420 Herbal Alchemy
By Anthony Ricciuto
Hey everyone. I would like to introduce to you a new column here at Power Nutritionist. 420 Herbal Alchemy will provide some cutting edge recipes to promote health, longevity, and well being. Oh did I forget to mention also to help you stay medicated as well? So sorry! It will focus on three main segments including juicing, superfood smoothies, and tonic elixirs. Since cannabis in its many forms is the ultimate superfood and provides the body many pathways for health and healing, what could be better than how to implement it with other tonics to provide a unique synergy between them? These recipes will help promote overall health, but will also target specific conditions as well. It will combine the best of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic Medicine, Western Herbalism, Sports and Holistic Nutrition, and more with a 420 twist to make it even more powerful and exciting. So let’s get started.
Immune Master Tonic
12 oz. of Gynostemma tea
1tbps. Virgin Coconut Oil
1tbsp. Grass-Fed Butter
1tsp. Reishi Mushroom Extract
1 tsp. Chaga Mushroom Extract
1 tsp. Astragalus Extract
1 tsp. Sunflower Lecithin
Cannabis Tincture of Your Choice
1 tbsp. Manuka Honey
The Goodness of Gynostemma
We are going to use Gynostemma tea as our base. Just so we start off right, all the ingredients mentioned here are going to be mixed in a high-speed blender. I own a Vitamix and a Blendtec which are the two Rolls Royce of high-end blenders. You are going to start with your liquid base and then build the layers upon it in the order put forth. Many of you may not be familiar with this tea but you should be. It has tons of health benefits, more than you can imagine. You may be wondering why I chose this as the base liquid instead of green tea or just plain water?
I Love Gynostemma and Drink it Daily!
Gynostemma is a grass-like herb revered in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is touted for its anti-aging effects along with strong adaptogen qualities. For those of you not familiar with adaptogens, the majority are forms of herbs that allow the body to deal with increased levels of physical and mental stress. They are popular with athletes allowing them to train harder and recover from their intense training sessions. It is also a lung tonic and has been used for different issues like bronchitis and asthma. It has a light sweet taste that goes easy on the palate. Thus making it ideal for a base for numerous other smoothies or elixirs. You can make your own from pure Gynostemma leaves, or you can use a teabag form. One that I love is called Spring Dragon by Dragon Herbs. You can use 1 teabag in 12 oz. of water to start your concoction.
Powerhouse Fats for Health
Now that we have our base, we need to add some calories to this formula in the source of two different fats. Grass-fed butter is a powerhouse and has many health benefits. It’s rich in Beta Carotene, Vitamin A, and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). One vitamin not to be forgotten that you may have never heard of before is Vitamin K2. This amazing vitamin can not only help reverse Osteoporosis but also prevent the hardening of the arteries. What makes this vitamin so special is that it takes calcium from the soft tissues like your arteries and transports it to your bones where it should be. Improper diets and stress can cause calcification of the arterial lining in your heart. Vitamin K2 helps to reverse this calcification and then does one better by depositing it into your bones leading to greater bone density.
Grassfed Butter is Nutritional Gold!
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is another fat superstar. Composed of MCT saturated fats, it can provide the body with energy in a similar way carbohydrates do. It can help increase your HDL or good cholesterol, helps maintain stable blood sugar levels, improves brain function, and can even help you burn fat. Plus it gives your elixir a nice creamy base and helps increases the absorption of the other nutrients contained within.
The King of Mushrooms
The next ingredient is Reishi Mushroom. No, you will not add straight mushroom chucks to your elixir. If you have ever seen how hard they can be you’ll know why you can’t blend it. Here you will want to use a Reishi extract in powder form to make things much easier. One brand I like for all my extract powders is by Jing Herbs. Their quality is top-notch and they use advanced extraction methods to bring you full-spectrum phytonutrients from the plant. Reishi is a very important adaptogen for the fact that it possesses dual-direction activity. What this means is that if your immune system is deficient it will increase it and if it’s over-stimulated it will decrease it. So not only is it good for strengthening your immune system from fighting off infections but for those with autoimmune issues like allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, etc, it can regulate it so it stays in balance. In Asian countries, it is a prized medicine used for heart disease and cancer. What I personally like about Reishi aside from all the scientific literature, is that it is a very calming adaptogen. If you are highly stressed and frazzle easy, this is just what you are looking for.
Reishi is the King of Mushrooms!
Too Good to Ignore!
Chaga is another mushroom that has too many health benefits to mention. It grows as on the sides of birch trees in a large black mass. Entire books have been written about its properties and what it can offer your health. It is the highest ORAC rated antioxidant of all time. If we look at blueberries for example as they are known to be high in antioxidant protection, they score around 9000. This is a good score and is why so many nutritionists recommend eating blueberries daily. Now Chaga comes in at a mind-blowing 147,000 ORAC score. It blows everything else on the ORAC chart right off the map. This is why many scientists believe that it possesses anti-cancer properties. I consume Chaga on a daily basis because it has way too much to offer my health to ignore it.
Nothing is Stronger than Chaga for Free Radical Protection!
Potent Immune Tonic
Astragalus is another very important tonic herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It can help improve immune function and has direct application to the lungs. During our times of COVID pandemic, this should be something to consider. Even western scientists recommend taking Astragalus during this time along with Vitamin D and Zinc. It has been used in TCM for more than 2000 years. It gives the body increased energy but is not stimulant based leaving you a jittery mess. To make this even better, astragalus has been shown to support key immune cells and promote optimal cell function as well. In TCM they have always believed that Astragalus has anti-aging benefits and they were on the money. Studies have shown that it can increase telomere regeneration and lengthening. This can lead to an increased life span and quality of life in later years.
Astragalus is an Amazing Immune Tonic!
Not Just for Edibles
Yes, you probably knew sunflower lecithin would be in here. First off it is rich in Choline and Phosphatidylinositol. The phospholipids contained within keeps your liver healthy, improve your nervous system function, and can help lower bad cholesterol and triglycerides. The other reason why I have included is the same as every other cannabis aficionado who makes their own edibles do. Yes, it makes them more effective and in my personal opinion helps the compounds contained within the adaptogens and the THC in the cannabis merge into a unique synergy. Plus it will provide a creamy texture to your elixir that will make you come back for more.
Cannabis for the Win!
Oh yes, this is the part you all have been waiting for. Time to add in the cannabis! If you have made it this far through the article then you are happy to see what we have in store here. Since we are adding this to a complex formula already I wanted to keep this simple and effective. I recommend using an alcohol tincture or oil-based extraction here. Some people will add in some of their Green Dragon tincture that a lot of homebrewers make. It is a very simple extraction process but it still can get the job done. I personally like to use an MCT-based oil extraction as it mixes nicely with the above formula in terms of texture and taste, but I also feel it’s more effective.
Medicinal Application par Excellence
Now since this is an immune-based medicinal elixir, it would be best to use a strain that would provide a nice balance of THC and CBD. A strain that is a 1:1 ratio works very nicely. It would provide all the medicinal properties we are looking to take advantage of. One of the 1:1 strains that I like is OG Kush CBD by Dinafem. It comes in at 10% THC and 10% CBD making it one of the more powerful 1:1 strains available. You can use strains that are lower in strength but then it’s hard to get enough dose for what medical issues you are trying to address.
OG Kush CBD is Truly Amazing!
Non-Psychoactive Safe for Work Version
Now if you want to cut out all psychoactive properties you can use a straight CBD formula. One strain that I like is Charlottes Angel by Dutch Passion. This comes in around 15% CBD and 0.5% THC so you won’t have to worry about tripping out with this one at all. This strain packs a powerful CBD hit which makes it ideal for those needing a large dose of CBD to ease their ailments. This strain has a nice piney, a diesel flavor profile that you are sure to love. Charlottes Angel is a potent anti-anxiety medication. For those of you that are dealing with issues, this is the one you want on your side. It is very calming, yet nonsedating. Making it excellent for daytime use.
420 Energy Burst
Now if you are looking to run this during the daytime and needing a boost with a good Sativa, then my recommendation is the old school Durban Poison. In fact, it was Ed Rosenthal that fist discovered this landrace strain in the 1970s. Combining a high energy sativa like Durban with the above adaptogens will help take the edge off that some people complain of with Durban if too much is consumed. They don’t call it the expresso of cannabis for nothing. The balance between the adaptogens and Durban makes for a very uplifting and vibrant mood, allowing you to be creative and energetic.
Nightcap for Pleasant Dreams
If you are going to use this elixir in the evening since many of the herbs contained have a calming effect, you can add in an India to push it over the top. If you have read my insomnia article then you will already know what strains I am a big fan of. A tincture of 9-Pound Hammer or Death Bubba is what I have found to be very effective with my clients. By the way, I forgot to mention that the Reishi that is in this formula will also help you drift off to Never Never Land leaving you with dreams that are crystal clear and vivid. You’ll know exactly what I mean when you give this elixir a try. The fats in this recipe will keep your blood sugar levels stable during the night preventing hypoglycemia. Many people who do wake up during the night suffer from nocturnal hypoglycemia causing them to awaken when blood sugar levels drop even without them knowing that is the cause.
9 Pound Hammer will Knock You Out!
The Sweetness from Mother Earth
Now if you have a sweet tooth you may want to add something to sweeten the pot so to speak. We wouldn’t want to add in any table sugar nor artificial sweeteners either. So Manuka Honey is just what the doctor ordered. Originally from New Zealand, Manuka Honey has a lot to offer in terms of your health. It has been shown to decrease harmful bacteria that cause sore throats, provides relief for those suffering from H.pylori induced ulcers, and eases flare-ups with those suffering from inflammatory bowel conditions. Plus on top of this, it tastes great. You can add in 1-2 tablespoons depending on your taste.
So here you have it. If you are looking to keep your immune system dialed in like you never imagined, this is the elixir for you. It’s power-packed with numerous adaptogens, healthy fats, nutrient catalysts, antioxidants, anti-bacterial agents, and much more. Plus let’s not forget that it will put a smile on your face once the THC hits your bloodstream. Here is the perfect synergy of holistic health and medicinal cannabis to take your health to the next level. So until next time stay lifted and stay safe!
About the Author
Anthony Ricciuto is a Sports Nutritionist and Strength and Conditioning Coach that has been in the industry for over 25 years. He is a Three-Time World Teenage Powerlifting Champion and Record Holder. Having consulted with more than 100 World and National Champions from around the globe, the results are real. His clientele includes numerous IFBB Pro athletes, World Champion Powerlifters, Olympic competitors, Jiu-Jitsu World Champions, Professional Boxers, WWE Superstars, World’s Strongest Man Champions, and numerous Models and Actors. He has had over 500 articles published in a multitude of international print publications during this time. His passion for herbal medicine has brought him to the study of medical cannabis. He educates his clientele on how to implement cannabis for health and wellbeing and to optimize its benefits through a multi-faceted holistic approach. He is the Head Coach for Team Dynamic Performance where he continues creating champions.