I’m guessing you’ve heard the term “gateway drug” before, right?
This was basically to say that if someone started smoking cannabis then soon enough, they’d be smoking crack and shooting heroin. That the more common and easier drug would be a gateway into the harder stuff.
Sure, we can find many cases where this did occur. And we can find many cases where it did not. I’m not aware of any such statistics involving this matter, but that’s not the point today anyway.
Instead, I want to talk about this gateway concept and apply it to the world of herbalism. (By that I’m referring to the non-psychoactive herbs, as, sadly the only herb many people know is cannabis!)
For me, the gateway herb was Cordyceps. I heard about it being useful in endurance. I was getting heavily into fitness at the time. So I got my hands on some Cordyceps and noticed some immediate benefits in my workouts. It’s generally not a dramatic shift, but many people have noticed some effects.
I think some of the mystery surrounding this aggressive fungus, the ecology of the Himalaya mountains, and its ancient use made the gateway even stronger for me.
For my brother, Cloud, the gateway herb was Pine Pollen. He fell in love with this stuff so much he was raving about it to everyone he knew. In fact, the gateway was so powerful for him that not only did he get into other herbs, but we started what is now Lost Empire Herbs because of it many years ago.
Based on its popularity we know that we’ve introduced many customers to the world of herbs through Pine Pollen, whether the powder or the tincture.
The “classic” gateway herb, and by that, I mean one that many people refer to as such, is Goji Berries.
One of the ways that this is a useful gateway herb is that it tastes really, really good. The same cannot be said of all herbs! (If you haven’t tried our new freeze-dried Goji, I would highly recommend doing so. The taste is amazing.)
In addition, it actually packs quite a punch in the nutritional benefits it provides, like for immune system health. And they call it the “Happy Berry” for good reason.
Another possible great gateway herb would be Blue Vervain Tincture, as probably about half of the people I give it to notice some instantaneous nervous system stress relief from it.
I was just at a business event. There I got two people trying it and really liking the feeling. These complete “herbal newbies” might just be stepping into our world now.
For others, it might be some of our formulas such as Phoenix Rejuvenative Formula because each of the four herbs inside packs a punch that many people will notice with having greater energy.
Some herbs may be better gateways than others because of taste and effects. But truly, any herb or herbal combo could be a way in for different people.
More details can be found in the recent post about The Feelable Effects of Our Herbs.
That’s why we focus on the concept of performance herbalism. We want herbs that we can feel a difference with! That…and only that…will open up people to how these plants (and fungi, insects, animal parts, mineral pitches, etc.) can change their health and their lives.
The important thing is that people get “hooked”…in a good way. And unlike street drugs, we certainly do want to see go from one herb to the next once they’re in the gateway!
What was your gateway herb? Share your story in the comments below…