The Zen Of Chinese Adaptogenic Herbs: An Interview With The Inventor Of World’s Most Potent Adaptogens.

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Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

My guest on today's podcast is Roger Drummer.

Roger is kinda like Raiden from Mortal Kombat (pictured above) – you know, the guy that wears the conical, straw Chinese harvester and can generate magical orbs of electricity from his hands.

Except, in this case, Roger plays with adaptogenic herbs. He's a Chinese herbal adaptogen formulator, a Certified Nutritionist and NCCAOM Diplomate of Chinese Herbology, holds a U.S. patent for developing a process to grow biologically active, anthocyanin-enriched medicinal mushrooms, and is in my opinion, one of the best-kept secrets in natural medicine and health enhancement. Roger even formulates personalized tonic herbs for thousands of clients, including many notable celebrities (which I ask him about in this podcast episode), and has trained in Shiatsu, Jin Shin Do, Reiki and Kriya Yoga, along with being a former triathlete, runner, cycling enthusiast, husband and father of three girls.

I've personally known Roger for over five years, and it's been about three years since I've had him on a podcast (see “Chinese Medicine & Why Sugars Don’t Add Up Right on Food Labels.“), so I figured that it was high time I had him back, especially since he just released a sugar-free version of my favorite adaptogenic herb complex: TianChi.

So what is an adaptogen?

Adaptogens are a unique category of herbs that facilitate your body’s “adaptation” to stress. They help your body maintain, build or fix its own natural healthy processes, even if you’re exposed to a wide range of external and internal stressors.

This means, that, for example, adaptogens can help increase cortisol if cortisol is low, or decrease cortisol if cortisol is high. They can also be used for anything from cognitive performance to enhanced endurance at altitude.

Roger is actually the inventor of the exact Chinese adaptogenic blend that holds a special place in my refrigerator: the one I mentioned above called TianChi . Here's the label:

TianChi is a tiny packet that contains an herbal tonic blend of the most renowned adaptogens in the Orient. 

Every herb used in TianChi is far more pure and potent than typical old, ineffective and often dangerous or nasty-ingredient laced herbs on the market. Very few products contain 100% whole herb extracts. On average the herbal extracts are at least 10:1 yields, meaning it takes 10 pounds of raw herb to produce 1 pound of pure extract. Most manufacturers start with pure yield and cut them to concentrations of 4:1 or 5:1 by adding filler. This produces a cheaper, but less effective extract. Imagine buying a 5:1 extract that originally was 45:1!

In stark contrast, the herbal extracts used in TianChi yield 12:1 or greater, and there is even one herb in TianChi that is a 45:1 yield. In other words, you would have to take 9x as much herb from any other source to equal the potency in TianChi. And you would be getting mostly filler, harmful ingredients, and very few results.

All of the herbs in TianChi are Non-GMO, Kosher Certified and non-irradiated. They are extracted in purified water and test free of heavy metals. And the creator uses only wild crafted herbs – herbs found in their natural state, free from pesticides and exposure to pollution.

You will feel this stuff instantly, guaranteed.

Below is a complete list of the pure and potent herbs you’ll find inside each pack of TianChi, with a guarantee of extreme freshness.

-Schizandra – the “Five flavor berry” is known as a beauty enhancing herb, one of the main herbs pictured with Lady Maku the Goddess of Beauty. It helps restores proper water metabolism to the cells, detoxifies the liver and lungs, and is an important herb for building lung energy. It tonifies the reproductive system, builds sexual fluids and moistens the skin. Schizandra has been successfully used in China to treat hepatitis. It contains over 20 lignans that bind to carcinogenic substances and safely removes them from the body. A mild adaptogen and powerful anti-oxidant, schizandra is the Chinese equivalent to milk thistle.

-Reishi Mushroom – Reishi is known as the “Mushroom of Immortality,” and “Herb of Good Fortune”. It is the most highly revered herb in China for its ability to brighten the mind and spirit. Historically used for boosting immunity, liver detoxing, blood purifying and building, and is known as a potent stress reliever.

-Ashwagandha– Ashwagandha is known as Indian ginseng and one of the most famous of all Ayurvedic herbs. It is a premier adaptogen and has a profound effect on regulating the HPA Axis (hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenal axis) which is the basis of stress response. Although many herbs have been crowded into this category I still maintain that the “Gang of Four”, ashwagandha, rhodiola, reishi and eleuthero, are truly substances that can effectively regulate stress response.

-Rhodiola – Rhodiola is known as the “Rose of Heaven” and “Plateau Ginseng.” It is one of the premier adaptogens in the entire world and one of my personal favorites. Regarded as life-prolonging and wisdom enhancing, it can reduce stress response, is blood purifying and is said to balance both creative and cognitive functions of the brain. One of the best herbs for blood oxygenation, it is useful for all endurance sports. Used to treat depression and chronic fatigue and protects against radiation. It is a favorite herb for cosmonauts and mountain climbers. Rhodiola is a “Three Treasure” tonic, it builds Jing, Chi and Shen.

-Eleuthero – This is the herb that launched all of the studies on adaptogenic herbs. Commonly used as an adaptogen in regulating stress response and strengthening adrenal function. It’s famous as a physical endurance and mental enhancing herb used by cosmonauts for its blood oxygen enriching properties. Eleuthero is a great herb for anyone who’s involved in sports or work that demands strength and endurance. It’s more Chi building than Jing, even though I use it primarily for its effect on the kidney-adrenal energy. Eleuthero is seldom sold as a bulk herb as it’s not very nutrient dense. It takes over 40 lbs of good root to make one pound of powdered extract.

-Epimedium – Fepimediumamous as “goat sex tea”, epimedium is known throughout the world as herbal aphrodisiac. Lost in its reputation is that it’s also a great herb for increasing circulation in the brain and improving general immunity. Epimedium adds a spark of Yang or fire to the adrenals and has been shown to increase fertility. It is a Jing tonic.

-Cistanches – Its Chinese neucommia barkame is “Duzhong” having been named after a doctor who took it and achieved great intellectual success. Eucommia is a premier Jing tonic as it contains a perfect balance of Yin and Yang energy. Its main use is in bone strengthening formulas and can be used for increasing fertility and regulating blood pressure.

-Gotu Kola – Gotu Kola is one of the most important rejuvenating herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. It’s used to help revitalize the brain and nerve cells. Gotu Kola is historically used to increase intelligence, memory, longevity and decrease senility. It has been known to support normal immune function and adrenal energy. It is also a powerful blood purifier and is commonly used in Ayurveda to treat chronic skin diseases. Gotu Kola is commonly used by monks and yogis in the Himalayas as an aid to meditation; similar to how Reishi is used in China by the Taoist monks.

-Albizzia Flower – This flower is known as the herb for “forgetting cares and sorrows” and “collective happiness flower”. It is an ultimate Shen tonic and is often used improving memory, circulation, and has mood elevating properties.

-Astragalus – Astragalus is one of the greatest Chi tonics in all of Chinese Herbology. It’s often used as a ginseng replacement in younger people. Recently it has gain great popularity as an immune building herb. It’s used to help strengthen digestion and lung function, for recovery from illness and as an energy building herb. It is said to build Upright Chi, meaning when the lungs are strong and the breath is deep, it promotes good posture and holds the organs in place. Astragalus is an excellent herb for maintaining the Protective Chi circulating on the surface of the skin helping to ward off seasonal illness. If the cold wind seems to bother your neck it’s often a sign you’re Protective Chi is weak.

-Green Tea – One green tea of the most powerful plant-based antioxidants, green tea builds immunity, increases circulation and is a best known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown it to be valuable for memory enhancement. Most of green tea’s antioxidant polyphenols are from a class called catechins of which EGCG seems to dominate. It has been described as natures most potent anticancer agent.

-Polygonum (Ho Shou Wu) – translates as “Ho’s black hair” one of the main kidney restoratives in Chinese herbology. Legend has it that Ho, an aging lonely hermit living on the edge of town saw a vine intertwined on his walk through the forest. The vines resembled a couple embracing and so he harvested the root, cooked it and consumed the tea. His hair turned back to black from snow white (hence the name) and he actually married and had a son. They both lived to over 100 years old and the herb has since been called Ho’s black hair.

-Lycium (Goji) – LyciGojium is a restorative for the liver and kidneys, popular these days as Goji, and one of the 5 most famous herbs in China. Reputed to be the main food of Li Chen Yuang for the first 125 years of his life (he added some ginseng root for the next half of his life). Li died at a banquet in his honor after consuming a heavy dinner (he was a Taoist hermit who lived on herbs and vegetables) causing a national uproar and disgrace for the public official who hosted the event.

-Other herbs: Anemarrhena, Licorice, Polygala, Clubmoss, Cocoa Bean Extract, Stevia Leaf, Acerola Cherry, and Raspberry.

During my discussion with Roger, you'll discover:

-The delicate process via which wildcrafted herbs are actually extracted in China, and exactly how they find their way to the USA…

-The important difference between wild and cultivated herbs…

-Roger's top herb recommendation for regulating cortisol levels and eliminating adrenal fatigue issues…

-The truth about whether resveratrol really does have an anti-aging effect…

-How D-Ribose rebuilds your energy stores and ATP levels, and exactly how much you need…

-Why so many smart drugs and nootropic compounds use the substance “choline” in their formulations, the form of choline that contains the highest concentrations of actual choline…

-Why Roger isn't a fan of using regular stevia mixed with adaptogenic herb extracts, and instead uses a specialized form of stevia root…

-The main differences between TianChi and Inner Peace…


Resources from this episode:

TianChi Chinese Adaptogenic Herb Complex

Inner Peace Chinese Adaptogenic Herb Complex

-My previous podcast with Roger “Chinese Medicine & Why Sugars Don’t Add Up Right on Food Labels.

Roger's Herbworks website

Do you have questions, comments or feedback for me or Roger about Chinese adaptogenic herbs, TianChi, or anything else we discuss in this podcast. Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

42 thoughts on “The Zen Of Chinese Adaptogenic Herbs: An Interview With The Inventor Of World’s Most Potent Adaptogens.

  1. Russ McBride says:

    So, there are grave problems with this: 1) High doses of B6 has been shown to cause serious nerve damage; 2) If you are undermethylated, high doses of folate will destroy you (feel free to check the Mensah Medical Group or do your own research into methylation); 3) After having noted this in the reviews on their website, instead of doing the scientific research they simply deleted my review which means they lie about their reviews since one can only assume they’ve done this before. Disengenuous, not willing to look at the basic research as it affects their products, and fabricated reviews. I would stay away.

    1. Smith says:

      I had been a regular consumer. I no longer trust the company. Some very shady shenanigans. Pricing for an already pricey product went through the roof. A month’s supply of 30 now contains 25 packets. A near 10% reduction. (the packets themselves may be reduced too) There is no free shipping no matter how boxes nka ‘packages’ purchased which is a price increase of $15. Accounts with no expiration rewards from purchase history were purged.
      I have given so many packets away for others to try over the years, even full boxes. This used to be what I looked forward to drinking nearly every morning. I will miss it, but the company is not what it once was ethically.

  2. Patrick Walle says:

    Hi Ben,

    Does TianChi break an overnight intermittent fast because of the calorie content?


  3. PeteC says:

    I’m taking Ashwagandha and my balls got significanlty bigger after 2 days… I dont know if this is good:)

  4. Brian says:

    What is Rogers email or contact info…thanks

  5. Brian says:

    Roger and Ben,

    I have been taking Tianchi for several months now and feel amazing. I went from being in fight or flight mode all day everyday to feeling calm and energized. So thank you for this creation. I recently had my yearly blood work done and the results for my liver enzymes were much different from last year. One of the enzymes was at the top range and the other was above the top range, which they were at the lower end last test. Would this have anything to do with Tianchi? I know several of the herbs have liver detoxifying effects, could this be due to the herbs detoxifying and cleaning my liver out? By the way I havent drank alcohol in 3 years, the only caffeine i take in is from Tianchi, and I take no other medications. Your input would be greatly appreciated…thanks

    1. Here is a response from Roger: I don't think TianChi will cause elevated liver enzymes. It's a difficult thing to sort out but if you want to contact me directly we can start the process of figuring it out.

  6. tony says:

    I have heard ashwagandha on many podcasts lately, I am trying to find out if taking ashwagandha during my intermittent fasting will break my fast? I started using this to control stress and cortisol, But I wasn’t sure if there was an appropriate time to take it.

    1. No, only if it is blended with other sugars, fruits, vegetables powders, etc. The herb by itself will not break the fast.

  7. Stas Zabarsky says:

    Hi Ben,

    Number of time you recommended to supplement with Ashwagandha and for the last few months i supplement with the Organic India Ashwagandha.

    I’ve came across this study that pretty much says it’s a dangerous thing.

    I’m so hoping you will help me prove them wrong because the lady who sent me that study is very condescending.

    Please give your opinion on that:…


    Big Fan of yours !

    Stas Zabarsky

    1. Hey Stas,

      Can you call this question into the podcast and we'll cover it on there!

      1. Danielle Goldfarb says:

        Can you tell me what answer ever came or this or where I can find it? Thanks!

  8. Chris Curley says:

    In this article Roger does not mention who he gets these extracts from in China. I am a Chinese Medicine practitioner and herbalist and was quite keen to find out and do some back ground due diligence. Thank You

  9. Gerard F says:

    Hey Ben, you also said you take this before working out on an empty stomach, is tian chi safe to to take with perfect aminos or natures aminos 30 mins prior to wkout? Or would you suggest to do tian chi pre workout and nature aminos post workout? Thanks Ben

    1. Totally safe and a really good combo actually.

  10. Gerard felicitas says:


    Do you store this stuff in the fridge? Just placed an order. Thanks

    1. room temp or cooler. I keep it cool in a pantry.

  11. David says:

    Again, very surprised by the addition of an unspecified amount of caffeine and “natural flavors”, which is, frankly, absurd, considering the high potency and fanatical attention to purity. I’m left scratching my head, seriously wondering why in the world these would be added to such an awesome complex.

  12. Steve G. says:

    Hi Ben and Roger,

    My Box just came in the mail today. Wondering if I need to cut out my morning coffee on the days I take Tianchi. I usually have a cup of kimera koffee mixed with butter and mtc oil when I first wake up. How/when would you recommend using the two together?

    1. They're a little redundant, but not too much. I do your cup of coffee earlier in the morning and then do your Tianchi in the mid morning or midafternoon

  13. bh82 says:

    hi –
    i am an athlete in the USADA testing pool. chinese herbs are listed in USADA's database where you can search medications, etc ( i have heard that some athletes have gotten busted from certain chinese herbs because of chemical equivelency to other banned substances. any experience with tested athletes using this.

    Moreover, is TianChi NSF certified? if not, is this something that might be done? I only use supplements that are NSF certified, as there have been so many stories of people being banned for using things not on the bottles. Thanks very much.

    1. We actually cover certification/athletes, etc. during the episode…I would take a listen!

    2. rdalchemy says:

      TianChi is not NSF certified. Since TianChi wasn't made as an athletic product we haven't had it tested.
      We have had an Olympic cyclist tested 3 times while using it on a daily basis and she passed with flying colors. We've just had a track athlete pass her college drug test also.

      We are really careful about what we put into our product. We've recently switched brands of ashwagandha to one that has been carefully tested for athletes.

  14. Do a search here on the BG Fitness podcast site for D-Ribose. It is one of the lowest glycemic index compounds on face of planet. If you are concerned about 8g of carbs then you need to grab a physiology textbook. ;) It is not even a speedbump to ketosis.

  15. quickdrawburns says:

    Thanks Ben, and the D-ribose should be of no concern even though some tout it as a sugar? How about the 8g of carbs per packet?

  16. quickdrawburns says:

    Hello, has anyone had experience with the carb load in this product kicking them out of ketosis?


    1. None. And this was even before they switched to stevia, which is what they use now. Totally safe for ketosis.

  17. Bsnyder20 says:

    Ben or Roger–any supplement or herbal extract you recommend more for promoting healing and/or dealing with chronic pain? I'm healing from hernia surgery and have been dealing with groin pain. No fun…

  18. PotentSativa says:

    Ben you called Eucommia, Cistanche in the article, there different herbs. Just wanted to make sure nobody gets confused.

  19. Jane says:

    Love the podcast Ben-I’m addicted and have been listening to them non-stop since I found you three weeks ago! Now I’m completely interested in Tian Chi. Two questions about this…

    1. I noticed one of the “Other Ingredients” is caffeine. I’m recovering from adrenal fatigue myself and am hesitant to take anything with caffeine in it until I’m recovered-do you know how much caffeine is in it?

    2. Do you have to take it every day to feel its affects or does it have any long-term benefits with the HPA axis regulation?

    1. rdalchemy says:

      Hi Jane, The caffeine content is proprietary. Tianchi is formulated to negate the stimulating properties of caffeine while taking advantage of it's circulatory properties and activating effects on neurotransmitter function. Long term benefits on HPA would probably require 4-5 days per week although it's felt right away.
      If you're really worried, Inner Peace may be better for you for calming and adrenal restoration.

  20. Fred says:

    I see that there is soy lecithin in the ingredients of these products. We know for a fact that soy lecithin is a problematic emulsifier no?

    1. Soy lecithin can be problematic depending on quality, quantity and the actual source. The soy lecithin used in our product is part of the green tea complex. We use a green tea phytosome-green tea bound in phospholipids and lecithin-because it stays active in body for up to eight hours as opposed to plain green tea extract which stays active for approx. one hour. The lecithin is non-GMO.
      The actual amount of lecithin is minor as it is part of an ingredient-it’s not used in TianChi as an emulsifier. Most soy allergies are to soy protein and not soy lecithin.

  21. Meg says:

    Is there a Ben’s friends discount on Tianchi? If so, what’s the promo code?

  22. Tammi Burg says:

    I have tried to use the promo code “Ben” when attempting to order tian chi but it won’t accept it. Is there a different code?



    1. rdalchemy says: is not running any coupon codes at this time.

  23. JAY LEE says:

    Roger drummer podcast there is NO AUDIO , NO download LINK

    NOTHING ????????

    1. Fixing now! In future, if you get app at or subscribe in iTunes at… you can just automatically get the audio:

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