Part of the idea of performance herbalism is for you to be able to feel what the herbs do for you right away. Knowing that they’re doing something in the background, below conscious perception, is fine but isn’t it best to have things work so great you can feel it instantly?
Many of the herbs that we carry we do so based around this idea. But not all of them. While these have been mentioned in various places I figured it was good to capture everything in one place regarding the feelable effects of our herbs.
Please note that this comes from my personal experience, with some additional insight shared by other people occasionally. Other people would likely share some differences. So do not consider this the final word, but instead a starting point.
Feeling herbs effects largely has to do with awareness. And I’ll be covering methods to increase that awareness in the next article about becoming intuitive with herb use.
For ease of use, I’ve separated all of our herbs into three categories. Those that have the highest and most immediate feelable effects, those in the middle, and those in the bottom. Within these groupings, I have not aimed to rank or order them in any other way.
Top Herbs for Instant Feelable Effects
- Blue Vervain Tincture – As soon as the bitterness touches my tongue I notice that my nerves relax any tension. This, in turn, relaxes my muscles. Instant stress relief!
- Bacopa – Going the opposite way as soon as I taste this salty/bitterness my mind immediately dials in the mental clarity. Instant focus!
Thor’s Hammer Powder and Capsules – Let’s just say that when using this for sex it tends to feel even better than regular.
- Black Ant – This is amazing in its ability to deliver energy that can be felt right away. We don’t know exactly how it works…but it does seem to work!
- Phoenix Formula Powder and Capsules – Mostly because it contains Ant, but also because of the Shilajit content, our first formula tends to give feelable energy right away.
- Hercules Pre-Workout Formula – I can say ditto to above…and also with the addition of Rhodiola and Cordyceps even more so. The biggest thing I notice when taking this for my workouts is greater work capacity, aka I can do more without fatigue.
- Spartan Formula – Here I would say the immediate effects come mostly from the Schisandra and Rhodiola. Gives usable energy right away in addition to mental focus.
- Shilajit Powder – This can give some noticeable change to energy. It can often affect insulin levels too so sometimes must be consumed around food or you can feel a drop in blood sugar with a big dose.
- Schisandra Berry – I notice some immediate sharpness in mental clarity from this. A friend of mine likened it to coffee without the buzz.
- Albizia – This herb has some strong shen effects, meaning it can be calming to the mind. This is why many people have found it helpful for falling asleep. The taste is intense, but the effects tend to be felt right away.
Mid-Range Herbs for some Feelable Effects
- Tongkat Ali – I may feel this one right away in that it is too strong for me. Honestly, it has given me a headache right away (liver energy rising). Besides that, if I’m taking regularly the effects on libido are significant.
- Pine Pollen Tincture – Like the Tongkat this one can be a bit strong for me and have similar libido effects.
- Pine Pollen – I do not notice this right away but do notice better recovery from workouts when taking it regularly and increased morning wood (for me longer lasting especially).
- Stag Swag – Even though it contains Pine Pollen, this was formulated to be much more balanced. The feeling is nice…though it’s hard to put my thumb on what exactly it is. It puts a little swagger in my step when taking it.
- Athena Women’s Formula – It’s been a while since I took this one but I remember there does seem to be some energy in the background feelings for me. Many women report energy pretty much right away though.
- Cordyceps – This herb was the one that got me hooked on herbalism in the first place. I felt an impact on my workouts, especially conditioning exercises. It’s fairly subtle, but it is there.
- Reishi – This is a top shen herb in Chinese medicine. In the West, we might term it a bitter nervine like Blue Vervain. While it is not as direct on the nervous system as this one, the effects can be felt especially with a bigger dose.
- He Shou Wu – Like Reishi this one has some subtle but noticeable calming effects.
- Maca – Some people notice energy right away with Maca. For me, it takes a big dose, several tablespoons for that to occur.
- Mucuna – This is much more noticeable with a sizeable dose. As a source of L-Dopa, which is a neurotransmitter it can put you in an altered yet calm state.
- Gynostemma Tea – When drinking this tea I feel that it supports my energy well. It’s not immediate and strong like Ant, but more in the background.
- Shilajit Resin – This is similar to the effects of the Shilajit Powder but with the resin, possibly just because of the smaller size dose, the effects are more subtle in action.
Lowest Feelable Effects Herbs
- Nettle Root – I don’t notice anything from taking this right away. As a yin herb, it is really doing things in the background. The one thing I’ll mention is that those that have frequent night-time urination have noticed some immediate reductions in that.
- Nettle Root Tincture – Ditto for above.
- Ashwagandha Tincture – This is one of my favorite tinctures even though I don’t notice much of anything right away. It affects a better stress response and everything it entails tend to come from being on it regularly.
- Mushroom Alchemy – There might be a subtle background shen effect, but mostly I’m taking this for the immune support which isn’t a feelable area. Plus I like the taste.
- Lion’s Mane – Maybe if I took a really big dose I’d notice it. But otherwise, I feel the NGF effects happen more in the background. I notice this most when I take it regularly for some time then stop taking it through the contrast effect.
- Chaga – I add this to my coffee daily but I don’t really notice much from it. I take it for the background effects in antioxidation and DNA protection.
- Goji Berry – Great sweet taste. They call it the happy berry but this effect may be best from taking it regularly for a long time.
- Seabuckthorn Berry – Great sour taste but can’t say I feel an effect from it.
- Longan Berry – Perhaps some subtle shen effects but can’t say I’ve noticed it strongly.
- Elderberry – Definitely a great immune system herb…but that’s not something you really feel.
- Cistanche – I love this herb but cannot really say that I notice anything from it right away.
- Horny Goat Weed – It does affect my libido but seems to work best when on it regularly for some time.
- Beet Juice Powder – Don’t notice much from this except that it tastes good.
- Pearl Powder – Perhaps there is some shen effects there but not so noticeable for me compared to others.
- Eleuthero – A great adaptogen but for me not nearly as noticeable as some of the others.
Whew! That’s quite a list. Once again, this is almost exclusively my experience and yours may differ. Still, if you’re looking to really feel the effects of herbs start with some of those in the top range and go from there.
Additional Articles on Related Topics
Want to go deeper? The following articles give you some surrounding subjects that might help out.
- How Long Does It Take For Herbs To Work? – This is helpful in that it breaks up the different time frames (instant, within a week, within a month, after stopping) in which you’ll notice the effects.
- Feeling Energy of Herbs – This video and post discusses a bit more of the subtle effects like feeling the energetics of the herbs as they enter meridians and organs.
- How to Use and Feel Nervines and Shen Tonics – Nervines may be the best place to start to feel herbs working. This video covers why that is and how to experience it.
- Experimenting with Herbs [How and Why] – Details on how to run an experiment for yourself in order to get results, which may involve feeling the effects of certain herbs.
- Anchoring With Herbs [Instant Benefits] – Learn how the psychological and physiological tool of anchoring can be used along with consuming herbs to get more instant and enhanced effects.