Taking Tinctures, Using Powdered Extracts, Drinking RAW Pollens, and the Ease of Capsules
With a little practice and routine it is really easy--and even fun--to integrate extracted medicinal herbs and fungi and raw pollens into your routine--and we try to offer our products in a variety of forms to make that integration as easy as possibly. That's why some of our more bitter products come in powder and capsule form (like Shilajit or Tongkat Ali), why we offer three different types of tinctures (like Pine Pollen and RAW Aphrodisiac), and why we offer Pine Pollen in six different forms--including raw powders, extracts, tinctures, and capsules.
To both celebrate and instruct, we worked with a friend and artist to produce our illustrated guide to using our extracts and pollens.
There are many ways to use tinctures (I have even infused them into chocolate bars), but there are really only two popular ways, adding them to water or placing them directly under the tongue and holding them sublingually.
To take a tincture, all you have to do is fill a glass up with several ounces of water (2-3), drop the amount of tincture you are taking into the water, and then drink. Very simple. For people who are adverse to the alcohol taste or content in tinctures, first bring the water up to a near boil, pour that in the glass, and add the amount of tincture you are taking to the glass. The hot water will steam off the alcohol and it will taste a lot less alcoholic.
But many people just squirt the dropper of tincture right into the mouth, placing the liquid under the tongue and holding it there for several minutes. This allows the alcoholic medicinal compounds to enter the general blood supply directly through the capillaries and veins in the mouth. Either way, tinctures are easy and very effective.
Using Powdered Extracts
Most of the products we offer are powdered extracts of different medicinal herbs and fungi. Powder extracts are potent (all of ours are at least a 10:1 concentration), they have a long, stable shelf life, and they are highly digestible. All you have to do is add the extract to hot water and drink. Even mushrooms like Reishi and Chaga, when in their unextracted state are almost completely indigestible, when extracted are completely digestible.
At RAW Forest Foods, our favorite way to use powdered extracts is just to combine them with four ounces (or so) of hot water, add the extracts to the hot water, stir to dissolve, and drink like a tea. Most powdered extracts have a nice earthy flavor, and some are really delicious, like our TapRoot formula.
Sometimes, when I'm feeling decadent, I will make a "herbal laté" by first making a strong mug of Dandy Blend (a dandelion based coffee alternative that is awesome and even helps clear Heat and Dampness from the body), with 2 tablespoons of Dandy Blend to 12 - 16 ounces of very hot water, adding the powdered extracts I am taking, and then adding something like coconut creamer. With the bitter extracts (Reishi, Shilajit, Tongkat Ali) I will add a little stevia to sweeten and take the bitter edge off.
Drinking RAW Pollens
All you have to do to use RAW pollens is combine with water and drink. They all (Pine Pollen, Camellia, Brassica) have a great flavor, and you can just add them to your water bottle, shake up well, and drink it as you normally would drink water--you can chug it like a frat boy at a house party or sip it over the course of an hour or so. It doesn't matter. I just add a tablespoon of whatever pollen I'm using to a jar or bottle, add water, and shake it up.
Our RAW Camellia and RAW Brassica Pollens can tend to clump, even though they are all cracked cell wall, and sometimes I will put them in the blender with water and give them a quick 10 or 15 second blend. Of course, if this is too much trouble, our RAW Pine Pollen also comes in capsules and tablets. So easy.
The Ease of Capsules
Sometimes all of the above is too much work. Sometimes herbs can be really bitter. Capsules help. We all know how to take capsules, just measure out how many you want and take with a glass of water.
All of our products are best taken on an empty stomach, preferable with no food having been consumed in the previous several hours (3+) and before anything is consumed for the next 30 minutes. This greatly increases digestion and absoprtion of the products and you will notice a difference.
Be Sure to Make it Fun
Irregardless of how you choose to use your medicinal herbs, fungi, and pollens, you want to make sure it is enjoyable--even a little celebratory. Taking care of yourself and increasing health is not supposed to be a drag. It isn't supposed to hurt. And this is true with using these types of medicinal extracts.
By finding enjoyment in taking care of ourselves, we not only add more joy to our lives (one of the most potent medicines known), but we also increase the likelihood that we will keep the activity up. So, whatever you do, be sure to make it fun.