Podcast 427: Tonic Herbal Formulas

Rehmannia Dean Thomas is a Taoist Tonic Herbalist in the 5000 year old Gate of Life lineage from China. Rehmannia focuses on Tonic herbs because they are generally considered safe and beneficial when used over prolonged periods of time.

RDT Herbs herbs are considered anti-aging and preventative, empowering the entire body mind and spirit. They are the superior class of Chinese herbs.

RDT Herbs

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Podcast 427: Tonic Herbal Formulas

MARTIN: Hello everyone, this is Martin Pytela for the Life Enthusiast Podcast, and today I have the pleasure of introducing to you Rehmannia Dean Thomas, the founder, and the chief herbalist at the RDT Herbs. We at Life Enthusiast have been promoting Exsula Superfood products for a long time, since 1989, and we have had Chinese herbs in them as components since the early days. We have decided to join forces with Rehmannia, and show you just how wonderful the Chinese herbalist approach can be. Anyway, I’m going to let Rehmannia explain to you his life story in his own words because it is super relevant. So here goes Rehmannia Dean Thomas!

REHMANNIA: Thanks, Martin, thanks for having me on, and thanks for your interest in my products and in my knowledge. I know you know a lot, too, so it’s always nice to talk with a comrade and spread this great information at such a really valuable and important time for humanity to understand. This will take us to a deeper understanding of holistic health, and to start to understand the values of alchemy, and going deeper, basically, with everything that we’re doing as the world becomes more and more perilous. I think that the tonic herbs are coming to us at an amazing time.

MARTIN: Yeah, actually, as you’re saying this, I’m thinking:  Oh, I just want to say so much about it! For example, since 1996, I have been extracting my own, and since about 2004, we have been selling ORMUS to the world, and there you are, actually selling it and making it part of your herbs! It’s super important to me because it’s not well known, it’s not well understood, and yet it makes a gigantic difference in how it impacts people. And the second thing is my love of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which this is not, but it’s a part of.


MARTIN: In the sense that I have had the most health success, most repairs to my broken body because I got broken by mercury toxicity and many other things, the healings that came to me were largely from people who understood the Chinese method, the concepts. Anyway, here it goes, please tell us how you got here.

REHMANNIA: That’s a pretty crazy story, pretty convoluted. I’m actually from outside Louisville, Kentucky, a little town called Valley Station, so the fact that Chinese herbs came to me is kind of miraculous, but it had happened via a lot of factors. I met a Chinese woman when I was on tour playing music at 21, and she introduced me to all this, and we got married, and we went to China for our honeymoon. We happened to go into the Northern Manchurian province, which is the region where the great Chinese tonic herbs grow. And there I witnessed the collectors collecting the herbs out the woods, and I watched the sacredness that they had for their herbs. And then I stumbled into a night bazaar, where the herbs were being sold late at night, and I saw ginseng roots and reishi mushrooms for the first time. She was quite impressed too, with what we saw. There are a lot of herb farms there, it was almost as if they knew my destiny, somehow they were getting me primed up to get into Chinese herbalism. So we got back to America, we were living in San Francisco, and we went down to Chinatown, and bought a book by a man named Ron Teeguarden, this was in about 1986, and we started making his tinctures with Astragalus and Ho Sho Wu, it was about the same time you started doing it, huh, there must have been some kind of collective consciousness, you know, we both started doing that then. And then by 1993…

MARTIN: …just hold on! I just don’t want to gloss over this, you mentioned, Mr. Teeguarden, he is an icon in American herbology, and you had the pleasure of actually spending years at the feet of a Grand Master, this is not a tiny little nothing, this is not something to just gloss over, right?

REHMANNIA: No, it’s not, because our lineage has deep, deep integrity. There are certain things you just have to experience, you cannot just skip over them. The traditional apprenticeship is considered an eight-year apprenticeship with a master and pupil. As I was saying in 1993, I came back to Los Angeles from being taught by my ex-wife all of this, and then I met master herbalist Ron Teeguarden, and I became his personal apprentice, and we call him a ‘tea master.’ I made all his tees for his special clients, including his wife, and for eight years, I was his personal sidekick at Dragon Herbs, I managed his elixir bar there, and took care of all of his special customers. And I learned directly from him, that is the traditional master-pupil relationship, that has gone on for over 2.000 years, probably about 5.000 years, actually. I was amazed, and so humbled and blessed, that I was able to be next to this great master for that long. And yes, I believe that he did teach me to carry this deep integrity that I intend to uphold for the rest of my life.

MARTIN: Right, so from teas to understanding herbs and how they fit together, right?

REHMANNIA: Yeah. That’s the key to the brilliance of the Chinese Materia Medica, which, as I stated, is about 5.000 years old. The very first Materia Medica was written, as the Chinese believe, in the year 2975 BC. This would mark the very first written document on herbs. It was written by a man named Shen Nong, so he’s the father of our lineage, but really this book was probably written by thousands and thousands of men and women over many years prior to that because the knowledge in there could not have been accumulated by one person. So in modern years now, the Chinese health authorities greatly revere their TCM medical system, and they protect it. We will get back to some of that, but they went in, and did research on the Shen Nong Materia Medica, and found that almost all of the information was correct.

How did these people know, in 3000 BC, what organ meridian these herbs go to, and all of this stuff? They also have designed and already claimed the three primary energies called the Three Treasures, which I hope we elaborate on a little bit, all of that is in the book. The book outlined three classes of herbs. The superior class is called the tonic herbs, and that’s what we work with, you and I, and some other people who are learning tonic herbalism. The tonic herbs are the superior class in the Chinese Materia Medica, because of three criteria. One – they go to more than one organ system and benefit, so the liver and the bone, kidney and the heart, or the spleen. So a tonic herb has to benefit more than one organ system, and it has to have what we call Dual Directional Energy. In other words, it has balancing energy.

And this tunes in with the name ‘tonic herb.’ ‘Tonic’ is a Greek word that means ‘to tune the strings of an instrument into harmony.’ So what we are attempting to do is to balance these two forces called Yin and Yang. The tonic herbs were found to help balance them. And then the third criterion of a tonic herb is it has to be completely safe for all people. We say over five years old, but probably even younger, but we are careful about that. So all people over five years old. A properly constructed tonic herbal formula used wisely should be good for all people. That’s the criteria of a tonic herb, and that’s what we work with. So really the tonic herbs are considered as a class of superfoods. All people on Earth can take them and benefit. It’s the philosophy behind their use that is so fascinating though.

MARTIN: Right on! Okay, so, here you are in Manchuria, learning how sacred this region is, how well people treat the soil, the water, the air, the terrain, the terroir if we will. I want to put this on record, China has earned some pretty bad name for some of the abuse of the environment, which they have done.


MARTIN: But not here.

REHMANNIA: That’s the point. That’s great to point out, Martin, for people to understand. Chinese people consider TCM to be a gift to the world. It goes back all the way back into what they call wild history, which could go back as far as 20,000 years. The Chinese government today really protects this system of medicine and considers it a gift to the world, so they are protecting the regions where these herbs grow. And as the propaganda accumulated in the west, that Chinese products are tainted, and possibly some of the herbs are tainted. The Chinese counteracted this with active measures. But up in the Manchuria province, where the herbs traditionally evolved, the legends about it are so old, they went to those regions and cornered them off, and made them into UN Biosphere. The United Nations monitor them with the Chinese government. And these biospheres are pristine places, where no chemicals are allowed. In America, our organic crops can be sprayed, but over there, you have a hundred-mile radius that cannot be touched. And that’s where the herbs are collected out of the wild. They’re not oftentimes organic because the peasant collectors up there cannot afford to abide by the protocols of the organic system, but I’ve watched them, I’ve been there, these people go in and collect out in the wild, and then walk backward, and actually fix the paths they walked on.

MARTIN: Yeah, in our world of the Exsula Superfoods, we have the same idea. We use a lot of wildcrafted things that don’t qualify for organic certification, because to be certified organic, you actually have to comply with an industrial method.

REHMANNIA: Exactly! We can never guarantee a product, but we do quality control. And it is my job, and your job, Martin, as people who care, and people who wish to uphold the integrity, to never allow ourselves to be associated with something that is tainted. We are doing the sourcing, so the customer can come to us under that assurance, but at the same time, it’s really important these days to research where you’re getting herbs from. Like anything, there are tainted Chinese herbs, but if you go into a Chinese herb shop, sometimes you’ll find like three bins of the same herb, let’s say we got Dong Quai, you’ll find one for 6.99, another for 9.99, another for 15.99. Well, just get the one for 15.99, you know you’re getting that stuff that was up the mountains, those pristine regions we call Din Gao,  the place of biological origin. The Chinese government is coming up with a certification program to be able to put a sticker on the product to be certified. And so it’s like anything else, you pay for what you get.

MARTIN: Hmm. The way I understand plants, they’re essentially concentrators. They take out of the environment-specific energies and specific minerals and combine them to create specific compounds, typically alkaloids or pigments, and each plant creates a different combination. So number one – it has to be in the soil to get it in, but number two – it’s the right plant with the right sunshine, weather, wind, and all of that, that causes it to build these compounds that a pharmacist would envy! They cannot make it in a lab, nature does it!

REHMANNIA: Yes, nature does it! And the synergy there! I mean, why mess with it? You know, if we find a plant, like a tonic herb, that’s therapeutic, there’s no need to extrapolate it somehow, you know? It’s already a thing in its fullness and completeness from your mother nature. But on that issue, you know food and herbs are classified differently because food is usually grown from a seed, and we call it an annual cultivar, that means you put the seed in the ground, and a few months later, you pull out the tuber, or the leaf, or the flower, or the bud, or the stem, and you eat that. It is still succulent and chewy. But if you were to leave that plant in the ground, the invasive elements would take it over, its sugars would turn to starch, it would be taken over by nature. And that’s because it’s been over-cultivated by humans.

Herbs are different, they’re called perennial plants. So now you have this little herb that’s growing up, this little spring that came up in the middle of the Mojave desert, and here comes winter, so the genetics of this plant have got it built in for it to start developing protection against the winter elements. Now here’s gonna come the rain and the cold, the plant’s genetics build protection and adaptability to all of those, and the plant’s vital constituents become much more complex. People have asked me:  “Well, can’t we just eat that plant raw? Wouldn’t it be better?” Well, the thing is that once the plant has become a perennial, its cellulose becomes hardened, like wood, we call this lignan. Now the plant’s juices and its medicines are locked inside. And long ago, some brilliant person figured out that if they boiled this in a pot and drink it, they can get the essence. And what we find is that these adaptogens that help this plant adapt to all of the weather and changes that it must live through year after year, those components are called ‘extremophilic,’ and they survive the boiling process, and are actually unlocked, that’s why our herbs become so important, with a complex body of elements involved.

MARTIN: What I want to say here is that the harshness of the environment and having to overcome whatever it has to overcome… I mean, Manchuria is not a paradise, that’s a harsh place, it’s cold up there, the plant is tough, and it evolves under the stress, it creates and builds these potent biologicals. Rehmannia, there are a lot of legends out there discussing or describing how these herbs came into use. Can you recount some of these things?

REHMANNIA: Yeah! In China and in India, herbalism goes back very far. The Chinese, in what they call ‘wild history,’ believe that their herbalism actually has its origin at around 20-30,000 BC. This happened when humans were first known to migrate into this region we talked about, called Manchuria, China, which is in the Northern part of China, surrounded by North Korea, Mongolia, and Russia. This is a very clean, pristine area that we talked about. Now, humans came in there around 20-30,000 BC. The reason they didn’t come in earlier was that there’s a giant mountain there called Mount Changbai. You can see this on the border of North Korea and China. When you follow the border up, the border dips into  Chinathere’s this giant volcanic mountain with white snows and a big lake in it, in the middle of nowhere. This mountain is surrounded by indigenous forested mountains from earlier mountain ranges, they are similar to our Appalachian Mountains.

Suddenly, around 800 AD, this volcano blows up, and drops these incredibly powerful diamagnetic ores all over the Earth from deep in the Earth, and then as that dust settled and became fertile, specifically powerful plants evolved there. They became tonic herbs. So now, humans came in there about 30,000 BC. The legends say that they discovered these herbs. There was the first legend that’s known, that the people were living around Mount Changbai, and they saw a deer get a bone fracture. Now, in those wild times, if a deer got a bone fracture, it was basically gone, but this deer was seen going and chewing bark on a certain tree. They followed and tracked this deer, and saw its bone fracture heal. It was amazing. So then when somebody in their clan got a bone fracture, they said:  “Well, let’s go do what that deer did,” and they went to the tree and got some of the bark and administered it, and the person’s bone heal up quicker. They wrote this down on a piece of bamboo, and that’s kind of the way this whole thing began apparently. So this could go back as far as 20,000 BC.

To validate that date theory, the Chinese government has recently allowed tombs up in the area to be excavated. The Chinese people were somewhat like the native Americans, they didn’t want their tombs excavated, until recently, so the Chinese government allowed it. They went into these tombs and found charred remains of herbal formulas that they had been drinking as a tea, 20,000 BC. We know this goes way back. There’s another legend that started, there were people living around there who had goats, and they would see that every year, right before mating season, the goats would go to a certain tree and forage on the leaves, and they’d go into their mating frenzy. So they called this a ‘horny goat weed.’ We’ve heard that before! Its pharmaceutical name is Epimedium, its Chinese name is ‘yin yang huo,’ and this is one of the oldest herbs known to be used in human history, it is actually a very healthy herb. It’s used in fertility formulas, and it’s in my formula called Amorata, and also in my formula called Embrace.

So these herbs are called Yang herbs, and the outpourings, that’s what the people needed in those days, to climb the mountains or get away from a wild animal. And so they weren’t sick yet. What they were figuring out how to do was survive in the wild, and they needed to be able to climb those mountains when they were old. So in time, these legends grew, that there were these immortals who lived in the mountains, who took the herbs, and they had learned so much about the herbs, that they had defied age, and they were immortals, just living up there. The legends are that these immortals still live there today, and they can fly. They got so attuned with nature, that they literally can lift themselves up and fly around. They’re called Celestial Immortals. They’re apparently still spotted once in a while, flying around Mount Changbai, they became the legendary characters in our lineage, cause they had found all of these herbs that gave them their immortality. So then what happens is the emperor comes up, and they’re building the Imperial palace down there, and I always imagine a couple of these immortals sitting up on the mountain, looking down at this and going:  “Hmm, I think I can see where this is going.” And so what happened to these emperors and empresses was that these immortals that lived in the mountains intrigued them, so they wanted to be immortal. The emperors and empresses said:  “Hey, let’s go up there and find those men and women.”

There are a lot of legends of women immortals, too. The emperor sends legions out to search these immortals and find them. In one case, an emperor finds a woman, brings her down to the imperial palace, and makes her into the court doctor, and a lineage of them became the doctors of the courts, and they were supposed to be able to induce immortality. But they got kind of off on tangents, and they were known as alchemists, astrologers, and other things that they did, and they were the court doctors. Another great legend is that the first Imperial palace was being built, and they had installed a beam in the ceiling of the emperor’s bed-chamber, right over the bed, and out of that beam, a mushroom grew. And they said:  “Oh, look at that, it’s an auspicious omen, we must give this to the emperor.” So the emperor started taking this mushroom, which was reishi, which is called Lin Zhi in Chinese, and the emperor took it as a part of the protocol of being an emperor. This mushroom is associated with the benevolent leadership in many of the dynasties, the leaders were benevolent, particularly the Tang dynasty, there was an incredible period of a rise of art, culture, and science. See the book The Genius of China by Robert Temple about all their inventions.

All of the emperors of these dynasties were using these herbs. Schisandra was discovered as a beauty herb. Quan Yin drinks schisandra from a vial in many of her depictions. All through Chinese history, the emperors and empresses wanted to have their immortality and their beauty, so they would seek these herbs. If someone found, even from the lower classes, if they found an herb that was going to help with general health, they could take it to an Imperial court committee and submit it, if it would go under a test, and if it were found to truly be therapeutic, that person’s whole family would be given the honor. So there were all these people, young men mostly, searching for herbs and doing all this alchemy to find herbs that could help the emperor, that’s what fueled this whole thing, and that’s why longevity is the root of it all. The people weren’t really sick yet, they didn’t have all those diseases in those early days, because the earth was pure. It was more seeking out longevity and beauty. No emperor ever burnt books on herbs, on a medical system, it was in consistent development this whole time. Emperors burnt books about smut, pornography and stuff, but they didn’t burn the medical books. So then in the modern days, the Chinese government has been very, very instrumental in protecting this whole thing.

MARTIN: You were saying something about the extraction, right? So this is essentially a tea extraction, water boil.

REHMANNIA: Yeah. Okay. I’m a seller of Chinese powdered extracts, as we call them. What the Chinese did is they found ways to boil the herbs in this big pressure cooker, and then after their tea is cooked to very specific times and temperatures, other herbs are added in, more delicate herbs, like schisandra, for example. After it’s all done under pressure, they release a valve and the super boiling tea is shooting out under pressure and goes into a vat, and there’s a spinning gyro with very small apertures, and the tea shoots out at such velocity that it just goes ‘poof’ and turns into powder, and that’s what’s called ‘flash-dry.’ And then that powder drops down and there’s a conical hatch down there, they put a bag under there, open the hatch, and sweep it in. So what you get is a tea that has been cooked for you, but flash-dried, and when we put it into the hot water, it immediately dilutes, it makes our life really easy. We don’t have to have a little teabag and steep it for 10 minutes, it’s actually easier to make than a regular cup of tea or a cup of coffee.

MARTIN: So this is actually sort of like the instant coffee, where it dissolves, and it’s all coffee that somebody made and then dried out, and put in a bag, right?

REHMANNIA: That’s the same thing, flash-drying.

MARTIN: I understand that this is concentrated at 10 to 1, right?

REHMANNIA: Yes. What happened was in 2007, when I decided to start selling bulk powdered extracts, everything at that time had up to 500% of maltodextrin in it. Like, if you bought a bottle of reishi capsules, it was like 20.00 bucks, and they would fill a lot of maltodextrin in there to cut it because they couldn’t make a profit at 20 bucks. And that was the market that I came into in 2007. And I found a purveyor who said they had the pure extract that was not cut with maltodextrin, and I said:  “What is that?” And he said: “We consider it to be about a 10: 1 extract, which means 10 pounds of the raw material extracted down to one pound of powder.” And I said:  “Can I buy it like that? Why are you providing it, this 10:1 pure extract?” And they said:  “Because you can tell us what maltodextrin you want! Corn, rice, how much you want, 100%, 200%…” I said:  “How about none?” And they went:  “Well, you can’t make any money that way.” And I said:  “I don’t care, give me 10 kilos,” and I bought it.

And I went to the Longevity Now conference in 2009 with a little jar of reishi powder, 10:1 reishi powder extract, and that was the introduction of this into the marketplace for what I know. And then some of my comrades came out with similar products. But I’m really proud of that, I’m proud of leaving maltodextrin out. The industry’s excuse for having maltodextrin in is because the herbs can harden in capsules, and they can harden in the jar. But what I did is I came up with a process of adding a little bit of bamboo extract, which is very high in silica. You know, those little silica packages people put in jars to absorb moisture? That’s actually silica in there. So I thought I’ll just add a small percentage of bamboo to keep it from hardening, and it’s been very helpful.

MARTIN: Yeah, we actually make a product with tabasheer, the bamboo extract, that is super important because it helps the body with building strong connective tissue.

REHMANNIA: Yeah, silica is really important as an element!

MARTIN: Yeah. Okay! So the usage is what? Take half a teaspoon of the mix, or three-quarters of a teaspoon of the mix?

REHMANNIA: Three-quarters of the teaspoon is a therapeutic amount for a day, you could do that once or twice a day. And as I said earlier, tonic herbs are not considered a medicine, they just build you slowly, you feel more adaptable to stress, more resilient against the elements. We can assist your metabolism, we can assist your mental alchemy, we can assist your sense of feeling of peace. It’s amazing.

MARTIN: You’ve actually created the line with 15 or 16 specific mixes, we are listing all of them in our store. Let’s just try and describe when and how one would use this versus that.

REHMANNIA: One of my most popular basic formulas that I would love everybody on Earth to have is Awaken. This formula contains the top adaptogenic herbs in the world. I mentioned adaptogens earlier, and most of these tonic herbs have adaptogenic properties, but there are specific tonic herbs that have been termed adaptogens because their genetics and vital chemistry have learned to be so adaptable. For instance, Rhodiola Rosea, this plant endures incredible intense differences in weather every single day. And its adaptogens are so profound that in 1947 Dr. Lazarov, a Russian doctor was asked to go look at the people who lived in this region of Northern China because these people were surviving these incredibly harsh winters. The doctor and his team went up there and found that these people were taking Rhodiola, which they called Golden Root. He then took it back to Moscow and found that it was indeed Rhodiola Rosea, which he named because it smells like roses, it’s a beautiful smell. And they did tests on it and found that it had this effect on balancing our circadian rhythms and helping our adrenals adapt to stress. And so Lazarov coined the term ‘adaptogen.’ He was also studying Siberian ginseng at the same time (now called Eleuthero), and those two herbs were the first recognized adaptogens. So then the Chinese looked at this, and they found other adaptogenic herbs like astragalus, schizandra, reishi… So my formula Awaken contains the top adaptogenic herbs of all. Gynostemma, Astragalus, Rhodiola, Eleuthero. And I put Lion’s Mane with Polygonatum sibericum in this formula. I consider this ‘a thinkers and a multitaskers formula.’ It is great for people who are students, people are getting ready to go on an interview, you know, take some Awaken in the morning, it is a great morning alternative to what people usually drink in the morning.

MARTIN: So it’s essentially the universal ‘goodbye, coffee.’

REHMANNIA: Yes, and the surprising thing is it tastes really good! You put it in a cup of hot water, maybe add a little nut milk and honey, if you want. It is phenomenal in the morning to keep you going through your day and to replenish your adrenals. You know how much adrenal exhaustion is wiping out the health of our society in so many ways, making us so vulnerable to stress, keeping us from living our excitement, our joy, and our adventure. So these adaptogenic herbs actually help us put on that new shirt of adventure. “Let’s go out and climb that mountain.” or “I wanna do that new painting.”

MARTIN: I want to butt in here just to stress or enhance the point that the adaptogen isn’t that the plant is adaptable. It is that what’s in the plant helps you adapt to the stresses of life. It raises that which is low and lowers that which is too high. It helps you cope with the world better than you have coped before. That’s the point of the adaptogen.

REHMANNIA: And what an amazing time for us to be hearing about this! You know, Hans Selye, the guy who coined the term ‘stress,’ said that no organism, mammals at least, can adapt to constant stress. We’re not built for that. We’re built to react to acute stress triggers, and then be able to laugh it off and rest. Now, we’re under this constant stress. What the Chinese health authorities say, what the great masters in our lineage say, is when we’re under that stress, we’re leaking out our vital energy. This energy’s called Jing. It’s our inherited energy from our ancestors, it’s epigenetic energy. And the adrenals are the valve that lets us use some of that when we’re under stress, we’re using some of that Jing. But what happens when we’re constantly under stress is we’re leaking it out, and we are aging, it’s causing us to age. The adaptogenic herbs help sort of like plug the leaks, and help us refill this wellspring of our vitality that is our kidneys. And when our kidneys are strong and full of this energy, we age gracefully, youthfully, and adaptably, and we seem curious, we’re still interested in life as we age. This is a great gift!

MARTIN: Indeed! So Awaken should be everybody’s cupboard.

REHMANNIA: Yeah. Discussing Jing a little further, my formula called Eternal Jing has all of the very top herbs that tonify ying, nourish the kidneys, and nourish the longevity forces. We’re gonna pass this on to our children, it’s really important to rebuild that health, if we really want to experience excitement and adventure in our lives, and feel that we even at the end of our lives, are happy and robust, and maybe even pass through this world without disease. The tonic herbs go to the kidneys and help us with this resilience. So Eternal Jing is my formula of the very top herbs in the world. A wonderful, wonderful formula. Reishi, Ho shou wu, Rehmannia, Astragalus, Schisandra.

MARTIN: All right. I don’t think we should really try and take five minutes on every one of the mixes, because this talk would be endless, but I want to just highlight there will be something for people who find themselves under-performing in the libido department, there’s something for circulatory health and fitness… you go through it!

REHMANNIA: Yes. I always think of the economy. How can we get as much in as possible to make it easy for people? So for women during reproductive years to help build, tonify their blood, nourish Chi, for nice weight management, and good metabolism, I created this formula for beauty and fertility, and it’s called Esencia. It is a great formula for young women in their reproductive years. And then for women who are starting to go through the shifts into perimenopause and beyond, I created a formula called Phoenix, which is my most popular formula, and it helps with hormone support, helping progesterone, bone density, spiritual strength, this is a very popular formula. And then for men, I have one called Endurance. For anyone who’s an athlete, this is a great formula, it has cordyceps, all of these wonderful herbs. And then I have herbs for the spirit. The one thing I love about our lineage is that we put the emphasis on our health but also on where we are at spiritually, how are we feeling in our lives? And so I created a formula called Shift, that’s probably my favorite of all my formulas. This is amazing for a peaceful mind, and the evolution of the spirit.

MARTIN: I think we need to send a barrel of that to the White House.

REHMANNIA: (laughing) Yeah, yeah, that man is under some stress right now!

MARTIN: Well, you know, I’m just thinking in general, the people who are drinking these teas are probably going to be acting in a little more ecological manner, right?

REHMANNIA: Yes. The thing about the reishi mushroom, as I said earlier, it is called the herb of spiritual immortality. It’s also called a bridge between earth and heaven. It does reconnect us to the totality of everything. And that’s where I think humans need to go now, as we enter into a new era, which I associate with the heart chakra, giving back to the planet what we took. We’ve been in a third chakra consciousness for the last 150,000 years, that’s mindlessly burning and consuming. Now we are evolving into energy associated with the heart. So the reishi has five different colors, but the one that is showing itself to us all over the world right now is the red one, which the Chinese always associated with the heart, it’s called ‘Ganoderma lucidum,’ its name is for its shiny surface, but I always like to think that it brings lucidity. This herb is an amazing herb to have during this evolution, to plug us back into the earth, which is what we must do in order to survive the coming future. We must do it for the sake of our children, it’s our obligation to help our children. The reishi mushroom is a key that is coming to us to open us back up. The mechanism of Reishi is that it mycelium is spread in the source, and its fruiting body is its sexual apparatus. When I take it, I feel like I am mycelinating back into the environment.

MARTIN: Oh, you mean like return back to the connection with nature?

REHMANNIA: Yeah. That is a great gift to have that for us now.

MARTIN: Indeed! Okay! So the bottles come in 90 grams or three-ounce, which would be about 30 servings?

REHMANNIA: Yes. It should be around a month’s worth. A person can always take more. I had my big breakthrough when I took a lot of reishi. I remember the bottle said to take 9-12 capsules a day, I took 15. Really the amount that’s listed on the bottle is a nice therapeutic ratio for you to take. In other words, you can have two cups a day if you wanted to, it shouldn’t be a problem.

MARTIN: Can you mix and match? Can you decide to just take two or three or four of them at the same time?

REHMANNIA: Thank you for that question, I’m glad we didn’t overlook that. The tonic herbs, I like to think of them as like a big salad bar, really. You know, if you go to the salad bar, you’re not just gonna get radish and arugula, you know, you’re gonna get many different types of ingredients, and the tonic herbs can be treated like that. As long as we have an Alchemist like yourself or me to help with a little guidance, people kind of get this really quickly. A formula like Awaken could be taken with any of the other formulas, Esencia, Endurance, Shift. I have a formula called Embrace that is for lovers to share, but it is also an anti-aging kidney strengthening tonic that you could mix with Allure, the beauty formula, and you have an amazing combination.

MARTIN: I’m thinking that there would be some that are better to take in the early part of the day, and some in the latter part, right?

REHMANNIA: Well, the tonic herbs are great in the morning to get you going. Adaptogenic formulas, like Awaken, could be taken morning and evening because one of the mechanisms of an adaptogenic formula is it works with your circadian rhythm. So it actually helps you wind down in the evening.

MARTIN: Great! What do you think, have I failed to ask you some more important points, or have we covered them?

REHMANNIA: I would say we’re pretty good!


REHMANNIA: I know we will both think of something after we shut down. (laughing)

MARTIN: Of course, we will!

REHMANNIA: But we don’t want to overload our viewers, you know?

MARTIN: Yeah, I don’t want to say so much that they would be bored. I want to say enough that they would be interested and inspired to look into this further. This body of work represents a lifetime of research and a lifetime of understanding. When you’re first starting out as an apprentice, you are picking little things up and you’re wondering:  “I wonder what this does!” What you’re getting here with this line of herbs is the experience of a master downloaded to another master, downloaded to another master and presented in a matter that says “these things together will work better than you just going into the pantry and picking something randomly off of the shelf.”

REHMANNIA: It’s really true. I’ve given lectures before, and I’ve used this analogy:  The tonic herbs are so exciting that when people first discover them, they go:  “Oh my God, this is incredible!” And you get a lot! And then you go:  “I wanna tell everybody about this!” A year later, you’re still working on it, maybe you’re studying with a master, and a year later you go:  “Wow, I’m really getting my feet into this. This is amazing. I never knew how deep this is.” Two years later you go:  “Oh my God, this is so incredible, I gotta tell the world.” Four years later and on and on… and by the eighth year you go:  “Hm!” and that’s when you get it.

MARTIN: What I’m trying to get at is that these combinations are not just some random ideas, they have been tested in many generations, they are well thought out. And when you take these products, you will very likely be shifted gently, but firmly in the right direction.

REHMANNIA: Yeah, absolutely. When taken along with a healthy diet, these herbs are gonna be miraculous in helping balance out your life and open you up to life’s potential.

MARTIN: Right on. Okay, this is Martin Pytela, and Rehmannia Dean Thomas, master herbalist of the Traditional Chinese kind. We are Life Enthusiast. You can reach us at www.life-enthusiast.com, this whole product line is under RDT Herbs, and you can always reach me by phone at (866) 543 3388. Thank you very much for being here with us.

Author: Nina Vachkova