Podcast 476: Chinese Tonic Herbs & Specialty Teas​

We have the pleasure of welcoming back Rehmannia Dean Thomas on the show today. Rehmannia is the owner and genius behind Super Tonic Herbs, formely known as ‘RDT Herbs’. Rehmannia has dedicated his life to educating the world on this timeless ancient wisdom of Taoist tonic herbal tradition. Recently, he ventured into the realm of Ayurvedic medicine, introducing three remarkable new products. First, there’s Spiritcino—a harmonious fusion of adaptogens and mushrooms designed to provide a morning energy lift without the jitters. Next, we have a meticulously crafted Ayurvedic chai tea blend, “TruChai”- promising an authentic taste experience. And, of course, there’s Shilajit—a potent substance teeming with minerals and antioxidants, working synergistically to fortify the body against diseases and enhance overall health.

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MARTIN: Hi everyone, this is Martin Pytela for Life Enthusiast Podcast. And with me today, Rehmannia Dean Thomas.

REHMANNIA: Hi, hey Martin.

MARTIN:  Hey, RDT Herbs. My favorite traditional Chinese tonic herbalist. That’s a whole lot of words, right?

REHMANNIA: Yeah. It fits the purpose.

MARTIN: I want to say, we don’t mention it enough. Like, those words that I just said actually pack a whole lot of impact that should be noted. One is herbs. Herbs are concentrators and they represent to us the terroir, the terrain they grow up in. So I would like you to speak on that for a bit. And then the second part is the tonic, which is which do you pick and how do you mix it, right?


MARTIN: So let’s cover some of that so people get it in their heads as they’re listening to it, why this actually matters.

REHMANNIA: Thanks, Martin. It’s a pretty loaded question though.

MARTIN: Buddy, I know.

REHMANNIA: Well, why do we call it an herb and why do we call food, food? Why do we classify them differently, right? Well, because food is very easily digested and assimilated in our digestive system. And what we’re looking for in food is your enzymes and various minerals and vitamins. A tomato grows over a couple of months. And in that time, it has gathered a certain amount of what we call chi out of the atmosphere and out of the sun. And it is a concentrated unit, a storage unit of sunlight of that chi. Then when we eat that, our digestive systems are designed. We have about a 24-hour turnaround before we excrete the food that we’ve eaten. So we have a short time span to get those nutrients out. And so the most efficient foods for us to eat are soft, succulent vegetables and fruits. And because those elements are broken down very easily with our digestive enzymes and the nutrients are drawn into the blood, usually in the splenic arteries, the nutrients are drawn into the blood and we call that hemoglobin. And then it’s burned is what we call ATP. So that’s producing our daily energy is what we eat. How much sunlight is in what you’re eating? That’s an important equation, right? 

Well, why do we classify herbs as a different, with a different name? The reason is because an herb hasn’t been growing for only two months, it’s been growing sometimes for years and years. And in that process, this plant had to develop certain kinds of resilience to survive in nature. Whereas the tomato plant’s gonna die back in the fall, our little herb is gonna keep growing. What happens is genetics come in that create proteins in its stem called lignin, which is like bark. And then now whatever nutrients this plant contains are locked inside this bark. And because this plant has to keep living over seasons, now it’s gonna have to endure cold, hot, rain, snows, all that. The plant develops more complex, well it already has developed more complex genetics in order to evolve, in order to survive and adapt to all of those changing elements. 

But it also has to develop different kinds of complex internal phytochemistry in order to protect itself from invasive organisms. So it protects some antibiotic type properties. It protects properties to help it flux like nervine properties. And so it develops what we consider to be natural, we could call them medicinal properties, but they’re locked in now and they’re very complex. Whereas the polysaccharide in a tomato is pretty simple, the polysaccharide in an herb may have 10 syllables in it, because it’s so complex. But we have to unlock it now. And some time a long time ago… we really can thank the ancient peoples around the world for finding out that if they took that piece of wood and they boiled it, that they could unlock the tea we call it, out. And that tea still contains some of those properties. 

Now on that equation, I asked people, well, aren’t we killing things when we cook it? Because we have a lot of raw foodists that I’ve worked with over the years. And the answer is, we’re looking for our living enzymes in that tomato, but when we’re going to get our herbs and boil out or steep out, or decoct out the primary constituents with alcohol or apple cider vinegar, whatever it is we do, those constituents are found to survive. And that’s because they have what we call extremophilic properties. That is, they can survive that boiling. And that’s why they become so important in our health. They are adaptable to those extremes. So those nutrients that survive those extremes can be traced back to the early life that came on to Earth, stuff that came in here on meteorites and frozen in ice and dust that blew through the atmosphere for billions of years before it got here. All those are extremophilic organisms or life forms. And metabolites and when they mix all of this has happened. And the plants today still hold some of that. Now we humans don’t necessarily have to adapt to the extremes anymore because we’ve built these artificial environments, but we’re having to adapt to other kinds of extremes now, like stress, which we weren’t really designed to constantly react to. And they’ve found components in this plant, like particularly what we call the adaptogenic herbs, it helped that plant adapt to the stresses of its environment.

MARTIN:  So, Rehmannia as you’re talking, I’m reminded of three important things. One is the environment in which this thing grows. And you mentioned it. It’s the summer, winter. So the heat and the dry and the wet and the cold and all of these seasons are actually pressing on the plant. And it’s an attempt to survive. It has to develop resilience. And this resilience is stored in those cells. And so when we extract it out, we’re actually borrowing or taking away from the plant the resilience that it collected. So it’s not just a chlorophyll or not just a unit of sugar that I’m picking up. That’s calories, that’s easy. The resilience.


MARTIN: That’s hard. That’s what’s dealing with energies of survival as opposed to energy making it day to day.

REHMANNIA: When we unlock those properties, we have to unlock them out of the plant. That’s why an herb has to usually be decocted or prepared in some way or another.

MARTIN: And so, you mentioned that we can boil it. That’s the most common way in water. And we need heat because we really need to work it and of course, when we’re dealing with those woody things like the stems and the roots and all that woody part of the plant, it really does not want to let go of what it collected. So we need to torture it to get it out.

REHMANNIA: Yeah. As part of its extremophilic nature.

MARTIN: Yeah, exactly. You mentioned the raw foodist dilemma. Raw food is great and it comes with enzymes, which  is where digesting of things is happening. But in the case of tonics, digestion is not really involved. We’re going for absorption of availability of nutrients, right?

REHMANNIA: Exactly, exactly. It’s very important to help that stuff just get right into the bloodstream through the pre-processing of it so that our bodies don’t have to expend energy trying to digest a piece of bark.

MARTIN:  Right. So this is where herbal teas, but especially tonic teas, all of a sudden take on a new life, a new meaning. It’s just that, we’re not doing it just for the pleasure of it. We’re actually doing it for the value of it.

REHMANNIA: Exactly. We’re not doing something to try and create some kind of proprietary process in order to profit off something like that. It’s a requirement to unlock these nutrients and make them bioavailable to the body. And it’s an excellent science that’s been going on for thousands and thousands of years around the world. 

MARTIN: And so what’s interesting about the sources that you use, the plants that you use in yours, is that they have grown in really harsh climates, right?

REHMANNIA: Well, yeah, particularly the herbs we call adaptogens. And everyone’s been hearing that term. I’d like to take a moment with you during this talk, a few moments here and there to kind of clarify exactly what that is. But yes, an adaptogenic herb is one that had to live in a very harsh place and it had to adapt to its environment. And then when we look at it, we find multiple sets of RNA and DNA, and we find tons and tons of protective and adaptive biochemistry there that doesn’t exist in the little tomato that only lived for two months.

MARTIN:  Right on. Yeah, well, if you can take the word apart, Gen. as in genesis or creation, adaptability, is it creates adaptation in us. That’s what the adapter gen is. That’s why we call it that. But the reason it can give it to us is because it had to create it for itself.

REHMANNIA: Right. And it’s quite fascinating that this new field of nutraceutical science is emerging over adaptogens. And now everyone’s searching for adaptogenic plants but again, like we said, they can find them and they go to hostile places to find these plants, particularly Rhodiola rosea was the first one that was found which grows way up in Siberia. And the people there, the reason it was discovered was because the Russian government went to a doctor named Lazarov in 1947 and said, hey, can you figure out how these people survive in Siberia because our soldiers are freezing on the battlefield up there, but the people living there seem to do fine. So he went up there and found that they said they were taking the golden eleuthero and he took it back to Moscow. And by then they could look at phenotypes and they saw all this genetics and adaptive. But the cool thing is now, then he coined that term adaptogen. 

But the neat thing is in our modern world, we need these plants more than ever because of stress. The human body was not actually designed to endure constant stress and this is wearing us down and making people age. Adaptogenic herbs have almost become this godsend that this new classification of herbs was discovered and brought to us at this time because we need it more than ever because we’re multitasking, we’ve got so much on our plate. And so the herbs like the adaptogens become very important in our lives and many of the types that I work with are said to have adaptogenic properties.

MARTIN:  Yeah, if you think about it, the stress that the plant has to endure makes it stronger. And then we borrow it from them, right? Or acquire it. And there are two ways to get stress. One, it’s always climatic, as in from climate. And you can do it by taking it up latitude toward the polar circle, or you can take it up elevation toward the sun. So, Maca from Peru is famous for its ability to feed us in a way that metabolic systems really benefit and or other minerals collected in high altitudes, right? Stuff like that.

REHMANNIA: It’s a wonderful thing. Every time you learn one thing, you feel like, Oh my God, it opens up and oh my, I realized how little I know. But then each little thing is like a revelation.

MARTIN: Right on. So I would like to give you a chance to introduce the new products that we have not even talked about on our shows before, which is great. And of course, you being the, I don’t know, do you call yourself a tea master?

REHMANNIA: Well, that was the title that my teacher Ron Teagarden gave to me when he first met me and I operated, I acted as his tea master for eight years. And then he gave me a title, a superior herbalist. But I still like to think of myself as a tea master.

MARTIN: And so I see this cool product that you put out recently that you call TruChai.


MARTIN: So talk about that.

REHMANNIA: Okay. Well, at this point in my life, I’ve been working with Chinese tonic herbs, very, very, very satisfied with my life with them for 24 years now, and still feel like I’ll always have the greatest respect and learning of the way that these herbs were found and classified and used throughout history. But I did decide recently to spread out a little bit and start looking at India, looking at Ayurveda. And I had a friend who is an Ayurveda master. And he once said to me, he goes, well, you know that chai is not the real chai. I said, what’s that? He says, well, what is called masala chai? It’s actually a corrupted chai that was when the British wanted their black tea. When the British were colonizing India, they wanted their black tea and they figured out the mixing with chai was tasty. And they come up with this clever term, masala chai, which has the black tea that the British introduced into it, but that’s not the original chai. 

So I said to my friend, well, what’s the original one? And he sent me the recipe, which has saffron and cardamom and all kinds of beautiful ginger, cinnamon. And it’s really, if you looked at this recipe just on its own you’d think it would taste really bitter and intense. But I mixed it according to this traditional Ayurvedic recipe that he sent me. And when I tasted it, man, I mean, I just went, and when people drink it today, that one girl young lady yesterday drank some and she said: “ I feel like it just kissed my entire body.”

MARTIN: I have a friend who’s a master with plants. She’s an intuitive, she talks to the Earth. She talks to the little creatures and spirits and all of that, you know. She gets to ask them, tell me where such and such is and they will tell her and she goes there. Like, I mean, she’s really connected. Anyway, she was living in Nepal in Kathmandu. And she brought back from it this keto drink, which she calls Kiss of Kathmandu.


MARTIN: And the word kiss just brought that into my memory where all of a sudden you are connected to the culture and to the experience just like that. Right? Okay, so there’s your wonderful blend, right? So to unpack it. Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg. Well, that sounds like Christmas baking.

REHMANNIA: I know. It’s the funny thing about it is it doesn’t look like anything particularly unique, but it’s something about the brilliance of the combination, the brilliance of the traditional combination that was probably developed over many, many, many years, centuries. And there’s something about the ratios of everything in there and how they’re working together that creates this synergistic effect. It does, like you said, I’m reminded of the young lady you just talked about, where I felt the beautiful love in the spirit of India when I took my first sip of this. It was just like, it was in the entire civilization, like an imprint. 

MARTIN: Okay, so how do we use this? So it’s in a bag as a powder, right?

REHMANNIA: Well, what I did in keeping with my usual tradition was I was able to procure them as powdered extracts, all of the ingredients so it is still a powdered extract like my other products, which means that it dilutes 100% in the solution immediately. There’s no sediment, you don’t have to filter it out. And because of that, it’s a relatively small bag. I think it’s a 160 gram bag of the powder because it’s an extract. So you just use about a level or slightly rounded teaspoon of it in a cup of tea. And I love to add, I really like the creamy oat milk and a little bit of agave and it’s just a beautiful, beautiful drink. But the nice thing about it is that you don’t have to go through a kind of filtering process using a steep bag or a basket or anything like that. It doesn’t come in a little bag that you got to throw away, you know?

MARTIN: So this is already pre-made, dry, ready to go. And a creamer and a sweetener, right?

REHMANNIA: Yeah. The powdered extract process is done by the same people to my tonic herbal formulations. And I know their process, it uses the exact amount of heat and the exact amount of time that is specific for that particular ingredient to get everything out of it without killing it. And then it is flash dried in a spinning vat into dust. So it’s all a very, very careful process to make sure that the properties are still there.

MARTIN: Yeah, that’s important. Yeah, so great. I have not had a chance to try this. So, I can’t have an opinion yet, but I’m definitely looking forward to ordering it now.

REHMANNIA: Yes, I’m very proud of it.

MARTIN: Okay, so what about this? The other one that I did try, I have had a full bag of it, you call it Spiritcino, which is, it’s a play on the word of cappuccino, isn’t it?

REHMANNIA: Yeah. And what it is, it’s a calming formula. It has reishi mushroom and lion’s mane, which lion’s mane is of course known to support mental acuity in the brain, health of the brain. And then reishi is known to be kind of open heart chakra, it’s known as a benevolence mushroom. And I added other herbs to make it kind of a peaceful heart and peaceful mind, and then to create a kind of a coffee light drink. Although it tastes more mellow than coffee, but it’s the same idea. And I actually created the concept of mushroom coffee. That was my idea originally back in 2004 in Los Angeles, when I was working at Erewhon grocery and I was running an elixir bar there for my teacher, Ron Teagarden. And I started breaking open capsules and, 

MARTIN: So when the Ganoderma coffee hit the network marketing circuits back 20 years ago, that was actually walking on your discoveries?

REHMANNIA: No, the Ganoderma, the Ganoderma coffee stuff came out of China and out of Asia, primarily out of Indonesia. But this mushroom coffee that’s recently come up with where they’re putting reishi and lions mane and other stuff into like making a coffee substitute. That Western art version of it was influenced by my work when I was at Erewhon grocery and I created the first reishi cappuccino there in 2004. So I was calling it reishi cappuccino, but somewhere along the line, somebody cleverly decided to call it mushroom coffee and it kind of clicked. That was recent. 

MARTIN: Yeah. 

REHMANNIA: But no, the concept of the Ganoderma coffee goes way back, but that has coffee in it too. 

MARTIN: Yeah, yeah, that’s what I was thinking of. I mean, I recently picked up a bag of mushroom coffee, which was a coffee drink with mushroom added, which I guess people who are into drinking coffee don’t mind it. I personally don’t like coffee. It makes me too jittery. 

REHMANNIA: Yeah. Well, that’s kind of why these are getting so popular, particularly the ones that don’t have coffee in them. I know the one you’re talking about is a mixture of coffee and reishi and lion’s mane and some other herbs. That was kind of falling off a little bit. Everybody’s going for the ones that are, that harken more to my innovation, which was just using the mushrooms and tonic herbs and making a lot of like drinks out of them. 

MARTIN: Yeah, you know what’s interesting is, I’m looking that you have dandelion root powder in there. I’m remembering my grandfather drinking a coffee substitute that had dandelion root and chicory root in it, roasted, and it didn’t taste anything like coffee, but it was his morning drink. He would take this plant root, it was, I think it was roasted, it had roasted flavor to it, and so he would pour hot water on it, and I mean he put milk in it too. To make it whatever he wanted it to taste like. But it definitely was his morning ritual to have this roasted root coffee, substitute, not coffee. 

REHMANNIA: Yes, right. That was called Dandy Blend. It’s been out for many, many years. Not a whole lot of people knew about it, but you could even get that in regular grocery stores for quite a while. It was dandelion, chicory, maybe one or two other ingredients. And so when I was creating mine, I wanted to have something that did replicate the effect of coffee, like the little bit of that little edge you get with coffee. And so I came up with the dandelion root as that component of it. Otherwise, I might not have bothered to put it in, but I wanted to get that robust element, you know? 

MARTIN: Yeah. 

REHMANNIA: And then I included rhodiola, the adaptogen. So basically what to do with Spiritcino is to do in a good way what many people attempt to do with a cup of coffee is to get their energy up for their day. But when you take the adaptogenic herbs, in particular, rhodiola, which I think is what we call the emperor herb in that formula. That herb is known to get the adrenals going, but yet replenish them at the same time and fortify your circadian rhythms for the day so that you’re ready to wind down at the end of the day and actually rest. So the next day you’re back up and you’re running again. Then I have the mushroom, the reishi mushroom to have a peaceful sort of a day. And I put it in the lion’s mane to bring it to the brain. So we’ve got all our focus that we need. And then I add Ho sho wu which is a nice anti-aging longevity tonic for the kidneys. And those are the primary. And maca. 

MARTIN: Yeah, there’s maca. There is maca, yeah. And there’s monk fruit to make it taste nicer. And there’s a bit of cacao to make it. I love the notes now because it’s, my most favorite drink is actually a mochaccino where it’s hot chocolate, hot coffee and cream. 

REHMANNIA: That’s right. That’s what I was trying to get here. Yeah. You know, something close to that. 

MARTIN: You did a great job. I have had it a good number of times. I’ve put it into my smoothies. I’ve had it on my own. I mean, on its own. 


MARTIN:  It’s a lovely, lovely creation. Really is.

REHMANNIA: Yes, indeed. Yeah, I’m really proud of it. It is going to help a person accomplish what they want out of a cup of coffee, yet it is all good replenishing the adrenals providing your daily focus helping you have a peaceful day. A good day of focus getting a lot done and come the evening able to lie down and go to sleep. 

MARTIN: Right.

REHMANNIA: Rest. You’re awake again. 

MARTIN: Do it again. 


MARTIN: All right, so. That describes it lovely, in a good way. How about this? You mentioned in passing the word Shilajit. We were talking about things that are taken from the extremes of nature. Shilajit is one of those things. Of course, there are two topics when it comes to Shilajit in my mind. One is the difficulty of getting the good stuff.

And the other is, of course, just describing what it really is. Because I have been selling humic acid and fulvic acid, which is readily available from the lower altitude and less harsh environments. And they have their own benefits, pretty valuable. So anyway, however you feel like jumping into it, do you want to talk first about what it is, or do you want to talk about how hard it is to get? 

REHMANNIA: Again, I’m glad we saved you for the latter part of this. There’s a lot in it. There’s a lot to talk about there. Shilajit appears to be the humic remains of an entire ancient ecosystem. Depending on where it’s collected from, there was an ecosystem there prior to, possibly. Some people debate this, but my feeling is that prior to the rising of the Himalayan mountains and the Altai mountains where it’s prime, shilajit’s just primarily collected in those two mountain chains, which neighbor each other. Prior to those mountains rising up, there was a complete rainforest there, like a very primitive ancient with water systems and peat bogs and humic acids already in those peat bogs and fulvic acids and stuff. And then when those continents collided and forced those mountains up, some of these forests were rolled in and like  entombed inside the rock. And humic acids, which are the basic constituents of soil, they are eternal, they don’t deteriorate, they don’t die. They can stay in an eternal state of preservation as long as they are not metabolized.

So if they don’t touch water or, if they’re kept away from the elements that cause them to metabolize, cause metabolic activity to occur, they will stay intact. And so this stuff was just locked in the rocks for billions of years. An Indian doctor named Ghoshal did a lot of very interesting work on it where he was saying that it might be the tectonic activity of the seashells that are inside the rock from the ancient sea beds when the rocks were formed.

And that scraping together of the old of the ancient seashells, there’s a nutrient released, it’s a metabolite called di-benzo-alpha-pyrone, which is found in the ancient seashells of pre-Cambrian animals. And it’s the only traceable metabolite to us and that he thinks of so anyway. I’m getting off on a tangent. 

MARTIN: So, I mean, two things to be said there. One is pressure. Right. So when the rocks pile on. It’s compressing things. So you’re just squeezing. So I don’t know, maybe it was 10 meter or 30 feet tall or thick layer. And all of a sudden you put rocks on it and it’s just the pressure will compress it. Right? And then the second phase is that it actually gets flipped and pushed up as those layers of rocks collide. Right. So not only is it pressed it’s also up high in terrible elevations. 

REHMANNIA: Well, that’s why I think it could be from an ancient forest because why does it wind up above 10,000 feet or 8,000 feet from like eight to 10,000 feet is where it’s found. Why would it be way up there? It would be up there because that’s the first initial tectonic pushing up of the forest. So it winds up up high. It’s above the sedimentary rock formations. So that’s why it’s there.

I’m hypothesizing a little bit about this. I did write a book on Shilajit that’s not in print right now. I’ll get it back out where I looked at all this. But despite that, the more important part of the discussion is that Shilajit appears to be an agglomeration of that entire ecosystem, including all of its own detritus and its own humic remains, fallen leaves piled up for millions of years. And it is a combination of that. So every single element in nature is found in shilajit. Every single element in the entire table, all the 125 elements. 

MARTIN: And let’s just say why that is. So think about the word humate or humus. It’s the compost, right? The difference between beach sand and fertile soil is the black stuff. You take sand, you put the black stuff in, you now have a garden. 

REHMANNIA: Yes, right. 

MARTIN: The black stuff is humus. 

REHMANNIA: It’s the humic. 

MARTIN: And the humic acid got its name from the humus. Yes. And then that stuff, that is the black stuff, we’re saying that’s what got compressed and released, and that’s what we’re after. And the reason it has all those 125 elements is because the plants are concentrators. Plants that caused this black goo to become what it is had to have extracted into their own bodies all that which was in their environment, right? Plants are concentrators. They extract from the soil nutrients. And so then they get composed, or not composed, decomposed by bacteria through composting. 

REHMANNIA: Yes. The composting takes place and then the pressure takes place on top of that, right? Yeah, well, humic acids are the very smallest molecules in nature. So they form the very, very smallest minuscule root of soil. They’re so small that other plants can take them up as nutrition. So they become the nutrients for the rest of the plants in the ecosystem. And so once it’s down the humic acid level, it becomes the plant food for everything else. Prior to that, it’s larger molecules. Carbon-based and mineral-based stuff. But it’s the humic acids that become so easily bioavailable for us because they are the food for other organisms. Again, like we were saying, we don’t need to masticate and salivate and use a bunch of enzymes to break this stuff down. It’s just going to be going right into the bloodstream and directly feeding us all of these elements. We’re missing so many of the vital elements in our life today in our food with mechanized farming and frankly we shouldn’t be growing one plant in a giant field it should be a field full of a whole bunch of different plants growing together, right?

MARTIN: Yeah and you mentioned the tomato but let’s add to it corn, soy, wheat, potato, those are the staples and they all are four month or six month plants.

REHMANNIA: Yes, right. They just don’t have the time to draw up any near the depth of what you find in something like the humic acid components in soil and all that. Shilajit is a very rare thing, a phenomenon in nature. And there’s something that I’d like to say now to your viewers about this: shilajit should be treated with a lot of law and reverence and we should feel very fortunate if we have this in our lives. And let me say that you don’t need much of it. So there isn’t a whole lot out there in the world and suddenly Shilajit is so popular that people are just like bogarting this stuff thinking they’re going to get all this benefit out of it. 

MARTIN: Immortality on a teaspoon. 

REHMANNIA: Taking a whole teaspoon of it. The body can’t even assimilate all that. Like a little bitty pinky, like the size of your pinky nail is about all you need a day of this stuff. And then we allow the goodness to more people to get it. I kind of shudder to think of us Westerners getting a hold of something like Shilajit and just usurping it all out of like vanity because we can afford it. 

MARTIN: You know what this reminds me of? The story of olive oil. We know how many olive trees there are. We know how much olive oil could be grown. And there is about two and a half times as much olive oil sold on the planet as could physically be grown. 



REHMANNIA: So where is the other coming from?

MARTIN: Well it’s adulterated, right? Like it’s mixed in with other things, right? Like you push in the other plant oil, safflower, God knows what they mix it with. Likewise with the Shilajit.  You need to understand your source. Can you trust it? Is it the real thing or is it a wee bit of Shilajit stretched out with something? I don’t know. I mean, if I were stretching it, I would be stretching it with humic and fulvic, but God knows what somebody else may choose to stretch it with, right? 

REHMANNIA: Well, yeah, I agree with you. I think when you were talking earlier about like humic and fulvic acids from stuff like dried peat bogs, where it’s powdered, something like that is great to mix with your Shilajit to buffer it out, you know? Those are still very valuable full spectrum nutrients. And that would be an ideal product in a sense. But yes, on your earlier part of that statement, Shilajit is probably being corrupted now because of the demand for it in the market and the lack of availability and the scarcity of it is going to lead people to cut it. I know I recently had to pull some Shilajit that I had because I just couldn’t trust it.

I started looking into the sourcing and just didn’t feel good about it and had to pull it out and go back to another trusted source that I have. And they mixed the Shilajit with Triphala. So now I have a Triphala blend of Shilajit, but this now goes back to what we’re saying because the traditional Ayurvedics knew that Shilajit was almost too potent for us to ingest in raw. So they traditionally mixed it with a blend of three herbs called Triphala. And that was the traditional Ayurvedic method of taking Shilajit. And so I have adopted that process in order to follow tradition on one hand and also to spread the love and not be totally usurping this and to help make sure I’m not selling a corrupted product. 

MARTIN: Right on. So which three plants make Triphala?

REHMANNIA:  It’s called Amala and Himala. There’s three fruits, three dried fruits that form, I don’t have the names in front of me, but it’s a blend. And the Ayurvedics had developed it over many, many years. Yeah, if you can find that, that’d be great. Amla and Himala and then what is called Trimetta or something like that. Okay, well, okay, I’ll just say it here.  

MARTIN:  Ok, I will just say it here: Amala, which is Emblica officinalis, Bibitaki, which is Terminalia bellirica, and Haritaki, which is Terminalia chevula. So they’re two from the Terminalia genus. And yeah, that’s it. 

REHMANNIA:  So the traditional, and I am a traditionalist. In my work in tonic herbalism, all my formulas are based on, I’ve modernized and been very careful to pay attention to tradition and all of the thousands of years that very wise people put stuff together for a reason. And in our modern world, I’m kind of feeling like, oh my God, I just need to try and help people understand how to adhere to the traditional wisdom in this fast paced world that we have.

But in India, they did. They always pretty much mixed it with Triphala for three reasons, one is to stretch out the availability of the Shilajit, and the other is to buffer its effects. And the other is that it turned out to be a very beneficial combination. So I like the Triphala Shilajit that I have. And it’s not like I’m trying to say to your viewers, hey, just do mine or something. I am not saying that. But if you go and look at all these people selling the resin, a bunch of them go: “The others are all fake and ours is the real one.” Makes you wonder like, well, which one is which? But I know my supplier I’ve been with for 20 years and I just love this traditional blend. It’s less expensive too.

MARTIN: Well, what should be said is that there are sources of it in the Himalayas, the Altai Mountains in Russia, it has a different name. I think it’s called Mumio, right? 


MARTIN: Which is very similar. And I remember getting Mumio back when I still lived in Europe, and it came in the tiniest little pellets. They were buckshot pellets. 

REHMANNIA: Yeah, that’s probably the best way just to sell it. That’s the Russian word, Mumio. And they’ve been using it for many centuries too. And then it trickled over into Bulgaria and further on over Croatia, Eastern Europe. 

MARTIN: And so, I understand that there’s some stuff even in the Rocky Mountains in America, right? 

REHMANNIA: That’s what they say. The Native Americans called it Medicine Rock. And I have a friend who’s a purveyor of Rocky Mountain Shilajit in a little dropper bottle. And I like it. It tastes great. I have not looked at the domestic supply. I should be doing that. 

MARTIN: Yeah, okay. Maybe you can do the American version of the Ayurvedic thing. And instead of using Triphala, maybe we should go with peaches, cherries, and I don’t know. 

REHMANNIA: We could, we really could. What you said earlier, just mixing it with other forms of humic materials is also. 

MARTIN: Yeah, that too. That too.

REHMANNIA: But then the whole thing is we would be honest saying, well, we’ve mixed it with these other humic materials. Whereas we don’t know these resins we’re seeing. I just don’t see where all of these purveyors are finding all of this resin. Having a hard time wondering where and what they’re doing here. It just made me a little bit concerned.

MARTIN: Right. So we do have it available? 

REHMANNIA: Yes. So the traditional blend with the Triphala is called Shilajith with an H on the end. Shilajith. And that’s what I have. I have a Shilajith blend in the Triphala and powder. It comes in a little powder bag of the powder. 

MARTIN: Yeah. Well, it’s a good honest blend that will still kick up your ability to, well, it raises your mineralization, right?  And it’s blended with the fruits in such a way that it’s actually absorbable and absorbed. I think the reason why it’s mixed that way is because it needs a carrier wave to arrive somehow rather than just blow through you if you take it concentrated. 

REHMANNIA: You’re right. It needs a quote carrier. Yeah, that’s the term for it. Right. To help it assist its assimilation, full assimilation. I knew a guy when I was first purveying Shilajit and he said that you have to watch out because the monkeys that they saw going up to the mountains to eat Shilajit way back thousands of years ago, that’s how they discovered it. These monkeys would go up there and eat it in the spring, and then the mountain goats. And they said these animals get on the ledge and they’re eating the Shilajit and they’re defecating there too. And then when people find the Shilajit they shovel it all up including the dung and mix that all together. And I said: “Is that OK?” And he said: “Well, the thing is that the dung has been found to be extremely high in the humic acids. It’s so potent that the animal couldn’t even absorb it all. So there’s still a bunch in it.” So it made me think like, are all these people losing all this stuff and not absorbing it, it’s just going into the sewage system?

MARTIN: Good chance.

REHMANNIA: Good chance of that, yeah.

MARTIN: Alright well, these bits of wisdom are hard earned. It takes decades and a lot of trying. You’re now well into your maturity. You’re not a silly buck who just tries to break the world in three days. You are now understanding that it takes time and patience and dedication. And there is no such thing as storming the gates of heaven. You have to take your time and earn it.

REHMANNIA: Yeah when I first met my teacher Ron Teeguarden, he told me it took his teacher two years before he committed to teaching Ron about the tonic herbs. And many years later Ron asked him: “Why did it take you two years to open up about all of this?” And Master Park said: “Because the great masters who developed all of this don’t believe Westerners deserve this information. Because they will never seek to learn it at its deeper level. They’ll just run with the surface value of it all.” And I took that to heart, I really took that to heart. That was in 1998. And I said, I’m going to do what I can to help make that not happen. It’s kind of inevitable in some ways because we do want things fast and easy, but just to be there, I did my due diligence for 8 years silently with that master. And then also at Alhambra Medical College in Chinese medicine too. To pay my dues, like you said, it’s really important to be able to be a purveyor of the full picture. 

MARTIN: And that’s what I really appreciate about you. You’ve done the work. And the products really are good.

REHMANNIA: Thank you. Yeah. Thanks a lot. Well, I appreciate that you’ve been so supportive of my work and my products. I really appreciate that, Martin.

MARTIN: I’ll try harder to introduce it to more people, because that’s how we will stay in business, and that’s how we get to spread the message. 

REHMANNIA: OK, great. I love it. I appreciate it.

MARTIN: Thank you. This has been Rehmannia Dean Thomas, the Chinese Tonic Herb Master. Okay, you’ll find Rehmannia’s products here on Life Enthusiast under the RDT Herbs brand, and of course in herbal categories and also found in various places because they will help your liver, your emotions, your heart, your this and that, whatever. It’s the tonic. Thank you, Rehmannia. This is Martin at Life-Enthusiast.com. Thank you for being here today.

Author: Life Enthusiast