's a very deep conversation and we will get into it later in the podcast.

 

Tahnee: Yeah I talked to my Master about this, and he said he'll occasionally eat [outside his home].  He, at his place of residence, only eats organic food, naturally grown on the land, [and drinks] spring water.  He's very much about good food is good Qi, so you have to be really mindful of what you ingest.

 

Mason: And that's the bread-and-butter of his diet.

 

Tahnee: His whole thing is good air, good water, good food; that's your baseline for everybody, and Mason and I obviously completely agree with that. He says he'll eat McDonald's very rarely, and he'll go to China and be served up food that he has no idea where it's from, and he'll have to eat it because it's impolite not to.  He's like, I've done so much practice in my life that I can transmute the energies of those foods, so he's operating on this different level to many of us, so it's a really complex conversation.

 

Mason: I think this is a beautiful conversation to be having, especially when we're talking about the Taoist philosophy that drives us, and SuperFeast.  This aspect of the Taoist philosophy that drives us, that can translate into just being able to transmute.  Because I've come across a lot of people who have got into the world of manifestation: "I'm just going full spirit-based, I'm ignoring the physical, and I can transmute with my beliefs". I know there's a lot of evidence for that, but again it's very rare, it's a needle in a haystack, and there's a context there that isn't being identified and variables that aren't being identified. Whereas what we are talking about in that instance, where occasionally I'm robust enough to eat what I want in order to just stay in my own natural flow wherever I am; whenever I'm traveling or going and seeing friends and family, [I have] strong organs; strong kidneys [and] liver.  So at that point, basically it's just [to do with] fortified organs; the organs are mineralized and so they've got nice Yin essence.

 

Tahnee: Yes, great Wei Qi.

Mason: Exactly, and at the same time the organs have a nice bit of Yang in them as well, that means the function: them branching out and actually doing what they need to do in the body. Healthy liver, healthy lungs, healthy heart, healthy spleen: those kinds of things as well as having an immune system and also detox channels like the colon, [that are] just nice and open and healthy.  [Plus] a lot of good gut bacteria, as well as a nice healthy mindset that you're not gonna freak yourself out when you have to eat something that goes against your belief system.   Those are the things we're talking about through our philosophy, especially how this philosophy correlates to Taoism, [it] is very relevant, it's a way to actually approach diet in a way that is going to be healthy long term for you.  So that's another aspect of our approach.

 

Tahnee: Yeah that's kind of like the way of the Tao is the path of least resistance.  Generally, they always use the analogy of water flowing down a hill; it doesn't go in a straight line violently and aggressively, it meanders and kind of snakes its way down and finds the way.  It doesn't mean it needs to use a lot of energy, it is able to move gracefully and slowly, and that to me is really what the Tao encourages us to do.  It is like not being attached to an ideology, or to any kind of system.

 

Mason: Which is an amazing little piece to mention here; there is no deity, there is no belief system needing to be attuned to, there's no ideology -  which is why we love it and why it has a place in our lifestyle. I like that, because with belief systems and minds that are so rigid in Western society, I like bringing some slipperiness to the mind. And then eventually, just in the way that we approach our mental thought and belief and our values, to have it not to be too rigid, not to be too slippery, being nice and malleable in the middle, so we don't get stuck in ideologies and rigid beliefs, because I feel like that leads to aging.

 

Tahnee: Yeah and I think that's where TCM took a diversion from Taoism, and a lot of things happened.  Taoism kind of got wiped out by Confucianism which is just the natural way of things, as the Tao would probably acknowledge. And later on down the track we ended up with Mao Zedong in China, and his communist revolution. His big thing was to actually get rid of a lot of the academics, he wanted an agrarian society, and he wanted to also get rid of the shamanic side of the herbal and acupuncture traditions especially.  They were training up doctors to be able to deal with - I think of it like industrialization of medicine, so it's just what we've done to medicine in the West, it's actually very similar -  it was to train as many people as you can train in as short a period of time, to get them to be able to be pretty decent at keeping the population well enough to be worker bees in this utopian thing which didn't work out so well for China, unfortunately.

So as a legacy we have this mashup of what were really distinct branches of herbalism and acupuncture and medicine based on regions, based on family history, passed down over centuries.  This really complex, multilayered, multidimensional medicine, ended up being systemized and turned into something. And anyone will know when you get a bunch of people together in a room and they all have an opinion, you rarely get the best of everyone's opinion, you tend to get a watered-down version that everyone can agree upon.  That's kind of what's happened to TCM, so we have a knowledge of these acupuncture points and these herbs, but we don't really truly understand how they work in the body and how acupuncture works and all these things, because it's been so diluted from its essence. So what we've kind of discovered when we've gone to work with the tonic herbs especially, is that TCM doesn't really recognize them, but the classical texts of the Taoist area, are like yes, they're all about this stuff.   They actually recognize that there are different classes of herbs, and the tonics they classed as superior herbs, and this is where we actually get the notion of tonic herbs from.

 

Mason: Let's talk about this, so first I'd like to just mention that myself, I was all about these tonic herbs, and that was my intro to Taoism.  Tahnee was very much into the--

 

Tahnee: The other way.

 

Mason: The other way, very much into the practices, getting into yoga and then a bit of Taoism--

 

Tahnee: Well I'm into the body, and I was interested in the body mind, and from my perspective, I feel like my mission is to tell the story of the body.  I want to understand it on a multidimensional level.  I'm naturally quite nerdy and happy to do the science thing, but what's really come about through my yoga practice, and especially as I became more aware and then studied the Taoist philosophy and Taoist worldview, I was able to better tune into myself.  The kind of interception, the ability to perceive myself, one of my teachers calls it being a "somanaut"; like someone who is an astronaut in their own body, exploring these new frontiers and terrains.  Through that I've learned so much, and I really wanna share it with other people that that's a possibility.  Something that you do as well is explore your body, and what's right for you (I'm talking to Mason!), and I think that's kind of what really inspires me about Taoism.  I feel that it gives us a kind of a framework, it gives a structure for understanding the natural rhythms that we all experience in our bodies. So they talked about circadian rhythms long before these guys just won a Nobel prize saying that humans have circadian rhythms, it's like well, duh.

 

Mason: Yeah, no shit Sherlock.

 

Tahnee: The Earth has a circadian rhythm, like everything has its ebbs and its flows, its energy shifts and exchanges, and in Taoism the only reason we get sick is because we live out of flow with these rhythms.  If we stay aligned to the rhythms, we don't get unwell.  So the Taoists were observing as humans became more society bound and more separate from nature, we started to get different types of illnesses.  They recognised that different treatments and different medicines are needed for different stages of cultural deterioration basically, or human organism deterioration, so the highest level they said were the herbs.   I think this is still relevant right now, because the most degradation of the human animal, the more herbs they need.  That's why I'm sitting and observing that we're a culture that needs herbs right now, we need to be eating foods that come from the wild that can instil that wild essence in us and change us back to those pre-society humans.

 

Mason: Absolutely, what we see in this society, which again we don't bash, we love it.  We love this technological world that we live in and the fact that we can make a podcast and send it all over the world, that we're sending herbs to Bahrain and so on and so forth.  What we notice though, is when people go more and more indoors, under synthetic lights, further and further out of natural flows and rhythms, and basically becoming more domesticated, what happens to the immune systems and the organs is they atrophy, and they just become flabby, reliant systems that can't actually hold their shit together and do what's necessary to ward off these pathogens. We're also living in these big cities, within these big cities more and more people, so there are gonna be more and more vectors.  It's the same way you're gonna see cockroaches and rats, and therefore the plagues and parasites and pests that come with that as you get more of a population, you get more parasites, you get more viruses, you get more bacteria and more fungi.

 

Tahnee: It's the same as a city produces more waste, so does a body that's in the environment, macro-micro you know.

 

Mason: Exactly, and so what we see is we're getting flabby immune systems, at the same time the current vectors that are causing a lot of illness, like depleted immune systems are meaning that we have got a lot more people who are degenerating, it's very obvious, and we are just like, let's get the world on tonic herbs, there is so much more, and you know, you guys will see, I've got my own podcast, me and Tahnee talk about many things, including we'll talk on this podcast, many other things besides the herbs, but a huge focus and a passion for both of ours is get the world on tonic herbs, get the world on medicinal mushrooms, and one of my favorite quotes, Michael Tierra who's also one of our teachers, me and Tahnee are both studying herbalism with Michael Tierra. He said he's got so many people coming to him and they go, which herb should I take? And he says, "Any of them." And it's like guys at the same time you come and talk to us or you get a vibe of course, follow your intuition and vibe out, and match your intent with the herbs that you're going to take, or the circumstances with the herbs that your gonna take, but at the same time, if you're atrophied with confusion analysis paralysis, just get on any of the tonic herbs, seriously any of them and just start bringing it into your life, take that one little step, give a family member that wants to get into them, they just can't handle taking that and plunging themselves, but they trust you, and you're supporting them, get them on any of the herbs.

 

Tahnee: And that's why SuperFeast is so amazing, one of the things I'm so passionate about working with SuperFeast, and I didn't start this company I had my own company when I met Mason, and I've jumped ship to work with him, and I'm really passionate about how easy these are to integrate into people's lives. You know lifestyle changes are effing hard, to tell someone to do yoga, I used to be a yoga teacher, it was so hard to impress upon people the need for pretty regular practice.

 

Mason: Yeah, when you move your body and exert yourself. Which hey guys, just because you're listening to this podcast, and we are tonic herbalists, you're not getting away with not moving, we need that as well.

 

Tahnee: But my point is as a gateway to a transformation which is one of my passions, it's like how do I get people to transform, it's not through blah, blah, blah, telling them what they should do, it doesn't work, but if I can give them something really simple that can actually alter their consciousness, kind of subtly whilst they're just putting a teaspoon of something in their tea every day, like that's a massive shift you know.

 

Mason: One thing I've had from the very beginning, because reishi mushroom, you'll hear us talk more and more about, for those of you that don't know, reishi is a medicinal mushroom, it grows on a tree, it is an adaptogen and it's the most renowned tonic herb that there is in all of Taoism. Especially it does many things in the body, but one of the things that Taoists said that it did was tone Shen, which is their spirit, their ability to be present and to bring forth their own wisdom and their best attributes, it was a big part of life for all of us. That herb, I've witnessed, literally wake people up, people come to me and go I don't know what this is, but I'm feeling my purpose emerging, I'm feeling connected to my body for one of the first times, and it's not always like this, but some, it wasn't blow my head off transformation for me in the beginning, it was a slow build, and I felt it was doing some very special things internally.

 

Tahnee: You might already have been on a mission too.

 

Mason: Well exactly, but some people are like, it completely for the first time quietened my mind, and I felt like I actually had a body and it got me on the path and helped. What I like doing is sending out these I call them reishi bonds of consciousness, I just want this reishi out to as many people as possible to bring those mushroom vibes, so that people as Tahnee was talking about start to feel what's going on internally.

 

Tahnee: One of the beautiful, to think of mushrooms, especially the mushrooms we work with, mycelium network connected, and they connect all of the trees and the plants in the forest, and you can go online and look at all the studies--

 

Mason: Just to clarify, we don't sell my mycelium, we sell fruiting bodies, we'll clarify that.

 

Tahnee: Yeah I think we'll do a whole podcast just on mushrooms alone, but just as the distinction around the connectedness that these mushrooms bring to the forest, when we start to ingest parts of that, we are also ingesting that connectedness, and that's what the Taoists were talking about, when you take these herbs you will remember yourself as part of the natural order, and as connected to everything, you can't be a dick when you remember that, so to me one of the ways we can change the world is getting people back in touch with themselves, and remembering their naturalness and their connectedness, and then they're not gonna go out and be as damaging to the environment and to other people, and so that's a shift.

 

Mason: And we have a very long-term view guys, so in terms of thinking this is pie in the sky, you know sometimes it does happen overnight, it's very rare, most of the time it happens over years, decades and generations, that's what we're building and that's--

 

Tahnee: That's what longevity is right, what Mason always talked about, that thing you you say about if it's not 20 or 30 years down the track that you'll be doing this.

 

Mason: Basically everything that you're doing and integrating into your lifestyle with a health intent, it needs to be relevant 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years down the track, otherwise you're working inefficiently.

 

Tahnee: Yeah and this is what the Taoists were saying, they were like, there's this class of herbs, they're called the superior herbs or the tonic herbs, and they can be taken for a lifetime with no deleterious effects on the body, there's a guy in China who supposedly lived to 264, and he was having these herbs every single day, and they consumed them as food, they were living literally on these herbs as a functional food, a food that nourished them on a level beyond carbohydrate or protein on a macro or whatever people talk about in the getting jacked world, and I think it's really important to look at the quality of nutrition in our food it's not high, so now we're starting to say, we've got to let in our carrots, and kale's got no, no minerals in it anymore and everything's depleted, it's like okay then we can go get a wild-crafted crafted herb that's had its roots in the earth for a few years, that's job is to pull minerals in, and then you're getting effectively a zinc supplement whilst you're taking a herb that will also clean your Jing and do all these various things for you.

 

Mason: Absolutely, and these tonic herbs will work in consortium with a lifestyle where you are starting to wake up and acknowledge the food supply is depleting, and the first step, start going to markets and talking to the farmers and start seeing are they laying plastic down on the soils, is this just a sole mono-crop, these things you need to be asking, then just taking slow steps towards actually upping the game in all areas of life, through a Taoist tonic herb point of view. This was the best I was able to do outside of someone actually going and actually finding a reishi themselves in the wild, which hey guys we do, I've just harvested a turkey tail, which is a medicinal mushroom, tincture, we had gone for six months, we found it when we were in Sydney, put it in booze, made a tincture and harvested that, and I'm sending that out and I've made a dual extract of that, so basically I've got a liquid version of the powder that we sell, because I like doing as well, and we'll talk more about that on this podcast, but just know that we're at that level. But from where I'm coming from and my intention to help folks get as healthy as possible and get their health sovereignty, as well as being in alignment with this Taoist herbal philosophy, I've got mums of four, CEOs, entrepreneurs, musicians, that are out there--

 

Tahnee: Students.

 

Mason: Students, that are out there rocking it, they possibly don't have that lifestyle, whether they're living in the city or whether they're living in the bush, sometimes it's just not their jam to be going out there as we do Tahnee looking and educating ourselves about wild foraging for herbs, and so the absolute best that I can do is to get a nice easy powdered potent extract that's grown in the wild, that's grown not in a mono-crop or a lab, it's dripping wet in the treasures that go in and help these organs and systems get healthy, in a nice beautiful package in glass.

 

Tahnee: In MYRON glass.

 

Mason: In MYRON glass, which is ultraviolet protective glass guys, so just a side note, make sure you keep those glasses, either you then get bog bags and fill them back up, or recycle them, take off the labels and pack your spices or other powders or whatever in them, because it protects them from light and actually enhances the insides. That's the best I can do for that mum of four and I need to make a difference on that level as does Tahnee, because we've got a community on a very multidimensional level, places where they're at, and just because they're in the middle of the burbs, in Inner West where I came from in Gladesville, doesn't mean they shouldn't have access to that, and we're so stoked to be able to do that, that's Tao entering into the suburbs of Sydney, LA, Moscow, all these places around where people are actually starting to get onto these tonic herbs, and getting the adrenal glands the endocrine systems, the immune system and the liver functioning and fed so that they can handle the kind of environment, technologically advanced industrial environment that we are living in, that's very exciting.

 

Tahnee: It is, and the more advanced your environment I suppose the more removed from nature really, really the more these things are relevant to you I think. So we'll go back to what a tonic herb is, there's a book which I gotta get Mason to pronounce the name of because he's much better at Mandarin than I am.

 

Mason: So in English it's, The Divine Farmer's Classic of Materia Medica, by Shen Nong. It's called the Shennong Ben Cao Jing Du.

 

Tahnee: Beautiful pronunciation. So Shen Nong was a kind of wise human that was born--

 

Mason: And also you could put that as just a dude.

 

Tahnee: He was a dude.

 

Mason: He was into his herbs.

 

Tahnee: And he was born before Christ, so we're talking thousands of years ago, a couple of thousand years ago, and he was basically really integral in writing down and cataloging for the first time in Chinese history, that we know of, he knows what's been destroyed, he classified 365 herbs and their uses medicinally, and their energetics, and how they affected the organs and the function, so this is a very classical Taoist text, and I use the word classical to refer to pre-Taoism, so when we're talking about things like Yin and Yang, and we're talking about the triple treasures, Jing, Qi and Shen, and so he said that in order for a herb to be classified as a tonic or a superior herb, it had to have at least one of the treasures, Jing, Qi or Shen, we'll talk about those, and it had to be able to be taken for basically a very, very long time, a lifetime, and it would have an advantageous effect, no deleterious effects, and it was very safe, So looking at something like reishi, it has no toxic dose in inverted commas, it's safer than water, which means that we haven't been able to give anyone enough to make them sick, whereas water, we've all heard of those poor people who die from drinking too much water. So we're talking about really safe herbs here, and there weren't that many of them, and they were specifically classified as a separate herb from a regular herb, which is a herb that has a really strong action on the body, a beneficial action usually, but needs to be taken mindfully and carefully, and then something like a poison which is also used as a herb, which is another classification of herbs, an inferior herb, and that's used really specifically and targeted for ailments to cure specific things.

 

Mason: So I might just reiterate that point, because it's a really important one to get guys, because Tarni and I are studYing aspects of Western herbalism as well as TCM, and anoetic where sometimes people have let themselves get to a certain point, or perhaps a symptom, I shouldn't put it on people have let themselves, because it brings in a lot of morality, but perhaps it's like all of a sudden there is something degenerating there that needs to get passed out of the body, same as using something topically that needs to aggressively go in and get particular cells and rip carcinomas out, at that point, generally you're going to need a herb that is only one way or the highway, it goes inside to the immune system and gets a particular receptor and it drives that receptor up with force, to the extent that if you take too much you will poison yourself, that's the lower grade, or the inferior herbs that Shen Nong--

 

Tahnee: You can think of a drug as being similar to that, I think we have this real issue in the West where we don't understand herbs, we think of them as almost dangerous, and Europe I think is even worse now, they've started to make it that you can only get herbs from a pharmacy style thing, but we need to start to remember that everything has its purpose and its intention, some of them are more deleterious than others, some of them are more effective at certain things than others, but when we're talking about tonic, we're not talking about a herb that has a--

 

Mason: Well an example like deadly nightshade would be one, if you take too much it's gonna hurt you a lot then you move up to the middle class or the regular herbs that Shen Nong cataloged, and these are herbs you can take several months that were still one directional, but not so strong in terms of echinacea, you can take that for some time it's not gonna drive the immune system up too much, but after you've taken that for two or three months, if you go even further it's got the possibility of taking you out of balance, because it doesn't have the intelligence to know when to stop driving the immune system and stimulating it. That's where we get no into the superior herbs, so those other classes, the lower and middle, they're very good for when you've got symptoms, very good if you've got a hospital scenario or a clinic scenario, when it gets into the tonic herb, superior herb point of view, these are the ones that Shen Nong cataloged, and as Tarni says ones that you can take ongoingly for a lifetime. Now of course we like bringing in intuition and seeing ebbs and flows as well, that's why we have done so many herbs, so that's not black and white though.

 

Tahnee: I want to speak to seasonality, and I want to speak to the Tao, these guys would tune in, they would take what they needed when they needed it, and they would have relationships with herbs, like my master, he has an immortal that he talks to, and he talks to entities and talks to the beings of plants, and this is what the Taoists were doing, they were talking to the spirit of the animal, they were shamanic, they were very shamanic, they weren't rocks, everything had a kind of energy and an imprint and a conversation it was having with them as they moved through their environment, so you've got to imagine I think, to me I always imagine someone like Shen Nong collecting different things, drYing different things, using different things on different days, or in different seasons depending on what they needed, and that's what an apothecary is for, how we use our herbs, Mason and I take different things at different times, we each take different herbs on different days, sometimes we'll share what we're taking, sometimes we'll have our individual portions, it's because we are tuning into what we need.

 

Mason: And sometimes we don't have that much mental space to a tribute to that, so then we'll just take one of the blends, we'll take a mushroom, we'll take the Jing, or the kidney herbs, so I just wanted to touch back on this nature of the tonic herbs and the superior herbs and Shen Nong, so Shen Nong especially coming through at the time when before then there was small pockets of people, the population wasn't growing to the extent where villages needed to become cities and so on and so forth, but at that point where that did happen, and people became a little bit more disconnected from nature, they didn't know how to identify, because they started traveling a little bit more, there's more people stripping herbs from the immediate environment, at that point that's when Shen Nong went out and was like, right, I'm gonna need to get some information, as well as Shen Nong, also 200 BC they estimated this classic was published, and it's most likely a collation of many medicine men and women over hundreds of years, possibly thousands of that information being passed down in an oral tradition, and this is the point where it all changed and got written down into a Materia Medica. Divine Farmers Classic, and so it's at that turning of the tide when farming did become a bit more relevant, people were moving into not necessarily sedentary living, but--

 

Tahnee: More agrarian.

 

Mason: Yeah more agrarian, and so for better or worse that's something that we like having conversations about that, because you can argue both sides of that story, especially getting to an extreme situation of where we are here, so that story of tonic herbalism from there it did continue to become one of these things, the Emperor and the Empress, and the Emperor's--

 

Tahnee: Consort.

 

Mason: Consort. when it was saYing something like reishi, it was pretty rare, a lot of these herbs were just kept in small supply for the emperors and for the royalty, then as you start going a few more centuries down the track, and especially around 1500, is you start to see there's such value being seen in these tonic herbs, the medicinal mushrooms, the roots, the barks, the berries, the orchids.

 

Tahnee: Orchids.

 

Mason: Orchids, I'm dyslexic with orchard and orchid.

 

Tahnee: They had orchards with orchids.

 

Mason: They did have orchards with orchids. What began to happen is the beginning of wild-crafted crafting farms, so this is where we tap in with SuperFeast in terms of our sourcing in this tradition, and essentially like business tradition as well as a tradition merged with the Tao and tonic herbal philosophy of farming these herbs in a way that they are exposed to nature in wild environments where there are exposed to the elements so they can get out there to the wider audience, and you start breaking down this hierarchical, let's just keep it for the top 1%, and that was like lets distribute this good stuff out, because all humans are equal, eh.

 

Tahnee: Well I think really, I know in Japan, once they worked out how to cultivate shiitake, monasteries would pop-up around areas that were good for shiitake cultivation, because basically it became like, we're gonna have a lot of resources a lot of commerce and a lot of money because we have this economy based around this mushroom, so it would entice the Buddhists to come, and then it made the area more spiritual and more more special, so there's this really interesting relationship between access to the herbs and being really an elite either spiritual or royal path, you weren't really able to access these things unless you are pretty ritzy in those days, and that's really been the biggest change, which is one of the benefits I suppose of having live growing mushies and stuff, is that it can actually produce them quite cheaply en masse, and you do still get some benefits, but from our perspective working with the Taoists tonic herb that originated from a land called China as we know it now, it's really important for us to continue to use the herbs from these areas, and so our schizandra / schisandra is still wild grown.

 

Mason: Full wild from Chug Bi mountain, you can try that schizandra it will knock your socks off compared to other farmed ones, and we're not arrogant about this stuff guys, every now and then there's certain herbs and experiences that we've had, and we've had enough people come back to us and talk to us, and it's important for us that you get good herbs and you get value for your bloody hard earned cash, and likewise we've got a few Amazonian herbs there in teas, what we work with is farms within South America, so again keeping strong to that detail philosophy, likewise that's gonna be the way it is with all of the herbs from all of the systems around the world. But basically when you look at that tradition and how sacred tonic herbs are, and even though China in certain areas has gone in a particular direction, that is against, well not against, but it's just amoral, and we'll agree with that, likewise the Australian government and the American economy, like come on guys, the whole world is like the ego is getting a little bit out of control as military complexes and big business find the edges. There within China, you that's not enough to turn around and go compromise and just go get lab grown herbs from America, or even lab grown herbs from China.

 

Tahnee: It's such a western knee-jerk reaction, oh there's some bad stuff going on there, let's just say that everything over there is bad, like a blanket statement, and the Tao says that within every bad there is good, within everything good there is bad, we're all complex, every nation is complex, every land is complex, we're talking about one of the biggest countries on the planet, and yet people ask all the time, you source your herbs from China, and it's like yeah we do--

 

Mason: By the way we do like that question, it's been a beautiful thing for us to tackle--

 

Tahnee: I'm not saying it in a bad way.

 

Mason: I'm not implying you were, but I just don't think it's hard to read between the lines of that sometimes, in terms of yeah we're bloody proud of that, one awesome thing that happened recently, is one of my mentors that really got me onto it early, the mushroom man, Paul Stamets was on the Joe Rogan podcast, and he was like, he lab grows in America.

 

Tahnee: He uses mycelium.

 

Mason: Yeah lab grown uses the mycelium which is the body, not the fruiting body, the part that you see, and so this is my mycelium wrapped in plastic in hot labs.

 

Tahnee: It's kind of like the roots.

 

Mason: Yeah kinda like the roots, the body it probably how I describe it, but from a perspective of relating to the tree it would be like the roots. And said we've tested several from China and they have metals and things, just do not go from China, only 10% of them, so no one go to China. And it was a good thing for us, because all of a sudden it opens up the conversation, people weren't interested in me talking about why I get it from China, or so on and so forth in the beginning, especially the medicinal mushrooms, we have microbial, aflatoxin, pesticide, metal testings, both from the Orient and here in Australia and in America, so we're able to see just how clean and pure the herbs are coming in. so it was nice for people to go well Stamet's said this about 10% are the only ones that are good, and I'm like in the 10%, I'm in the top .1% in terms of the quality, and in just the level that we go to make sure that these herbs do have the treasures.

 

Tahnee: And they're not irradiated when they enter Australia or any country.

 

Mason: But more important to that is that there is a tradition there farming them, there are soils and elementals and microbes there, these areas have very ancient traditions and ancient wild crafting farms--

 

Tahnee: And protecting.

 

Mason: With that root of tradition, and as Tahnee was just about to allude to there, protecting that Taoist philosophy of tonic herbs that we have fallen so in love with. And so what happened is as it got into the modern times, after the communist revolution there were only pockets of this Taoism left, is tucked away into Thailand to bring Taoists abdominal massage and particular practices, national travel practices, and there have been a few Taoists who have taught Westerners, two of those Westerners being George Lamero and Ron Teeguarden, and they in the last few decades have acted as the bridge of bringing Taoist tonic herbalism to the West, and it heavily inspired me in watching that bridge come over, and these are two guys I've been listening to for years now and have learned heavily from, and so from here all of a sudden it started to disseminate, and I know I've been teaching about these herbs in Australia, and through my podcast and just online to the world for several years now, and you can start to feel the tide turning, where the global population will open up to this style of herbalism, where you can bring in these herbs which are adaptagenic much of the time, meaning that before when we were talking about middle class herbs having one direction, these have a multitude of directions in the body, they are able to work with the body's flow, unlocking particular blockages so that the body can restore itself into balance, meaning if there are particular hormonal cascades that need to go up, it will assist them in going up, if that same cascade needs to go down, it will enable that to go down. That is an incredible aspect of these tonic herbs and these adaptagens, and another classification of them why they are superior, they accumulate over time, and so as you're taking reishi or eucommia bark over time more and more you'll just accumulate those benefits, you stay tuned in, get in relationship with the herb more and more and more, and as Tahnee alluded to, it doesn't damage the body, they're three of those classifications what an adaptagen is, tonic herbs are genuinely there's gonna be an adaptagenic nature within those tonics that you can take again and again, and we're just seeing, we're so stoked that the wave is breaking on these tonics being accepted by the world, because the nervous systems, the adrenal glands, the immune systems of our populations especially living in cities is crying out for it.

 

Tahnee: Well they're basically all liver, kidney and gut herbs, if you look at the tonics and that's the organs they work on, and that's what we see as chronic issues in this society, we've got gut issues, we've got liver issues and we've got kidney and adrenal issues, and it's like well there's just no more relevant time in human history really for them to be emerging again as they are so strongly right now. I think also we talked earlier about the triple treasures Jing, Qi and Shen, I think that's such an important thing to connect with, because without that foundation of energy that the Jing provides, and without the mobilization and movement of energy that the Qi is indicative of, and then without that connection to spirit, and that remembering of our purpose and our passion on this planet which is the Shen, again we're gonna end up a bunch of pretty miserable people.

 

Mason: Yeah I will mention here guys, you'll hear us talking about Jing, Qi and Shen a lot, in a coming podcast we're going to dive very deep into that, we'll make it really obvious. We'll call it Jing, Qi and Shen, and we're gonna go into it in general and possibly do episodes just on them, but these are foundational energies that give us a lexicon, just give us words to describe the particular energies and phenomena and physical stuff within the body, and make it relevant, so it's a good way, that's why we like Taoism particularly, because it's terminology that the Western mind can get its head around, at the same time keeps it nice and slippery, as Tahnee was staying Jing is kind of like the physical essence to genetic potential and it's your fertility, the foundation of the body, largely tapped in to the sex hormones.

 

Tahnee: And the kidneys.

 

Mason: And the kidneys, and then Qi, that mobility, that's that taking of that substance, the blood and the fluids and actually mobilizing them and moving through the body. It's related to vitality, and then Shen spirit, lives in the heart, that's where the wisdom flows forth, and we see basically what you would call a well integrated mature human coming forth, that's the Shen.

 

Tahnee: Yeah and I think to really hold that kind of notion of developing this triple treasure through a tonic herbalism regime, is something that's very beautiful and different about how we tend to see herbs prescribed in the West, it's like, I remember, I think I've seen naturopath since I was 16, maybe 15, very young, and sit at home with a bottle of herbs, I had no idea what they were, I have no idea what he did really, I just was to take them every day to fix my pathology, whatever it was at that time, and I'm not shitting on naturopaths, but it's moving in a much more clinical direction where it's like take this, it's prescribed, it's this, it's that, and there isn't really a focus on the energetics, the production, their not tuning into are these wild-crafted crafted herbs, not all naturopaths, I know there are some really good ones out there, I felt like it was becoming very much westernized.

 

Mason: I think you'll find naturopaths I talk to a lot of epic naturopaths who talk about it, and the same with herbalists and people who have gone to a particular school and been taught from a very western perspective how to do this, and it's always gonna be symptom-based and it's always gonna be like don't think for yourself, just do it this way, and I know that has upset a lot of naturopaths and herbalists, and they are going in a different direction, part of the reason why this podcast is coming out guys, just to caveat, is because the way that I learned tonic herbalism is yes I've studied with particular people, and I've done certain courses along the way, but mainly I've called down a folky style of teaching myself in the sense of--

 

Tahnee: Taking them and meditating with them.

 

Mason: I've been taking them, I've been fasting on them, which I'll talk about this further, and remember at any point you can email, team@superfeast.com.au if you want more information on any of the concepts we talked about, so you don't feel like you're left high and dry, but I went down that path, and what I was passionate about, I left that follow me, I found myself to go to America and buy books and study with the people and study the concepts that were really relevant to rounding out my understanding of health in general and the Taoist tonic herbalism, and it ended me up here with such deep rooted understanding of them, and it's just the beginning, I'm just scratching the surface, and so a big part of this podcast is because we get a lot of people, a lot of young in age and young in mind men and women, et cetera.

 

Tahnee: Everything in between.

 

Mason: And everything in between coming to us and going like what books do you recommend, what course do you recommend, I'm like you know what, you're gonna want to stay out of just thinking you're gonna go to one course and get this, because this is a bloody path that you're entering onto, not the Tao herbs, yeah micro-macro, the macro path is you walk down the path of health sovereignty here--

 

Tahnee: Or life sovereignty.

 

Mason: Exactly, we don't talk about extremists like that, you're not allowed to interact with any kind of allopathic medicine, that's not what it's about, you interact from a place of centeredness and sovereignty, not I need to go over here and get fixed with that person without me being the perception of it, that's the difference between tonic herbs, I think Tahns is talking about, you get on the bloody front foot with these things, that's the nature of tonic herbalism, you're getting on front foot, you're getting into can I nourish my immune system, why, what's wrong with your immune system? If it's bloody not broke don't fix it, eh, and it's like yeah you keep that philosophy handsome Australian gentlemen from the bush that just came through as one of my personalities, I'm going to explore it, and that is fun and that's a right to life, We've created this podcast because I hope it can be another source of people to come and learn this aspect of tonic herbalism from years of experience between myself and Tahnee, and we're just gonna keep on going and sharing what we've got so far.

 

Tahnee: Education.

 

Mason: It is, so these tonic herbs, we mentioned Jing, Qi and Shen, that's what Shen Nong was talking about is, it had the Jing, that's why it's all wild-crafted, 'cause it's got the Jing, so if you take herbs that are Jing herbs, they are kidney adrenal herbs, they are replenishing that foundational capacity of the body to have strong foundational sex hormones, strong bones for the body to be able to build blood, hold sexual fluids, strong knees, strong lower back, these are the aspects of Jing physical structure in a sense, as well as genetic potential, so the potential first of all, for how long you're gonna live, because Jing is like the battery, and you need the power in your battery, as well as what capacity do you have for the Jing to unfold and express, to awesome delicious parts of themselves, we like that over on Jing herbs, because in the next few generations, so on and so forth, we wanna make sure that the genes being expressed aren't just these flabby industrialized ones that have no immune systems, we want the ones coming through so that our children are actually born with immune systems, and more and more wisdom, which they're kind of coming through with anyway, but there is a big part of the population where I'd say that's not the case, more industrial reliance is occurring more, pharmaceutical reliance from the beginning, without going you know what, I'm gonna take it in my on hands, I'm gonna make sure my family and my children have immune systems thank you very much you know.

 

Tahnee: Even just expressing like you were talking about, I always think of Jing as ancestral memory, so it's that ability of the embryo to organize itself to become a fully functioning and formed human, that can then look normal, like disfigurement and disformity that's the Jing unable to express, we can talk about neural press cells, and all this embryology that weaves into what Jing is, but it's to make sure that your structure is solid, and you are the best expression of the genetic combination of your mum and dad as possible, so the parents have to pass it on to the child, and then the child has to maintain their Jing so they can pass on to their children and so on and so on, and we've seen this in our culture, our generation is not going so great, and we've got a lot of issues.

 

Mason: A lot of issues, like polycystic ovaries, the amount of autoimmune stuff is insane, the amount of cancer, all of these things is getting out of control.

 

Tahnee: It's like we can then look at industrialization and we can look back a couple of hundred years actually kind of go you know what, it's correlation, I'm not saying it's causation necessarily, but I have a pretty strong instinct if you look at when industrialization really took hold, and you look at the passing on of Jing, you'll see that there's a dip, we've removed ourselves from the natural order of things, and so one of my intentions especially, and I know Mason's as well, and with our daughter, is to ensure that we maintain as much of our essence as possible, our Jing, and then we did our best to pass that on to her, and if we have more children we'll continue with that intention, and I'll always be mindful with her, making sure she nourishes her so that her children are healthy.

 

Mason: So that's an example, just give you a little snapshot right now of Jing, and that treasure, one of three treasures in Taoism, Jing, Qi, Shen, when we have what we call Jing herbs, like eucommia bark is a Jing herb, hishu wu, cordyceps, as well as we've got a blend that is all Jing herbs, called Jing, also has dendrobium stem and romania and marinder root, all these Jing herbs, what you want in terms of when you're sourcing quality, or when you're even just feeling, what is that feeling when I drink these herbs, that's Jing, they've got the treasure, that's why those are a tonic herb, I'm not saYing a lot of tonics like say reishi has Jing, Qi and Shen, so it's got all three treasures, so not saYing that they can't nourish more and more, we'll get into that, as well as nourishing different organs and elements and meridian systems in the body, but that's why it's important for you to really have some intent when you're looking at what herbs you're gonna be taking, because you want to ensure that treasure is actually still in there, and that's like yes, it's very chemical, but it's more in terms of chemical make-up, and it's also very multidimensional in the sense that there's going to be the other aspects, Qi and energetic imprints that are gonna come from the environment, and you know what, to the best of what we've been able to do, considering people go into health food stores and getting powders and getting them sent from us here in Byron Bay, we've done the absolute best we can, I think we've done a really bloody good job, I know I feel it.

 

Tahnee: Mm, definitely, and do we want to quickly touch on Qi and Shen and then wrap it up, because I feel like.

 

Mason: Very quickly on Qi and Shen.

 

Tahnee: So Qi is basically, it translates loosely to energy, but the way I like to think if it, is the bioelectric impulse that runs through the body, and it's a kind of communication system is beyond the nervous system. So when I think of Qi I think of it as intelligence in action, to me the Jing is kind of like, like you were saYing, the energy in the batteries, and Qi is the ability to turn that energy into electricity and animate something, so it's like when you plug a light into a socket and it illuminates, and suddenly there's this clarity and this completely different environment, when we're full of Qi we're literally like a light bulb, like animated and full of light and glowing, I think it's so important to the immune system, in terms of this way Qi, which is this protective element that develops in the body that is almost, I think of it like our boundaries.

 

Mason: Can you just quickly touch on Wei Qi, so folks know what we're talking about.

 

Tahnee: It's kind of like--

 

Mason: Surface immunity.

 

Tahnee: Yeah, surface immunity but there's a few other translations, I won't go too deep into it, because we'll probably do a whole immunity one which I think which will be really helpful, but I just think of it on an energetic level, if you think of all these bacteria and fungus and parasites and all of these things as having an energetic imprint, they are trying to penetrate us and our energy is strong, they can't, and so to me is what Wei Qi is, it's kind of this ability to create this container for ourselves, that protects us and allows us to be a bit more discerning as to what's penetrating.

 

Mason: I want to also mention one of my favorite things about Wei Qi is it's also the upward energy as well as circulating just under the skin that surface immunity, it's also what allows the organs to stay buoyant and in place, and not be atrophYing and prolapsing, that's amazing that in itself when that's intact it leads to more flow and Qi, and the physical flow moves through the organs, and favourite Qi herbs just so people can understand which herbs are really--

 

Tahnee: Well just pause on that because I'm really excited to share something which I know it's probably going too much into detail, but what Mason was just saYing about way Qi being that buoyant energy, the Qi flows in the body and the spaces in between the fascia planes, so that might mean nothing to you, but if you think about your skin and underneath your skin there is this layer of this stuff called fascia, and then there's a little bit of space, and it's kind of like a fluid space, there's a whole bunch of stuff going on in there, but the Qi moves through there, and so what Mason is saying is, how we've got this force of gravity pulling us down all the time, this is another energy that's working on us, and when we have strong Qi we're actually able to express our potential as a levitating being moving up and away from the pull of the Earth, so I think that's like a really beautiful thing to remember when we're talking about Qi herbs, if someone is kind of collapsing and down, they often need better Qi, they need better air, better food, better movement, better circulation of energy, so that leaves us into the herbs, and astragalus is my personal fav--

 

Mason: Astragalus.

 

Tahnee: Astragalus is my personal favorite for that.

 

Mason: Yeah, mine too, no a astragalus is my core Qi herb, I find schizandra very effective in bringing that circulation, and schizandra is one of those ones, it's a Jing, Qi and Shen herb, and all five organs nourished, but I think it's especially potent as a Qi herb, but astragalus is my absolute number one, as you know I had a lot of it, especially after I got bitten by that tick, and had Lyme borrelia infections, so when Lyme disease started setting in, I can talk about that further, or you can write to me if you wanted.

 

Tahnee: Or you have some podcasts.

 

Mason: I've got some podcasts on the Mason Taylor Show where I talk about that so--

 

Tahnee: We can link to those in the show notes.

 

Mason: If you want to go a little bit more information online, I took a lot of astragalus especially in the cleanup, and that was that surface immunity, to stop these spirochetes, these bacteria being able to get in, burrowing, creating a biofilm and having a new home, because it's hard to get them out in the beginning, and so I took a lot of astragalus, we take a lot of astragalus going into winter.

 

Tahnee: Yeah, and travel.

 

Mason: As late summer cracks and you start feeling autumn emerges we'll be on the astragalus, as well as medicinal mushrooms as bread and butter, but yeah that's what we'll be doing.

 

Tahnee: And that's kind of astragalus season now in Australia, we're in summer, emerging into late summer and it's all about the spleen and that transformation of the energy from the food into Qi, that's what the spleen does with the lungs.

 

Mason: Yeah, that's very true.

 

Tahnee: We'll talk about that in organ time, not now, but there's a lot of cool stuff to talk about here, I'm really excited to share it.

 

Mason: Let's just bring it home with Shen.

 

Tahnee: Yeah, so Shen, spirit is an easy translation, I love the analogy of the light of the candle.

 

Mason: Yeah so the wax of the candle being the Jing, the flame being the Qi, and the light emanating is the Shen.

 

Tahnee: Which is bad because my other analogy said the light was the Qi. I think a bit more almost that glow that comes out of light, so it's like it lights its own energy then there's a glow that radiates from that, and that's kind of Shen, and that's an ability I think to like, 'cause you know, from the Taoist perspective, we are basically condensed spirits, spirit is what we are, there's no separation, and Shen is just that reminder, and the heart is the house of that in the body, and it's that ability to I think to really be able to perceive our soul journey, and our path, like not take some one else's spiritual path and transpose it upon ourselves.

 

Mason: Well I think Shen especially comes too as you become more unified, you've nice strong Jing, nice Qi circulating, Shen is this beautiful balancing act that occurs, that you can stay on your true path, yet still stay in synergy with external communities, and organizations and natural orders, at the same time, you can be here as an individual and as a sovereign yet still feel connected, and within that dance, wisdom can come fourth, that's just currently what I'm really feeling in terms of Shen.

 

Tahnee: Yeah, I think that's really beautiful.

 

Mason: And as well guys, when you're not anxious and your mind's not chattering a shitload, like that's when it's like, oh okay, shit I can think, I can feel, or my mind can actually connect with my body, that's Shen, and so that's why Reishi mushroom is our favorite Shen tonic.

 

Tahnee: I think I have a history of, I'd probably say depression or depressive tendencies, like eating disorders, anxiety kind of things, and for me since I met reishi, I couldn't believe how different I feel, and I've always had to manage that stuff in inverted commas, with yoga and eating right, and trYing not to stress myself out too much, and all these things, and reishi just really shifted things dramatically for me, so I think we'll go into detail more, this is getting long.

 

Mason: Well great guys, what we've done today, and we've had a lot of fun doing, is laying down what tonics are, what tonic herbs are, what this Taoist philosophy around tonic herbs are, that's bringing forth and is becoming very relevant in the modern world, where they've come from, their journey up until now, their history, their roots, their law, as well as learning why they would be a tonic, them being able to nourish and tone a treasure, Jing, Qi or Shen and then furthermore various organs. So we hope you can really start to perceive within just listening to us why we would be so in love with these and can start feeling the relevance for yourself in bringing this in, and with all this knowledge that you're going away with from this podcast today, do so with a bit more clarity or intent, so you can really drive them into your lifestyle, a little bit further so you can stay on these, and stay connected to the philosophy and the intention behind it, so it doesn't just becomes something faddy, I've got some reishi, I can't remember what it does and it just sits in the back of the cupboard, and oh my gosh it's been like two years, can I still take it, is SuperFeast still around, we will be by the way, and yes you can probably still take it.

 

Tahnee: Two year shelf life.

 

Mason: That's because we have to say that.

 

Tahnee: That's true.

 

Mason: But guys we hope you've loved this as much as we have, and please catch us in the next episode, where we will be diving even deeper into these magic elements.

 

Tahnee: Thanks for listening everybody have a beautiful day wherever you are.

 

Mason: Hey everybody thank you so much for tuning in today, now time to take that information, round it into your lifestyle, so you can amplify your health to the next level. You can really help amplify the health of this podcast by going onto iTunes and subscribing and leaving us a review, it really helps us spread this information around tonic herb, around sovereign health, further out there to the community, so we can help more people experience the best out of this life. Thanks guys, I'll speak to you next time.



 

 

  

 

Today at SuperFeast headquarters, Mason and Tahnee talk all things Taoist tonic herbalism. What the heck is Taoism? Don’t worry, by the end of this discussion, you’ll be all over this ancient philosophy (especially when it comes to herbal practice!).  SuperFeast prides itself on respecting the ancient tradition of tonic herbalism that emerged through the Orient, respecting the ancient wisdom from those before us. Mason and Tahnee dive deep into how the ancient tonic herbalists lived and how we, the modern human, can learn and incorporate these practices into our daily lifestyles. Exactly how does our current Western lifestyle affect us? The lifestyle which disturbs our circadian rhythms and promotes us being out of flow with the natural cycles of nature? Short answer - degeneration and ageing; we’re here to change that. Listen to join us on this mission.

 

In this episode you will learn:

  • Taoist tonic herb philosophy
  • Macrocosm vs microcosm of herbalism
  • Why women should have as much sex as they like
  • The formula for good Qi flowing through the body
  • What Qi is and how it animates you
  • Our approach to diet
  • Why we search for the path of least resistance in health and herbal practice
  • Why an adaptable mind allows for epic health
  • How to become a ‘somanaut’ through the tonic herbs
  • Why separation from nature is the root cause of illness
  • How to prevent having “flabby” immune systems
  • Transformation through these herbs
  • Why we’re dropping reishi bombs of consciousness around the world
  • Why longevity isn’t an overnight phenomenon
  • We provide good quality, epic, non-irradiated wild herbs - based on Di Tao principles
  • Tonic herbs are multi-directional and their benefits accumulate over time
  • Quick overview of the three treasures Qi, Jing and Shen - more in future episodes!
  • One of the missing links in Western philosophy, the energetics of herbs

About Mason

Mason Taylor is a wellness educator, host of The Mason Taylor Show podcast, professional speaker and retreat facilitator. He is a passionate tonic herbalist and founder of Australia’s leading tonic herb and medicinal mushroom provider, SuperFeast. Mason is dedicated to teaching people of all walks of life how to embrace and benefit from the healing forces of nature as they create a unique and dynamic health philosophy. A long and happy life is the intention. Mason also brings a refreshing and cheeky sense of humour to his talks, podcast, and life, because longevity relies on a good belly laugh.

 

About Tahnee

Tahnee McCrossin is a student of the body, weaving the ancient healing traditions of Yoga and Taoism with somatic exploration and modern scientific understanding into an integrated system that supports longevity and self-healing of the body-mind-spirit. Through her work as a yoga and meditation teacher, chi ne tsang practitioner and health researcher, she is striving to reunite the modern body-mind with the spiritual and psychological wisdom of the ancients. She is grateful to be a current student of Mantak Chia, Paul Grilley and Michael Tierra.  

 

Resources

SuperFeast Website (sign up to the epic SuperFeast newsletter for 10% off your first order!) 
SuperFeast Instagram 
Mason Instagram 
Tahnee Instagram 
SuperFeast Phone 1300 769 500 
SuperFeast Email: team@superfeast.com.au - got any podcast ideas? Let us know ☺! 
Mason and Tahnee are learning with Michael Tierra 
Shen Nong The Divine Farmer’s Materia Medica

 

Q: How Can I Support The SuperFeast Podcast?

A: Tell all your friends and family and share online! We’d also love it if you could subscribe and review this podcast on iTunes. Or  check us out on Stitcher :)! Plus  we're on Spotify and Soundcloud!

 

Check Out The Transcript Here:

 

Mason: Hello everybody, welcome to the SuperFeast podcast, I'm Mason.

 

Tahnee: And I'm Tahnee.

 

Mason: So today we want to dive into, especially the Taoist tonic herb philosophy, and it is gonna get a little bit more macro than just the tonic herbs, and weave a little bit further into the Taoist philosophy in general.  It's a general philosophy that Tahnee and I are completely swept away with. And then I just wanna be clear, we do expand out beyond the Taoist tonic herbs, and be very much subscribed to a planetary herbalist system.  However, nobody's done it like the Taoist in terms of cataloging the way that using tonic herbs, in conjunction with other beliefs and practices, can really help support a nice good flow within the body.  Including nice strong organs where you're really accumulating essence, Qi and just good basic minerals and function within the organs so they can stay very strong and healthy throughout a long lifetime. That's what we want to share with you today, and it's why SuperFeast is here, because I just fell so in love with that approach towards health and life.  I wouldn't say that I'm a Taoist, (in some ways I am) but we don't need the labels, it's just a philosophy that's integrated in a big way into my lifestyle, into Chinese lifestyle as well as into SuperFeast (as well as many other things).

 

Tahnee: Yeah I feel like Taoism to me is the closest system of describing the way in which nature works and the way in which the human organism relates to nature.  So it's kind of the best system we have, in terms of what I can see from my studies of all of the different belief systems and ways of explaining the world, that humans have produced over all of these years. And what I love so much about Taoism is that it places the human within the natural order of things, and it understands that the micro and the macrocosm are mirrors of each other, and so everything that--

 

Mason: Can you talk a little bit more about the macro and microcosm?

 

Tahnee: Yes so basically I studied Taoism and Taoist practices through my massage. I studied with a man named Master Mantak Chia who is based in Thailand, and his lineage is from the Chinese tradition that got pushed out of China by Mao Zedong in the Communist revolution, but I'll talk about that a little bit later.  Master Chia emphasises all of the time that we are working with the energies of the universe, the energies of the earth, the energies of the stars, the energies of the galaxies, and that's how this human body can be understood, it's by also looking outside of ourselves to the universe and the cosmos.

 

Mason: The macrocosm?

 

Tahnee: Yes the macrocosm.  So within the body (you could even see that the body is a macrocosm), little microcosms exist; a cell is a microcosm of the macro of the human body.  The cell respires, the cell breathes, the cell digests, the cell assimilates, the cell has a kind of intelligence and wisdom.  So we can kind of take what we understand of the macro and apply it to the micro and vice versa.  If you've ever gotten into math, you would have learned about the fractal, and you start to understand that every natural pattern in this world is based on fractals. So you start with this macro view, and as you zoom in it's the same thing, just smaller and smaller and smaller.

 

Mason: Something that was once a micro in relation to something else, is now a macro in relation to other micros, and that's something that especially got us inspired.  I know it has me super inspired, because when I started looking into allopathic style Traditional Chinese Medicine (that is treating symptoms), I think there's a huge part for it but not in terms of - "I'm going to attune my entire life to it".  As well as the modern medical system which is the best example.  See, I have no problems with and love the integration of those two sciences and traditions into society.  It just hits such a big glass ceiling when you go after potentiation and truly understanding the nature of your body, and you want to go through adventures in upgrading it and unifying yourself.  That's where Taoism, and keep in mind that Tahnee and myself are both yoga teachers - Tahnee has studied yoga a lot more extensively than I have, but we've both taught yoga.  So Tahnee especially and myself, we like to somewhat integrate the Ayurvedic sciences into what we're doing.  But Taoism I find, dare I say smokes it, in terms of it being relevant enough to transfer over to my Western mind.

 

Tahnee: Yeah I feel like what the yogis did really beautifully is detailed psychology, and they especially understood the mind very well.  I think there's a lot of emphasis on transcending the body, which I don't relate to.  Whereas the Taoists really embraced the body, loved the body and considered things like sexuality, food and all of these things, as really beautiful, wonderful parts of being human.  They just understood how these things interplay in your life and the way these energies weave as you move through your existence and use them really wisely. So have as much sex as you want, but just restrain from ejaculating too much, because you'll lose your essence for men.  For women, actually we can have as much sex as we want, so that's great.  But food, eat foods that are in balance with the season, so you can eat pretty much what you want as a Taoist, you just eat it at the right time and appropriately.

 

Mason: And then at the same time with the layers of complexity and philosophy that you develop, you start being able to simply - it goes beyond you can just eat whatever you choose because you start getting in attunement with your organs and with the season - you just start making more educated guesses.

 

Tahnee: You don't choose to eat crap.

 

Mason: Well it's a difficult thing to say, because if you were a Taoist back when there was no industrialisation, eating whatever you want is a very relevant thing to say.  Whereas now in the West as we know, and this is where we like to bring a modern flair to this, because we understand, we grew up in this industrial Western world [witnessing the impact on food, soil and nutrients].  I feel like I'm an inside agent, I know all about it, I know how to, in a sense integrate it, because I'm not wanting to escape.  I like living here and I like living in a way that we're living.  There's a way to do it that is in conjunction with nature, with the Tao, with the rhythm, so that we can stay healthy and not degenerate. So at that point we will bring more complexity to the conversation of how do I choose the food - but that's a very deep conversation and we will get into it later in the podcast.

 

Tahnee: Yeah I talked to my Master about this, and he said he'll occasionally eat [outside his home].  He, at his place of residence, only eats organic food, naturally grown on the land, [and drinks] spring water.  He's very much about good food is good Qi, so you have to be really mindful of what you ingest.

 

Mason: And that's the bread-and-butter of his diet.

 

Tahnee: His whole thing is good air, good water, good food; that's your baseline for everybody, and Mason and I obviously completely agree with that. He says he'll eat McDonald's very rarely, and he'll go to China and be served up food that he has no idea where it's from, and he'll have to eat it because it's impolite not to.  He's like, I've done so much practice in my life that I can transmute the energies of those foods, so he's operating on this different level to many of us, so it's a really complex conversation.

 

Mason: I think this is a beautiful conversation to be having, especially when we're talking about the Taoist philosophy that drives us, and SuperFeast.  This aspect of the Taoist philosophy that drives us, that can translate into just being able to transmute.  Because I've come across a lot of people who have got into the world of manifestation: "I'm just going full spirit based, I'm ignoring the physical, and I can transmute with my beliefs". I know there's a lot of evidence for that, but again it's very rare, it's a needle in a haystack, and there's a context there that isn't being identified and variables that aren't being identified. Whereas what we are talking about in that instance, where occasionally I'm robust enough to eat what I want in order to just stay in my own natural flow wherever I am; whenever I'm travelling or going and seeing friends and family, [I have] strong organs; strong kidneys [and] liver.  So at that point, basically it's just [to do with] fortified organs; the organs are mineralised and so they've got nice Yin essence.

 

Tahnee: Yes, great Wei Qi.

Mason: Exactly, and at the same time the organs have a nice bit of Yang in them as well, that means the function: them branching out and actually doing what they need to do in the body. Healthy liver, healthy lungs, healthy heart, healthy spleen: those kinds of things as well as having an immune system and also detox channels like the colon, [that are] just nice and open and healthy.  [Plus] a lot of good gut bacteria, as well as a nice healthy mindset that you're not gonna freak yourself out when you have to eat something that goes against your belief system.   Those are the things we're talking about through our philosophy, especially how this philosophy correlates to Taoism, [it] is very relevant, it's a way to actually approach diet in a way that is going to be healthy long term for you.  So that's another aspect of our approach.

 

Tahnee: Yeah that's kind of like the way of the Tao is the path of least resistance.  Generally they always use the analogy of water flowing down a hill; it doesn't go in a straight line violently and aggressively, it meanders and kind of snakes its way down and finds the way.  It doesn't mean it needs to use a lot of energy, it is able to move gracefully and slowly, and that to me is really what the Tao encourages us to do.  It is like not being attached to an ideology, or to any kind of system.

 

Mason: Which is an amazing little piece to mention here; there is no deity, there is no belief system needing to be attuned to, there's no ideology -  which is why we love it and why it has a place in our lifestyle. I like that, because with belief systems and minds that are so rigid in Western society, I like bringing some slipperiness to the mind. And then eventually, just in the way that we approach our mental thought and belief and our values, to have it not to be too rigid, not to be too slippery, being nice and malleable in the middle, so we don't get stuck in ideologies and rigid beliefs, because I feel like that leads to ageing.

 

Tahnee: Yeah and I think that's where TCM took a diversion from Taoism, and a lot of things happened.  Taoism kind of got wiped out by Confucianism which is just the natural way of things, as the Tao would probably acknowledge. And later on down the track we ended up with Mao Zedong in China, and his communist revolution. His big thing was to actually get rid of a lot of the academics, he wanted an agrarian society, and he wanted to also get rid of the shamanic side of the herbal and acupuncture traditions especially.  They were training up doctors to be able to deal with - I think of it like industrialisation of medicine, so it's just what we've done to medicine in the West, it's actually very similar -  it was to train as many people as you can train in as short a period of time, to get them to be able to be pretty decent at keeping the population well enough to be worker bees in this utopian thing which didn't work out so well for China unfortunately.

So as a legacy we have this mash up of what were really distinct branches of herbalism and acupuncture and medicine based on regions, based on family history, passed down over centuries.  This really complex, multilayered, multidimensional medicine, ended up being systemised and turned into something. And anyone will know when you get a bunch of people together in a room and they all have an opinion, you rarely get the best of everyone's opinion, you tend to get a watered-down version that everyone can agree upon.  That's kind of what's happened to TCM, so we have a knowledge of these acupuncture points and these herbs, but we don't really truly understand how they work in the body and how acupuncture works and all these things, because it's been so diluted from its essence. So what we've kind of discovered when we've gone to work with the tonic herbs especially, is that TCM doesn't really recognize them, but the classical texts of the Taoist area, are like yes, they're all about this stuff.   They actually recognise that there are different classes of herbs, and the tonics they classed as superior herbs, and this is where we actually get the notion of tonic herbs from.

 

Mason: Let's talk about this, so first I'd like to just mention that myself, I was all about these tonic herbs, and that was my intro to Taoism.  Tahnee was very much into the--

 

Tahnee: The other way.

 

Mason: The other way, very much into the practices, getting into yoga and then a bit of Taoism--

 

Tahnee: Well I'm into the body, and I was interested in the body mind, and from my perspective, I feel like my mission is to tell the story of the body.  I want to understand it on a multidimensional level.  I'm naturally quite nerdy and happy to do the science thing, but what's really come about through my yoga practice, and especially as I became more aware and then studied the Taoist philosophy and Taoist worldview, I was able to better tune into myself.  The kind of interception, the ability to perceive myself, one of my teachers calls it being a "somanaut"; like someone who is an astronaut in their own body, exploring these new frontiers and terrains.  Through that I've learned so much, and I really wanna share it with other people that that's a possibility.  Something that you do as well is explore your body, and what's right for you (I'm talking to Mason!), and I think that's kind of what really inspires me about Taoism.  I feel that it gives us a kind of a framework, it gives a structure for understanding the natural rhythms that we all experience in our bodies. So they talked about circadian rhythms long before these guys just won a Nobel prize saying that humans have circadian rhythms, it's like well, duh.

 

Mason: Yeah, no shit Sherlock.

 

Tahnee: The Earth has a circadian rhythm, like everything has its ebbs and its flows, its energy shifts and exchanges, and in Taoism the only reason we get sick is because we live out of flow with these rhythms.  If we stay aligned to the rhythms, we don't get unwell.  So the Taoists were observing as humans became more society bound and more separate from nature, we started to get different types of illnesses.  They recognised that different treatments and different medicines are needed for different stages of cultural deterioration basically, or human organism deterioration, so the highest level they said were the herbs.   I think this is still relevant right now, because the most degradation of the human animal, the more herbs they need.  That's why I'm sitting and observing that we're a culture that needs herbs right now, we need to be eating foods that come from the wild that can instil that wild essence in us and change us back to those pre-society humans.

 

Mason: Absolutely, what we see in this society, which again we don't bash, we love it.  We love this technological world that we live in and the fact that we can make a podcast and send it all over the world, that we're sending herbs to Bahrain and so on and so forth.  What we notice though, is when people go more and more indoors, under synthetic lights, further and further out of natural flows and rhythms, and basically becoming more domesticated.. what happens to the immune systems and the organs is they atrophy, and they just become flabby, reliant systems that can't actually hold their shit together and do what's necessary to ward off these pathogens. We're also living in these big cities, (and) within these big cities; more and more people, there are gonna be more and more vectors.  It's the same way you're gonna see cockroaches and rats, and therefore the plagues and parasites and pests that come with that as you get more of a population, you get more parasites, you get more viruses, you get more bacteria and more fungi.

 

Tahnee: It's the same as the city produces more waste, right?  So does a body that is in that environment; macro/micro.  

Mason: Exactly. So what we see is we're getting flabby immune systems, at the same time the current vectors that are causing a lot of illness, like depleted immune systems, are meaning we have got a lot more people who are degenerating.  It's very obvious, and we are just like, let's get the world on tonic herbs!  There is so much more, and you know, you guys will see - I've got my own podcast, me and Tahnee talk about many things - including we'll talk on this podcast, (about) many other things besides the herbs, but a huge focus and a passion for both of ours is: get the world on tonic herbs, get the world on medicinal mushrooms.  One of my favourite quotes, Michael Tierra, who's also one of our teachers, (me and Tahnee are both studying herbalism with Michael Tierra), he said he's got so many people coming to him and they go, which herb should I take? And he says, "Any of them." And it's like guys, at the same time you come and talk to us or (if) you get a vibe, of course follow your intuition and vibe out.  Match your intent with the herbs that you're going to take, or the circumstances with the herbs that your gonna take, but at the same time, if you're atrophied with confusion and analysis paralysis, just get on any of the tonic herbs! Seriously, any of them, and just start bringing it into your life. Take that one little step, give (them to) a family member that wants to get into them.  (If) they just can't handle taking that plunge themselves, but they trust you, and you're supporting them, get them on any of the herbs.

 

Tahnee: And that's why SuperFeast is so amazing: one of the things I'm so passionate about working with SuperFeast - and I didn't start this company, I had my own company when I met Mason - and I've jumped ship to work with him, and I'm really passionate about how easy these are to integrate into peoples' lives. You know, lifestyle changes are effing hard: to tell someone to do yoga, (I used to be a yoga teacher), it was so hard to impress upon people the need for a pretty regular practice.

 

Mason: Yeah, when you (have to) move your body and exert yourself. Which hey guys, just because you're listening to this podcast, and we are tonic herbalists, you're not getting away with not moving!  We need that as well.

 

Tahnee: Yeah! But my point is, as a gateway to transformation (which is one of my passions), it's how do I get people to transform? It's not through blah, blah, blah, telling them what they should do - it doesn't work.  But if I can give them something really simple that can actually alter their consciousness, kind of subtly whilst they're just putting a teaspoon of something in their tea every day, that's a massive shift, you know.

 

Mason: One thing I've had from the very beginning... because reishi mushroom you'll hear us talk more and more about - for those of you that don't know, reishi is a medicinal mushroom, it grows on a tree, it is an adaptagen  - and it's the most renowned tonic herb that there is in all of Taoism. Especially it does many things in the body, but one of the things that Taoists said that it did, was tone Shen, which is their spirit  Their ability to be present and to bring forth their own wisdom and their best attributes: it was a big part of life for all of us. That herb, I've witnessed, literally wake people up. People come to me and go, I don't know what this is, but I'm feeling my purpose emerging, I'm feeling connected to my body for one of the first times. And it's not always like this;  it wasn't blow my head off transformational for me in the beginning.  It was a slow build, and I felt it was doing some very special things internally.

 

Tahnee: You might already have been on a mission too.

 

Mason: Well exactly, but some people are like, it completely for the first time quietened my mind, and I felt like I actually had a body, and it got me on that path of health. What I like doing is sending out these, I call them "reishi bombs of consciousness".  I just want this reishi out to as many people as possible to bring those mushroom vibes, so that people, as Tahnee was talking about, start to feel what's going on internally.

 

Tahnee: One of the beautiful (things), to think of the doctrine of signatures:  mushrooms, especially the mushrooms we work with, are mycelium network connected.  And they connect all of the trees and the plants in the forest, and you can go online and look at all the studies--

 

Mason: Just to clarify, we don't sell my mycelium, we sell fruiting bodies, we'll clarify that.

 

Tahnee: Yeah I think we'll do a whole podcast just on mushrooms alone, but just (for) the distinction around the connectedness that these mushrooms bring to the forest, when we start to ingest parts of that, we are also ingesting that connectedness. And that's what the Taoists were talking about when they said take these herbs: you will remember yourself as part of the natural order, and as connected to everything.  You can't be a dick when you remember that!  So to me, one of the ways we can change the world is getting people back in touch with themselves, and remembering their naturalness and their connectedness, and then they're not gonna go out and be as damaging to the environment and to other people.. and so that's a shift.

 

Mason: And we have a very long-term view guys, so in terms of thinking this is pie in the sky, you know sometimes it does happen overnight, (but) it's very rare.  Most of the time it happens over years, decades and generations.  That's what we're building and that's--

 

Tahnee: That's what longevity is, right?  Mase always talks about, that thing you say it's about.. if it's 20 or 30 years down the track that you'll be doing this..

 

Mason: Basically everything that you're doing and integrating into your lifestyle with a health intent, it needs to be relevant 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 years down the track, otherwise you're working inefficiently.

 

Tahnee: Yeah and this is what the Taoists were saying: they were like, there's this class of herbs, they're called the superior herbs or the tonic herbs, and they can be taken for a lifetime with no deleterious effects on the body.  There's a guy in China who supposedly lived to 264 (years old), and he was having these herbs every single day.  And they consumed them as food - they were literally living on these herbs as a functional food. A  food that nourished them on a level beyond carbohydrate or protein or a macro, or whatever people talk about in the getting jacked world.  And I think it's really important to look at the quality of nutrition in our food - it's not high.  So now we're starting to say, we've got lead in our carrots, and kale's got no minerals in it anymore, and everything's depleted.  It's like okay, then we can go get a wild-crafted herb that's had its roots in the earth for a few years, that's job is to pull minerals into it, like He Shou Wu. And then you're effectively getting a zinc supplement whilst you're taking a herb, that will also tone your Jing and do all these various things for you.

 

Mason: Absolutely, and these tonic herbs will work in consortium with a lifestyle where you are starting to wake up and acknowledge that the food supply is depleting..  And that the first step, is to start going to markets and talking to the farmers and start seeing - are they laying plastic down on the soils?  Is this just a sole mono-crop?  These are the things you need to be asking and then just taking these slow steps towards actually upping the game in all areas of life, through a Taoist tonic herb point of view. This was the best I was able to do, outside of someone actually going and actually finding a reishi themselves in the wild.. Which hey guys, we do. I've just harvested a turkey tail, which is a medicinal mushroom, in a tincture and we've had it going for six months.  We found it when we were in Sydney, put it in booze, made a tincture and harvested that and I'm sending that out.  I've made a dual extract of that, so basically I've got a liquid version of the powder that we sell, because I like doing as well.  We'll talk more about that on this podcast, but just so you know that we're at that level. But from where I'm coming from, and my intention to help folks get as healthy as possible and get their health sovereignty, as well as being in alignment with this Taoist herbal philosophy; I've got mums of four, CEOs, entrepreneurs, musicians, that are out there--

 

Tahnee: Students.

 

Mason: Students.. that are out there rocking it.  They possibly don't have that lifestyle, whether they're living in the city or whether they're living in the bush, sometimes it's just not their jam to be going out there as we do Tahns (looking and educating ourselves about wild foraging for herbs). And so the absolute best that I can do, is to get a nice easy powdered potent extract, that's grown in the wild, that's grown not in a mono-crop or a lab.  It's dripping wet in the treasures that go in and help these organs and systems get healthy, in a nice beautiful package in glass.

 

Tahnee: In Miron glass.

 

Mason: In Miron glass, which is ultraviolet protective glass guys.  So just a side note, make sure you keep those glasses, either you then get bulk bags and fill them back up, or recycle them eg. take off the labels and pack your spices or other powders or whatever in them, because it protects them from light and actually enhances the insides. That's the best I can do for that mum of four.  And I need to make a difference on that level, as does Tahnee, because we've got a community on a very multidimensional level, places where they're at.. And just because they're in the middle of the 'burbs, in the Inner West where I came from in Gladesville, doesn't mean they shouldn't have access to that.  And we're so stoked to be able to do that: that's Tao, entering into the suburbs of Sydney, LA, Moscow, all these places around where people are actually starting to get onto these tonic herbs, and get the adrenal glands, the endocrine systems, the immune system and the liver functioning and fed, so that they can handle the kind of environment, (technologically advanced industrial environment) that we are living in.  That's very exciting.

 

Tahnee: It is, and the more advanced your environment I suppose, the more removed from nature really - really the more these things are relevant to you, I think. So we'll go back to what a tonic herb is, there's a book which I gotta get Mason to pronounce the name of because he's much better at Mandarin than I am.

 

Mason: So in English it's, The Divine Farmer's Classic of Materia Medica, by Shen Nong. It's called the Shennong Ben Cao Jing Du.

 

Tahnee: Beautiful pronunciation. So Shen Nong was a kind of wise human that was born--

 

Mason: And also you could put that as, just a dude.

 

Tahnee: He was a dude.

 

Mason: He was into his herbs.

 

Tahnee: And he was born before Christ, so we're talking thousands of years ago, a couple of thousand years ago.  And he was basically really integral in writing down and cataloging for the first time in Chinese history, (that we know of, who knows what's been destroyed), he classified 365 herbs and their uses medicinally, and their energetics, and how they affected the organs and the function.  So this is a very classical Taoist text, and I use the word classical to refer to pre-Taoism.  So when we're talking about things like Yin and Yang, and we're talking about the triple treasures; Jing, Qi and Shen.  So he said that in order for a herb to be classified as a tonic or a superior herb, it had to have at least one of the treasures, Jing, Qi or Shen, (we'll talk about those), and it had to be able to be taken for basically a very, very long time, a lifetime, and it would have an advantageous effect, no deleterious effects, and it was very safe.  So looking at something like reishi, it has "no toxic dose" in inverted commas, it's safer than water, which means that we haven't been able to give anyone enough to make them sick.  Whereas water, we've all heard of those poor people who die from drinking too much water. So we're talking about really safe herbs here, and there weren't that many of them, and they were specifically classified as a separate herb from a regular herb.  Which is a herb that has a really strong action on the body, a beneficial action usually, but needs to be taken mindfully and carefully.  And then something like a poison which is also used as a herb, which is another classification of herbs, an inferior herb, and that's used really specifically and targeted for ailments to cure specific things.

 

Mason: So I might just reiterate that point, because it's a really important one to get guys. Because Tahnee and I are studying aspects of Western herbalism, as well as TCM and Ayurvedic - where sometimes people have let themselves get to a certain point, or perhaps a symptom, (I shouldn't put it on people have let themselves, because it brings in a lot of morality), but perhaps it's like all of a sudden there is something degenerating there that needs to get passed out of the body.  Same as using something topically that needs to aggressively go in and get particular cells and rip carcinomas out.  At that point, generally you're going to need a herb that is only one way or the highway; it goes inside to the immune system and gets a particular receptor and it drives that receptor up with force, to the extent that if you take too much you will poison yourself - that's that lower grade, or the inferior herbs that Shen Nong (categorised)--

 

Tahnee: You can think of a drug as being similar to that. I think we have this real issue in the West where we don't understand herbs. We think of them as almost dangerous, and Europe I think is even worse now, they've started to make it that you can only get herbs from a pharmacy style thing.  But we need to start to remember that everything has its purpose and its intention, some of them are more deleterious than others, some of them are more effective at certain things than others, but when we're talking about a tonic, we're not talking about a herb that has a--

 

Mason: Well an example is deadly nightshade would be one: if you take too much, it's gonna hurt you a lot.  Then you move up to the middle class, or the regular herbs that Shen Nong cataloged, and these are herbs you can take for several months, that were still one directional, but not so strong.  In terms of echinacea, you can take that for some time and it's not gonna drive the immune system up too much, but after you've taken that for two or three months, if you go even further it's got the possibility of taking you out of balance.  Because it doesn't have that intelligence to know when to stop driving the immune system and stimulating it. That's where we get now into the superior herbs. So those other classes, the lower and middle, they're very good for when you've got symptoms, very good if you've got a hospital scenario or a clinic scenario.  When it gets into the tonic herb, superior herb point of view, these are the ones that Shen Nong cataloged, and as Tahnee says, ones that you can take ongoingly for a lifetime. Now of course we like bringing in intuition and seeing ebbs and flows as well.  That's why we have so many herbs, so that's not black and white though.

 

Tahnee: I want to speak to seasonality, and I want to speak to the Tao.  These guys would tune in, they would take what they needed when they needed it, and they would have relationships with herbs.  Like my master, he has an immortal that he talks to, and he talks to entities and talks to the beings of plants, and this is what the Taoists were doing; they were talking to the spirit of the animal (they were shamanic, they were very shamanic).  They weren't rocks, everything had a kind of energy and an imprint and a conversation it was having with them as they moved through their environment.  So you've got to imagine I think, to me I always imagine someone like Shen Nong collecting different things, drying different things, using different things on different days, or in different seasons depending on what they needed, and that's what an apothecary is for.  How we use our herbs, Mason and I, we take different things at different times, we each take different herbs on different days, sometimes we'll share what we're taking, sometimes we'll have our individual portions.. It's because we are tuning into what we need.

 

Mason: And sometimes we don't have that much mental space to attribute to that, so then we'll just take one of the blends, we'll take a mushroom, we'll take the Jing, or the kidney herbs.  So I just wanted to touch back on this nature of the tonic herbs and the superior herbs and Shen Nong.  So Shen Nong especially coming through at a time - before then, there was small pockets of people, the population wasn't growing to the extent where villages needed to become cities and so on and so forth. But at that point where that did happen, people became a little bit more disconnected from nature, they didn't know how to identify (herbs), because they started traveling a little bit more, there's more people stripping herbs from the immediate environment.  At that point, that's when Shen Nong went out and was like, right, I'm gonna need to get some information.  As well as Shen Nong, also (200 BC they estimated this classic was published), it's most likely a collation of many medicine men and women over hundreds of years, possibly thousands - of that information being passed down in an oral tradition.  And this is the point where it all changed and got written down into a Materia Medica. Divine Farmers Classic.  So it's at that turning of the tide when farming did become a bit more relevant, people were moving into not necessarily sedentary living, but--

 

Tahnee: More agrarian.

 

Mason: Yeah more agrarian, and so for better or worse.  That's something that we like having conversations about, because you can argue both sides of that story, especially getting to an extreme situation of where we are here.  So that story of tonic herbalism, from there, it did continue to become one of these things, the Emperor and the Empress, and the Emperor's--

 

Tahnee: Consort.

 

Mason: Consort.. When it was saying something like reishi, it was pretty rare - a lot of these herbs were just kept in small supply for the emperors and for the royalty.  Then as you start going a few more centuries down the track, and especially around 1500, you start to see there's such value being seen in these tonic herbs, the medicinal mushrooms, the roots, the barks, the berries, the orchards.

 

Tahnee: Orchids.

 

Mason: Orchids, I'm dyslexic with orchard and orchid.

 

Tahnee: They had orchards with orchids.

 

Mason: They did have orchards with orchids. What began to happen is the beginning of wild-crafting farms.  So this is where we tap in with SuperFeast in terms of our sourcing in this tradition, and essentially like business tradition as well as a tradition merged with the Tao and tonic herbal philosophy of farming these herbs in a way that they are exposed to nature, in wild environments where there are exposed to the elements... So they can get out there to the wider audience, and you start breaking down this hierarchical, let's just keep it for the top 1%, and that was like let's distribute this good stuff out, because hey, all humans are equal, eh?

 

Tahnee: Well I think really, I know in Japan, once they worked out how to cultivate shiitake, monasteries would pop-up around areas that were good for shiitake cultivation, because basically it became like, we're gonna have a lot of resources, a lot of commerce and a lot of money because we have this economy based around this mushroom.  So it would entice the Buddhists to come, and then it made the area more spiritual and more special.  So there's this really interesting relationship between access to the herbs and being really an elite either spiritual or royal path.. you weren't really able to access these things unless you were pretty ritzy in those days. And that's really been the biggest change, which is one of the benefits I suppose of having live growing mushies and stuff, is that they can actually produce them quite cheaply en masse, and you do still get some benefits.  But from our perspective, working with the Taoists tonic herb that originated from a land called China as we know it now, it's really important for us to continue to use the herbs from these areas, and so our schizandra is still wild grown.

 

Mason: Full wild from Changbai mountain: you can try our schizandra, it will knock your socks off compared to other farmed ones!  And we're not arrogant about this stuff guys, but there's certain herbs and experiences that we've had - and we've had enough people come back to us and talk to us - and it's important for us that you get on good herbs and you get value for your bloody hard earned cash. And likewise we've got a few Amazonian herbs there in teas - what we work with is farms within South America.  So again, keeping strong to that Di Tao philosophy, likewise that's gonna be the way it is with all of the herbs from all of the systems around the world. But basically when you look at that tradition and how sacred tonic herbs are, and even though China in certain areas has gone in a particular direction, that is against, well not against, but it's just amoral. And we'll agree with that, likewise the Australian government and the American economy, come on guys, the whole world is like, the ego is getting a little bit out of control as military complexes and big business find the edges. There within China, that's not enough (for us) to turn around and go (and) compromise and just go get lab grown herbs from America, or even lab grown herbs from China.

 

Tahnee: It's such a western knee-jerk reaction, oh there's some bad stuff going on there, let's just say that everything over there is bad, like a blanket statement.  The Tao says that within everything bad there is good, within everything good there is bad; we're all complex, every nation is complex, every land is complex.  We're talking about one of the biggest countries on the planet, and yet people ask all the time, so you source your herbs from China? And it's like yeah we do--

 

Mason: By the way we do like that question, it's been a beautiful thing for us to tackle--

 

Tahnee: I'm not saying it in a bad way.

 

Mason: I'm not implying you were, but it's hard to read between the lines of that sometimes, in terms of yeah, we're bloody proud of that.  One awesome thing that happened recently, is one of my mentors that really got me onto it early (you know the mushroom man, Paul Stamets), was on the Joe Rogan podcast, and he was like, he lab grows in America.

 

Tahnee: He uses mycelium.

 

Mason: Yeah lab grown, uses the mycelium which is the body, (not the fruiting body, the part that you see), and so this is my mycelium wrapped in plastic in hot labs.

 

Tahnee: It's kind of like the roots.

 

Mason: Yeah kinda like the roots - the body is probably how I describe it, but from a perspective of relating to the tree - it would be like the roots. So he said we've tested several from China and they have metals and things, just do not go from China, (only 10% of them are good), so, no one go to China. And it was a good thing for us, because all of a sudden it opened up the conversation.  People weren't interested in me talking about why I get it from China, or so on and so forth in the beginning, especially the medicinal mushrooms.  We have microbial, aflatoxin, pesticide, metal testings, both from the Orient and here in Australia and in America, so we're able to see just how clean and pure the herbs are coming in. So it was nice for people to go well, Stamets said about 10% are the only ones that are good, and I'm like yeah and in that 10%, I'm in the top 0.1% in terms of the quality, and in terms of the level that we go to to make sure that these herbs do have the treasures.

 

Tahnee: And they're not irradiated when they enter Australia or any country they're shipped to.

 

Mason: But more important to that is that there is a tradition there farming them, there are soils and elementals and microbes there, these areas have very ancient traditions and ancient wild crafting farms--

 

Tahnee: And protecting..

 

Mason: With that root of tradition, and as Tahnee was just about to allude to there, protecting that Taoist philosophy of tonic herbs that we have fallen so in love with. And so what happened is as it got into the modern times, after the communist revolution, there were only pockets of this Taoism left.  Mantak Chia is tucked away in Thailand to bring Taoists abdominal massage and particular practices, astral travel practices. And there have been a few Taoists who have taught Westerners, two of those Westerners being George Lamero and Ron Teeguarden, and they in the last few decades have acted as the bridge of bringing Taoist tonic herbalism to the West. It heavily inspired me in watching that bridge come over, and these are two guys I've been listening to for years now and have leaned heavily from.

So from here, all of a sudden it started to disseminate.  I know I've been teaching about these herbs in Australia, and through my podcast and just online, to the world for several years now. And you can start to feel the tide turning, where the global population will open up to this style of herbalism, where you can bring in these herbs which are adaptogenic much of the time, meaning that before when we were talking about middle class herbs having one direction, these have a multitude of directions in the body.  They are able to work with the body's flow, unlocking particular blockages so that the body can restore itself into balance, meaning if there are particular hormonal cascades that need to go up, it will assist them in going up. If that same cascade needs to go down, it will enable that to go down.

That is an incredible aspect of these tonic herbs and these adaptogens, and another classification of them as to why they are superior; because they accumulate over time. So as you're taking reishi or eucommia bark over time, more and more you'll just accumulate those benefits, you stay tuned in, get in a relationship with the herb more and more and more. And as Tahnee alluded to, it doesn't damage the body.  Those are the classifications of what an adaptogen is, there's gonna be an adaptogenic nature within those tonics that you can take again and again.  We're just seeing and we're so stoked that the wave is breaking on these tonics being accepted by the world, because the nervous systems, the adrenal glands, the immune systems of our populations, especially living in cities are crying out for it.

 

Tahnee: Well they're basically all liver, kidney and gut herbs.  If you look at the tonics, that's the organs they work on, and that's what we see as chronic issues in this society.  We've got gut issues, we've got liver issues and we've got kidney and adrenal issues.  There's just no more relevant time in human history for them to be emerging again as they are so strongly right now. I think also we talked earlier about the triple treasures: Jing, Qi and Shen.. I think that's such an important thing to connect with, because without that foundation of energy that the Jing provides, and without the mobilisation and movement of energy that the Qi is indicative of, and then without that connection to spirit, and that remembering of our purpose and our passion on this planet which is the Shen: again we're gonna end up a bunch of pretty miserable people.

 

Mason: Yeah I will mention here guys, you'll hear us talking about Jing, Qi and Shen a lot.  In a coming podcast we're going to dive very deep into that, we'll make it really obvious. We'll call it Jing, Qi and Shen, and we're gonna go into it in general and possibly do episodes just on them. But these are foundational energies that give us a lexicon, just give us words, to describe the particular energies and phenomena and physical stuff within the body, and make it relevant.  So it's a good way, that's why we like Taoism particularly, because it's terminology that the Western mind can get its head around.. at the same time keeps it nice and slippery.  As Tahnee was saying, Jing is kind of like the physical essence to genetic potential and it's your fertility, the foundation of the body, largely tapped in to the sex hormones.

 

Tahnee: And the kidneys.

 

Mason: And the kidneys.  Then Qi, that mobility, that's that taking of that substance, the blood and the fluids, and actually mobilising them and moving through the body, it's related to vitality.  And then Shen, spirit, lives in the heart, that's where the wisdom flows forth, and we see basically what you would call a well integrated mature human coming forth, that's the Shen.

 

Tahnee: Yeah and I think, to really hold that kind of notion of developing the triple treasures through a tonic herbalism regime, is something that's beautiful and different about how we tend to see herbs prescribed in the West. It's like, I remember, I think I've seen naturopaths since I was 16, maybe 15, very young.  And I'd be sent home with a bottle of herbs and I had no idea what they were, I have no idea what they did really, I just was to take them every day to fix my pathology, whatever it was at that time.  And I'm not shitting on naturopaths, but it's moving in a much more clinical direction where it's like, take this, it's prescribed, it's this, it's that. There isn't really a focus on the energetics, the production, they're not tuning into "are these wild-crafted herbs" - I mean not all naturopaths, I know there are some really good ones out there, but I felt like it was becoming very much westernised.

 

Mason: I think you'll find naturopaths, and I talk to a lot of epic naturopaths who we've mentioned, talk about it, and the same with herbalists and people who have gone to a particular school and been taught from a very western perspective how to do this, and it's always gonna be symptom-based and it's always gonna be like don't think for yourself, just do it this way.  I know that has upset a lot of naturopaths and herbalists, and they are going in a different direction. Part of the reason why this podcast is coming out you guys, just to caveat, is because the way that I learned tonic herbalism is yes - I've studied with particular people, and I've done certain courses along the way - but mainly I've gone down a folky style of teaching myself in the sense of--

 

Tahnee: Taking them and meditating with them.

 

Mason: I've been taking them, I've been fasting on them, which I'll talk about this further on - and remember at any point you can email, team@superfeast.com.au if you want more information on any of the concepts we talked about, so you don't feel like you're left high and dry.  But I went down that path, and what I was passionate about, I let that follow me, I found myself to go to America and buy books and study with the people and study the concepts that were really relevant to rounding out my understanding of health in general and the Taoist tonic herbalism.  And it's ended me up here with such deep rooted understanding of them, and it's just the beginning, I'm just scratching the surface, and so a big part of this podcast is - because we get a lot of people, a lot of young in age and young in mind men and women, et cetera - 

 

Tahnee: Everything in between.

 

Mason: - And everything in between - coming to us and going like, what books do you recommend, what course do you recommend?  I'm like you know what, you're gonna want to stay out of just thinking you're gonna go do one course and get this, because this is a bloody path that you're entering onto, not the Tao herbs, yeah micro-macro, the macro path is you walk down the path of health sovereignty here--

 

Tahnee: Or life sovereignty.

 

Mason: Exactly, we don't talk about extremists like that, you're not allowed to interact with any kind of allopathic medicine, that's not what it's about.  You interact from a place of centeredness and sovereignty, not I need to go over here and get fixed with that person without me being in the perception of it. That's the difference between tonic herbs, I think Tahns is talking about, you get on the bloody front foot with these things, that's the nature of tonic herbalism.  You're getting on the front foot, you're getting into: can I nourish my immune system? "Why, what's wrong with your immune system? If it's bloody not broke don't fix it, eh?" - And it's like yeah you keep that philosophy handsome Australian gentlemen from the bush that just came through as one of my personalities, I'm going to explore it, and that is fun and that's a right to life.   We've created this podcast because I hope it can be another source for people to come and learn this aspect of tonic herbalism from years of experience between myself and Tahnee, and we're just gonna keep on going and sharing what we've got so far.

 

Tahnee: Education mate.

 

Mason: It is, so these tonic herbs, we mentioned Jing, Qi and Shen, that's what Shen Nong was talking about. It had the Jing, that's why it's all wild-crafted, 'cause it's got the Jing.  So if you take herbs that are Jing herbs, they are kidney/adrenal herbs, they are replenishing that foundational capacity of the body to have strong foundational sex hormones, strong bones for the body to be able to build blood, hold sexual fluids, strong knees, strong lower back.. These are the aspects of Jing physical structure, in a sense, as well as genetic potential. So the potential first of all, for how long you're gonna live, because Jing is like the battery, and you need the power in your battery.  As well as what capacity do you have for the Jing to unfold and express, to awesome delicious parts of themselves.  

We like that over on Jing herbs, because in the next few generations, so on and so forth, we wanna make sure that the genes being expressed aren't just these flabby industrialised ones that have no immune systems.  We want the ones coming through so that our children are actually born with immune systems, and more and more wisdom, which they're kind of coming through with anyway, but there is a big part of the population where I'd say that's not the case.  More industrial reliance is occurring, pharmaceutical reliance from the beginning, without going you know what, I'm gonna take it in my on hands, I'm gonna make sure my family and my children have immune systems thank you very much, you know?

 

Tahnee: Even just expressing like you were talking about, I always think of Jing as ancestral memory, so it's that ability of the embryo to organise itself to become a fully functioning and formed human, that can then look normal.  Like disfigurement and disformity, that's the Jing unable to express. We can talk about neural press cells, and all this embryology that weaves into what Jing is, but it's to make sure that your structure is solid, and you are the best expression of the genetic combination of your mum and dad as possible.  So the parents have to pass it on to the child, and then the child has to maintain their Jing so they can pass on to their children and so on and so on.  And we've seen this in our culture, our generation is not going so great, and we've got a lot of issues.

 

Mason: A lot of issues, like polycystic ovaries, the amount of autoimmune stuff is insane, the amount of cancer, all of these things is getting out of control.

 

Tahnee: It's like we can then look at industrialisation and we can look back a couple of hundred years and actually kind of go you know what, it's correlation. I'm not saying it's causation necessarily, but I have a pretty strong instinct if you look at when industrialisation really took hold, and you look at the passing on of Jing, you'll see that there's a dip.  We've removed ourselves from the natural order of things.  And so one of my intentions especially, and I know Mason's as well, and with our daughter, is to ensure that we maintain as much of our essence as possible, our Jing.  And then we did our best to pass that on to her, and if we have more children we'll continue with that intention, and I'll always be mindful with her, making sure she nourishes herself so that her children are healthy.

 

Mason: So that's an example, just to give you a little snapshot right now of Jing, and that treasure; one of three treasures in Taoism, Jing, Qi, Shen.  When we have what we call Jing herbs, like eucommia bark is a Jing herb, he shou wu, cordyceps. As well as we've got a blend that is all Jing herbs, called JING, which also has dendrobium stem and rheumania and morinda root.  All these Jing herbs, what you want in terms of when you're sourcing quality, or when you're even just feeling, what is that feeling when I drink these herbs?  That's Jing.  They've got the treasure, that's why those are a tonic herb.

I'm not saying a lot of tonics, like say reishi has Jing, Qi and Shen, so it's got all three treasures, so not saying that they can't nourish more and more.  We'll get into that, as well as nourishing different organs and elements and meridian systems in the body.  But that's why it's important for you to really have some intent when you're looking at what herbs you're gonna be taking, because you want to ensure that treasure is actually still in there.  And that's like yes, it's very chemical, but it's more in terms of chemical make-up, and it's also very multidimensional in the sense that there's going to be the other aspects, Qi and energetic imprints that are gonna come from the environment. And you know what, to the best of what we've been able to do, considering people go into health food stores and are getting powders and getting them sent from us here in Byron Bay, we've done the absolute best we can, I think we've done a really bloody good job, I know I feel it.

 

Tahnee: Mm, definitely, and do we want to quickly touch on Qi and Shen and then wrap it up, because I feel like...

 

Mason: Very quickly on Qi and Shen.

 

Tahnee: So Qi is basically - it translates loosely to energy - but the way I like to think of it, is the bioelectric impulse that runs through the body, and it's a kind of communication system beyond the nervous system. So when I think of Qi I think of it as intelligence in action. To me, the Jing is kind of like, like you were saying, the energy in the batteries, and Qi is the ability to turn that energy into electricity and animate something. So it's like when you plug a light into a socket and it illuminates, and suddenly there's this clarity and this completely different environment.  When we're full of Qi, we're literally like a light bulb, like animated and full of light and glowing.  I think it's so important to the immune system, in terms of this Wei Qi, which is this protective element that develops in the body that is almost, I think of it like our boundaries.

 

Mason: Can you just quickly touch on Wei Qi, so folks know what we're talking about.

 

Tahnee: It's kind of like--

 

Mason: Surface immunity.

 

Tahnee: Yeah, surface immunity but there's a few other translations. I won't go too deep into it because we'll probably do a whole immunity one which I think which will be really helpful, but I just think of it on an energetic level.  If you think of all these bacteria and fungus and parasites and all of these things as having an energetic imprint, they are trying to penetrate us.  If our energy is strong, they can't, and so to me that is what Wei Qi is, it's kind of this ability to create this container for ourselves, that protects us and allows us to be a bit more discerning as to what's penetrating.

 

Mason: I want to also mention one of my favourite things about Wei Qi is it's also the upward energy as well as circulating just under the skin that surface immunity.  It's also what allows the organs to stay buoyant and in place, and not be atrophying and prolapsing.  That's amazing in itself - when that's intact it leads to more flow and Qi, and the physical flow moves through the organs, and favourite Qi herbs just so people can understand which herbs are really--

 

Tahnee: Well just pause on that because I'm really excited to share something which I know is probably going into too much into detail, but what Mason was just saying about Wei Qi being that buoyant energy, the Qi flows in the body and the spaces in between the fascial planes. So that might mean nothing to you, but if you think about your skin and underneath your skin there is this layer of this stuff called fascia, and then there's a little bit of space, and it's kind of like a fluid space.  There's a whole bunch of stuff going on in there, but the Qi moves through there. And so what Mason is saying, is how we've got this force of gravity pulling us down all the time, this is another energy that's working on us, and when we have strong Qi we're actually able to express our potential as a levitating being moving up and away from the pull of the Earth.  So I think that's a really beautiful thing to remember when we're talking about Qi herbs, if someone is kind of collapsing and down, they often need better Qi; they need better air, better food, better movement, better circulation of energy, so that leads us into the herbs, and astragalus is my personal fave--

 

Mason: Astragalus.

 

Tahnee: Astragalus is my personal favourite for that.

 

Mason: Yeah, mine too, astragalus is my core Qi herb. I find schizandra very effective in bringing that circulation, and schizandra is one of those ones - it's a Jing, Qi and Shen herb, and all five organs nourished - but I think it's especially potent as a Qi herb.  But astragalus is my absolute number one, as you know I had a lot of it, especially after I got bitten by that tick, and had Lyme borrelia infections, so when Lyme disease started setting in, I can talk about that further, or you can write to me if you want.

 

Tahnee: Or you have some podcasts.

 

Mason: I've got some podcasts on The Mason Taylor Show where I talk about that so--

 

Tahnee: We can link to those in the show notes.

 

Mason: If you want to get a little bit more information online, I took a lot of astragalus especially in the cleanup, and that was that surface immunity, to stop these spirochetes, these bacteria being able to get in, burrowing, creating a biofilm and having a new home.  Because it's hard to get them out in the beginning, and so I took a lot of astragalus, we also take a lot of astragalus going into winter.

 

Tahnee: Yeah, and travel.

 

Mason: As late summer cracks and you start feeling autumn emerges we'll be on the astragalus, as well as medicinal mushrooms as bread and butter, but yeah that's what we'll be doing.

 

Tahnee: And that's kind of astragalus season now in Australia, we're in summer, emerging into late summer and it's all about the spleen and that transformation of the energy from the food into Qi, that's what the spleen does with the lungs.

 

Mason: Yeah, that's very true.

 

Tahnee: We'll talk about that in organ time, not now, but there's a lot of cool stuff to talk about here, I'm really excited to share it.

 

Mason: Let's just bring it home with Shen.

 

Tahnee: Yeah, so Shen, spirit is an easy translation, I love the analogy of the light of the candle.

 

Mason: Yeah so the wax of the candle being the Jing, the flame being the Qi, and the light emanating is the Shen.

 

Tahnee: Which is bad because my other analogy said the light was the Qi. I think a bit more almost that glow that comes out of light, so it's like it lights its own energy then there's a glow that radiates from that, and that's kind of Shen.  And that's an ability I think to - 'cause you know, from the Taoist perspective, we are basically condensed spirits, spirit is what we are, there's no separation - and Shen is just that reminder, and the heart is the house of that in the body, and it's that ability to I think to really be able to perceive our soul journey, and our path, like not take some one else's spiritual path and transpose it upon ourselves.

 

Mason: Well I think Shen especially comes too as you become more unified, you've got nice strong Jing, nice Qi circulating, Shen is this beautiful balancing act that occurs, so that you can stay on your true path, yet still stay in synergy with external communities, and organizations and natural orders.  At the same time, you can be here as an individual and as a sovereign being yet still feel connected, and within that dance, wisdom can come forth.  That's just currently what I'm really feeling in terms of Shen.

 

Tahnee: Yeah, I think that's really beautiful.

 

Mason: And as well guys, when you're not anxious and your mind's not chattering a shitload, that's when it's like, oh okay, shit I can think, I can feel, or my mind can actually connect with my body. That's Shen, and so that's why Reishi mushroom is our favourite Shen tonic.

 

Tahnee: I think I have a history of, I'd probably say depression or depressive tendencies; like eating disorders, anxiety kind of things, and for me since I met reishi, I couldn't believe how different I feel.  And I've always had to "manage that stuff" in inverted commas, with yoga and eating right, and trying not to stress myself out too much, and all these things.  And reishi just really shifted things dramatically for me, so I think we'll go into detail more, this is getting long.

 

Mason: Well this is great guys, what we've done today, and we've had a lot of fun doing it; laying down what tonics are, what tonic herbs are, what this Taoist philosophy around tonic herbs is.. That's bringing forth and is becoming very relevant in the modern world; where they've come from, their journey up until now, their history, their roots, their law, as well as learning why they would be a tonic - being able to nourish and tone a treasure: Jing, Qi or Shen and then furthermore various organs.

So we hope you can really start to perceive within just listening to us why we would be so in love with these and can start feeling the relevance for yourself in bringing this in. And with all this knowledge that you're going away with from this podcast today, do so with a bit more clarity or intent, so you can really drive them into your lifestyle, a little bit further.  So you can stay on these, and stay connected to the philosophy and the intention behind it, so it doesn't just becomes something faddy:  "I've got some reishi, I can't remember what it does and it just sits in the back of the cupboard, and oh my gosh it's been like two years, can I still take it, is SuperFeast still around?".. We will be, by the way, and yes you can probably still take it.

 

Tahnee: Two year shelf life.

 

Mason: That's because we have to say that.

 

Tahnee: That's true.

 

Mason: But guys we hope you've loved this as much as we have, and please catch us in the next episode, where we will be diving even deeper into these magic elements.

 

Tahnee: Thanks for listening everybody have a beautiful day wherever you are.

 

Mason: Hey everybody thank you so much for tuning in today, it's now time to take that information, round it into your lifestyle, so you can amplify your health to the next level. You can really help amplify the health of this podcast by going onto iTunes and subscribing and leaving us a review. It really helps us spread this information around tonic herbs, around sovereign health, further out there to the community, so we can help more people experience the best out of this life. Thanks guys, I'll speak to you next time.



 

 



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