Welcome to Ben Greenfield’s Weekly Roundup and Cool New Discoveries!
Ben Greenfield’s discoveries, from the latest news on the fronts of fitness, nutrition, health, wellness, biohacking, and anti-aging research. I also recap my upcoming events and special announcements so you can keep up with giveaways, discounts, and more!
New Discoveries Of The Week: Cool New Things I’m Trying, Books I’m Reading, And More!
The Aztec Dream Herb I’ve Been Experimenting With
Calea Zacatechichi is an herb used by the indigenous Chontal in Central Mexico to receive divination with dreams and as one of their traditional medicines to support digestion and the respiratory system. It is particularly useful for:
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Anti-leishmanial (parasites)
- Gastrointestinal complaints
- Divination ceremonies
- Oneirogenic properties (promotes lucid dreaming)
- Respiratory Disorders
The scent is nutty, floral, and chocolatey (surprisingly sweet and enjoyable!), and the flavor profile is a rich green flavor, balanced bitter softened with honey hues—very palatable. Anyways, my friend Dr. Nick at Essential Oil Wizardry, who I interviewed in this podcast, introduced me to this unique beautiful herb with a spunky sense of consciousness. The so-called Aztec Dream Herb has been used for centuries by the Mexican Chontal Indians to receive messages of divination during dream-time.
Calea Zacatechichi tastes chemically bitter & awful to my palette (likely caused by the primary compounds being germacranolides) and ranks amongst the worst flavor-profile in herbs to-date, but Nick figured out how to balance out the flavor profile with organic honey mead, so this stuff actually tastes pretty good.
The literature suggests human doses of organic extracts of the plant produce EEG and behavioral signs of somnolence (ie. drowsiness) and has shown to induce light sleep in cats. Large doses may elicit salivation, ataxia, retching, and occasional vomiting. Effects on the cingulum in the brain were tested and shown to be different than dissociative drugs (ie. ketamine or PCP). One study demonstrated marked anti-inflammatory activity comparable to drugs Dexamethasone and Indomethacin, which are landmark anti-inflammatory agents used in pharmaceutical medicine. When observed in a clinical setting, one controlled nap sleep study showed that Calea extract increased the superficial stages of sleep and the number of spontaneous awakenings. Subjective reports of dreams were significantly higher than both placebo and diazepam, indicating an increase in hypnagogic imagery occurring during superficial sleep stages. One last important note comes from a study suggesting some level of nephrotoxicity (kidney toxicity). Individuals who are at risk for kidney disease or have dysfunctional kidneys should consider limiting or abstaining from the use of Aztec Dream Herb.
Calea Zacatechichi is a rich oneirogenic dream herb that carries ties to ancient Aztec culture. Nick uses it during late waking hours to bring himself into a semi-conscious state, and I’ve found it to be quite relaxing pre-sleep and also to give me crazy, vivid dreams while still feeling rested when I awake. It provides the user a nice hypnotic lull without euphoria, easing the mind and body to a state of relaxation, calmness, and rest. To receive the benefits of vivid dreamery, I find using 1.5 – 3 dropperfuls of this tincture directly before bed to be most effective.
For Nick’s Ultrasonic Extract Tinctures, I’ve found that sublingual (under the tongue) absorption held for 30-60 seconds leads to better subjective absorption/effects. Aztec Dream Herb is not suggested for daily use and is probably best a few days per week max. It synergizes quite well with Nick’s Ultrasonic Blue Lotus Tincture, Ultrasonic Kanna Tincture, Ultrasonic Mugwort Tincture, Ultrasonic Salvia Tincture, Ultrasonic Skullcap Tincture, and Ultrasonic Wild Dagga Tincture.
So if you want to “play with your dreams,” pick some Aztec Dream Herb up here from Essential Oil Wizardry and use code BEN to save 10%.
One Of My Favorite Places To Shop For Hawaiian Grown Superfoods: Kauai Farmacy
On my last trip to Kauai (probably my favorite island in Hawaii), I had the pleasure to visit “Kauai Organic Farmacy.” In 2007, shortly after their first child was born, owners Doug and Genna Wolkon started making tea from the leaves of the Noni tree—a traditional Polynesian medicinal plant that grows on the Hawaiian islands.
With regular consumption of the tea, they began to experience changes in their bodies: extra weight dropped off, concentration improved, immunity increased, and stress reduced to create an overall heightened sense of wellbeing. Excited and inspired by this natural healing transformation, they dove into other healing herbal plant medicines from a local garden after their second child was born. In 2010, they acquired four acres of lush horse pasture on a river bend in Kilauea on the North shore of Kauai and began growing medicinal plants. These herbal gardens slowly and organically grew and transformed into their Kauai Farmacy bio-diverse herbal farm—now home to over 60 medicinal herbal plants.
I knew their place was special when, on my last Hawaii visit, Laird Hamilton brought me over to the Farmacy to show me their organic turmeric roots (which we chomped on like carrots, see below) and their luscious cacao fruits (which we sliced open and munched on like candy), and Doug explained to me how they use no pesticides or chemicals, and they feed their plants teas brewed from the gardens and composted manure.
After eating a homemade meal comprised of goodies grown in the fields, I picked up a couple things that blew me away.
One was their Comfrey Salve. Doug explained to me that the comfrey plant is renowned by the ancients as “knit-bone” or “warrior plant” because it’s known to rejuvenate bones, muscles, and ligaments. Their Comfrey Salve has a silky-smooth texture that naturally absorbs into the skin (or the “third lung” as it is referred to in Chinese medicine). By supporting the body’s natural defense system, areas of inflammation and discomfort may ease, the breath may calm, and the body may achieve greater balance and performance. You can apply the salve liberally to wounds, bruises, sprains, breaks, scrapes, and other areas of injury, or to the body’s entirety for optimal performance. Comfrey is known for its compound allantoin, a cell regenerator.
They also have a comfrey hydrosol. Hydrosols or ‘spirit waters’ are made by steam distilling fresh, fragrant plant matter. The plant’s phytochemicals and cellular water are extracted and then condensed down into liquid form. An essential oil mixed with water is not the same as it does not contain the water-soluble compounds that hydrosols capture. Problem is, most manufacturers will remove the essential oil from the hydrosol to be sold separately. Kauai Farmacy does not do this. The distilled oils remain in their hydrosol, and their comfrey “knit-bone” is an herbal spray that helps lubricate joints, restore skin, hydrate muscles, circulate blood, detox organs, and “knit” bones.
Another of my favorites is their Endurance Powder. Crafted with the intent to enhance drive (life force), stamina, and to stimulate the digestive system, this herbal powder is loaded with bioactive minerals, making it great for circulation as well as calming the nervous system. Ashwagandha, an herb esteemed very highly in the Ayuverdic tradition, means to give one the stamina of a stallion in Sanskrit. Try it to boost your endurance, stimulate your senses, and invigorate your life. With superherbs like Moringa, bringing a complete protein into the mix, and Bele Spinach, adding bio-available iron, Endurance Powder is a super alkalizing and nourishing herbal blend. Endurance is ideal in smoothies, brewed as a tea, sprinkled into bone broth, eaten pinch by pinch, and makes an exquisite culinary companion ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes.
If you’re ever in Kauai, you must visit the farm (I’m actually speaking with Doug about my twin 12-year-old boys doing a month of work there as part of their unschooling curriculum!), but in the meantime, you can order Kauai Farmacy products online by clicking here. Code GREENFIELD will automatically save you 15% on anything (and I definitely recommend grabbing the Comfrey Salve and the Endurance Powder—and for a hot date night, a bit of their quite potent Ashwagandha).
Podcasts I Recorded This Week:
Articles I Published This Week:
My full article feed and all past archives of my articles are here if you want to check out past articles.
Articles I Was Featured In This Week:
::: Stay Healthy At Home With A HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket :::
Infrared saunas are 7x more detoxifying than traditional saunas. Only problem is, not everybody has the room (or the budget) for one. That’s why sauna blankets are the perfect alternative and great for traveling or at-home use. HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blankets allow you to detoxify your body, deliver fresh nutrients to your muscles, boost your metabolic rate, and burn calories like you’re working out, without working out from the comfort of your own home.
Infrared light can also boost your immune system by increasing circulation and the production of white blood cells. As your body’s temperature elevates, it creates a “false fever,” triggering white blood cells and creating a hostile environment for bacteria and viruses within your body.
HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blankets provide a healthy, rejuvenating experience that leaves you feeling euphoric. And yes, unlike most saunas and heating blankets, they’re very low in EMF radiation. Other features include:
- Healing amethyst that deepens the benefits of infrared…
- Tourmaline layer that generates negative ions…
- Charcoal layer to amplify the detoxification process…
- Medical grade magnetic strip for improved blood circulation…
- Low EMF heating…
- And more!
These blankets are designed in part by Dr. Raleigh Duncan, founder of Clearlight Saunas, makers of the same sauna I’ve used and recommended for years. You can save 15% on one here, just use code: BEN at checkout.
::: Kion’s 4th of July Sale Is Happening NOW :::
Kion is having a 4th of July Blowout Sale right now! Just head on over to getkion.com, fill up your cart with muscle-building Kion Aminos, blood-sugar regulating Kion Lean, skin-soothing Kion Serum—or whatever you like because it’s all on sale—and enter code JULY4TH at checkout to save up to 25%.
Again, just click here and enter code JULY4TH at checkout to save up to 25%! Sale ends Monday, July 6th at 11:59 MT.
Need Help Fully Optimizing Your Brain & Body?
I’ve studied the science, seen first-hand what works and what doesn’t, and most importantly, know how to help you make lasting changes to become the best version of yourself – for good. I’ve also trained an entire army of Kion Coaches, and with our support, you’ll no longer have to struggle to decipher conflicting health information, only to end up confused and unmotivated.
Try this potent, scientifically-proven 7-minute bodyweight workout. In 12 exercises with only body weight, a chair, and a wall, this routine fulfills all the requirements for a high-intensity interval workout. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with 10 seconds of rest between exercises.
- Jumping jacks (but I do burpees cause I’m a glutton for punishment)
- Wall sits
- Running in place with high knees
- Push-ups with rotation
- Side planks
Give it a try and make sure to save it for the next time you need a killer bodyweight workout you can perform in minimal time!
Are you looking to achieve peak physical performance? Trying to shed fat or gain lean muscle as fast as possible? Ready to tap into the most cutting-edge health, fitness and longevity protocols? Every day, I work with people just like you to help them achieve their goals with personalized health advice and one-of-a-kind nutrition and fitness plans. My schedule gets filled quickly, so be sure to book your one-on-one consultation with me today.
Kion Coaches are certified in the same holistic approach I take to mind, body, and spiritual health. In addition to being trained by yours truly, these folks are qualified professionals, ranging from personal trainers to nutritionists, chiropractors, elite athletes, psychologists, medical doctors, and more. Just click here to view the full coach directory and to find the ideal coach for you and your unique goals!
Featured Product: Kion Lean (Up To 25% Off!)
Kion Lean is a natural blood sugar management supplement that contains a combination of plant-based ingredients scientifically proven to support healthy blood sugar levels and assist in weight management. The combination of Glycostat® Wild Bitter Melon Extract and Innoslim® in Kion Lean work like gangbusters to help:
- Reduce blood glucose levels,*
- Promote healthy weight management,*
- Support metabolic wellness,*
- And more!
With Kion Lean, you can literally have your cake and eat it too. Get some now here, and use code JULY4TH to save up to 25% during Kion’s 4th of July sale!
*The FDA hasn’t evaluated these statements. Kion products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This Week’s Most Popular Instagram Post:
View this post on Instagram
The Psychedelic Renaissance You may find it shocking to read that I, a Christian, homeschooling family man from the backwoods of Idaho, have been known to partake in both microdoses and “journey” doses of substances such as LSD, psilocybin, ketamine, ibogaine, DMT, MDMA and beyond, with some strategically timed stints during the year in which I am microdosing with psychedelics for everything from enhancing mood to razor-sharp focus to lulling my muscles into a relaxed state during a massage, and also engage in more intensive, deep journeying on a few occasional bases each year. So, in the spirit of continuing the psychedelic theme from these past couple of weeks, today’s article is a guest post by previous podcast guest of mine and a true expert and pioneer in the field of psychedelic research, Dr. Matt Johnson. In the article, you’ll discover: How the field of psychedelic research got started in the first place What led to the decades-long moratorium on said research Where psychedelic research is today (spoiler: it’s yielding remarkable results for many who have hit rock bottom and exhausted all other options) Whether microdosing has any “real” effects on your body, and finally, what’s on the horizon for psychedelic research (plus how you can help out to keep the momentum going). And much more Click the link in my bio or head to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/psychedelicarticle to read the entire!
This Week’s Most Popular Tweet:
— Ben Greenfield (@bengreenfield) June 29, 2020
My Most Popular Facebook Post This Week:
While I am am not opposed to responsible use of psychedelics for both microdosing and also for – should a person be prepared, well-educated and supervised accordingly – so-called “trip doses”, journeying or trauma work, I think that as psychedelics become more prevalent in our culture, an increasing amount of people will be exposed to them in the wrong set and setting and without proper preparation before and replenishment after.Everything from psilocybin to LSD to ketamine to mescaline to MDMA are, after all, now considered less to be relegated to the sole realm of Burning Man and hippies, and are now being considering acceptable and societally normal for many people. And I think there are both good and bad things that could come of that.That is why I want to take this week and educate you on a variety of different topics in the realm of the psychedelics, drugs, nootropics, and more.Stay tuned for more this week and check out the video from a recent talk I gave as part of my Boundless Book tour, as I detail my view on and personal use of psychedelics in response to a listener question.What do you think? Are you concerned about increasing legality and social acceptance of such compounds? What do you feel are the pros and cons?
Posted by Ben Greenfield Fitness on Monday, June 29, 2020
Leave your comments and any news or discoveries that you think I missed below!