OK you wanted questions…
The approach that Mark takes at Morning Steel is to cycle the various supplements.
I know there are not hard & fixed rules as to when or even how much of these supplements to take.
Our individual bodies & spirits clearly intertwine with the herbal tonics & result in a variety of responses.
My impression so far is that cycling does work…
So I wonder why not use these supplements only when you anticipate sexual engagement?
It seems wasteful to continually take supplements on a 7 day rotation when the weekend may be the best time.
Mark seems to think that the 7 day rotation is important for all the herbs.
You have described some of the herbs as “food” & recommend taking them regularly, correct?
But if Mark is right then no herbs are “food”… all herbs will lose their efficacy with regular use.
Could you give me two lists:
the herbs that you consider “food”… presumably taken regularly
the herbs that you would recommend for sexual encounters taken over a few days like a weekend
For those that have no clue what Chris is referring to, you can read about the 7 Day 7 Herb Cycling Method here.
My personal opinion is that this is a valid approach that works for Mark and others. But that doesn’t mean it is the only approach.
And here’s why…
Is basil a food or an herb?
What about dandelion?
The lines between food and herbs are blurry and grey at best.
Here’s an excerpt from my book Powered By Nature that gives more detail on how I think about this subject, and even beyond it too.
But it is not just food vs. medicine. Instead these things exist on a spectrum. Here is how I see it:
<Food–Superfoods–Herbs–Full Herbal Extracts–Isolated Herbal Extracts–Drugs>
Regular food really doesn’t have much “medicine” in it. But even among supermarket fruits and vegetables there is some, depending on the variety and freshness. Yet, in many of these the stronger phytonutrients have been bred out of them.
As we move up the scale we find superfoods. This label is attached to some common food items like berries or cruciferous vegetables which still have some potent components like anthocyanins, ellagic acid, or indole3-carbinol. Also in this category are other superfoods like spirulina. Often packed with vitamins and minerals these foods start to have more punch. We can add in the organ meats described in an earlier chapter here too.
Further up the scale we come to herbs. Here there are fewer calories and macronutrients so that it’s not really a food item. They won’t feed you in that sense. Instead these are used more for their phytonutrients to maintain, optimize, and restore health. Some herbs are used specifically in the treatment of certain diseases. These were known as inferior herbs. Other herbs, called superior herbs, in the Chinese Taoist tradition, are those that are preventative, yet gentle, and thus can be taken long term. Herbs that can be eaten as or with food, because they are gentle like food, nourishing your body in a different, yet still potent way.
Traditionally, herbs would be eaten raw, used topically, or made into tea or even put into food, like stews. Only with advancing technology have we extended this spectrum further to the right.
A full herbal extract is one in which the whole plant part used is present. (For instance, sometimes you use only the roots, not the stems, flowers, fruits, etc. of a plant.) This may be a strong decoction or tea. It may be a powdered extract or an alcohol-extracted tincture. Often this allows for the medicinal components to come out and work better whether by being concentrated or simply unlocked. Many herbs can’t be assimilated in their raw state, just like many foods. But the whole of the plant is present, and thus it still maintains some of its food-like qualities, as far as being balanced.
Many of these, at least those in the superior class of herbs, do not come with a list of side effects. That’s one of the components of making it into this class as opposed to inferior herbs. While inferior herbs are useful in acute diseases and injuries, you don’t necessarily want to be on them long term, because of such side effects.
Our scale can be taken further by isolating one component of that herb. This is most often the so-called “active constituent” of the herb. I put that in quotes because this idea is a fallacy. A great example of how this can be wrong is in St. John’s Wort which has been shown to work in cases of depression. Early on scientists thought that hypericin was the active and extracts were standardized for that. Now many more think it’s hyperforin.2 Except wait—new research is showing that adhyperforin may be the one.3
Limited research has shown that whole herbs used against malaria, like Artemisa annua, have often been found to work better than isolated nutrients or drugs, the artemisinin extracted from it, because of the synergistic effects available from multiple compounds.4
The whole plant is active. Different elements all play a role. While one or more may play the major role in a specific action, this discards the idea of synergy, and also arrogantly puts us in a position of thinking we’re smarter than nature. Sure, there may be times where a single molecule maybe better in certain cases. But until everything has been adequately tested, in isolation and in combination, and mind you there can be over 300 constituents in a single herb, we won’t know for sure.
Now, I can’t really give a list of what is “food” and what is “herb” because of the lack of clear distinctions discussed here, but I can give some thoughts.
I don’t need Thor’s Hammer. But I occasionally take it a half hour or so before sex because, well, it just seems to make things feel better and more fun!
A friend of mine takes it on a daily basis. I honestly don’t know if he’s cycling it or not (which I would recommend). And he’s feeling great.
In other words, both of these very difference approaches are working for us regarding this one formula.
Try one, try the other, see what works for YOU.
As for food vs. herb let me talk about Pine Pollen vs. Pine Pollen Tincture.
Pine Pollen is more in the food class. Superfood for sure! This is one of the reasons we recommend up to 10 grams per day. In China, they have literally used this as a food ingredient, for instance baking cakes with it.
When it is tinctured, when the alcohol is used to extract out components, it becomes stronger. Certain constituents (the hormonal fraction especially) are, not isolated, but found in higher concentrations.
This is an “herb” and a strong one at that. Yet it is a far cry from injected testosterone (an isolated drug)
While some people may notice some changes right away when taking this tincture, most people find that taking it daily for several days straight is more likely to yield some noticeable effect.
Regular taking for a month, even more so.
Some people get best results with Pine Pollen powder. Some get best results with the tincture. Some get best results taking both.
And as for how often, it is all over the place.
I know this can get confusing.
The starting place is the recommended dose found on each bag or bottle. But from there it really is up to you to experiment and find what works best for you as the unique individual you are.