In an era where consumers are becoming increasingly discerning about their products, it's only natural for them to seek transparency and knowledge about the supplements they consume. Medicinal mushrooms and tonic herbs, with their rich history of traditional use and growing scientific validation, have gained considerable popularity over the last few years. Consequently, a desire to standardise or isolate specific compounds has emerged with it.
There is very much a place for this approach and we recognise its significance within the world of medicinal mushrooms. We choose to offer a perspective that embraces the whole spectrum of a herbs essence, and how this holistic approach can unlock the true potential of what they have to offer.
We do not standardise our products, nor do we focus on isolated compounds. We believe in the medicinal value of the whole herb. We use traditional extraction methods to ensure that the full range of medicinal compounds and energetic qualities are extracted from our herbs. We feel this results in a potent product that is just as nature intended. We never synthetically isolate, manipulate or standardise our herbs for particular active constituents.
* We do test our herbs to ensure that certain active compounds are naturally present at levels compliant with the minimum requirements established by the Chinese Pharmacopeia; in this regard, therapeutic effects are guaranteed. If you are interested in dosing specific constituents isolated to a certain percentage we suggest you seek a product designed for this purpose.
While it's common for a herb to become famous for a specific compound, science is only starting to scrape the surface of what is possible when we align ourselves with our plant allies. There are many unidentified and likely potent compounds in many herbs; we don't see a reason not to trust in nature's intelligence in packaging them up in a herb!
We are thoroughly inspired by the Taoists who came before us; those who over thousands of years developed this system of tonic herbalism in order to support their profound intentions for life, health, and spirituality. With this system, the Taoists delved deep into their relationship and understanding of the herbs, thankfully documenting their findings more thoroughly than anyone else in the world so we can continue to honour and walk their path.
Unlike Western medicine which focuses on isolating or increasing percentages of particular active ingredients in herbal products and drugs, Taoist herbalists focused on using only natural extraction mediums and menstruum (solvents) like water (tea or broth) and alcohol or fat (tinctures, wines, etc.) in order to extract each and every element possible from the herb.
This intention comes from a desire to keep the herb completely unified where possible, and this is the same philosophy and method we choose to apply to our SuperFeast products.
Each herb has hundreds, if not thousands, of bioactive compounds that contribute to the full scope of the herb’s medicinal benefits, and it takes a lot of care to ensure as many of these are present in the extraction as possible. It is through these full-spectrum extractions in ancient times that Taoists were able to identify that these herbs were ‘tonic’ and could aid us in cultivating vibrancy within our body and mind.
There are still so many of these bioactive compounds that are yet to be identified by modern science, but that does not mean they are not paramount to the herbs’ benefits. We know that these compounds are all needed in their natural ratios to harness the full effect of the herb. That is why we never standardise our herbs. The symbiotic nature of many of these unknown or underrated compounds is what brings great efficacy to the known active ingredients. Each compound can modify and balance out the effects of the others, ensuring that the herb remains tonic and adaptogenic to the system.
For us, if we were to focus on increasing the percentage of particular active ingredients, we’d be doing so at the expense of other compounds. From our perspective, when isolating compounds or standardising, you naturally no longer have the complete tonic herb that the ancients identified as a superior herb, and thus it is not the same herb that they spoke about in their texts.