By Tom Cowan, M.D.
The process of turning herbs into medicine involves great care and attention to detail. Herbs generally have two main types of active ingredients, which are the chemicals synthesized by the plants that make them effective medicines. These active ingredients either dissolve in water (hydrophilic) or in fat or alcohol (hydrophobic). Plant medicines tend to be the most effective when one can use the entire spectrum of water- and fat-soluble components together in the same delivery system. The company Raw Revelations preserves the entire spectrum of ingredients, which is why it has become my favorite source for herbal medicines.
Unlike most herbal companies, they start with organically grown or wild-crafted fresh ingredients. Using fresh rather than dried plants is the first step in preserving not only all the possible plant components but also the delicate life force of the plant. Then, they extract the fresh herbs with highly concentrated Co2, hot water and alcohol. Once the extractions are complete, they unite the three components, then dry them to create the most effective herbal powders I have used.
These are not fast-acting medicines like most pharmaceutical drugs. Rather, they are safe and effective herbal tonics whose function is to support vital aspects of our physiology as they safely and slowly support our return to health.
I want to briefly highlight four of the herbal powders that I use most often in my practice. If you have questions about any of these herbal medicines, please let us know, or contact your health-care practitioner.
Adrenal Stress Ease
This is an herbal mixture made of many of the common adaptogenic herbs used in traditional medicines around the world. Adaptogenic herbs help us adapt to stress, and most have been shown to support adrenal function. The main components of this mixture are ashwagandha (pictured above), holy basil, tribulus and a small amount of licorice. Like many of the Raw Revelations products, they add a small amount of mineral-rich shilajit to increase the mineral content. The usual dose is 1 teaspoon in hot water twice a day.
This is a rarely used herb but one that deserves a place in any pharmacopeia. Eucommia is the last remaining cold-weather-tolerant rubber tree, and its latex-rich bark is the part used in the extract. As one could imagine, the indications for the use of eucommia bark in traditional Chinese Medicine all involve supporting flexibility in the user: flexibility in the joints and connective tissue when there is stiffness from age or disease, as well as flexibility of the blood vessels, a common underlying cause of elevated blood pressure, particularly in elderly people. I have had a number of patients with stubborn high blood pressure who have responded positively to this herb, whose does is usually 1 teaspoon twice a day in hot water.
Another classic adaptogen formula, Vitality
is used more for general strength and resilience with people who feel their life forces waning over time. Vitality is also a great support for those who do intense physical activity or those who simply want to increase their stamina or resistance to common infections. The main adaptogenic herbs are panax ginseng and astragalus, which are combined with balancing and tonic herbs to make this a formula that has broad applications and is safe to use for most people. Adjust the dose to between ½ to 1 teaspoon twice a day, depending on your reaction.
Super MucunaThis is a highly concentrated preparation of the mucuna pruriens bean. The mucuna bean is known for its high concentration of dopamine-precursor substances, which is why it is used for Parkinson’s disease, a condition in which the dopamine levels in the brain are low. Highly concentrated mucuna extracts also support low-mood states, better sleep and bone density. The dose is ¼ - ½ teaspoon twice a day, depending on your reaction.Please enjoy our herbal powders, and, as always, we appreciate any feedback from the use of any of our products.