If you’re here reading this right now, you are riding right alongside me on this ever-journeying road towards radiant health. No matter where you are on the road, it is valuable to have the blueprints alongside of the tools.
You may have found yourself at different times discovering supplements that have been fast-acting, or perfect for your body at that time, whereas others have seemed virtually ineffective. There are, of course, innumerable variables that could play into this, but if you’re dealing with a pure, potent, and balancing supplement, there is no reason that you shouldn’t be benefiting from it, even if only slightly and gradually.
Chinese herbs have most traditionally been served in formulas, due to the fact that they can support and potentiate each other to serve certain purposes. This is no doubt at time-tested method, but with so many herbs and supplements at our fingertips these days, sticking strictly to formulas can be unrealistic for most of us. Truth is, formulas may have been more effective in more controlled environments, with more controlled diets and lifestyles, and still may be equally as effective for most, but overtime, we have certainly introduced an increasing variability. In one morning, we may be taking Ayuvedic herbs, after an algae cleanse, with some Chinese herbs and stardust sprinkles on top. It’s truly an exciting time for this field, so how can we really make the most of it, with or without the supplement-happy tude?
So, how can we potentiate our herbal regimens, whether they are a teaspoon of he shou wu a day, or the handful of health confetti mentioned above? In this article we will explore simple, feasible ways to get the most out of your supplements, and if you follow these simple guidelines alone, they can lead to a healthier lifestyle. However, these guidelines will also create the most receptive foundation for the fun herbs and supplements you would like to assimilate into your system. In the likes of how a Chinese formula is created to potentiate itself, this “formula” can prime your body for optimum absorption power (lvl up).
The OBVIOUS yet commonly OVERLOOKED
- I LIKE TO MOVE IT MOVE IT. So, this implies moving that body. I hate to say it, but herbs and supplements will only go so far in an idle body. I’m sure people have seen fine results from herbs without joining Crossfit, but getting that blood circulating and oxygen mobilized is going to take those herbs from your mucous membranes, through your organs, into your blood, tissues, muscles, tendons, and out to the skin, hair and fingernails. Think about it this way- they will take the path of least resistance. (mouth, tummy, maybe si hi to a couple people, intestines, toilet). However, if you’re softening your body, BREATHING, getting warm, and nurturing your lymphatic system- oh man. Get ready to FEEL IT FEEL IT. I will have to say, personally, I began supplementing before actually moving my body. I saw small results, but my progress took leaps and bounds, and my sensitivity to the herbal abundance was greatly transformative once I began moving my body. I understand some of us may be dealing with present injury or inhibitions, but the body can heal itself, and we are no way ever stuck in dis-ease, dis-comfort, in-jury, or immobility. Little by little, setting the intention and baby-biting towards the prize is the way to go. I couldn’t bed at my knees a year and a half ago and now squatting is slightly more comfortable than sitting on my bum. No matter where you may be, even getting in a sauna can potentiate blood flow. Walking, fresh air, dancing, hiking, yoga, waving at everyone vigorously, training for a marathon next year, biking swimming, picking your nose, cartwheeling, taking the stairs instead, mowing the lawn, taking the dishes to the sink one at a time, dragging tires across a bed of nails- YOU CAN DO IT. Move. Sweat. Breathe. Smile. This may seem like a broken record and obvious, but you may be surprised at the increasing numbers of folks who expect the herbs to work at full capacity without this element present in their life.
- Clean-ass hydration, and actual food. This isn’t just “eat your veggies and stay hydrated!” because that’s no longer enough. It depends on what kind of water you’re drinking and what kind of food you’re drinking. I’m not going to go crazed-activist on you, but water from the tap is at the point where it will most likely harm you more than help you and eating vegetables that aren’t local or organic may be even doing the same. The idea isn’t to stress about it, just to do what you can to ensure the right stuff is going in. Truth is, if you’re drinking crap water and eating food that’s chock full of chemicals, all your expensive herbs and supplements are simply working to rid you of all the shit you digested instead of working towards the vibrancy they promise. Think about it. The more you have to detox, the more work they’re doing in that area than the latter. If you’re taking he shou wu to help restore your natural hair color but eating frozen Stoffers and eggs from Walmart, that stands in the way of the he shou wu and your fuzz. Try and knock down as much in the way of these herbs and supplements in your diet as possible because then they can travel more deeply. Also, staying hydrated with good, clean water is going to help carry these everywhere! Guess what? Eating high quality food and drinking clean water can actually be just as cheap as shopping at walmart. If you have a local farmer’s market- boom. And you can find springs here: www.findaspring.com (FREE!). If there isn’t a spring or farmer’s market near you, no need to fret. Just do your research. Even conventional grocery is starting to carry local and organic food, and bottled water (distilled) can be SOOOO cheap, and you can add minerals to it and get very close to the real spring stuff!
- Sleep. The lack of sleep can make everything feel like it’s not working. Sleep is single-handedly one of the most essential elements of health, and will greatly change the way your body is digesting any herb or supplement. Sleep can affect your hormones, metabolism, cardiovascular system, mood, immune system, resistance to disease, and SOO MUCH MORE. But, let’s be clear, sleep will inevitably potentiate your supplements.
Potentiating Potables and Other Stuff (I just like that word)
- Raw, food-grade Vitamin C. Good ol’ vit C. If you’re eating lemons and oranges daily by the fistful, I wouldn’t worry about it, but if not, this is a must! This will for sure kick your herbs into high gear. You can put lemon in your water, use camu camu powder, or just pop some raw, food-grade vitamin C daily, and you’ll be set. This can unleash many properties of most herbs and supplements.
- Minerals! Find yourself a nice liquid, colloidal mineral supplement to sneak into your water. Mineral deficiency is most common today, and without them, our herbs aren’t much good. Another great way to kick up your mineral intake is with a badass kelp supplement, like diiiisss one: http://www.organicschizandra.com/product/kelp-extract-401-raw-kelp-extract/
- Poop. Don’t eat it- try and make it happen often. If you’re not pooping at least once a day, something is stagnating, which means, your herbs may also be getting caught in that traffic jam. There are many ways you can up your poop game. Taking digestive enzymes, probiotics, drinking kombucha, eating fermented vegetables- drinking (chugging) a huge glass of water first thing in the morning will wake your intestines right up. After doing this for some time, you will create a schedule and your body will maybe not need that water to have to create a good BM in the AM. For a more old-fashioned (but effective) route, drinking a little alcohol (whiskey is nice) before bed and coffee in the morning should spike you to the toilet, but don’t say I told you (not really the healthiest route). If you go down that road, it’s twice as important you drink that water.
- Skin Brushing. You can get one of these bad boys for cheap online or at the local health store. When you do it, be sure to start at your feet and hands, and work your way TOWARDS your heart. This is great to do before a shower, and will keep your lymphatic system moving around and your herbs on their tippy toes.
- While on the subject of showering, take a hot/cold one. This will also sharpen your lymphatic system, which I cannot stress its importance enough.
- Take them first thing on an empty stomach with a full glass of water. Wake up, drink a glass of water, take your herbs and supplements then. This will not only aid in that poop stuff we spoke of earlier, but it really is the best time to get those herbs in. Your body is ever-ready and receptive then. Many supplements advise to be taken with food, which if there’s a bunch of fillers, chemicals, and other foreign ingredients, I’d imagine they would be rough on an empty stomach, but if you’re dealing with pure, organic, and food-grade minerals, herbs and supplements, the whole “take with food” fear/mentality isn’t necessarily applicable. If you have a weak tummy, I cannot speak for you, but for me personally, and many who take pure supplements, I prefer to take them on an empty stomach.
- Ginger and hot peppers. Not only are these incredible digestive aids, but they are also vasodilators, which means they widen your blood vessels and potentiate movement of the herbs through your blood, and thus their effects.
- Cleanse yo’self… and I’m not talking about bathing, though that’s cool too. Sometimes, we just need a radical cleanse to clear the palette. I’m not saying a juice cleanse is right for everyone, but sometimes, even just mentally, it’s a great way to get started with a new routine, and will certainly pave the way for the introduction of some new supplements.