April 23, 2022
[00:00:50] Podcast Sponsors
[00:04:38] Guest Introduction
[00:07:05] What brought Doug to Kauai ten years ago
[00:10:39] First Days On The Farm
[00:16:17] What you don't know about noni
[00:20:27] Honey made out of noni fruit
[00:26:06] What makes a spice “high grade”?
[00:31:02] Podcast Sponsors
[00:36:42] Ways to hydrate and re-mineralize your body you may not have thought of before
[00:44:30] Ginger: the most popular plant medicine in history
[00:52:50] A potent yet gentle hydrosol to fortify your skin
[01:00:48] How to create your own medicine farm Doug Wolkon style
[01:06:33] Closing the Podcast
[01:09:05] End of Podcast
Ben: My name is Ben Greenfield. And, on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life Podcast.
Doug: There's just backyard gardenings with permaculture systems spread throughout.
Designed to build soil and nourish the plants.
Of our food as medicine is what allows the fuel in our body to be used in such a way where our performance can be that next level.
Using it on the daily and not waiting till something breaks or something has to get fixed, but rather building that immune system up so strong that your awareness is in tune with your body that your ability to make the best choices for you on a day-to-day basis.
Ben: Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show.
You guys know I talk about the microbiome and probiotics all the time because there is so much BS and misinformation in the probiotic space. When I heard about this company called Seed and interviewed their amazing team of crack scientists over there with leading academic partners across microbiology, immunology, genetics, metabolomics, and gastroenterology, I realized somebody had actually formulated a probiotic that I like. It's a patented delivery technology to ensure the probiotic arrives at its final destination, no loss luggage, no misconnections because it's engineered in this special cap called the ViaCap, which not only contains some prebiotics in it to help to feed the probiotic but it shields it against oxygen and moisture, and heat, and light, and stomach acid. So, your probiotic strains get delivered and this is near unheard of alive and well to the end of the small intestine to then be delivered into the colon where they give you all those health benefits including probably the most important very, very nice bowel movement regularity, and stool consistency, and ease of expulsion and bowel movement comfort. So, enjoy. It's called the Seed Probiotic.
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Alright, so there's this thing you may see me wearing on my head around my neck. It's smart, wearable technology that goes way beyond monitoring your body. It actually impacts how you feel. So, what this thing does is, called a Hapbee, it plays back the unique magnetic signature of any popular substance: caffeine, alcohol, melatonin, CBD, THC, nicotine, you name it. It triggers the sensation of these substances without you having to ingest them. So, no side effects, no chemical dependency, you're in complete control. You just pair the device with your phone and then you use the Hapbee to select from a menu of the feelings that you desire. You can boost focus and creativity. You can unwind and relax. You can sooth anxiety. You can sleep better. So, I could literally put this thing in caffeine mode. Go out at night. Feel like I've had a cup of coffee. As soon as I take it off, the caffeine just gone out of my system, and go to bed, sleep like a baby, put it in melatonin mode. And, the thing just works like gangbusters. And, it works better the more that you use it. Since I got this thing, it works better and better and better. It's like my brain just getting used to the signal and knows what to do when I flip this thing on.
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I'm pretty excited because as soon as I finish this podcast, I am off to make myself some raw ginger coconut carrot cake. It's a recipe that I got from the website of today's podcast guest who happens to actually produce, amongst many other things, this ginger honey. It arrived to my house yesterday, so I'm really stoked. And, ginger, in and of itself, is this amazing superfood that my guest on today's show, Doug Wolkon grows in Kauai. But then, he actually infuses this stuff in the honey. He infuses noni in the honey. He infuses cacao in the honey. He use a lot of cool stuff, but Honey's going to be the star of this cake I'm going to make my family for dinner tonight. It's going to be carrots and shredded fresh coconut meat, and I'm going to use some bananas and some of this ginger honey, and some allspice powder, and macadamia nuts for my base. And, I'm going to kind of blend that in the food processor and then make a frosting out of coconut meat and a little bit more of the ginger honey and some coconut water, a little bit of colostrum. So, it's going to be amazing. And anyways, the reason I'm telling you all this is because I love to use this guy's curries, and spices, and powders, and lotions, and tinctures. I did a huge meat fest barbecue at my house two nights ago. For the pork, we used this wonderful Kauai Farmacy curry, which was just absolutely amazing. It's like this curry that just tastes like lifeblood. It's so good.
So, anyways, Doug's been on my show before. I visited his Farmacy down there in Kauai when Laird Hamilton brought me over there, the big wave surfer. He brought me over and we were eating turmeric like carrots, and cutting open these cacao fruits, and eating the beans out of the cacao. And, I was just blown away by the vast array of 80 different varieties of healing plants and food orchards that were down there. And then, this whole team using solar dehydrators and different ways to cure herbs and do herbal teas, and tinctures, and hydrosols, and salves and honey, like I mentioned, and a whole lot more.
So, anyways, Doug has been running this Farmacy for a while. And, it's crazy what he can do on just a couple of acres down there in Hawaii. And, I love his stuff so much. I use it so much that I wanted to get him back on the show to talk a little bit more about what he's been growing, what he's been up to, any favorite new recipes. And, I'm really excited to be talking with Doug again. So, Doug welcome back, man.
Doug: Thank you, Ben. And, I appreciate the intro. It's been quite the run. We got the farm about 10 years ago. My wife and I, Genna, moved about 15 years ago to Kauai from the New York area. And, my wife's an industrial designer or was. And, I was actually in the finance private equity space. We were ready to kind of move on and test new waters.
When we got to Kauai, we realized we had a lot of healing to do. We had been through a somewhat trauma-filled birth of our first child. And, it was time unbeknownst to us to put our healing into our own hands and take responsibility, learn about how to heal ourselves. And, that's really what brought us to Kauai and inevitably founded the farm.
Ben: Yeah. I seem to recall because you talked a little bit about this in the last podcast. Weren't you kind of not only traumatizing and going through a lot, but you yourself were pretty unhealthy when you started this Farmacy?
Doug: Yeah. I mean, I was a competitive high school athlete. I like to believe. And, by the time I was in my early 30s, 33-ish, I was solid 30 pounds overweight, about 6 feet, 200 pounds. So, now, I'm down to about 1 70 and feeling pretty lean and muscular. And, I play basketball a couple times a week with some teenagers and guys in their 20s.
So, what the herbs have done for me is they've allowed me to speed up my metabolism. The self-awareness is unprecedented. The vast majority of vitamins and minerals that were able to access throughout the planet in other supplements and different foods as medicine is somewhat truth be told. So, what we've done on the farm is we've exposed and made available what the Spice Islands had 100 years ago when the Europeans came and kind of rated that place. And, that jungle medicine since then has been somewhat lost.
Things like black pepper, cinnamon, I mean, they risked hundreds of men to go find that. What was in that black pepper? Certainly wasn't the black pepper that's on the table right now. So, when I was able to find high-grade turmeric and high-grade cinnamon, what it did to my whole system as far as wake it up and bring youth to my ability to heal, I just couldn't deny it. So, yeah, we stayed on a path starting about 15 years ago. I slowly but surely trimmed down. Even in the last couple of years I've, I feel I've made huge leaps and bounds through the medicine. Again, it's awareness. So, what the medicine or the plant medicine does is it brings in those vitamins and minerals that maybe we haven't been exposed to in our lives, haven't been able to call in. And, once we're able to do that, our alkalinity shifts, our awareness shifts, and then our diet and lifestyle shifts accordingly. And, we've become a lot more connected, a lot more in tune to ourselves and what we need. There's nothing improving on self-awareness as it relates to self-healing.
Ben: I'm just curious because you show up on Kauai. And, I think what is about 4 acres down there that they're growing all this stuff on?
Doug: Yup, 4 acres.
Ben: Okay. So, you've got 4 acres, but was it just jungle land? Was it pasture? What was it when you walked on there and you even thought about just beginning to grow stuff? What does it look like at first?
Doug: So, it was a former horse ranch with a lot of people call it gentlemen's estates out here. It had about 15 fruit trees on it, some star fruit, some orange trees, coconuts, macadamia nut trees. It was pretty diverse, but it was jungle and it was pasture for the horses. We were just ignorant enough coming from our East Coast lifestyles to think we could redevelop and create this medicine cabinet of plants. Looking back on it, I can't believe we made the choice.
I'd like to think, it's this cherry-coated story of healing, but it never is right. There may be a day when pain and suffering isn't part of a healing story, but for me, to date, certainly there's been a lot of it. We raised the white flag so many times, and if we didn't dig a hole big enough that we couldn't climb out of, I think we would have left.
Ben: Wow. What was the first thing you ever grew down there?
Doug: So, we put the tulsi in first, so the holy basil. We were first connected with the noni plant when we got here. It helped me with my back. It was abundant in the jungles. Genna and I harvested it wild all over the island. It's everywhere. The noni plant is such big circulation medicine. I wrote a piece called “The All Everything Medicine.” It can do everything and anything. And, it's kind of my first aid cure all.
Ben: You're referring to the noni, not the tulsi, right?
Doug: Right, the noni. But, what I found the tulsi, which is the ayurvedic super herb what they refer to as a lecture of life over a billion people in the world prey to this plant and the majority of the Western world has never heard of it. It's mental.
The self-awareness that it gave me and brought to my life was just mind-blowing. So, what I mean by self-awareness, just like my digestive tract, it was no longer so confusing as to how could I tap into my metabolism, how can I tap into all the things about my health that were just confusing? And, the tulsi kind of separated them and pulled them apart and allowed me to just, again, be self-aware of what I was eating, what I was doing, how I was sleeping. And, it's a slow process. So anyway, we planted a tulsi.
Ben: It sounds almost like a mindfulness herb. I mean I'm familiar with tulsi or holy basil that someone will use to support the nervous system as an adrenal support or adaptogen. A lot of people use it for relaxation. For example, sipping it as a tea. And, I never really thought about it the way you describe it, almost as a way to become more aware and more mindful. But, do you actually find it'll do things like increased sensory perception, or mental clarity, or anything like that?
Doug: Yeah. I mean, mindfulness is a brilliant way to describe it. Certainly, self-awareness, clarity key. And, my research has also proven out, but what I find in real-time is calmness of the breath, calmness of the digestive tract. If we're able to calm the breath and calm the digestive tract and calm the respiratory system, our ability to become self-aware goes through the roof. So, these plants aren't magical, they go down deeper into other layers that we're not able to access. And, in the case of Tulsi, they provide the calmness in order to tap in. And then, we all have the tools in us, it's just a question of allowing those tools to come to the surface and accessing them. So, the tulsi specifically allows us to access the respiratory and digestive tract in a calm way.
Ben: Yeah. Actually, I had some this morning, so you make this one blend. You have a whole bunch of different tea blends, but you have one called Puritea, which is almost like a cleansing blend. I know it's got tulsi in there. I know it's got noni in there too. So, you got two of the biggest superfood teas in there. But then, it's got ginger, and papaya, and I think it's a Puerto Rican cilantro, and turmeric, and a bunch of stuff that's designed to enhance the liver detox pathways. I actually will drink that on the mornings that I do a sauna because with the sauna, I'm already sweating and detoxifying anyway, so I start off with that tea. I actually put a few grinds of a certain type of pepper called grains of paradise pepper, which helps to up-regulate a lot of the parts of the mitochondria that help you to burn fat as you're in there in the sauna. But, I do a few shakes of that into the Puritea and drink that, go down in the sauna. It's amazing, but it has those two in it; the noni and the tulsi.
And, with the noni, you're right, you did write an article, I'll find it and link to it in the shownotes. By the way, if you're listening in, the shownotes are going to be at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/FoodAsMedicine. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/FoodAsMedicine because a lot of the stuff they grow down in this Farmacy, yeah, it's food. But, as you're already hopefully realizing, it's also medicine.
This noni, tell me more about it, because you hear people talk about moringa, and they'll be like, “Oh, it's the best of the best” or talk about Sacha Inchi protein and be like, “Oh, nobody's ever heard of this. It's all you need.” Or, Baruka nuts, you can take it to the desert island and it's all you'd need to sustain life. And, I kind of hear noni bandied about is something similar. A lot of people who are into are like, “Yeah, if there was one plant that could use would be this one.”
Can you explain a little bit more about why you're such a big fan of noni?
Doug: Yeah, the versatility is the key. If I was going to go into the jungle and bring one product with me, one plant with me, it might be noni assuming there's no noni in the jungle. It's the versatility that's key. It really can address any and all ailments. Inflammation, it's all about circulation. So, it can cut through the deepest of toxins, cut through the deepest of blockages, any kind of calcified matter, and create that circulation. It is somewhat of a blood thinner, but it does it in such a way where it's nourishing the blood. So, it's the same time it's thinning it, it's nourishing it. And again, so I'll take the noni fruit, I'll scrub it in my hair, I'll scrub it all over my skin. But, we used the leaf in our teas and the leaf is very balanced.
Ben: Well, I was going to say, just a second, all I knew of because I've seen the leaf, it's freaking huge, it's massive flat leaf. I didn't even know there was a noni fruit that it actually has a fruit.
Doug: We're one of the few people that use the leaf and the Hawaiians back in the day, which is what we read too. On to the leaf was that they put the leaf in water and made tea out of it. They also used the leaf to wrap around any elements in order to create circulation. So, they'll warm the leaf, and again, wrap it around their knees, or shoulders, wherever the ailment is. The fruit is certainly famous today and more used throughout the islands in Polynesia and anywhere near the equator. I mean, you should check out the fruit. It's this stinky, they call it “the throw up the vomit fruit.” It's so stinky.
Ben: It's not that one that smells like a sock. Is it that one?
Doug: That's the one. That's the one.
Ben: Does it have a different name than noni fruit because I thought it had a different name, the stinky one that someone showed me when I was down there in Kauai? Or, maybe there's two stinky fruit. I don't know.
Doug: Yeah. No, that's the one. Yeah, N-O-N-I. And again, I'll use that like I busted my lip playing basketball the other day and I just put it right on my lip, which is most people would never put it in their mouth just raw noni. But, they ferment the fruit and they make a juice out of it. And now, the juice which they sell in a lot of the whole foods or whatever is a great bath. So, if you were to hurt your fingers or your legs, or you could make a spray out of it or also just soak it in a bath, that noni fruit juice is something that they not have in the hospitals and the doctor's office is just, again, mental.
Ben: You know what I'm thinking of though, I just remember, I think I'm thinking of durian. Isn't durian another one's like a stinky fruit?
Doug: Yeah, it's stinky, but that's more of sweet, delicious, where this is pure vomit medicine. You think Robitussin stuff, this puts Robitussin [00:19:12] _____.
Ben: That's crazy.
Doug: And again, the medicine, it's so potent, it's all good. So, in any case, the noni. The leaf, though, I find to be more balanced, is more abundant as it relates to how it grows. We're more into the leaves as it relates to our platform because of the balance as well as the abundance in most of the plants. So, our plant medicine farm consists of 80 different plants. We grow them in a biodiverse space, so they're all interspersed. There's no monocropping. There's no rows of anything. There's just backyard gardenings with permaculture systems spread throughout and closed-loop gardening and farming that is designed to build soil and nourish the plants.
Ben: Yeah, it's a special place. By the way, I should mention that for anybody who happens to go through Kauai, I was actually going to originally record this podcast live with Doug Down there because I visited his Farma a couple of times. My sons, however, convinced me that they really, really, really wanted to go to the Grand Canyons or go to the Grand Canyon instead of Kauai, which is why Doug and I are recording this and not doing it over with some cacao tea down there in Kauai. But anyways, the Farm tours are always available for those of you who want them. I'll link to all this stuff at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/FoodisMedicine.
But, the honey that you make out of this noni fruit. Now, I kind of understand because you sent me some of this honey and I want to hear a little bit more about what a raw activated tropical honey is because this honey that you sent me is different. And then, literally, after we finished recording, Doug, I'm going upstairs to make the carrot cake with the ginger honey that arrived from the islands yesterday to my house. But, the noni honey, you sent me that a few weeks ago and I've drizzled it over my lunchtime salads. You know me, I'm kind of a low carb guy, but I like a little bit of honey here and there, which actually it helps us to stabilize your insulin levels like a good natural honey does and it's just wonderful on a whole host of levels, especially for detoxification and for a lot of the raw enzymes that it has in it. But, can you get a little bit more into this whole process for me? Because I've got the jars of the noni honey and the ginger honey and the cacao honey. And, oh my gosh, the turmeric honey. I remember when Gabby Reece gave that to me at her and Laird's house, she's like, “You got to ty this.” I'm like, “Where did you get this? It's amazing.” But, how do you actually make this honey? What's the process like?
Doug: Our tea house that we call it, our place that we do all our crafting is in the middle of our gardens. We have large solar dehydration facility or at least, large for us, there's 6 doors that we run about 20 shelves. And, we run those all day long in and out. So, we're harvesting fresh plant medicine all day long and also running these dehydrators that are solar-powered. And, it's a slow curing process, so that slow curing process retains all the benefits of the plants as if they were potently fresh. And, the freshness is something that is so difficult to find in the world today. So, obviously, if you had your backyard garden or went to the farmers' market, that would be awesome. But, as it relates to getting stuff in the mail or whatnot, our stuff is super fresh. So, many times it was in the garden a week ago or two weeks ago. And so, we'll go out and harvest whether it'd be noni, or cacao, or lemongrass, and will cure them in the cure process depending on the plant medicine. So, in the case of cacao, which again cacao, so everyone knows, is what we make chocolate out of in the world. But, the raw beans are in this pod. Originally, we had an abundance of raw cacao. And, what do we do with all this raw cacao, these beans?
Doug: And, they're so bitter. And so, that's why when people make chocolate, they mix it with sugar.
Honey, in my opinion, is one of the most undervalued resources for medicinal healing on the planet. I mean, it's one of the bases of our antibiotic system, medicine system. It's the key to antibiotics. In any case, we took this undervalued honey, which again on Kauai, you're talking about receiving the nectar of the jungle and mixing it with cacao, which is super bitter. So, the sweet and the bitter make for what otherwise would be chocolate. And, the chocolate is next, next level, right? So, we put those together, but obviously Kauai Farmacy, we're all about the next level of medicine. We want to get you as much as possible in the spoonful. So then, we put in the ginger and turmeric in that first batch of ginger, turmeric, cacao, honey. And since then, that's what you had at Lairds', and that's what we had for the last couple of years is that cacao, ginger, turmeric, honey.
Doug: And, it was kind of our staple dessert/honey medicine. And then, since then, we've had the noni medicine and we put the noni fruit in there. We just launched the cacao honey, just cacao, no ginger and turmeric. And then, we also have the ginger and turmeric honey, which again the ginger and turmeric honey, great for desserts, great for cooking. But also, I find it like I have an 8-year-old girl and she's up coughing at night. I mean, what better medicine? How else to get the turmeric in her system or the ginger in her system? But, I like the turmeric honey, actually, for her.
Doug: Ideally, just put it on a spoon and she'll just eat that up and loving it. And, turmeric, ideal for anti-inflammatory, get rid of any congestion in the nasal passages. And again, we have about 6 different honeys. That cacao honey that we just launched is quite a dessert, decadent flavor.
Ben: Yeah, you're right. I think probably the most addictive is probably that cacao honey. But, there's something about the flavor of that noni honey that I just find intriguing. I may have to give you a taste of your own medicine, literally, Doug because we just got bees yesterday. We just started our bee-raising project yesterday. So, I might have to figure out how to do a little Northwest type of honey to send down your way because we got our own medicines that grow up here on our land. We got wild mint, and Oregon grape, and plantain and, of course, a wide variety of alpine trees. We get a lot of tamarack, and Ponderosa, and Douglas specifically here. And then, we also, we just grow a ton of stuff. We grow stevia, and thyme, and rosemary. And, I could see doing something maybe like an Oregon grape berry, Oregon grape roots type of tea at some point. If I do, I might have to pick your brain. But, yeah, it's amazing because the honey has all the activated enzymes and the antihistamines. And so, it helps with allergy season. It's so good to drizzle on top of stuff. And, I'm pretty much addicted to it.
But, I did want to ask you something because you use the word that I think probably some people might not be familiar with, Doug. You said “high-grade,” you said you'd never had high-grade turmeric or high-grade cinnamon, and how, perhaps, when the royalties were sending people off to these Spice Islands, the Maluku islands for those of you unfamiliar with the archipelago on the east of Indonesia, it's where a lot of these high-end spices would come from. And, there's even wars, people got massacred over these spices during the Dutch-Portuguese War, the Spice War, the Spice Islands. But, these were a different kind of spice.
What is it that makes a spice a high-grade spice, Doug? Do you know?
Doug: The most powerful empires throughout the history of time, if you look at their medicine cabinet was filled with the most simple of medicines: rosemary, sage, all the Mediterranean herbs. They used them all around. So, whether it was by their bedside, on their night table, for dreams, and to perfume the air, or if it was in their tea or just in their garden to oxygenate the air. I mean, the immune system that we believe that we're nourishing and creating in our body is dependent on the immune system in our environment. We're not separate. So, the plant medicine that we grow all around or the flora that's in the air is just as critical to the immune system in our bodies.
When you ask me about high-grade, the key to high-grade is freshness. That's number one. So, how fresh is your plant medicine? Close behind that or close to it is how it's grown. What intention? How much love? How much care? What's the soil? What's the nutrients? It's not about what the plant eats about, it's about what the soil eats. So, if your soil is not high-grade, if your soil isn't nourished, if your soil isn't fed and built over ages of time, so in that case in the Spice Islands, that was soil that was originally was jungle soil, which there's no better soil than that. So now, we're in this time where so much of our land has been picked over. And, we're forced to, kind of, man or woman handle this land and have it be a little bit more mechanized because we can't find the raw space or the raw jungle like they did back in the day. So, building soil intentionally is the first and foremost to that high-grade medicine. And, in our case, biodiversity is critical to that. You don't find plant medicine that's not grown monocrop. In the monocrop way and the monocrop technique inevitably calls in the pest, so you're forced to deal with fertilizers and pesticides in order to deal with the pest because the monocrops don't create any kind of immune system that allows for longevity of the plants. We have perennials that we grow, so we don't have to turn all the plants over in the land over and we do cover crop but we're more focused on longevity of these plant gardens. And, as a result, the biodiversity is key. They're dropping all their leaves and dropping their fruits into the ground and nourishing the plants around them. And, there's no finer more effective way to nourish plants than their friends and cousins and family around them. And, if that family is diverse, even better. If it's monocrop with tractors and fertilizers and pesticides, it's dead medicine.
Doug: And, we can't imagine the space between the average supplement, if you will, or plant medicine and something that's done with intention from start to finish. It's mind-blowing, the spread. It's professionalism. Anything we do as a profession whether it'd be working out or performance. You look at people that practice it at the top level, the top level, so professional athletes at the top level versus someone that just is getting in the game. That's the same thing as how we grow our plant medicine. We're at the top level, the professional level. The intention is so refined. And, I use that too to how we use the plant medicine, the use of the plant medicines, of fruit, knowing how we use it, how we use it in our bodies, how we use it in our mouth, the intention, the experience, the refinement of our food as medicine is what allows the fuel in our body to be used in such a way where our performance can, again, be that next level.
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I'm honestly shocked. Every time I see a bodybuilder or so-called fitness influencer, or anyone really promoting these things called BCAAs, branched-chain amino acids, aside from the fact that BCAAs contain only three of the nine essential acids that your body needs, BCAAs can cause all sorts of issues like messing with your serotonin levels, depleting B vitamins, deleteriously affecting your blood sugar. They're fancy expensive flavored water. They're known as a good moneymaker in the nutrition industry, but they're not that great. So, it's starting to catch on now in the industry that essential amino acids are the way to go instead.
There's a reason that essential amino acids, when I go out to dinner with my friends, just had dinner with one of my friends the other day and he's like, “Dude, my body just won't stop responding to these things.” He takes some pre-workout, post-workout, before bed when he's fasted, when the guts not feeling right, it's the cleanest most bioavailable form of protein period. Some people, like the serious athletes, they're taking 40 to 60 grams of this stuff a day and dominating. 10 to 20 grams a day, even 5 grams a day makes a huge difference. If you haven't even experimented with or tried EAAs yet, you are totally missing out. It's so simple. It's so easy and everybody's body responds to them because it's just amino acids. There's no crazy stuff that might work for you and might not, it's just, they work. And, there's so much research behind them. It's silly to not throw them in pre-workout, post-workout, before you go to bed, if you're fasted. I go through so many canisters of these things, it's nuts and they're good. They're the Swiss Army knife of supplements. I can tell you that right now.
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Well, I can't believe it's time, once again, for me to host this special little spring transformation challenge I put on over at BenGreenfieldCoaching.com/Challenge. We're calling this one The Tribal Transformation Challenge because it's team and community focus with layers of accountability structured in to keep you on track and give you community support. You get a team of 10 to 15 people led by your coach. You get paired with an accountability buddy leadership opportunities like becoming a team captain if you fit the bill for that. Weekly huddles to connect with your team. Q&A time with leading experts in the field to help you absorb the information presented each week. We're going to be deep-diving into aspects of optimized living like nutrition, and fitness, and recovery, environment, sleep, community building, a whole lot more.
And, my team and I have really put together a really great transformation challenge, a lot of bonding, huge quantum shift in your entire life, mind, body, and spirit. The results of our last transformation challenge that happened in January were so astounding. People were getting better sleep, better energy, better weight loss, better relationships tapping into old hobbies. We had one guy who lost over 20 pounds, weighs over under 200 pounds. For the first time in over 10 years, another gal started her new website and reignited her passion for editing and writing. These are the kinds of success stories that happened with the transformation challenges I put on because it's not just about six-pack abs and quadriceps, it's about your whole life getting better. So, if you want to transform using all my principles, my biohacks, my tips, my tricks, my strategies, and my amazing team of coaches that I've trained along with a whole community of like-minded transformationalists, go to BenGreenfieldCoaching.com/Challenge to secure your spot. It's going to take place from April 25th through June 12th. That's April 25th through June 12th. There's only 150 spots available on a first-come, first-serve basis. So, make sure you claim your seat at the table today.
Speaking of performance, by the way, you do these serums now. You send me a few of the serums, the central serum, which we actually have up on our bedside now for obvious reasons. It's a cacao ashwagandha-infused serum, which is kind of interesting because cacao and ashwagandha are kind of traditional aphrodisiacs, and they're in this little dropper bottle of a serum that you set up. But then, I had my massage therapist use the Comfrey and noni serum that you guys made. And, I know that comfrey roots very, very unique in terms of what it can do for the joints and what it can do to the to the gist of the vitality, the bones and the tendons, the ligaments. Can you get in the comfrey? And then, why you kind of paired comfrey with noni to make this serum? I just felt amazing after that massage, and I swear, but obviously, I have a good massage therapist. But, I think part of it was I had a two-hour rub down with comfrey and noni. So, fill me in on this Comfrey noni serum.
Doug: So, the comfrey is like the stalwart of the garden. We use it as the perimeters, it keeps the weeds out, we harvest the leaves to the big comfrey leaves and we put it in a tea and we feed it back into the gardens. It's got that big nitrogen in it for the gardens. So again, we use it in so many ways, but it's fertilizer for our plants.
The comfrey is known as the “Warrior Plant,” knit-bone, K-N-I-T-B-O-N-E, knit bone. comfrey is great if you were to have a break, a fracture, but I like it better as kind of medicine that we use to strengthen our bones, ligaments, and tendons, and suppleness. Suppleness, when it comes to bones, is key. And, ligaments.
So, how do we get those bones, ligaments, and tendons more supple? Well, the day-to-day work with the comfrey plant is what allows you to–I fell off my skateboard the other day and I felt like I bounced. And, why did I bounce–
Ben: By the way, Doug, how old are you?
Ben: 48. I respect you, man. You're hooping and skateboarding down in the island. That's impressive.
Doug: Yeah. I took a hard fall on the cement the other day that I hadn't experienced in a long time. But anyway, I bounced. I was scared as hell to, “Oh, my god, I'm in trouble.” But, I did, I bounced and I look at why that happened and I believe it's the amount of comfrey I used because the supplement. I've been able to grab and access that suppleness. And so, that's what the comfrey does. If you we harvest the root, the root grows 10 feet into the ground minimum, no one really knows how deep it grows because no one's really gotten that deep. The plant is only about 3 feet and we'll harvest to 2 feet down, maybe 18 inches. And, if you pull it out, it looks like a bone. So, the thicker the root, the comfrey root, the more it looks like the femur. The thinner, the more it looks like the ulna or the radius or even the phalanges. So, it mimics bone marrow. And, it mimics the bone marrow of a baby, really. So, what you're accessing is that salt, that super salt supple calcium that you're infusing into your bones and accessing minerals that aren't available anywhere else. So, for comfrey, again, not to be in the pediatrician's office, and our osteoporosis treatments is just, again, mind-blowing. So, how we infuse it. Comfrey is always, if we come up with a product, we're always saying, “oh, comfrey-noni.” Right away, we can just put comfrey-noni and it's so–
Doug: So, we found this macadamia nut oil that's fresh. And, the macadamia nut oil that that comfrey-noni serum as well as the sensual serum that has the cacao and ashwagandha, and so [00:40:36] _____ and hydrating because, yeah, what we don't appreciate is how much we can hydrate through lubrication. I don't care if high-grade coconut oil would do the trick, too, but lubricating the chain every day, lubricating our knees, our ankles, our shoulders, our neck, hydrating through the external largest organ in our body, our skin is so critical to self-healing and maintenance and performance.
Ben: Oh, yeah. I mean, Doug, I've got knees, especially my left knee gives me issues, and I actually keep your Comfrey Salve. Like I mentioned, I keep that Sensual Serum next to my bedside now. And, by the way, that macadamia nut oil, again, we're all adults here, so we can talk about this. That stuff has such a sweetness to it. Obviously, because of how my wife and I are using up in the bedroom. I may or may not have gotten my fair taste of this Sensual Serum, and it tastes amazing. But, that ashwagandha and cacao, and there's something about the texture that macadamia nut oil, it's smoother and softer and just more frictionless even than coconut oil. So, there's something to that, but I keep the comfrey, the salve. I actually keep that next to my bedside. I feel like an old man, but oh well, I'm going to say this. When I wake up, I take a few dabs of that comfrey salve, and for the reasons that you've just stated, its ability to pass transdermally through the skin and support not only the moisture but also the stability of the joints or the health of the joints and the ligaments, I massage it into both of my knees when I wake up in the morning. Literally, it's one of the first things I do. I wake up before I go and do my coconut oil pulling and my tongue scraping and all my silly little ayurvedic things. I rub this Comfrey Salve into both of my knees. And occasionally, my elbows are sore because I've been riding a lot the day before climbing and doing pull-ups or something. I'll rub it into the elbows too. But, that salve, holy cow, that stuff really does the trick also. I assume you use that.
Doug: Remineralizing your body through lubrication is such a practice that we don't talk about. I have a couple of pro athletes that I coach as well and they use these serums and the salves every day. And, I have them lubricate their entire body from head to toe thoroughly, again, with the comfrey but also the serums. And, it's after their workouts, it's in the mornings, it's as often as possible. I find it to be the guaranteed self-love treatment. It takes five minutes, maybe a minute if you're just going to do your knees, but five minutes on your body, and you're guaranteed for your body to be happier from before and after. It doesn't cost the kind of money that a massage cost. You can do it yourself. You can do it in your own convenience.
Doug: And, as you do, your body so much appreciates the nourishment, the hydration, the lubrication, and again, the remineralization through the skin because when you try and remineralize your body through your mouth all the time, your organs are so emotional. They've taken on so much taxation through their life, through your lifetime because of all the food that you've put through it. And then, they're forced to distribute it to your muscles, in your bones, in your ligaments. But, if you would lubricate directly through your body, you're not taxing your digestive tract at all and your organs. So, it's a much more efficient way, in my opinion, to get to the individual areas of your body without having to force your digestive tract to break it all down and [00:44:18] _____.
Ben: Related, I guess, the anti-inflammatory piece. Obviously, a lot of people will use, well, not as many people use comfrey, a lot of people use turmeric and some people use ginger as well as an anti-inflammatory. But, let's talk ginger because like I mentioned, in celebration of our podcast and I'm going to be making your carrot cake with the ginger honey, and I'll put that recipe in the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/FoodisMedicine.
But, I want to get into this ginger because there's a form of ginger that you grow. I think it's called galangal, galangal something like that.
Ben: Yeah. What is that exactly?
Doug: It's a much more robust ginger. I mean, we use actually a yellow and a white ginger that our boy Ben Ferris, who's kind of a brilliant farmer on the island. He helps us with. But, we grow a galangal ginger and a Thai ginger. It's perennial. So, it doesn't have as much seasonal nature to it as the white and yellow ginger. You can put it in the jungle and it'll hold its own. It's a bigger, more hardier plant to harvest and dig out. It's a beautiful plant, throws off a beautiful white flower. I find it to be much spicier, more flavorful. We put it in all of our medicines right next to the white and yellow ginger. In some ways, it's lighter, but in some ways, it's hardier too.
The ginger, generally, I mean, you're talking about probably the most famous widely distributed plant medicine on the planet in the history of time.
Ben: Really, ginger is.
Doug: Ginger. Yeah, in the days of the Chinese empire. And, yeah, I don't think there is a more popular plant medicine on the planet than ginger. So, what does it do? First of all, it kills things. That spice will help you kill any pathogens or things that you don't want in your body. It's extremely alkalizing. It nourishes, speeds up, and fulfills what we need as far as our metabolism goes. So, metabolism–
Ben: Yeah, it's kind of a heating root. Yeah.
Doug: I mean, Chinese medicine is all about warmth. I mean, surely balance between heat and cold, but as far as medicine goes, so much of the medicine is about warming the body. And, as you warm that metabolism up and you're able to get that fire going, because that you're trying to stimulate is the fire in your body to break down any kind of gluten or any kind of challenging carcinogens that are in the body. The ginger eats it. If you put ginger with some kind of acidic food in a box, the ginger is going to eat the food. And, that's what it does. It literally breaks it down with its heat and its spice. So, that's what it's doing. It's igniting that metabolism and that fire, and it's bringing, in my opinion, a more youthful metabolic system and function to your body.
So, I view ginger and turmeric, those two root medicines, which again stimulate your lowest chakra, your lowest region of your body, your center, those root medicines: ginger, turmeric, comfrey, ashwagandha, kava. Those root medicines are going to stimulate your root chakra. And, when you can stimulate that and nourish that, you've tapped into the center, and that center is where your willpower is coming from, your intuitions coming from. Those are the key, willpower, intuition. If you can access those, then you have that full mind-body connection. And, those medicines will nourish it.
Ben: Well, I tell you what, it goes good. Well, you follow largely plant-based diet, right?
Doug: Pretty much. I've recently brought some fish into my diet.
Ben: Okay, got you. I was going to say this. The Curry that you got, that one form in general, the galangal if I probably still been mispronouncing, galangal ginger and the ginger, and then you've got the turmeric in there, and you have the curry leaf that you guys grow, the Hawaiian chili pepper, and then this super aromatic lime. Oh, my gosh, I use that as something about how it pairs with pork specifically. I use that on my bone in pork chops. I cross-hatching with a knife. I rub them down with the Curry Blend. What I like to do is actually I'll sous vide them in there for a couple of hours in the water bath. Then, I take them out and just do a quick sear on either side. And, that curry, it encrusts along the outside of the pork chop and you cut into it. Oh, my gosh, it's just freaking amazing that curry.
Doug: Yeah. So, in Eastern cultures, in so many of them, when they eat meat, it's symbiotic with these spices because they don't believe it's so easy to break down. So, if they want the nourishment and the protein that's in the meat, they rub it down with ginger and turmeric. Matter of fact, they make sure these spices are in there because it's so much more accessible and it's so much easier for the body to break down. So, they make the stews and they rub them in, and they make sure they're stewing in the spices. Their curry powder, I love it on avocados, I love it in salad dressings. That alone, I mean, we make a lot of products and we have a huge great number of skews on our website.
The curry powder, I gave it to a friend of mine that was a super athlete as a kid. He came up to about 300 pounds. He had all these ailments. He's in his mid-30s, but he's surfing and playing basketball still, but he had a broken finger playing through it all. It's sprained ankle. And, I gave him this curry powder. I had already given him salves, I'd given him teas, but it just wasn't in his wheelhouse to use those. It wasn't as user-friendly. But, the curry powder, it's so easy to sprinkle on your foods, whether it'd be meat, fish, pasta, whatever it is, and you get this ginger, turmeric. And, again, people ask how much do I put on. From my standpoint, my opinion, it's always to flavor. That's how you're going to learn how to use the spices. So, even if you just sprinkle it on a little bit, just a little dash, eventually you work up to the point where it's totally an inflammatory medicine spice that you're putting in your food and it's shifting your diet.
So, what do these spices do? This guy that was 300 pounds, he's now down to about 210. Actually, he's the one that gave me my fat lip on the hoop court the other day. But, in any case, his name is Johnny, he's about 6'5, and he's trimmed down to about 210. And, what happened? I gave him this curry spice. He started sprinkling it all over his foods and his blood pH shifted over time. He got about three, four jars. That's it. And, as he started sprinkling on his foods, the pH of his blood starts shifting from an acidic Pepsi, Coke, white rice diet, and he started eating much more alkaline foods because the pH of his blood, once that shifts, like attracts like, so just like you can't just eat one potato chip, you can't just eat one chip. That's great. Well, I'd rather it be I can't just eat one vegetable.
Doug: People say, oh, you don't eat meat, it's not about not eating meat, it's about eating more fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds. You can eat what you want to eat, eat what you're attracted to, but make sure you get your nitrogen, your highly oxygenated foods, your hydrating foods. Because that level of hydration is determined not by the amount of water you drink, but about the ratio, the water as it relates to the more harder foods or calcifying foods. So, that ratio is key. And, if you can attract a higher alkaline diet that's going to bring in more hydrating foods, then you're going to create more suppleness in your body and you're going to have a finer balance between strength and flexibility that we're all looking for.
Doug: So, that curry powder, it's delicious, it brings that next-level spice into your kitchen that we are all missing. I mean, that to me is the next level as it relates to riches and wealth. Where are the spices in our kitchen?
Ben: Yeah, I agree. It's kind of funny. I felt embarrassed because I actually didn't really realize that curry was a plant that you could get goodness from the leaves, the root, the bark, and the fruit of. I always thought curry was just a blend of specific Indian herbs and spices that they put all together and called curry. And then, the first time you send me curry, I looked at the label and I saw that, “Okay, it's got turmeric, and ginger, and lime, and chili pepper,” and “Oh, okay, so he's blending all those things together and calling it curry. I'm like, oh, curry leaf. It's an actual plant.” So, it's super interesting. I learned something new every day and I sometimes wish you lived a lot closer to me, Doug, so I could go walk around the farm and learn even more. And, a little bit, I actually do want to talk a little bit about kind of how we could maybe create our own little farms on our own plots of land so that I could start sending you some inland Northwest honey, maybe.
But, before I do, one of the things I wanted to ask is because I'd be remiss not to ask it because I walk in the door, I do a lot of long walks during my lunchtime, I take phone calls, but I was coming back in. I'll windswept and my skins all cold, and I've been spraying this hydrosol on me. You have a comfrey hydrosol and a noni hydrosol, but I've been using this turmeric hydrosol. I think a lot of people aren't really familiar with the word hydrosol or what a hydrosol is, but I spray it all over my face and my hands when I walked in from these cold walks, and I rub my hands together and rub my face and everything just gets warm again and I feel refreshed. And, hydrosol might be a new term for people. So, can you explain what something like a turmeric hydrosol is and what it does?
Doug: Yeah. So, we take the fresh plant medicine and we steam distill it. It's a distillation process, so it becomes vaporized, if you will. And then, it goes through a cooling process and we get the liquid of the plant. It's actually how they make the oils. So, they'll scrape the oil off that distillation process and they'll bring a concentrated oil to the marketplace.
What we do is we keep the water, what they refer to as the spirit water of the plant along with the oil and it's blended in this hydrosol. Our medicine from how it's grown is so potent that our hydrosol to me is ideally balanced because plant medicine is it's not just potency, it's gentleness. We want to be able to receive the prime medicine in its most gentle form so that we can receive the potency over time. Sometimes it's just too potent and we're not able to create the longevity that we need to take it over a lifetime. So, that hydrosol is the ideal balance between gentle plant medicine and potency. So, the turmeric, again, is going to be super inflammatory. It's going to build the immune system up from the outside and it's in a spray bottle. You could drink it if you had a mouth ailment. For sure it's delicious.
In India, they use turmeric as makeup. Why is that? They have malaria and the mosquitoes, and the turmeric just creates that immune system. It's that big orange color that's going to create that second skin they refer to it as. And so, you spray it on your body, you got that second-skin immune system, you go after the inflammatory zone. Instead of taking the turmeric and having go through the digestive tract, like I mentioned before, you're able to address the area of concern directly so you can spray it. The concern in so many of these cases, whether it'd be noni, or turmeric, or comfrey, it's got to go through the digestive tract. So, how do you access it without doing that? Well, the spray bottle makes it super convenient. Having in a liquid space, a liquid modality key, and if you're done with these hydrosols, it's created that liquid modality.
Certainly, if you want to experience the jungle medicine in its freshest way, in its most uplifting way, those hydrosols are amazing. We have a tulsi hydrosol that, again, is going to really focus awareness, it's going to help with any kind of antidepressant issues or depression issues some of us may have. We have a noni hydrosol, which again would be super versatile for any elements, but also for circulation. And, we have a lemongrass that, I think, is on the website. I'm not sure I use it.
Ben: Yeah. I got to remember to get my hands on more of that for the mosquito seasons. It's great for keeping the mosquitoes off too, that lemongrass.
Doug: Yeah, I use it for my hair. I use all of it in my skin, and my hair, and my nails, and it's going to really help. Things like curry, you mentioned before, and lemongrass, when you go to Southeast Asia, it's in every meal like three meals a day, lemongrass.
Ben: It comes out your pores and keeps the little vampire insects away. It kills parasites. There's a reason why that stuff is used in a lot of these cultures. I feel like I eat pretty clean pork and I probably don't have as many mosquitoes as they do in India, but I use this stuff and it's pretty cool how what you consume can interact how your environment interacts with you because you are what you ate, and it comes out your pores and it finds its way into your skin and your blood. For better or worse, I'd rather be eating curried pork chop and some raw ginger honey on a carrot cake than I would have corn dogs. That's for sure.
One other thing, before I ask you about farming, Doug. Remember that little berry that you had me try and I put in my mouth and it kind of like cleaned your whole mouth, it makes you salivate. It taste like a whole party in your mouth. It's called spilanthes, the electric tooth berry. Remember when you showed that one to me and my eyes bugged out and I was like, “Holy cow, what is this stuff?”
Doug: Yeah. So, we have a patch of spilanthes. We're small farm. It's actually coming up to season, so we'll have abundance of it. We make a Buzz Chew out of it, it's called. And, we mix it with moringa. We mix it with moringa and–
Ben: I forgot about the Buzz Chew. And, I wound up growing spilanthes. I came back, I ordered seeds, electric tooth berry it's also called. I grew seeds. I kind of quit growing it. There might even be a little bit still outside. I don't know. But, I was growing indoors actually in my office and literally two weeks ago, I thought I should tell Doug about this. Because this new study just came out in spilanthes, and it even made me think about growing it more. And, they did a study where they were looking at the pharmacological effects of it in humans. They did a pretty big study. It was 250 dudes that they did this study on where they were giving them little capsules that contained the spilanthes powder. Very, very simple. They were taking the spilanthes powdering up, putting the capsule, and they found a significant increase in libido, in frequency of sexual intercourse, and in erection duration in the guys who are using the spilanthes. And, I always thought of as something like clean the mouth, make you salivate. But, apparently, it's a big-time aphrodisiac and libido enhancer in dudes. And, I came across this study just literally a couple weeks ago. I thought I got to bring that up to Doug when I talk with him.
Doug: Yeah, certainly an aphrodisiac. So much of accessing our male or female sexual organs is about riding and cleansing and detoxing the blockages between our mind and body. So, in order to access those sexual organs, we got to defunct our access. So, how do we access our sexual organs from our mind? And, the spilanthes is, I mean, if you look at the actual plant itself and we have photos on our website, you'll certainly see the tie in. And, what I find with the spilanthes is that defunctness as well as that electrifying nature you feel through your whole body. It's known as the toothache medicine because that is the stimulating effect that you first find. But, you do find this electricity that runs through the body and certainly is able to ignite your sexual organs in an amazing way. But, again, the spilanthes I described to people as the defunct, as the defunct medicine because that's what it does. And, as it defuncts the body, you're able to access those sexual organs and be in touch with them.
Ben: It's pretty cool stuff. And, I'm just going to get my hands on some spilanthes now. We'll call it the Viagra berry.
Doug: So, we have a tincture and we have [01:00:11] _____. Those are the two products. We just have some small batches on the farm. They're certainly extremely precious.
Ben: Yeah. I forgot about the Buzz Chew stuff. That stuff is fun. You put a little bit of that in your mouth like a tobacco pouch, and holy cow, it's good. It's kind of like people chew on the, not the cacao, it's almost like, I guess it's the coca. That same stuff that cocaine would come from. A lot of people mix that up with baking powder to open up the vasculature in the mouth and they'll put that up against the buckle membrane, and the lower lip, and absorb it for energy, and that buzz chew that you guys make. I think it's more fun because you get this tingly sensation inside of your mouth.
And, Doug, I actually wanted to ask you because obviously you're down in there in Kauai and you have this full-on plant medicine garden and apothecary operation, have you ever thought about kind of teaching people how to do what you do in their own general area? Because I've got 10 acres here in Washington, I've got another 12 acres, I'm actually thinking about moving to over on the Idaho side. And, I just love what you've done down there. Do you have any tips for people who might want to create this same type of scenario in their own backyard?
Doug: We have some friends that left the farm a couple of years ago to start a medicine farm in Idaho.
Ben: Oh, really? What part of Idaho?
Doug: I don't know and I should know. I'm just not familiar.
Ben: That's alright. Maybe you can connect us later even though I'm way, way up north, but yeah.
Doug: [01:01:33] _____. I wish I could plug them more at my fingertips. I just don't know the name of the farm right now. But, he's a permaculturist and he's brought so much gardening technique to our farm and our people. In any case, they started this medicine farm a couple years ago and it's in so much of what they brought to Idaho was from Kauai. So again, some people will get a little bit overwhelmed with the ease of the jungle medicine. The key is to harness the medicine all around you. I mean, the Pacific Northwest is flush with amazing plant medicine. And, if that plant medicine that's going to create the immune system for you to access your true local economy because people say, “Oh, how do I act local?” Well, guess what, you don't really know until you start eating the plants around you. You really don't know what to do, where to take your first steps as far as building the local community until you start really nourishing yourself with the plant medicine. They give you the information you need to take your steps. They'll explain, they'll teach you what to do as far as how to create a local community.
So again, our ability to transfuse our experience and our information, we are accessible, I believe it to be [01:02:55] ______, which is in Hawaii, and our responsibility to share the education that we've been so fortunate to come upon not just from the standpoint of growing but also crafting, and also teaching how to use. It's very humane. It couldn't be more humane. Meaning, once you access the plant medicine, it's so easy to just continue on that journey because we've all been born. It's like gardening. Gardening is not something that necessarily needs to be taught, it just needs to be rediscovered. This is thousands and thousands of years of backyard gardening and using herbal medicine on the planet as our foundational medicine chest. So, we just need to rediscover our pastime and our ancient medicine. And again, these techniques that we're using, we haven't made anything up; hydrosols and curing herbs. And, preservation of plant medicine is not our findings by any stretch. We've just used 21st-century technology to take it to the next level and also share it as it relates to a podcast like this. So, the more we can do these things, I'm happy for people to tap in, email, call. I mean, we hope to have a platform in which we can teach people more about the intellectual property that we've founded, the Kauai Farmacy on, and share that education with the world so that there can be more communities founded on plant medicine.
Certainly, the Pacific Northwest, where you are, there are many healers that are using the foundation of plant medicine to spread their healing attributes. It's all over the specific quest. It's actually a center for plant medicine.
Ben: Yeah, it really is. There's some great indigenous medicines here. And, I love it that my son, my sons are taking Kamana, they're going through Kamana, which is a wilderness awareness course. They're about three years into it and they're on the five-year course for this entire Kamana Wilderness Awareness Program. And, it's wonderful, just to see them out there. They do Native American-style sit spots for sometimes hours each week, and they wander around the forest when they're bare feet, harvesting foods, and herbs, and berries for meals. And, they shoot their bow and they hunt and now they're raising bees and helping mom build a greenhouse. And, I'd much, much rather than be figuring that out versus meta and oculus rift and crypto investing, which is also all great, but I just think we have to start with the foundation, which is our connection to nature and our connection to Earth. And, it may not seem like if somebody's going to whip together a smoothie and grab some coconut meat, and some papaya, and mango, and maybe some of that endurance powder that you make, which is great in smoothies, pre-workout, by the way, or they're maybe going to do some of the curry on a pork chop, or even in the bedroom when they're making love usually like ashwagandha and cacao and use them to macadamia oil. But, these plants are such a cool part of life and I like how much good you are doing in the analog world, Doug. And, I'm proud and I'm grateful to know you and to be connected to the Farmacy. And, I swear at some point I'm going to get back down there. And, after I show my sons the Grand Canyon, I'll try and convince them to come to Kauai after that.
But, for anybody who's listening in, also if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/FoodasMedicine, I'll link to Doug's Farmacy. I think we have some discount codes. It's like Greenfield15 something like that where you can save. And, I'll put all that in the shownotes.
Doug, anything else you want to share with folks before I let you go?
Doug: The modalities that we have on the farm, they're very vast and diverse as far as the types of products that we have. That's a function of the diversity of our garden. So, when we have an abundance of something, we'll come up with a new product. Those modalities don't get overwhelmed with them. What we've done is we've designed it around the gardens. We've also looked to wrap our medicine chest around people's lifestyles. So, when it comes to the acidic, toxic community that's out there, there's gas and Coca-Cola and hot dogs at every corner. So, what we do is we've tried to wrap a medicine chest around you so that you feel supported. But again, don't get overwhelmed with the amount of products that we have and just really try and integrate what worked for you because the integration, and again, whether it's noni juice that you can get at the local health food store and do a noni soap bath, or it's the capsules or hydrosols that we have on our website, the integration into your lifestyle.
And, Ben, you did a great job with the honeys in explaining how you utilize them because you are a lifestyle man. And, that's what it's all about. It's all about lifestyle and using it on the daily and not waiting till something breaks or something has to get fixed, but rather building that immune system up so strong that your awareness is so in tune with your body that your ability to make the best choices for you on a day-to-day basis allow for optimal health.
Ben: I think that's a perfect place to call it. And, I would encourage anybody's listening in who's got a little superfood money burning a hole in your pocket, go check out Doug's website because this stuff is just fun. It makes the eating fun. Not that eating is already fun, but it makes life better. And, if you get massages or you want to use the hydrosol, or any of the foods, the teas, the tinctures, it's crazy. It's almost overwhelming how many different medicines you can find so close to nature and in such a cool and easily accessible and even tasting edible way.
So, Doug, thank you. And then, for all your listening in, thank you. Again, the shownotes are going to be at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/FoodasMedicine. I'm Ben Greenfield along with Doug Wolkon signing out from BenGreenfieldLife.com. I realize I've been saying BenGreenfieldFitness.com, I'm slowly working it out of my vernacular. It's now BenGreenfieldLife.com. Have an amazing week.
More than ever these days, people like you and me need a fresh entertaining, well-informed, and often outside-the-box approach to discovering the health, and happiness, and hope that we all crave. So, I hope I've been able to do that for you on this episode today. And, if you liked it or if you love what I'm up to, then please leave me a review on your preferred podcast listening channel wherever that might be and just find the Ben Greenfield Life episode. Say something nice. Thanks so much. It means a lot.
23 April 2022
I first met Doug Wolkon when I was in Kauai and was convinced by big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton to go visit a favorite local farm of his called Kauai Farmacy. I was immediately blown away by the vast array of over 80 varieties of organic healing plants and food orchards…
…along with a team of incredibly knowledgeable herbalists and gardeners; a closed-loop vermiculture feeding system (worm compost farm); honeybees, butterflies, and other pollinators; wildfowl; environmentally-compatible farming (water-catchments, permaculture guilds, and more); and medicine-making systems (solar-dehydrators, low-temperature herb-curing, herbal teas, tinctures, hydrosols, salves, honey, capsules, etc.).
Everything is done by hand at the Kauai Farmacy, including brewing homemade fertilizers from the plants they grow. They also seed, propagate, plant, hand harvest, artisanally craft, and package all the herbal products they grow right on the farm. The fresh and pure nature of the herbs ensures high-quality, potent, consistent, and effective plant medicine straight from the source.
Since that visit two years ago, if you've been following me on Instagram and elsewhere, you've seen me using ample amounts of Kauai Farmacy powders and tinctures in my recipes, along with products such as their salves and hydrosols for joint and skin health. Rooted in the wisdom of Hawaiian La’au lapa’au, Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, and the tribal indigenous, the potent herbal plant medicines harvested from the rich, volcanic soil of Kauai just seem to have a very unique and special energy.
After graduating from the University of Michigan, my guest on this podcast, Doug Wolkon pursued a ten-year career in private equity finance in Connecticut. Before moving his family to Hawaii in 2007, Doug published The New Game, an economic theory and strategy for sustainable communities.
Doug co-founded Kauai Farmacy in 2010 with his wife Genna, and they currently live there with their three kids. The Farmacy is a seed-to-cup tropical herbal oasis spanning four acres and consisting of what may be the most diverse collection of plant medicine in the western hemisphere.
After spending the last 10 years experiencing the power of fresh plant medicine for both himself and his family on a daily basis, Doug thrives on a high-fat, ketogenic, 100% raw-food diet. Doug believes Kauai Farmacy's vertically-integrated herbal medicine model is a budding example of what needs to be the future of a more sustainable, preventative-care-focused healthcare industry.
You can click here to shop Kauai Farmacy, and use code GREENFIELD15 to save 15% on any products on their site, including those you'll discover below.
During our discussion, you'll discover:
- Raw ginger coconut carrot cake recipe
- Ginger Honey (use code GREENFIELD15 to save 15%)
- Noni Honey
- Coconut water
- Ancient Healing Secrets, Tinctures, Salves, Hydrosols & Teas, Permaculture Tips & Much More From A Little-Known Superfood Farm In Hawaii.
-What brought Doug to Kauai ten years ago…07:04
- Trauma with the birth of first child
- Out of shape in his early 30's, negligent of health and fitness
- Farm makes available what was available prior to the arrival of haole in Hawaii
- High-grade turmeric and black pepper
- Flora oxygenating the air around us is just as important to the immune system of the body
- The key to high-grade is freshness and how it is grown; building soil is first and foremost
- Biodiversity is critical; monocrops results in pests which eventually need fertilizers and pesticides
-First days on the farm…10:40
- The 4-acre property was once a horse farm with pasture land, trees, etc.
- Tulsi was the first crop on the farm
- Tulsi and noni brought self-awareness of what was confusing regarding health (mindfulness)
- Calmness of the breath and digestive tract
- Tulsi tea blend (use code GREENFIELD15 to save 15%)
- Tropical Chai Tea and Wellness Tea with galangal
-What you don't know about noni…16:18
- Noni – The All Everything Medicine – Doug's article on Noni
- Versatility is the key, noni can address many ailments
- Noni leaf hydrosol, Noni Honey, and Comfrey Noni serum
- Used for inflammation, circulation
- Blood thinner but nourishing
- Noni has a horrible smell
-Honey made out of noni fruit…20:28
- Noni Honey
- Cacao Ginger Turmeric Honey
- Dehydration facility which are solar-powered
- Freshness is key
- Honey is one of the most underrated healing medicines
-What makes a spice “high grade”?…26:42
- High-grade turmeric and black pepper
- Flora oxygenating the air around us is just as important to the immune system of the body
- The immune system is dependent on the immune system of the environment
- The key to high-grade is freshness and how it is grown; building soil is first and foremost
- Biodiversity is critical; monocrops lead to pests which eventually needs fertilizers and pesticides
- Simplest of medicines have been used by royalty throughout history
-Ways to hydrate and re-mineralize your body you may not have thought of before…36:42
- Serums and Hydrosols (use code GREENFIELD15 to save 15%)
- Comfrey is fertilizer for the plants and is also known as the warrior plant; knit-bone
- Mimics bone marrow of a baby
- Hydration and mineralization through lubrication
- Comfrey Salve (use code GREENFIELD15 to save 15%)
- Lubricating through the body avoids taxing the digestive system
- Sensual Serum with macadamia (use code GREENFIELD15 to save 15%)
-Ginger: the most popular plant medicine in history…44:44
- Tropical Chai Tea and Wellness Tea with galangal (use code GREENFIELD15 to save 15%)
- Breaks down acids in the body; extremely alkalizing
- Ben Ferris of Kolo Kai Organic Farm
- Turmeric, ashwagandha, curry are similar in the efficacy of ginger; stimulate the root chakra
- Curry Blend powder (use code GREENFIELD15 to save 15%)
-A potent yet gentle hydrosol to fortify your skin…53:03
- Turmeric Hydrosol (use code GREENFIELD15 to save 15%)
- Steam distill fresh plant medicine to vaporize the oil
- Hydrosols (use code GREENFIELD15 to save 15%)
- Spirit water blended with hydrosol
- Potency + gentleness
- Turmeric addresses area of skin while bypassing the digestive system
- Best way to experience the natural elements of the jungle
- Tulsi Hydrosol (use code GREENFIELD15 to save 15%)
- Spilanthes on Kauai Farmacy (use code GREENFIELD15 to save 15%)
- Can Spilanthes acmella promote muscle growth and sexual function in men?
- Spilanthes is known as the toothache medicine
- Herbal Buzz Chew (use code GREENFIELD15 to save 15%)
-How to create your own medicine farm Doug Wolkon style…1:00:49
- Begin nourishing yourself with plant medicine first
- Doug views it as an obligation to share his knowledge with others
- Needs to be rediscovered
- Kamana Wilderness Awareness School
And much more!
- PaleoFX (April 29 -May 1, 2022).
- RUNGA – The Gathering (May 12-14, 2022). Register for the event now by clicking here
- Health Optimization Summit! Use code BEN for 20% off (May 22-29, 2022)
- Keep up on Ben's LIVE appearances by following bengreenfieldlife.com/calendar
Resources from this episode:
– Doug Wolkon:
- Kauai Farmacy (use code GREENFIELD15 to save 15%)
- Ancient Healing Secrets, Tinctures, Salves, Hydrosols & Teas, Permaculture Tips & Much More From A Little-Known Superfood Farm In Hawaii.
- Raw Ginger Coconut Carrot Cake Recipe
- Noni – The All-Everything Medicine
- Using Comfrey Root To Heal Bones
– Other Resources:
- Ben Ferris of Kolo Kai Organic Farm
- Can Spilanthes Acmella Promote Muscle Growth And Sexual Function In Men?
- Kamana Wilderness Awareness School
–Seed Daily Synbiotic: A formulation of 24 unique strains, each of which is included at their clinically verified dose, to deliver systemic benefits in the body. Save 15% off your first month's subscription when you use discount code BEN15. (00:56)
–Hapbee: Hapbee’s smart, wearable technology goes beyond monitoring your body, and actually impacts how you feel. Try it now risk-free and get $100 off 90-Day Free Trial of our all-access subscription to the Hapbee Signals catalog. (02:59)
–JoyMode: Want to spice things up in the bedroom and boost your sexual performance? And do it naturally without nasty prescription drugs? We have a special offer for the Ben Greenfield audience. (31:02)
–Kion Aminos: Building blocks for muscle recovery, reduced cravings, better cognition, immunity, and more. (32:54)
–Spring Transformation Challenge: If you are looking to spring into action with our Spring Tribal Transformation Challenge, make sure to secure your spot. It's limited to 150 participants! (34:48)