In this article, Daniel Vitalis shares step-by-step elixir creation and some amazing insights on how to “test” our medications. Daniel Vitalis has accumulated extensive experience in knowledge about water and elixirs and has created the Elixir Artisan Mastery Program.
Kevin: We are talking about elixirs a lot and I’m sure there are people on the call who don’t even know what you put into an elixir. I’m not even sure what kinds of things you put in your elixirs. So why don’t you explain some of the things that you add and then we’ll explore some of the different questions that some people have specifically about different herbs and stuff.
Daniel: Great. Okay, the base of every elixir, you know you’ve heard the saying, “We built this from scratch,” elixirs are built from the water up. So what I do is start with the water that I collect. Sometimes I change it a bit. For example, in Maine over the next several weeks we are going to start harvesting water birch and maple trees, which turns into maple syrup or birch syrup. So sometimes you can get liquids out of places like that. Sometimes you can extract liquids from the plants to make juices. But most of the time, the base of my drinks will be spring water.
that I pick up.
The course itself takes you sequentially through the Elixir Crafting Mastery Program. It’s a sequential thing that I built, starting with water. The second step is that I will often take that water and turn it into tea. As an example, today my tea was dandelion root, dandelion leaf, nettle leaf, burdock root, yellow dock root with rose hips. I just threw those things. I like them together. That is the medicine I want right now. Again, it is not a specific prescription that I am trying to get people to follow, it is just what I am using right now because those are the drugs I want right now. So it is always changing. Regardless of the herbs you are working with, you can make them into a tea. That’s the second part of Elixir Craft and that’s the second part of that course. What we’re talking 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 have that tea and add it to my blender, I really love VitaMix blenders. I wish they weren’t plastic, but I really love them. Put that tea in the blender and that’s where you can start adding your superfoods. When the superfood thing started, what happened was that suddenly we had all these plant flours. They are essentially flours, like in the way you have wheat flour, powdered flour. We finished with chocolate flour, maca flour, mesquite flour, carob flour, all those powdered energy foods. Well, what do you do with these things? Well I was like, just mix them with the tea. So I started mixing them. That is the third step, I will start mixing these different powders.
So what we have to think about is, “If I just drink tea with some powders, I’m not going to be very satisfied. I need some calories.” So what we have to determine is: “Do I want my calories to come from protein, sugar, or fat?” Those are the only places you will get your calories from. So what you can do is start adding stuff … As if you wanted to eat fat, you could add coconut butter. If you want to eat protein, you can add something like chlorella. If you want to feed on sugar, you can add honey. That’s where you can start adding calories.
What I do is start with that water and start accumulating it and adding medication to it. That sounds like something that would take a long time, but once you understand the system, it is very fast. So I can prepare meals in about five minutes that contain so much nutrition that I would say that one of my drinks, on average, probably contains more ingredients and more nutrition than the average American eats in the course of an entire month. It is about combining medicine and nutrition. Hippocrates said, “Let food be your medicine and let medicine be your food.” What we are doing is taking all those drugs and turning them into food, be it these elixirs, and then drinking them.
The goal is for it to taste good. If it tastes bad, you are not doing it right. If it tastes bad, there is a subtle rejection of your body. In other words, your body is not really interested. It’s like giving him the message: “Hey, I don’t like this.” So you are not really open to receiving it. The whole point is to align the flavors with what your body is really asking of you. So what we’re talking about is something a lot like the best shake you’ve ever had, except it has all the medicine from foods and herbs with great longevity.
Kevin: Now, is there a place for things that you don’t really know your body is absorbing, like very powerful herbs and that sort of thing?
Daniel: That’s a great question. I’m surprised you asked because this is what I mean. What does not taste good? Is a bad taste bitter? We have a mental program. Bitter can taste very bad if you were raised in Mountain Dew and Ding Dongs. They raised me with those things and the bitterness tasted bad. Over time, I have come to really appreciate the taste of bitter things or what we might say doesn’t taste good.
Daniel: If there’s one thing that doesn’t taste good, it’s when the flavors mix improperly. If mixed improperly, that doesn’t taste good. But I think most medicinal herbs taste good. One of the things that I like to do in Elixir Craft is, instead of trying to hide the flavor, instead of trying to cover up and mask the flavor, I like to try to bring out the flavors. So if something is bitter, I’d rather work with it than hide it. Here’s a little secret. This next statement could add an enormous amount of value to the lives of your listeners. It’s going to sound very simple, but if you let this unfold and meditate on it, you will come to understand something that very few people understand today. You know they don’t get it because you can see how our herbal systems work. We encapsulate things. The Chinese told us that the taste of a medicine was an integral part of its effect. In other words, if you take your weed and put it in a little capsule and swallow it and your body doesn’t even come into contact with it and the substance in that capsule opens up in your stomach and you avoid your taste buds, your body is not going to get the full effect of that medicine. So instead of trying to hide your likes, get them out. If something is bitter, a little salt and a little sweet can really bring out the beautiful part of that bitter, rather than trying to hide or disguise it. I really like working with flavors.
Kevin: Where do you find pure herbs?
Daniel: That’s another great question because we are really running into some issues in our culture right now. I won’t go into any of the negatives here, but we are all seeing some big changes that are happening here in this country right now that are economic in nature. The beauty of that is that it is propelling us toward local economies. It encourages us to work together. The paradigm of having food shipped from all over the world, from various locations, to your door, is not going to last that long. We’re going to have to start getting things locally. The best things are going to come out of nature, wild where you live.
The next best thing will come wildly from somewhere else. The next best stuff will be grown by people and grown by people in a very smart way, locally.
The next best thing is things that have been very intelligently cultivated and sent to you. Where it starts to get really, really weird is when you start accessing things that grow poorly and you don’t know where they’re from. So what I would say is you can access things locally, like local gardeners, local herbalists. If you can wander through the natural forests, you can get the best of it. Otherwise, look for reputable companies that produce things that are organic or beyond organic. As you know, organic is becoming meaningless. What we need to find are things that go beyond organic, things that are biodynamic, grown or made naturally.
I get a lot of things from the same place as you, Kevin. Lots of great superfoods and raw food people who are bringing out the best. I like companies like Mountain Rose Herbs. I get a lot of things from them. And I gather more and more of my herbs. That is something I have learned to do over the years. That is something that I know will be something that I will learn over many, many more years, throughout my life. It is not something you learn right away. A company like Mountain Rose Herbs is a great place to start. Over time, you can learn to do it yourself directly from nature. That is where you will get the best stuff.