In this article, Daniel Vitalis shares on the creating an elixir step by step and some amazing insight into “tasting” our medicines. Daniel Vitalis is has built a wealth of knowledge experience around water and elixirs and has created the Elixir Craft Mastery Program.
Kevin: We’re talking a lot about elixirs and I’m sure that there are people on the call that don’t even know what you put in an elixir. I’m not even sure what kind of things you put in your elixirs. So why don’t you kind of explain some of the things that you put in and then we’ll kind of explore some of the different questions that some people have specifically about different herbs and that thing.
Daniel: Great. Okay, the foundation of every elixir — you know you’ve heard the saying, “We’ve built this from the ground up” — elixirs are built from the water up. So what I do is I begin with the water that I gather. Sometimes I’ll shift that around slightly. For instance, in Maine over the next few weeks we’re going to start harvesting water birch trees and from maple trees, what gets turned into maple syrup or birch syrup. So sometimes you can pull liquids out of places like that. Sometimes you can pull liquids out of plants to make juices. But most often the foundation of my drinks is going to be the spring water
that I gather.
The course itself takes you sequentially through the Elixir Craft Mastery Program. It’s a sequential thing that I built up, starting with water. The second step is that often I’m going to take that water and convert it into a tea. As an example, today my tea was dandelion root, dandelion leaf, nettle leaf, burdock root, yellow dock root with rose hips. I just happened to throw those things in. I like them together. That’s the medicine that I want right now. Again, it’s not a specific recipe I’m trying to get people on it’s just what I happen to be using right now because those are the medicines I want right now. So it’s always changing. Whatever herbs you’re working with, you can make those into a tea. That’s the second part of Elixir Craft and that’s the second portion of that course. What we talk about is how to create teas, which are essentially water-based extractions.
So what I like to do is extract herbs or medicines into the water so now I have a tea. I can take that tea and add that into my blender, I really love VitaMix blenders. I wish they weren’t plastic but I really love them. Throw that tea into the blender and that’s where you can start adding in your superfoods. When the superfood thing first started what happened was all of a sudden we had all these plant flours. They’re essentially flours, like in the way that you have flour from wheat, powdered flour. What we ended up with was chocolate flour, maca flour, mesquite flour, carob flour, all those powdered power foods. Well, what do you do with these things? Well I was like, just blend them into the tea. So I started blending those in. That’s like the third step, I’ll start blending in these different powders.
Then what we’ve got to think about is, “If I just drink tea with some powders in it I’m not going to be very satisfied. I need some calories.” So what we’ve got to determine is, “Do I want my calories from protein, sugar or fat?” Those are the only places you’re going to be getting your calories from. So what you can do then is start to add in things… Like if you want to fuel yourself on fat you could add in coconut butter. If you want to fuel yourself on protein you can add in something like chlorella. If you want to fuel yourself on sugar you can add in honey. That’s where you can start to add calories in.
What I do is start with that water and I start building it up and adding in medicine. That sounds like something that would take a long time but once you understand the system it’s very quick. So I’m able to make meals in about five minutes that contain so much nutrition that I would say one of my drinks, on average, probably contains more ingredients and more nutrition than the average American eats over the course of a whole month. It’s about compounding medicine and nutrition. Hippocrates said, “Let food be your medicine and let medicine be your food.” What we’re doing is taking all that medicine and we’re turning it into food be it these elixirs and then drinking that.
The whole goal is it’s got to taste good. If it tastes bad you’re not doing it right. If it tastes bad there’s a subtle rejection from your body. In other words your body is not really into it. It’s kind of giving you the message, “Hey, I don’t like this.” So it’s not really open to receiving it. The whole goal is getting the flavors in alignment with what your body is really asking you for. So what we’re talking about is something very much like the best smoothie you ever had except it’s got all the medicine of the great longevity foods and herbs.
Kevin: Now, is there a place for things that don’t taste good that your body is taking in, like very potent herbs and that sort of thing?
Daniel: That’s a great question. I’m surprised you asked that because here’s what I want to say. What doesn’t taste good? Is bitter a bad taste? We’ve got a mental program. Bitter can be a really bad taste if you’ve been raised on Mountain Dew and Ding Dongs. I was raised on those things and bitter tasted bad to me. Over time I’ve come to really appreciate the taste of things that are bitter or what we might say doesn’t taste good.
Daniel: If there was something that doesn’t taste good it’s where flavors are inappropriately mixed. If they’re inappropriately mixed that doesn’t taste good. But I think most medicinal herbs a good taste. One of the things I like to do in Elixir Craft is instead of trying to hide taste, instead of trying to cover-up and mask taste, I like to try to bring out flavors. So if something is bitter I’d rather work with that than hide it. Here’s a little secret. This next statement could add a tremendous amount of value to your listeners lives. It’s going to sound really simple but if you let this unfold and you meditate on this you’ll come to understand something that very few people get today. You know they don’t get it because you can look at how our herbal systems work. We encapsulate things. The Chinese told us that taste of a medicine was an integral part of its effect. In other words, if you take your herb and you put it in a little capsule and you swallow it and your body never even comes in contact with it and the substance of that capsule breaks open in your stomach and you bypass your taste buds, your body is not going to get the full effect of that medicine. So rather than try to hide your tastes, bring them out. If something is bitter a little bit of salt and a little bit of sweet can really bring out the beautiful part of that bitter, rather than trying to hide it or disguise it. I really like working with the flavors.
Kevin: Where do you find pure herbs?
Daniel: That’s another great question because we’re really running into a few issues in our culture right now. I won’t go into any of the negatives here but we’re all seeing some big changes happening here in this country right now that are economic in nature. What’s beautiful about that is it’s driving us to local economies. It’s driving us to working together. The paradigm of having food shipped in from all over the world, from diverse locations, to your door, is not going to last for that long. We’re going to have to start getting things locally.. The best stuff is going to come out of nature, wild where you live.
The next best stuff is going to come wild from somewhere else. The next best stuff is going to be cultivated by people and grown by people in a very intelligent way, locally.
The next best stuff is things that have been grown very intelligently and shipped to you. Where it starts to get really, really weird is where you start to access things that are grown poorly where you don’t know where they’re from. So what I would say is that you could access things locally like local gardeners, local herbalists. If you can go on walks in nature forests you can get the best stuff. Otherwise look for reputable companies that produce things that are organic or above and beyond organic. As you know, organic is becoming sort of meaningless. What we need to find is stuff that’s beyond organic, stuff that’s biodynamic ally grown or wild-crafted.
I get a lot of stuff from the same place you do, Kevin. A lot of great superfood, raw food people out there, they’re bringing the best stuff. I like companies like Mountain Rose Herbs. I get a lot of stuff from them. And I gather a lot of my herbs more and more. That’s something I learned how to do over the course of years. That’s something that I know is going to be something I learn over the course of many, many more years, over the course of my lifetime. It’s not something you learn immediately. A company like Mountain Rose Herbs is a great place to start. Over time you can learn how to do this yourself right from nature. That’s where you’re going to get the best stuff.