Chinese herbs have had this presence of mystery in my life. Our relationship started a few years ago when a friend of mine managed The Tonic Bar in Erewhon. I expressed this constant feeling of unsettledness and very heightened anxiety. She recommended a Reishi Mushroom tonic. A WHAT? A Shen, huh? She was correct. Its effects were so calming, so soothing. That’s when I discovered a whole form of healing that is recognized but was conceptually foreign to my knowledge—Chinese tonic herbs. My interest and knowledge grow yearly.
One particular herb I love is Shizandra Fruit, coined “the herb that does it all.” Supporting vitality, skin, cleansing the blood, strengthening memory while maintaining sexual energy, you can see why this particular herb is considered the quintessential full spectrum herb. Now slap it in a tincture with some Goji and you have some beautiful glowing skin.
That is exactly what the company Sleeping Monk has done (and so much more). I discovered their two tinctures, Immortal and Well Rested, on the shelf of Moon Juice recently and I LOVED their choice of herb combinations, so I had to reach out to them to share with the F+N family. Here, I introduce you to Sleeping Monk.
HOW DID THE NAME SLEEPING MONK EVOLVE
We thought, “what’s the most peaceful thing we can think of?” We came up with a sleeping baby, but that doesn’t sound as cool as Sleeping Monk, which we figured was the next most peaceful. We also have a strong affinity for the Buddhist Monks as we have encountered them during years of meditation practice. They are some of the most amazing people and we’ve learned so much from their valuable and practical teachings. Also, we are a huge fans of Kung Fu and it is said that the Zen Buddhist Monks of the Shaolin Temple in China, (Shaolin Monks), were the ones who invented Kung Fu, over a thousand years ago.
I LOVE THE HERBS CHOSEN FOR BOTH PRODUCTS. HOW DID THESE SPECIFIC COMBINATION COME ABOUT
Thank you, glad you like them. The Immortal formula was the result of me trying to find a way to bring my exhausted, depleted and spiritually bankrupt state of being back into balance. In 2003, my journey led me down the path of the Chinese Tonic herbs and specifically the SuperTonic herbs. I formed a strong bond with a famous herbalist who taught me the art of Formulation and that, along with lots of research and experimentation culminated in a formula that was just what my body and soul needed. I went through lots of trial and error with many different herbs, all very great, but what I ended up with is what resonated most powerfully as an effective calming and rejuvenating Longevity formula.
More specifically, my mission was to find the most cooling, moistening, restorative herbs along with the most emotionally calming and stabilizing herbs that are powerfully effective and most importantly safe for anyone to use for prolonged periods of time. In Chinese Tonic Herbalism speak, this equates to a Yin Jing, Blood Building and Shen Calming tonic.
The Well Rested formula came more as a response to people who associated the name Sleeping Monk with a sleep product. Although the Immortal formula does help with achieving refreshing sleep, it does so many other things as well, so we wanted to make a product that was specifically for a deeper, more well-rested sleep. So you may notice there are a few of the same Shen stabilizing herbs that are also in the Immortal formula, along with additional herbs that are all geared to help calm us down and clear our mind of distractions.
Because of these characteristics, we’ve come to find that the Well Rested formula is an awesome pre-yoga and pre-meditation formula too!
WHERE DO YOU SOURCE YOUR HERBS
All of the herbs that we use in our formulas come from China. After much research and experimentation, we have chosen and have been working with a select few, very reputable companies in the U.S. and Canada.
EVERYONE IS ALWAYS LOOKING TO SLOW DOWN AGING PHYSICALLY, ENERGETICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY. CAN YOU ENLIGHTEN US ON SOME OF THE WAYS SCHIZANDRA PROMOTES THIS
Wow, great question. I LOVE Schizandra! If I had to pick just one herb in the entire pharmacopeia, that would be the one. It is my favorite for sure.
I feel that all three areas you mentioned are interdependent and all determine the level of health and the rate at which we age. For example, the healthier we are physically, the more abundant our natural energy stores, the younger we feel, the more life becomes an adventure and our attitude and perspective tends to improve and broaden.
Or, conversely, when we train our mind and become in tune with our higher purpose, we tend to make more conscious lifestyle choices that diminish the physical effects of burning the candle at both ends, thus increasing longevity and the quality of our lives.
Firstly, with Schizandra, we achieve beautiful, youthful, elastic skin. It is one of China’s premier anti-aging herbs, as it is said that if you consume Schizandra for 100 days, your skin will completely change. It becomes naturally moist, soft and smooth and it produces substances that protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun.
According to Chinese Tonic Herbalism, beautiful skin is the result of pure blood and healthy lungs. Schizandra is amazing at purifying our blood, as it is a stellar Liver detoxifier. On its own, Schizandra is amazing for the skin… but, when combined with Wild Asparagus, which is one of the-if not the-top SuperTonic herb for moistening the lungs, (the other component of beautiful skin), and Prepared Rhemannia, (one of the best Blood Builders on the planet), you’ll come to experience the benefits of what Sleeping Monk’s Immortal formula can do for your skin.
Schizandra improves memory and mental focus. It is also an excellent adaptogen for the nervous system and helps to reduce stress. It helps bring balance by regulating the excitatory and inhibitory responses. This is so important and one of the wonderful gifts of the SuperTonic herbs. Unlike so many products that force an unnatural state of overstimulation or sedation to the body, Schizandra monitors what our body actually needs and helps bring it back into balance to achieve optimal health.
When our nervous system is stress-free, our immune system works more effectively as well.
To further slow the aging process, Schizandra is highly anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory, which promotes healthy cellular function. The Chinese note that it travels through all 12 energy meridians in the body and possesses all 3 treasures, Jing, Qi and Shen, which makes it a complete superstar for longevity.
Sexual and athletic health is closely related in the modality of Chinese Tonic Herbalism, and Schizandra helps us maximize vitality and performance by increasing endurance in men and enhancing arousal in women. Quite an aphrodisiac and it tastes great too! Schizandra is very unique, as it has all five flavors, sweet, sour, bitter, salty and pungent.
I could go on in more detail for a long time, but hopefully this brings a general clarity on the Awesomeness of Schizandra!
FAVORITE ENERGIZING DRINK(S)
Pure coconut water and Reverse-Osmosis, Ionized water with Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium are my two favorites.
SNACK TO KEEP ME GOING
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP FIVE TIPS ON HOW TO ACHIEVE MORE BALANCE, ENERGY AND DEEPER SLEEP
1. Spend more time consciously loving ourselves with a lifestyle program that includes positive thoughts, healthy food, exercise, fun and Sleeping Monk!
2. Substitute television for reading inspiring and educational material, especially at night.
3. Meditate regularly.
4. Be of service to others.
5. Be One with your passion.