Here we go into more of your questions and answers, this time grouped around the topic of taking herbs.
- Is chugging down the herbs with a glass of water better than mixing them in a glas of water. Or does it not matter one way or another?
- Also is it O.K. to take 5 0r 6 herbs together with food? Are there any that should not be combined? I am really receiving lots of benefits from the herbs
- Is it possible to take too many herbs at one time? I take an elixir with .4g of shilajit pitch, I take .4g of shilajit pitch melted into water with 1tsp rhodiola, 1tsp lions mane, and 1/2tsp mucuna.
- Wondering if any of the herbs would be less beneficial when mixed into hot water
- I am trying Pine Pollen. Currently, I take a multi-vitamin, Immune Booster & Fish Oil ( Dr Best’s products) should I take these at a different time to Pine Pollen? Will they interfere with each other
- Plus information on constitutional types, formulating herbs for hot/cold, wet/dry, and much more.
Click the link below to access the complete transcript.
Hello and welcome. Logan Christopher here once again flying solo as we dive into some more of your questions and my answers, I guess. Once again, I’ve grouped them up. In our previous podcast, we talked a lot about the hormones as well as the hormonal herbs. We also had quite a few questions that had to do with taking herbs, how to take them, can you take them together so I wanted to go into some more detail about that. I’ll be answering this question and probably be flying off on a couple of tangents as well.
The first question, “Is chugging down the herbs with a glass of water better than mixing them in a glass of water or does it not matter one way or another?
I’d say, for the most part, that’s really not going to change one way or another. One way to take herbs is to just throw them in water with a spoon, mix it in there then drink that. You’ll definitely get a pretty easy way to take herbs. If they’re some of the worse tasting herbs then it can be a little tougher to take herbs this way just because you have to now drink down this water that tastes bad versus if you sip a little water and then just throw the herbs in your mouth then sip some water and just drink it down, kind of like swallowing a pill, that can be an easy way to take get through herbs. This is a great method for the tongkat ali, for example, which is extremely bitter and you only get a small amount so it’s really no problem. This would be an herb that I recommend this way over mixing it water because it’s just going to be very bitter water going down.
The cool thing about this, as we’ve talked before in our previous podcast, is that you still get some of the taste of the herb, which can help direct its activity by doing both of these versus for instance taking them in a pill. Another recommendation with this is how much of an herb are you taking? A small amount with the tongkat is really easy to take, which is sort of like a pill, taking it down in the water like down. If you’re doing a tablespoon, it can get a little bit messy. One, you may miss your mouth and have powder on your face. Secondly, it can be hard to have that much powder as well as water in your mouth. They may get in your teeth and then can get stuck there. Then you’ll be taking herbs for quite a while after that. So generally, I’ll do that first method, not mixing it in the water with probably about a maximum of a teaspoon of an herb. Of course, you can just repeat it multiple times if you have more to take than that. We take those in pine pollen with that, for me I find that’s a little bit easier to mix in water. But play around with it. See what works well for you. Really, it’s not going to change it so much doing it either of these ways.
Let’s talk a little bit about why you want to take herbs with water in the first place. First of all, most people are chronically dehydrated. They’re just simply not drinking enough water so there’s a good reason to take your herbs with water. You’ll get the benefits of the herbs and the benefits of the water as well. But since we’re dealing with powders, that really dries up and a lot of people may be dry overall. They constitutionally energetically have this dryness to them so if they’re taking a whole bunch of dry powder and not hydrating themselves like we just talked about, then this may not be delivering all the benefits. So if you have some of the moisture along with the herbs, that may just help your body to absorb it better and to use it better. Like I said, a lot of people are dehydrated but once again this goes to the constitution.
If you’re going to Ayurveda, the doshas, there are people that tend to be cold and dry so having water along with these can definitely help them versus someone like a kapha¸ they may be overly wet so doing something drier could possibly be a little bit better for them. I’d say, in general, taking herbs with water is definitely a good way to go if you want just a simple fast rule and either of these two methods here will work for that.
Next question, “Is it okay to take five or six herbs together with food? Are there any that should not be combined? I’m really receiving lots of benefits with herbs. Thank you, Lisa.” Also we had another question that’s right along the same lines. I’ll read that one. ”Is it possible to take too many herbs at one time? I take an elixir with 0.4 grams of shilajit pitch melted into water with 1 teaspoon rhodiola, 1 teaspoon lion’s mane and half a teaspoon of mucuna.” Basically, can you take too many herbs? Can these not all be combined together?
The general rule when you’re dealing with herbs is it’s going to safe to combine things. These aren’t drugs so it’s not going to have some very bad reaction in your body that is possibly going to be detrimental. That’s the rule in the majority of cases. Are there exceptions to every rule? Absolutely. Is there anything that we sell that I’d say you definitely don’t want to combine these two things? There’s nothing that I can think of, nothing that we have where you absolutely should not be combining different things together. So that’s the first thing. So you can definitely combine them.
Are you going to get all the benefits when you combine things together? This is a bit more of a complicated question. If you look at how people formulate different things, there are all sorts of different systems and ways of doing that. Let me make another recommendation. Shilajit along with other things according to Ayurveda is one thing that can not only be taken safely and greatly with everything but it’s also going to potentiate the effects. It’s going to help your body to absorb, to deliver those nutrients better into the cells. So taking shilajit with any of our other herbs is absolutely a great idea to do.
Going back to the formulization, once again it depends on sort of the energy of the herbs. Let’s say you have a really hot herb and you have a person that is also constitutionally hot, these may be a little contraindicated. You don’t necessarily want to do that. There are some methods where like treats like so giving them hot herb to someone is having a fever for instance, there are certain herbs that can help to break that fever sometimes by pushing it in that same direction. So there are exceptions to these things.
Once again in general, you don’t want to give hot to a hot person or a cold to a cold person, dry things to a dry person like we talked about before. So you can combine herbs in certain ways that can help balance out these effects in many cases if you really know what you’re doing. You can have it constitutionally support that person better. So maybe some of the effects of that really hot herb for that hot person is good but you could combine it with some cooling herbs, for instance, that then allow that body to work with it better. That can make it so that any side effects that may happen because that is sort of constitutionally matched there could be circumvented by the combination of these other herbs. This is the subject matter that takes studying herbalism in depth for many years and lots of practice and knowledge about the herbs in order to be able to do. We’ll definitely have more information about this subject in the future. Once again, go back to that general rule. You are safe. You’re not going to hurt yourself by combining these different herbs.
Going a bit more into the idea of combining herbs and formulation, there can be different effects, different reasons for combining different herbs. Some are it may help harmonize to bring things together so if you take one herb that has a certain effect, if you take a different herb it has certain effect but if you take these two herbs together, it may in some ways create something new. Obviously, it’s still going to have an effect but if some herbs go very well together, they harmonize and sort of create a third different action. Other herbs are somewhat used to direct the activity of some of the other herbs. For instance, if you have some issue with the kidneys there are some good herbs for that and you also could take them with something with like saltwater which salt goes to the kidneys so this would be a way of working on the kidneys more. Certain herbs can have this directing activity as well like cistanche, “cistanche in your pants.” It actually directs blood flow to the pelvic and genital area so if you’re taking this with some other herbs and you’re working to increase the functionality of that area, this may be a good herb that can work in combination with those things. These are a couple of examples of how different herbs can go together.
As a general rule, you’re going to be fine combining these different things. Another general rule, shilajit is great with everything and every person is different. Every person is individual so you have to find what works for you. Try these out, combining these different herbs, five or six together, whatever it happens to be and see if it that works for you. Then if you wish, make it a bit more of an experiment. Pull one out, put another one in and alter the different things in order to find what works best for you.
Another similar question would be, “Can you overdo it on these herbs?” Of course, you can overdo everything. You can overdo water, right? There are people who have basically drowned themselves just by over-drinking water to the point where their cells simply couldn’t handle that. So yes, most of these herbs you can do it. I just did that video about He Shou Wou. Now there’s no LD-50, LD-50 meaning the lethal dose 50, the amount that killed off half of a rat population, a fun experiment to do, right? He Shou Wou has no LD-50. Some of our other herbs, I believe, it’s the same way. They may not have necessarily been tested. Other ones may have an LD-50.
But here’s the thing. They’re such massive doses that they’re giving to these rats. Once again, it’s not like drugs work. The difference between micrograms and milligrams can be deadly and unfortunately that does happen across the world. But yeah, there’s probably some upper limit. Here’s another thing to think with herbs and different herbs. Some herbs are definitely like the more the better. A lot of people with the pine pollen are taking a small dose but they tried it. They’re using huge doses and that’s why we came up with mega dose and we know these people get better effects when they take that. There’s probably still a point where there’s too much. If you took an entire mega dose container at one time, it’ll probably have some good effects but most of it probably wouldn’t even be absorbed in the body.
Any herb, there’s really what’s known as a bell-shaped curve for its dosage that’s going to work best. Too little herb and you’re not going to get the effects. If you take the right amount of herb, you’re actually going to get the best effect and often times you take too much of an herb, that can stop you from getting these effects as well. So when you’re combining different herbs together, this kind of complicates things a little more but I hope I gave some ideas here about that would be helpful for you in combining the different herbs and using them.
Our next question is, “I’m wondering if any of the herbs would be less beneficial when mixed into hot water.” This is a very good question and similar to the questions about water before. First, let’s talk about the difference. Are we talking about warm water, hot water but something you can still drink versus boiling water? I would say for most of our herbs, boiling water is fine. Even if you threw them in there, let’s say you were cooking a stew or a soup and simmering and whatnot or even boiling it, that would be fine. The reason for this is most of the herbs that we have at Lost Empire Herbs are extracted. They’ve already gone through the process of making basically a strong tea which has gone through the point where they evaporated up all the water, they have a powder left over and that’s what you’re actually getting in the extract. So they’ve already gone through the hot water process and thus any additional boiling water or hot water is not going to damage them at all.
Not every herb is like this though. I’ll give you the three herbs from Lost Empire Herbs Herbs that we currently have that I would say you don’t want to do this with. The first one is pine pollen because pine pollen is raw, has all kinds of vitamins and minerals, enzymes, all kinds of different things in there, some of which would likely be damaged by heat. That being said, you’ll still get some benefits if you threw pine pollen in boiling water. I’m sure a lot of things won’t survive that process but not everything. But generally, I wouldn’t use boiling water with pine pollen.
That being said, if you like making tea then blend it together, if it’s a little hotter than body temperature it’s probably not going to damage that component and even if it is that’s just some part of it. With raw food, it’s used in peak temperature of 118 degrees. As long as it doesn’t go higher than that then enzymes don’t get broken down so that can be something that you work with if you actually wanted to use a thermometer for how hot things are. That would be one.
Schisandra would be another. This is a concentrate of the schisandra berries. It’s low heat dried. Once again, some of the components could be damaged if you’re going really hot with that. But once again, some of the components wouldn’t be so it would also be fine to deal do without that. Another one which may be interesting would be our new shilajit powder. If you listened to the interview, an amazing interview with Dr. Jay who’s talking about the low heat processing method that they use in order to preserve the crystalline structure of the shilajit and this is not done with one of the other shilajits of people out there, to the best of my knowledge this is not done, he was saying that if the temperature goes much higher than even body temperature, the human body temperature, it can damage the structure. Again there’ll probably still be some benefit but this would be another one that wouldn’t necessarily work with boiling water. Hot water is probably fine but not boiling. Once again, pine pollen, schisandra and shilajit, that’s what I would avoid. All the other herbs, you’re pretty much good to go with.
I can also mention the medicinal mushrooms. Some of those are raw and mycelium combined together. Some of the mushrooms you can work with raw but some of them it is better if it’s not actually raw. For instance, reishi, really woody mushrooms, what we have found on the site is actually already a hot water-extracted version of the reishi so that’s not a problem if you threw it in boiling water. The lion’s mane or the cultivated chaga that we have or even once we have the raw, wild chaga which hopefully could be back pretty soon, these are raw and with both of these mushrooms, you can seem to consume them raw and get some benefit but even then you may be getting a little bit more with that. That being said, the cultivated versions are also with the mycelium so you’re getting some sort of extract if you work with hot water or boiling water. That should be fine with both of those, I should say.
Next question, “I am trying pine pollen. Currently, I take a multivitamin, immune booster and fish oil, doctor’s best products. Should I take these at different times than pine pollen and will they interfere with each other?” This is very similar to our question about combining the different herbs. What if you combine the herbs with some other thing? Once again, this shouldn’t be a problem. Pine pollen, we call it nature’s multivitamin. It’s obviously not going to have every component to the same degree or RDA as a well-structured multivitamin but it has a whole lot in there so on that note, I’d say it’s fine. The immune booster, what’s in there, I imagine some medicinal mushrooms, different stuff like that. Definitely you can throw that together.
Fish oil, here’s what I’d say about fish oil. Because it’s a fat, you have the omega-3 fatty acids, these are best going to be absorbed by your body when you take it with other fats. So it depends on how this person is taking all these. Are they taking them with food? Are they taking them separate from food? With fish oil, the best way to do so that your body absorbs and uses the most of it would be to take it with some sort of fat, especially saturated fat. This will be coconut oil. This would be butter. This would be a lot of the fat on most meat, especially like red meat where you actually have the fat hanging on there and it tastes so good. The saturated fat is going to basically help your body to absorb the omega-3 fatty acids found in the fish oil. That would be a good thing. The next step from that would just be some other good quality source of fat, for instance, olive oil with the monounsaturated fats so some different options there for sure. I’d say definitely take the fish oil with fats.
But other things, whether you’re taking them with food or without food, you can certainly do that. Let’s talk about that subject. “Should you be taking herbs with food or should you be taking them on an empty stomach?” Basically, there are benefits and drawbacks to each one of these. Of course, there are herbs that are special cases. In general if you take herbs on an empty stomach like let’s say first thing in the morning, you’re going to typically notice most of the effects of the herb like that. If you have nothing else in your system and you take an herb, you can best notice that versus if you’ve just eaten a huge meal and you take an herb. The subtle actions of herbs are going to be lost on the gross, huge meal that you just ate, right? That would be one thing. You can tend to feel them.
But that being said, you may not absorb as much of the herb. When you take things with food, you’ve got other digestive processes going. Your body is ready to pull everything it can out of that food and use it to its best ability so if you herbs in this end, your body may be able to absorb more of the herb and then get more of an effect but you might not feel it as much. If you contrasted this, like we said before, drinking down some herbs with water, it can pass through basically your digestive tract pretty quickly so you may notice a bit more. It’s like you get a little faster action but you may get a little bit less of the herb overall in your body being able to absorb it. Those are just some ideas on that as well.
These are the questions we had on taking herbs. We’ll probably do a couple more of these where we group them into different things. There are some great questions. We’re definitely going to continue on with these. Some of the questions I think deserve an entire show on their own. I just want to say once again head on over to our website LostEmpireHerbs.com/Questions and you can ask your questions as well for future episodes of the podcast. Next week, we’ll be having an interview lined up for you, hopefully some very cool and interesting stuff that we have to share.
Thank you very much for listening. One other thing, if you enjoyed this podcast, if you want to help other people out in sharing this sort of information, head on over to iTunes and give us a review. We’d love to hear from you. Thanks again. Of course, if you love our herbs, we’d love reviews on the site. Just go over to any of the herbs and down there at the bottom of the page, you can leave those reviews as well. Thank you very much and we’ll talk to you next week.