Learn True Health with Ashley James

On Learn True Health, Ashley James interviews today's most successful natural healers. Learn True Health was created for YOU, the health enthusiast. If you are passionate about organic living or struggling with health issues and are looking to gain your health naturally, our holistic podcast is what you have been looking for! Ashley James interviews Naturopathic Doctors and expert holistic health care practitioners to bring you key holistic health information, results based advice and new natural steps you can take to achieve true health, starting NOW! If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, if you are fed up with prescription drug side effects, if you want to live in optimal health but you don't know where to start, this podcast is for you! If you are looking for ACTIONABLE advice from holistic doctors to get you on your path to healing, you will enjoy the wisdom each episode brings. Each practitioner will leave you with a challenge, something that you can do now, and each day, to measurably improve your health, energy, and vitality. Learn about new healing diet strategies, how to boost your immune system, balance your hormones, increase your energy, what supplements to take and why and how to experience your health and stamina in a new way. Ashley James from Learn True Health interviews doctors like Dr. Joel Wallach, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Oz, Dr. Joseph Mercola and Dr. Molly Niedermeyer on Naturopathic Medicine, Homeopathy, Supplements, Meditation, Holistic Health and Alternative Health Strategies for Gaining Optimal Health.
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Jul 27, 2023

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506: Dr. Elizabeth Guthrie’s Guide to Herbal Wellness, Somatics, and Healing

In this engaging podcast episode, host Ashley recounts her personal journey of discovering the transformative power of herbs, essential oils, and holistic wellness practices. Her guest, Dr. Elizabeth Guthrie, a seasoned herbalist, joins the conversation in part one, providing insight into trauma-informed practices and their intersection with herbal remedies. Drawing from her background as a 911 dispatcher and her own experiences of trauma, Dr. Guthrie explores the intricate relationship between trauma, herbs, and somatic experiences, shedding light on how trauma can reshape our responses to herbs and meditation. Her expertise underscores the importance of trauma-informed care and the diverse manifestations of trauma in individual lives. As Ashley and Dr. Guthrie share their wisdom, listeners are invited to embrace the multifaceted realm of herbalism as a pathway to holistic healing and self-discovery. This episode offers a tantalizing glimpse into the symbiotic dance between nature's remedies and the human journey toward well-being and resilience.

Explore the transformative power of your unique plant allies as you harness nature’s wisdom for healing and resilience — and embark on a journey of self-discovery, connecting you deeply with the natural world. Sign up now for the free training—

Ashley James & Dr. Elizabeth Guthrie


  • Ashley recounts her introduction to holistic spa experiences in the 90s, where she discovered high-quality essential oils and their potential benefits
  • The profound connection between trauma, herbs, and somatic experiences
  • The nuanced ways trauma reshapes individuals' responses to herbs and holistic practices
  • The wide spectrum of trauma manifestations
  • The importance of trauma-informed care in herbal wellness approaches
  • Herbal medicine's potential for promoting resilience, holistic healing, and self-discovery
  • The intricate interplay between nature's remedies and trauma-informed practices


Hello, true health seeker, and welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. Before we jump into today's episode, there are a few things that you need to know about, and that is that my guest today has a free online event coming up where she's going to teach an hour-long class, and I want to make sure that you know about it so you can attend and gobble up all those amazing information that she's giving for free, in this hour-long live training that she's doing. In this training, you're going to learn how to choose the right plants for you to accelerate your healing. You're going to learn somatic practices to calm your nervous system and help you to gain access to tools to support your body's ability to heal itself. And isn't that what the Learn True Health podcast is all about? It's helping us to learn how to support the body's ability to heal itself emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. Health encompasses our entire life. Taking a moment to see that there's nature around us that we can utilize and connect to, even something as simple as a cup of tea can help us and gently push the body in the right direction. And that's what Dr. Elizabeth Guthrie comes here today to share. So I want to make sure that you know that you can jump in. Go to and sign up for the free talk that she's giving on Saturday, August 5th, at 10 a.m. Pacific time. And if you don't think you can make it, still sign up because a lot of times, these talks are recorded, and then they send the recording out. This is totally free. She does also offer a course that will be offered at a later date. But right now, she is just out there sharing and caring, and teaching. 

This episode today is part one. The next episode I'm going to be publishing is Episode #507. That one will be part two because we have a continued story, an update from Dr. Guthrie. So enjoy today's episode. Please share with those in your life who would love to learn how to utilize nature and the plants around them to support them in healing trauma and healing themselves both physically, emotionally, and mentally. One more thing I want to guide you to, and that's my last episode was about using the modern science of ancient wisdom with Dr. John Douillard, Episode #505, and he specializes in Ayurvedic medicine and using herbs from all around the world to support the body's ability to heal itself, and he has an amazing store, and there's some free stuff to check out in his store as well — his four-day cleanse which he gives for free on his website. You can go to I got a 10% off coupon code for you guys every time you order there as long as you order $50 or more, which I think you have to buy two or three bottles. You would definitely be able to get that 10% off. The coupon code is LTH, as in Learn True Health. Go to I love his stuff. His herbs are wonderful. His experience is amazing. So tapping into utilizing herbs to support the body's ability to heal itself, I have learned from Dr. Guthrie, our guest today, about how to incorporate herbs in my daily life, and it has really enriched my life and my health and helped me as I've been on my journey of healing emotionally and physically. So I hope that you also gain those tools today as I have. Make sure you go to and sign up for her free class. And enjoy today's episode. 

[0:04:17.7] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I'm your host, Ashley James. This is Episode #506.

I'm so excited for today's guest. We have, back on the show, Elisabeth Guthrie, who is now a PhD candidate. Congratulations. Elizabeth, you were on the show five years ago, Episode #201. So we're going to do a bit of a catch-up. We're going to play catch-up and discover what has happened in your life in the last five years. I know when we talked to you, we were just diving even more into studying. And now you're at the point where you're just waiting to hear back. You've submitted everything required for your Ph.D. So that's really exciting. But catch us up, and of course, you've published your latest book, The Trauma Informed Herbalist, the discussion around effectively supporting clients who are struggling with trauma, which I think is so cool. And you got another book coming out next year, so I'm sure we'll be hearing — you're not going to wait another five years before you come on the show. Let's just put it that way. But you've been busy both working in the field and also as a student to get to the point where you're now just a few moments away from officially being a Ph.D. So exciting. So catch us up with what has happened in the last five years. 

[0:05:43.0] Elizabeth Guthrie: Oh, so much. So, I finished my undergraduate work in Complementary Medicine. I know we had talked that I was interested in becoming a naturopathic doctor, and fate had different ideas for me, and I ended up with a Master's in Public Health with a concentration in Functional Nutrition. And as you mentioned, I am finishing up my Ph.D. As a matter of fact, I said I'm finishing. I have finished all of my work for the Ph.D. I'm just waiting to hear back about the final exam. The final exam was a thousand questions and took over 18 hours to complete. So I understand why it's taking them so long, but I've got my fingers crossed, I hear something back very soon because I'm very excited.

I worked for a while at the integrative medicine clinic at UAB Hospital here in Birmingham, Alabama, and learned a lot about research and how conventional research strategies sometimes don't match what we see in the field. Of course, some of that I got through my public health degree, but a lot of the more hands-on understanding of how to approach natural remedies in research came from that time with Dr. Salvador at the integrative clinic. And, of course, I have my own practice, and I've recently written — you said another book, but this is actually my first book — The Trauma-Informed Herbalist, and you can read about it at my website, I do have it available for bookstores. So if you're a bookstore owner and you want to get a copy, you can go through New Leaf Distribution for that. And yes, I am doing a second book. So many people were fascinated by the chapter on aromatherapy. I actually originally had kind of a companion guide to this that was going to come out. But so many people came to me about aromatherapy and said I really want to understand more. So I put the companion guide to the side and started work on the trauma and essential oils book that will be out in April of 2023. 

[0:07:49.4] Ashley James: Was it another? Because I didn't know if you knew, but I looked into this crystal ball, and you've published many books in your life. And so, I just got confused as to which one was the first one.

[0:07:59.7] Elizabeth Guthrie: Right. Well, I've written so much. But this is my first real book. 

[0:08:05.5] Ashley James: Yey. Well, it's such a labor of love, and I love that you got feedback, and so you're just taking the feedback and what to write next based on the feedback. I think that books on aromatherapy are really important because it's such an underutilized modality. Back when I was a teenager, I had such a really fun and interesting childhood. Now, looking back as an adult and as a mom, I'm looking back. And as a teenager, my mom introduced me to her friend who ran a holistic spa. Back then, that wasn't really as common. But it was called beauty comes naturally, and it was a hundred percent organic and natural. This is back in the 90s spa, and there are no chemicals and everything like that. And so I interviewed for a job there, a summer job, and every summer, I worked there, and I studied and learned about essential oils because we had a bunch of them. And I was the receptionist, and I was also the salesperson just helping people buy stuff, and there's all kinds of goodies. You would love this spa because it was kind of like a health food store mixed with a spa. This was back when Aveda was like from the original creator of Aveda, and it was really crunchy, and they were focusing on a lot of just pure, no chemicals. So there was a huge wall of essential oils and different brands. And I started to get a nose for the really high quality because this store had low-end, medium-end, and then high-end essential oils based on people's budgets. And you could really smell. You can smell the difference. And I can, to this day, really smell the difference between low-quality and high-quality essential oil. But I became really interested when — because I thought it was like this is just smelly stuff. I didn't know what it was. But one morning, I woke up, and I had gastritis. I was about fifteen, fifteen, or sixteen years old, and I was throwing up. I was nauseous, and I had a fever. I was really, really sick. And my mom called her friend and said, “Ashley can't make it today.” And so my mom's friend needed someone to be there for a few hours. My mom, who's on vacation, went in and helped out in her store.

And then my mom came home with lavender and peppermint from the spa. Her name was Carrie Foreman. She's still around. Her name is Carrie Foreman, and she said, “I want you to take some olive oil.” Because I think that's the only oil we had. “Take some olive oil. I want you to put a few drops of the lavender in olive oil. Rub it all over her chest and her tummy, and I want you to brew some hot water. Put one or two drops of peppermint in the water and let her smell it, and let her sip it. Now, I've been non-stop vomiting. Immediately, once I smelled the peppermint and sipped it, the vomiting stopped. When she rubbed the lavender on my chest and my tummy, I fell asleep. When I woke up, the fever had broken, and I was fine. Of course, I spent the rest of the day resting because it was pretty intense. But that quick of a transformation, for me in the past, homeopathy was very quick for me to have that kind of effect. But have essential oils go boom, like nausea gone, boom! Fall asleep, boom! Fever broke. Like it was supporting my body's own healing mechanism, and that's why I became obsessed with learning and studying it, and I loved it. 

So many times, I came in as far as, “You have to try this. You have to smell it. Did you know this absorbs into your skin and goes into your lymph system, and it helps with the communication between cells and it's antimicrobial?” I'd go on and on and on. I'd geek out. You and other listeners know I just geek out at all this health stuff. But can you imagine this teenager just going on and on and on about how cool it is? People would walk out having bought hundreds of dollars. Carrie, the owner, must have loved it. I've sold hundreds and hundreds of dollars every day for these essential oils. But I believed in them, and it's herbal medicine. But because they're sold in spas, and they smell good, it's kind of fun. And when we think about it, this is like massage oil, right? It's not even an oil, which is a misnomer. But we give it this idea that it's some kind of frou-frou luxury spa thing when it's, in fact, really concentrated powerful herbal medicine. 

So since that's something you're working on for your next book, and it's in The Trauma Informed Herbalist, I'd love for you to definitely talk more about that because we all want to learn more about essential oils. It's an easy herbal medicine that you can practice at home, that you can use at home, and that's already made for you as opposed to having to get a bunch of leaves and brew some tea or make some mixtures. It's less messy and cumbersome that way. So yeah, that's really exciting. And I love the name of your book because a lot of us have been through trauma the last few years, and many of us recognize now, looking back on our childhoods, I think we all have something to heal from. But I'd love to know why you named your book, The Trauma Informed Herbalist. What happened in the last five years that you went, “Aha, this is what I'm going to write about.”?

[0:13:20.6] Elizabeth Guthrie: Ah, storytime. Thank you for sharing that. It's actually interesting because a lot of people like you said, see that as frivolous, and I think we see that with some herbs in general, but really with the essential oils, a lot of people see it as a treat or as something that is not a requirement in order to heal. And in some cases, it might be an add-on. But in some cases, there are a lot of instances where essential oils are the main thing that gets somebody up over the hump and back towards healing. So I really love that you mentioned that. 

Where to start with the whole trauma-informed discussion? So about a decade ago, I was working as a 911 dispatcher, and that alone can create secondary trauma. At the time, they didn't want to admit it. At the time, they were like, we were just listening to stuff on the phone. How bad could it be? And since then, we have discovered that, especially since you don't have any control, all you can do is try to speak to somebody and try to help them from a distance, but you have no physical control, and you're stuck sitting in the chair. And you don't have a whole lot of any sort of control over the situation, and you can't give in to your fight or flight response that occurs during some of the calls. There are a lot more dispatchers that have PTSD than people want to admit. On top of that, I loved the job. I loved it. I felt like I was able to help people, but what changed is I ended up in an abusive relationship. The man that I was with at the time kind of isolated me from everybody and was initially just emotionally abusive, but he became physically abusive. And I started having a lot of issues after I got out of that relationship, and it's really interesting. 

Again, when you have trauma, sometimes you don't have any of the symptoms until you're safe again because your body starts to recognize that it's in a place where it can process through some of the stuff. And so some of the more obvious symptoms don't occur until you're safe again. And I had my adrenal episodes which I think we talked about last time. I had my adrenal episodes pretty soon after leaving that relationship and getting out of that scenario. And another thing that I noticed around that time was that I had a change in the way that things like meditation, certain herbs, especially adaptogenic herbs, and the way that my body responded to them completely changed. I've been around herbs for the majority of my life. I was in some form of energy work from the time I was 12 years old on. We did a lot of Qigong as a child, and I got into Reiki very early on in my late teens, and all of that was great. The meditation was amazing. I could take all kinds of herbs and feel like a superhero until I went through trauma.

And then some of it still helped, but some of it made things worse. Meditation was one of the first things that I noticed, and I would sit there, and I could meditate. But then I would start; I thought I was hitting enlightenment. I'll be honest, Ashley, I really was like, “Oh, man, I have figured this out,” because I would space out so badly, and I would get bragged on by the people at the facility because we would have these all-day Sunday retreats where you would sit there and meditate and I could go all day. But what was happening was I was dissociating. And the reason that I found out it was dissociation is because I couldn't come back into my body afterward.

So, when you are doing meditation, most people feel a little fuzzy afterward. That's expected. But if two or three days later, you're still feeling dissociated from your body; then there may be something going on that you need to try to figure out. Is this trauma-related, or is this something else? But in my case, it was trauma-related. And there were other instances where I couldn't get into a meditative state, specifically because my brain was on high alert and was trying to pay attention to what was going on, not in the room, but actually out around us to make sure that we stayed safe. So there's a lot of really odd things like that where I couldn't refocus on what I was doing because I was going into these heightened states of alertness or full-out dissociation.

And then, the herbs started bothering me. And the first one that really struck me was Rhodiola. Rhodiola is this amazingly beautiful adaptogen. I love the smell of the tincture. The Latin name is Rhodiola rosea, and it has that very rose-type scent to it, a very spicy smell, and I loved it after exercise. But what was happening was I would take it, because normally you would take it after exercise and it would help you to recover faster. It has all kinds of good benefits for your body and everything. But instead, it was throwing me further into a panic attack.

And so I started asking around about this. Are other people experiencing this? And I would kind of get the side-eye from some of my mentors. There would be a couple of people who would be like, “Yeah, you know, I've had something like that happen.” But for the most part, people were like, “That's not what's happening. It has to be something else. You have to be misinterpreting it. And we do that sometimes, right? Sometimes, coincidentally, we will get sick at the same time. We take something, and then we'll think that that's what made us sick, and in reality, it had nothing to do with it. That happens. But this was happening frequently enough to where I knew something else had to be going on. 

And as I continued to study, I had this feeling that something was wrong with me. Like, I am wrong. Here I am; I'm an herbalist; I've done this. I've been in some form of herbalism my whole life, but I've done clinical herbalism for the majority of my adult life. And here I am; I can't even take the herbs because I have these weird responses to some of them. And then, I stumbled across the work of Dr. Peter Levine. Dr. Peter Levine talks about somatic experiences in the body and what we feel in the body. The more popular version, which I read after Dr. Levine, is Dr. Bessel van der Kolk's book The Body Keeps the ScoreAnd these people have started to teach us about how our body, when we have an experience that creates trauma in our body, the brain, and the body is reacting in order to keep us safe. And the body is having these responses that don't have anything to do with you overpowering it with your mind. They occur because the body has biochemically changed. There are physical changes that occur in the brain when we go through trauma, and it takes time to rewire these things. 

So, I do want to clarify real quick about trauma. When I talk about trauma here, of course, we can talk about trauma in the form of if you physically injure yourself, you have physical trauma. And some people call trauma the event that has occurred. But when we discuss trauma and a trauma-informed environment is what I'm trying to help practitioners to be able to understand a little bit better. Some people are already starting to see these things and already starting to find their way with this. But there are a lot of people who didn't even know that this was a thing. And so I'm really trying to help people to understand our field. And trauma in a trauma-informed environment is defined as the body's response to an event that felt overwhelming. So that's why something that happens to you could cause trauma in your body. But I did not experience it the same way, and therefore, I do not have trauma from it. And that's why when I experience something that creates trauma for me, the person sitting next to me may not have had that overwhelming sensation. They may have felt more in control at that moment, and their body may not have created a reaction that is meant to keep us safe. But once it goes a little bit too far and becomes a chronic thing, now we're no longer safe. We're just having the trauma response. So that doesn't make you weak. It doesn't mean that you have failed at biohacking your brain in order to be better. It just means that you went through something that's extremely difficult and that your body and your brain have done what they think is best to help keep you safe. And now, it's just a matter of working to rewire what has happened in order to help your body know when that response is an appropriate response. Was that a lot?

[0:23:08.9] Ashley James: No, no. It's a great way of putting into perspective that trauma is more about whether you feel out of control at that moment. That's interesting because two people can go through the same experience, and one ends up very traumatized. Just like when people come home from war, not everyone had shell shocked. I mean, not everyone went through the exact same experience, but there were some that felt more fragile than others. I don't mean the word fragile in a negative way. It's just there are some people who really broke them. I have witnessed; I've been with vets who were in full-on PTSD, and it takes them hours to get out of it. So whatever they saw or did in those moments was very lasting. And then there are others who have been through similar experiences, and I always think, “Are they just burying it?” Does everyone who comes home from the war really, really traumatized, and some bury it? But maybe not. Maybe some are not traumatized that they didn't feel out of control in those moments. So that's interesting. 

[0:24:37.4] Elizabeth Guthrie: It brings up another interesting point because when I say trauma-informed, I don't mean that you have personally been through trauma, and now you think you know how to work with everybody who's had trauma. There are a lot of different imbalances in the body, and once you've been through it, it makes you a better practitioner. So, for instance, if you have fibromyalgia and you learn the different imbalances that are occurring in your body that have made fibromyalgia an issue, other people who have similar imbalances that create similar symptoms can benefit from your knowledge. But in trauma, my response to trauma is different from your response to trauma. So one vet may bury it down, and he may go home, and he may be a horror behind closed doors, or he may not be a horror behind closed doors. He may absolutely be bottled up and miserable and sick and can't do anything about it. It's not that he lashes out, but he's almost imploded and withdrawn from it. Whereas another person may be out in public and have an anxiety attack. All of these can be responses to trauma. And so, when a practitioner has gone through a traumatic experience, that can help open the door to explore the different ways that trauma comes to people. There are different types of trauma, and there are different layers of trauma that occur. Depending on the different types and the different layers, a person's personality, maybe even their constitution, or even their inflammation level can change how they respond to these events. And so it's a much more broad study than, and not that, the personal experience doesn't matter. Because obviously, my personal experience brought me to this and other people who have personal experience study and understand this, and then they're able to help people more. But personal experience is just the first step when it comes to trauma, whereas with some other things, personal experience can be what makes you the expert in that matter. 

[0:26:57.7] Ashley James: I really like working with practitioners who have empathy. They don't have to have the exact same problems that I'm struggling with. But the fact that they're open enough to share what they've gone through, how that level of empathy, of understanding, like when on the outside it's so hard to see what people are struggling with on the inside. I remember the first day I left the house and went on my own and ran an errand after our daughter died. I was standing in line at Chipotle, and I looked over at everyone. I texted my midwife, and I said, “I just wish I had a neon sign over my head that told everyone how I felt on the inside so that people knew.” Because I looked around, I'm like, everyone is standing in line. Everyone is serving food. Everybody is eating food. There could be people in this room that are hurting as much as I am right now. that are in as much grief as I am. And if we had some kind of neon sign above our heads, that's kind of like The Sims video games. If we could just walk around knowing a bit more about the inner workings. Imagine if you walked across the street and someone was on the street, and the little signs above their head showed just how hurt they are; you would just stop and be like, “Can I give you a hug?” And I just wanted that. I wanted everyone around me just to know and share what I was going through. And I'd love that. I'd love to be able to just look at others with compassion and be like, “Hey, I know what you're going through.” But of course, we don't have these neon signs above our heads, and we all walk around like everything's fine. 

If someone asks, how are you, we always say fine, no matter what. And that just feels so inauthentic. I actually remember in the last year just hating it when people ask me, “How are you doing?” I hate being asked that question because do you really want to know? That's what I want to say, “Do you really want to know how I'm doing?” Of course, I'm doing much better now, thank you. I had a discussion yesterday with a friend, and I said, “You know, I feel really, really happy now.” I'm in a really good place. But I can look back on the last 18 months, and I've been through stuff. Now, of course, I have a way deeper level of empathy. I may have lost my parents. I've lost friends, so I've been through loss. But I have a level of empathy. But that's what I want from a practitioner. I really don't like it when practitioners act cold and professional. Of course, I want professionalism, but cold professionalism, distance, and a wall — that makes me very uncomfortable because, I don't know, I feel judged. I feel like I'm the crazy, messy mom. And this person is looking at me, going, “What's wrong with you? Why can't you keep it all together?” So I want a practitioner to be like a little bit of a hot mess. I wanted them to be good at their job. But I want my practitioner to be still having some little baby throw up on their shoulder or something. Just show me your humanity. Show me you're real. Show me your humanity and have that empathy. 

A lot of practitioners feel like they have to wait to be perfect in order to help people. I did not wait to be perfect to start my podcast. I'm still on my health journey. I've healed a lot, and I'm sure about that. I've reversed many health conditions, and I'm still on my health journey. I'm still not like Mount Everest of Health, like the peak of Mount Everest. So I'm still working on myself. We're all on a journey. But I really got that if we all waited to be perfect — like if someone is listening as a practitioner, or a coach or something and they're still working through their emotional trauma, don't wait to be perfect. If you have the capacity to want to help people, it's okay. If you're still struggling with your fibromyalgia, but you want to help people, do what you can, and like you said, let your trauma inform you. Let your healing be that way of further helping other people heal themselves because you can be that mirror. You can show them like. “Hey, I can still live a life while I'm healing. I can still help people. I can still make a difference. And so can you.” So, as a practitioner, by you being authentic, you actually encourage other people to heal even further because you allow them the space like it's okay not to be perfect. We all can just be a work-in-progress together.

[0:31:40.7] Elizabeth Guthrie: And that's the beauty of this. When you find yourself in a situation where you had trauma, and you start learning about how to recognize trauma and how trauma affects people, you start seeing yourself in certain pieces, and you start being able to recognize how other people might be affected differently. When we look at trauma, you've actually described some different types of trauma here, right? Acute trauma is something that happens very quickly. There may be repercussions for months or years afterward, but they've usually lasted a couple of days. They're very sudden, a sudden death of a loved one, physical attacks — things like that are all considered acute trauma. And that's the stuff that we normally look at and say, “Ahh, that's traumatic.” But we also have chronic trauma, and they are usually more subtle. And some people may not be able to recognize them right off the bat — things like living in an unsafe neighborhood where you're constantly on alert and unsure of who's safe and who's not. Is that car safe? Are they going to give me trouble?– that kind of thing. Discrimination in general, when you have people who are in group sitters are discriminated against — that can create forms of trauma, and those are chronic traumas. And another thing that speaks to some of what you and I have been dealing with is a chronic illness, which can create trauma. And a lot of people who have chronic illnesses have been in situations where they feel isolated, where they feel like they cannot get what they need. 

I know, from my journey with long COVID this year — I got sick in December of last year, and by January, I was having to strategically plan trips to the bathroom — and I remember that there have been times when I wasn't in a position to get myself a drink of water, and I had to wait on somebody to be available to help me with that. And those moments can add up. Not everybody is going to walk away from chronic illness or trauma. But a lot of people who have chronic illnesses have chronic trauma, and they don't even know it because nobody has ever said to them that, yes, this is a form of trauma. Trauma thrives in isolation. When someone is isolated — when they feel like they're unheard, when they feel like they're not connected to others, which has also been the reality for most people for the last two years — trauma thrives in that environment. And you end up with a lot of people who have complex trauma. C-PTSD, that's complex PTSD, that's usually when multiple sources of trauma have occurred, and it can create other types of symptoms that are very specific to complex trauma situations like a very, very strong inner critic that just berates you. That's a very C-PTSD-type symptom. 

So, there are all these different types of trauma. And then, of course, that's not even getting into the layers of trauma where you have generational trauma. Maybe it's something that's happened to your parents or grandparents, and it affects the way that they treat you. For instance, I have an aunt who died of leukemia, and I actually share her birthday, and I can tell, looking back on my childhood, how that changed the way that my grandparents and my parents treated me because of the trauma that came from Catherine dying. And it wasn't bad. It wasn't that they created more trauma for me. It just changed my environment growing up. And there are times when it just changes your environment. And then, sometimes, our generational trauma begets more generational trauma. And we see that a lot where the abused becomes the abuser, and we see that through the generations. And then of course, community trauma and things like that. So there are all kinds of different ways that trauma can occur for people. And the easiest thing to remember is if you feel isolated, if you feel alone, or if you feel helpless, those are moments that can make you more susceptible to trauma. And if you have felt that and you feel like you've had trauma symptoms afterward, you may not be diagnosed with PTSD, but there may be some trauma things that if you start looking at it like, “Well, how can I adjust things to bring myself back into a place where I feel more connected, where I feel calm and safe with people?” That can bring you to a place of better healing.

[0:36:34.3] Ashley James: Now we have laid out some ideas about trauma because a lot of people didn't know. So I was emotionally, mentally, but never physically abused, but in some cases, it would have been easier if you'd just hit me because then I could have ended it. If someone tries to physically abuse me, I'm not going to take it. I studied martial arts for many years. I’m not looking to pick fights, but I'm going to defend myself. I'm going to block. I'm going to throw you because I studied Jiu-Jitsu, and I'm going to sit on top of you until the cops come. 

[0:37:13.7] Elizabeth Guthrie: Which is you being able to honor your fight or flight response? And you can’t do that as well with emotional trauma. 

[0:37:19.5] Ashley James: Right, right. So I didn’t actually recognize it, and I could not really see that it was emotional and mental abuse until I got out of it and left the country to move to the States. And then, looking back, I was like, I had to get distance, and I became a master practitioner trainer of neuro-linguistic programming, timeline therapy, and hypnosis. One of my friends who also went through the same courses, we'd often help each other get perspective because when it's our own life, it's better to talk about it, get it out of you, like talk therapy. As long as it’s a safe person to talk to, sometimes it's just good to just get it out because when you hear yourself say it, you’re like, you just got a different perspective. And we were talking, and I realized just how abusive it was, just how manipulative and controlling and how bad it was. But at the time, when we’re young, you just want to be loved, and I was like a martyr. I just wanted to do whatever just to make him happy. That kind of thing. And then I was. “Wow, that was a really messed-up relationship for five years.” Like you said, he’s isolating you from other people, not letting you have friends controlling where you go. It got bad, and I'm so glad I'm out of it because now I know how to healthfully enforce my boundaries. Those relationships allow us to learn what we want and what we don't want, and it allows us to learn how to support healthy boundaries when we experience them. That’s what I don’t want. Now I know how to teach people how to treat me because I know what I don't want. 

So looking back, sometimes you’re just listening — I'm sure as people are listening to us talk, they're going, “Oh, wow. Maybe I was in some of those situations in my past, in my childhood, where we didn't feel safe.” Those kinds of things. So we have emotional trauma trapped in the body. I've had several interviews where people have touched on this, including the man who invented Emotion Code, and that's really amazing how he detected and saw it as practice — that people had trapped unresolved emotions in the body and how to resolve them, how to release them from the body. And then, the subsequent physical healing that would occur because of that, or their pain or chronic pain would immediately disappear. Those kinds of things were really fascinating. We have to understand that we can see physical bodies, so we honor it, like, yes, the physical body exists. But we don't see emotions like we all see the mental body, the emotional body, and the energetic or spiritual body — we don’t see it. But it is there nonetheless, and each one affects our physical body. 

We can tell very clearly that we can hook our bodies up to machines. We watch a stressful movie, like a zombie movie or something, and we can see that even though you know you're safe in a movie theater, you know you're safe. If you watch a stressful movie like Schindler’s List or something, you're living through something. Even though you know you're safe, your stress hormones will go up. Your heart rate will go up. Your physical body is being affected by this experience. I know some listeners might be too young to remember 9/11 or at least have had an emotional impact on themselves. But for years, I felt that there was an impact that, collectively, we had trauma. And then, in the last almost three years now, collectively, we are all sharing in some degree of trauma. I don't believe in supporting the victim mentality. What I mean by victim mentality is holding on to it and being like, “This is why this is happening to me,” and then not giving them the tools or supporting them in the tools to allow them to step into their power so that they can heal. We don't need to be stuck in this trauma. Acknowledging it or recognizing it is a good step, but then, of course, your whole book is now, how do we support them — and I don't want to use the word empower because actually, the root of empower means that they don't have the part of themselves and you're lending them your power. I want to help them step into their own power so that they are able to use these tools to help them along their healing journey. So, I'd love for you to go through some of the things in your book that really helped people to step into their power. 

[0:42:26.0] Elizabeth Guthrie: Right. So one of the things that I mentioned earlier in passing is that I see this is a form of rewiring, so you're not going to balance something back real quick. Normally when we look at emotional things or a lot of the energetic work that I've done in the past with the chakras and things like that, there's a lot of balancing that occurs, and balance is good. We want to come back into that place of homeostasis, or on a more ethereal level, and be back in alignment so that everything slows the way that it should. But then there's a rewiring that has to take place when it comes to trauma, so we can get the physical body back in balance. But then we have to really take some time and recognize that. Whereas with balance, maybe like a seesaw, you may just put one thing on it, and the seesaw comes back to a balanced state. Rewiring is more like — have you ever walked into one of those server rooms where all the wires look tangled up, and you're never going to know where one goes unless you follow it with your fingers? What we do when you have trauma, and you have to eat to help your body come back to a better state is, we're now taking those wires, and we're untangling them and putting them back in order so that it's very nice and organized, and that takes time. So, when you first come out of a situation where you've had trauma, you may start noticing — if you've already been using herbs, essential oils, mindfulness yoga, anything — you may find that you’re responding differently to the natural remedies. Or if you're a practitioner and you're working with somebody, and you suspect there may be some trauma whether they've revealed it or not, then you may start to realize that they're not responding to the recommendations that you've made in the same way that you would expect. And there are a lot of things that can come into play here. A lot of the time, when trauma is involved, it makes it harder for somebody to hold down a job. They might struggle financially if they weren't already in a situation to begin with because people who are in disenfranchised groups tend to have more trauma. So there may be things like that that are causing them to not feel like they can afford the remedies. They may not feel like they can keep making the recommendations that you've made, or they may physically be having an odd reaction, an anomalous reaction, if you will, to what you've recommended. 

And so, it's really important to recognize that this is not making an excuse for people. Like I actually said, we're not looking to support an idea of victim mentality. “Oh, whoah, it’s me. Nothing can be done. Look how awful my life is.” That's not what we're after here. But what we can recognize is for a lot of people, what we would consider the “normal options” aren't necessarily going to work if they've been through trauma. So if somebody comes to you and says, “Hey, I've used this, and it's making me anxious.” Valerian is one of those. But sometimes, somebody would come to me and be like, “I'm anxious on it now,” and we can shift to other things that have similar properties that maybe will work better for them. And to me, that is the big thing, and I'll talk here for a few minutes about some different herbs and things. But I really want to get people to recognize that a lot of the times, what I'm saying about these different herbs can be helpful for people, but we also have to recognize that we need to honor when somebody comes to us or if you're doing this for yourself and if you're trying some things for your body. Just because I said that passion flower is relaxing for the majority of the population, if passion flower is not working for you, change it up and find another nervine. You don't have to go with something just because I think that it's a wonderful option. However, the most important part of this in my mind is to pivot, to be ready to change. If you need to adjust something, adjust it. The dangerous thing here isn't moving forward, changing, running into roadblocks, and having to shift. The dangerous thing here is to stop altogether and allow yourself to stagnate, throw up your hands and say, “I give up. I'm not going to find the connection I'm looking for.”

So, before I get into the herbs, I did want to say one more thing about polyvagal theory because, to me, this is the important piece that will help because you can say, “Well, okay, Elizabeth, I hear your truth. I hear what you're saying. But how do I know when something is helping me come into a state that's going to help me heal from trauma?” Because when I go to my therapist, and I talk, and I come out of there — I have a talk therapist that I've had for, oh gosh, I don't know. Six years now. I love her to death. I don't even know how long it's been. It's been at least six years. And that has been some of the best spaces for me to go and clear my head and come up with new things to help me. And she helps me process through the why of what's occurring. Why is my brain going this way? Why am I having this response to this conversation? But a lot of the time, the work of what — what is it that I'm experiencing, what is it that I'm feeling, and how do I process what's happening in my physical body — is what I'm doing as an herbalist. And a lot of that comes into play through the polyvagal theory. 

So Dr. Stephen Porges created the polyvagal theory, which helps to explain the way that our parasympathetic nervous system and sympathetic nervous system respond to stress. And this is a very, very quick overview. I'm not going to say that this is the end of it. Doctor Porges has written several books on it. Deb Dana has also written some very practical guides to utilize polyvagal theory. For those of you who are therapists or do some of this work already, she's got some really interesting stuff on that. But to summarize, the polyvagal theory indicates that we have three different states of being when it comes to our nervous system and the response to the environment around us, whether it’s dangerous or not. Our response to the environment around us is either sympathetic, dorsal vagal, or ventral vagal. 

The sympathetic state is your fight-or-flight state. It’s where we're heightened. It's where we feel like we can fight back. It's the place where if we can run, we're going to run. The adrenaline is pumping, and we’re ready to go. The dorsal vagal state is the place where we feel trapped, and it's the freeze response, or in complex trauma, sometimes it creates a fawn response, which is where a person doesn't necessarily want to give in to what their abuser is suggesting. But they give in to it in order to try to keep themselves safe. That kind of comes from a dorsal vagal response as well. And that is where we don't feel like we can fight anymore. We don't feel like we have the ability to flee the situation. We're stuck, and our body freezes up. And then we have the ventral vagal state. If you can't remember sympathetic and dorsal, that's fine. Don't worry about it. One just means fight-or-flight. The other really means freezer fawn. Again, it’s very simple, but for the purposes of this discussion, that's all you need to know. The ventral vagal state is the important state because that is the place where we are calm, where we are connected, and that's where healing occurs. 

So when we're looking for herbs, and we're looking for essential oils, and we're looking for flower essences or activities, we want to find things that help us to return to the ventral vagal state. For some people, this is yoga movement, and it can be different types of yoga. I have some clients that when we work together, we do a lot of restorative yoga poses and just lay in a position where we're fully supported for several minutes at a time. I have other clients who, if I did that with them, they would run out of the room screaming because that puts them in a place where their brain is almost like it starts to come up with all the ways that things could be going wrong. And because you calmed everything else down, now the alarm bell starts going off in the brain, and it can become very overwhelming. So instead, for those people, restorative may not be the answer. We may go for something like a gentle flow. Something that is a little bit more Vinyasa in nature. There's a lot more movement to it. So that the mind is focused on the movement of the body and not focused on what alarm bells could go off if we sat there long enough. And we do the same thing with herbs.

So there are certain people who have a lot of fantastic benefits from the nervines and the adaptogens. Depending on how your body responds, depending on whether you find yourself in that fight or flight or the freeze and fawn response, it can determine which herbs might be better for you. And that's where a lot of the herbalism work goes for me. And I will say this because it never is as simple as if you're in this group, go to this. If you're in this group, go to this. There are always people where it's the opposite, and that's okay. What I'm encouraging you to do when we're talking about these things is to try something, and if you find it's helping, stick with it. And if not, then adjust and try something else. So nervine herbs are things like passion flower, lavender, and valerian. There are several different options. Skullcap and hops — these are all different options for nervine herbs that are available. Most nervines tend to be pretty relaxed. There are some stimulating nervines, but most of them are very relaxing, and you're going to find them in things like sleepy tea or de-stress teas. I love Starwest Botanicals. They are probably my favorite herb option in the area. If I'm going to order something, I’ll probably order it from Starwest. But you don't necessarily have to go order yourself a bunch of cut herbs and put it together. You could actually go to the grocery store just to start, just to try it the first time. Go to the grocery store and pick out a couple of relaxing teas. Brew yourself a cup of the tea, and then spend some time just mindfully smelling it, noticing how it feels. Sipping on it, noticing how it tastes, and spending a few minutes after you're done with the cup and see where your body lands. Do you notice yourself feeling a little bit more grounded and a little bit more focused? Do you find yourself starting to fall asleep? That happens sometimes. But see where it lands with your body and spend that mindful few moments seeing what happens with your body and seeing if that's the right tea, and try another one. Try two or three different types of tea. It’s even more fun if you’ve got a couple of friends that you can sit down and talk this through with, and you all can each buy a box and do a tea swap where you get two or three packets of each of the teas. Then you get to try them and see what tea blends work really well for you. And you might notice, what are the herbs that we see in those tea blends? There might be certain herbs that you decide, “Oh, you know what, I could grow that in the garden.” And that might be an herb that you keep on hand. But start with tea. Start with that area and just see, are there nervine teas that could be helpful for me?

[0:55:25.9] Ashley James: Can you spell this? Is it ‘nerving' teas or ‘nervine' teas? I'm really down, but I wasn't sure what you were saying.

[0:55:35.4] Elizabeth Guthrie: My Southern accent says ‘nervine'. It's n-e-r-v-i-n-e. And if you all hear me on other discussions, I slip into ‘nervine'. I believe the majority of people call them ‘nervine', but you will hear me call them nervine. I'm talking about the same thing. I'm just from the Deep South.

[0:55:58.2] Ashley James: I appreciate all accents. I've been in the States long enough that I can pass for an American. But then, once in a while, I say ‘house' or ‘about'. But everyone knows where I'm from. I can't say ‘about' like an American. How do you say ‘about'? 

[0:56:15.0] Elizabeth Guthrie: It's very nasally. So you're doing it, like, in your throat. ‘Almost' and ‘about' is up in your nasal passage.

[0:56:22.3] Ashley James: It feels so weird in my mouth. I appreciate everyone's accent, and I love your Alabama accent. It's so much fun. But nervine — I've written it down so I know what it is — that's so great. I love those combination teas. We don't get sick often, but when we do, I am right there with the Breathe Easy tea and the Throat Coat tea, especially if I'm waking up in the morning and I have an interview, and my throat starts to feel scratchy. I'm going to get four bags of Throat Coat tea and throw them in the pot and brew a big pot of it. And I really like those Sleepytime teas. They do a number on me. My body is like, “Yes, give it to me.” So I can feel it. 

When I am in the ventral vagal state, I know it. I know it because I've done in the past years, like you said, Qigong. I'm not great at meditating. I've got to admit. I appreciate those who can meditate. But I love prayer, and I love yoga. It's movement, moving, and stretching. I'm one of those people. I love Qigong and Tai Chi, just the slow-moving, and that is good for me. I feel a difference there. I can feel the calmness, and it's almost like someone is taking a weight off my shoulders and a weight off my chest. Because my mom was like a type A personality, go, go, go, go, go, she used to say don't wear your shoulders as earrings because you start getting tense. When you're in that fight-or-flight, and your shoulders just get tense, and they start creeping up towards your ears. Just remind yourself, don't wear your shoulders as earrings. Just let them drop, pull them back, and relax. But there's a hurry variability, a lot of the smartwatches now and those little devices, all those kinds of things, can track your hurry variability, which is a really great way of measuring your stress levels. It's kind of like measuring your basal metabolic rate. We can measure our base stress rates, and our base stress levels. 

Maybe you could coach us a bit for those who haven't done years of yoga, meditation, or Tai Chi and are not as in touch with their body. I noticed it because stress is not an emotion like it's easy to know, “Oh, I'm in anxiety.” Sometimes people don't even know they're in anxiety. They're just feeling like a lot of stuff, but they're not recognizing what emotion it is, like, when you're happy, when you're sad when you're angry. We know when we're happy, sad, and angry typically, but because stress is not an emotion, it's harder to say, “Oh, I can definitely feel that I'm in this healing state, this ventral vagal state. “I'm in the rest and digest state,” unless we have these devices telling us. But could you share with us what are clear signs that we're in that state? Let's say we've had that tea, gone for a walk in the woods, did a two-minute hug with our loved one, rolled on the ground laughing, and had a dance party with your kid. It doesn't always have to be this calm moment. They could be loud if that's what your nervous system likes. But what can we see, feel, or know to inform us that we have switched from fight or flight to rest and digest?

[1:00:31.3] Elizabeth Guthrie: A lot of the time, it's a matter of how present you feel. I'm the worst interview guest ever because everything is, ‘it depends'.

[1:00:43.1] Ashley James: You know it's okay. Everyone says that. We're not cookie-cutter. But you're going to give us some examples, and everyone takes away what works for them, so don't worry about it. 

[1:00:53.7] Elizabeth Guthrie: A lot of the time, what I have found to be helpful is how in your body do you feel. Because a lot of the time, we get into a place where we feel calm and soothed. But even with all of the somatic work that I've done, and like you said, the Qigong and things like that, there are even times for me where I have to kind of check-in like, “Am I in the moment? Or am I going into that dorsal vagal or that freeze response?” If I feel like I have control over how alert I am, that's a big one for me. If I find myself in a place and I'm like, “I don't really know if I feel ventral vagal right now that calm and connected place.” I'll see if I can bring myself back into a little bit more of an alert state and do I have the ability to soften back into almost sympathetic and dorsal vagal responses. Those are healthy responses. But it's when we get stuck in them that the sympathetic becomes fight or flight, and the dorsal vagal becomes freezer fine. So if we can find ourselves having some level of control over how alert we are and how well we are interacting with our environment, that's usually a pretty good sign that we are in a ventral vagal space. So if you don't have any idea and you're out of touch with your body, which is very common, the intero and extero reception gets really messed up when you have trauma. One of the easiest things to do is just notice, “Am I able to come back into focus or allow myself to relax back into a little more fuzzy state?” And when you catch yourself in those moments — Deb Dana called some glimmers of the ventral vagal state where just for a moment we feel really connected, something just feels right. Notice what you feel in your body. It's like you're saying, “Are you wearing your shoulders as your rings?” At that point, your shoulders are usually relaxed and may be back a little bit. They may be hunched for it if your posture is generally not good. But if they're relaxed and down, notice that. And so when you find yourself at the sympathetic or the dorsal vagal state, and you notice your shoulders coming up like you mentioned, relax them back down. Or you may notice that you feel a warm sensation in your stomach. There are all kinds of different ways that you would feel the ventral vagal state in your body.

So for me, the key is noticing when I first have the moments of ventral vagal connection and then where do I feel it in my body. Noticing when I feel in control of my state of alertness, and then noticing when I'm in that control, where do I feel it in my body? How can I hang onto that for just a second longer? You were talking about different types of ways to bring yourself back into that. One of the things that we see is group activities and connections with others through group activities. It can be very helpful to bring us into a ventral vagal state. One of my friends, Dr. Jessica Ogle, just did her Ph.D., and her thesis was on drumming. It's not just a drum circle. She was actually using drums in a therapeutic setting. But drum circles can help people come into a ventral vagal state. Yeah, there's some really cool stuff out there. And if you find yourself getting into a ventral vagal state and you really want to stick with it, you're like, “Okay, I'm feeling it today. I really want something to help me stick with it,” that's when I start encouraging my clients to look at adaptogens.

So Adaptogens are herbs that help the body adapt to stress. And there are different forms. There are stimulating adaptogens, and there are relaxing adaptogens. The three I mentioned in my book are probably my top three favorites for working with people who may be dealing with some sort of trauma response. The first one being holy basil which is also known as tulsi, and it's not officially an adaptogen for herbal purists out there. Technically, we say that it has adaptogenic qualities. It's not been labeled an adaptogen, but it has very similar qualities, and it's really nice. First of all, holy basil grows like wildfire here. I love it. And it's got a very rich taste. I used to love prunella for the same reason. It has this rich, spicy flavor to it. And if somebody is dealing with a lot of brain fog, that tends to be my go-to for them to work with the holy basil. 

And we have Ashwagandha, which is nice because it has anti-inflammatory properties, and we haven't had a chance to talk about information yet. But inflammation is a big thing when it comes to trauma response. And Ashwagandha is really helpful, just pretty much in general. It's a wonderful adaptogen, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties. You're seeing it become a lot more popular now because people have caught on to how great it is. But just be aware that if you go and you decide to get yourself a supplement of Ashwagandha, check on the label and make sure it's not blended with other things because there are a lot of supplements that are called Ashwagandha and when you look at the label it's blended with other adaptogens, and you don't want to get Rhodiola and whatever. Not that Rhodiola is bad, but if you have a natural tendency towards that fight or flight response, Rhodiola may amplify it. 

And then the last one that I wanted to mention was Shatavari. It is an ayurvedic herb as well as these other two, and it's the one that I go to when somebody has just been beaten down over and over and over again, and they're like, “That's it. There's nothing left. Like I don't even know how to heal at this point because I've been through so much that I don't even remember what it feels like to feel normal. I don't remember what it feels like to be able to have a safe connection with people.” So those are my three kinds of adaptogens that can help when you're trying to get more and more into that ventral vagal state.

[1:07:39.0] Ashley James: I love Ashwagandha. 

[1:07:41.2] Elizabeth Guthrie: Ah yeah, it's a great one. I was just going to recap. Nervines have a lot of good, relaxing properties. They help the nervous system to bring things back into balance. And then, once you're starting to get glimpses of the ventral vagal state, finding yourself an adaptogen that you like to help amplify those times when you are in the ventral vagal state can really help with that rewiring process. 

[1:08:07.8] Ashley James: For those who don't know, could you explain what the word adaptogen means in the context of turning on the rest and digest response? 

[1:08:17.2] Elizabeth Guthrie: Yes. So adaptogens help our body to adapt to stress, which I think I kind of said earlier. We're getting into the window of tolerance discussion now, and we didn't talk about this earlier. But we have what's called the window of tolerance. And if you imagine a tiny little window and you have to stay within that window in order to stay in what would be considered the ventral vagal state, adaptogens help to stretch that window out. So there are different things that help to stretch our window of tolerance, like therapists are trained to stretch us to the edge of the window of tolerance when we're processing through things, and they help us to stretch into build resilience. And the adaptogens do a similar thing on a physiological and ethereal level. It is helping to open up that window of tolerance and make it bigger.

[1:09:18.5] Ashley James: I first learned about adaptogens from a friend of mine years ago, a naturopath who used to call me Ashwagandha because my name starts with Ash. “Ashwagandha, how's it going?” He's like, “Actually, I think you should take Ashwagandha.” And I love making moon tea with Ashwagandha. And I learned this really great technique where you can make a concentrate of moon tea. So it's a can of coconut milk. I'll see if I can put the recipe in the show notes of the podcast. I actually made a whole video. It's on my website in this thing called Learn True Health Home Kitchen. But it's a can of coconut cream, and then we measure out all the different herbs and spices, and it's antimicrobial, so it's anti-parasitic. And it's great for when you want to just bring yourself gently down into a wonderful sleep. My body responds so well to Ashwagandha. So we'll mix in or blend in the Ashwagandha, the coconut cream, some clove, some cinnamon, some turmeric, and some pepper. I'll put the whole recipe in the show notes. And so, yeah, not peppermint. I meant to say pepper because the pepper activates the turmeric. And then we mix it up together. And then what we do is we need to concentrate, leave it in the fridge. It lasts for a while, like weeks. And then at night time, I take a mug with hot water, and I take a big heaping spoonful of the stuff and mix it in, and then if you want sweetener, you don't have to, but if you want sweetener, you can do whatever floats your boat like honey or maple syrup, or monk fruit, whatever floats your boat, to taste. But the largest herb there is the Ashwagandha. But we do put a lot of other warm and spicy herbs that just bring a nice heat to the body, and, like I said, it's also anti-parasitic. So it's anything to prevent worms, those little creepy crawlies we don't want in our gut and unhappy about. But yeah, it originates from India. But I love making the concentrate, and I learned that from a friend of mine because he's sitting there and having these twelve jars and having to like to put it all together every night. It's just like a pain in the butt. So he just makes it once, and then it lasts for a few weeks. Just that, oh man, it's really just deep, deeper sleep. 

But the first time I did adaptogens, it was a blend, and maybe Rhodiola was in it, I don't remember. This was over twelve or thirteen years ago. It made my heart race, and I thought I was going to die. I was so terrified, and I was really, really scared for many years. I have waited all the adaptogens until my friend was like, “Listen here, Ashwagandha, you need to try some Ashwagandha.” So I was like, “Okay, not every adaptogen is bad. But like you said, try one at a time instead of a blend because I did, and that really freaked my body out, and my body went into complete panic mode. I had a huge adrenaline dump. It's like we have to have the same reverence and respect for herbs as we would do walking into a pharmacy. It wouldn't be like, “I was going to take a handful of whatever random pills.” So you don't do that. Herbs have their place, and they're amazing. We should reach herbs first. But we have to be really careful in terms of dose and know how our body responds to it. So would you say start out small, be more conservative, and be like trying a teaspoon? Yes, let's talk about dosing. 

[1:13:33.8] Elizabeth Guthrie: Okay, so first, let me finish that little bit by saying you're right on track with that. So a lot of people who naturally run into a fight or flight response with their stress will have that kind of response to stimulating adaptogens, like what you're talking about. Whereas if somebody naturally runs into a freeze response, their normal instinct is to freeze when dealing with stress. Then stimulating adaptogens can sometimes be very helpful for them. So it really does depend on, again, we're back to sympathetic versus dorsal vagal and how it works with the herbs. But yes, dosing — okay, let me caveat this by saying I have had clinical herbalists who think that I am looney and that I have no business suggesting such low doses because — those of you who are listening to this and know what I'm talking about, please don't hate me — but there are some people who really believed in the physical capacities of herbs, and that's really as far as their training has gone. There are very good herbalists, and if you have somebody that works with you and they go from that angle, I'm not suggesting you should leave. But they don't like the way that I recommend doing dosing because my dosing method is focused more on the ethereal side of things, and I believe that you should do a very low quantity to start. That's why I start people with tea. I don't start people with tinctures which have a higher dose to them. And usually, when I start people on tinctures who have dealt with a lot of trauma, I start with drop dosing or very low dosing with tinctures. The reason for this is that if we're focused on what your symptom set is, and is it indicating that there's a lot of heat that needs cooling? Then I'm working on cooling herbs, and I'm going to be using a much lower dose. Is there a lot of cold that needs warming back up? Then we will be doing warming herbs, and it's not going to need this high of a dose because it is, again, kind of energetic based. And I believe that this is best for most people who have dealt with high levels of trauma because, like you were talking about where you had tried that adaptogenic blend, and when you were done with it, you thought you were going to die because it just blew your body's response up. 

For people who have been through trauma, their resilience level is lower, and that window of tolerance — remember, we're talking about the way that would be adaptogens — can be stretched a little bit. Usually, when you first start to heal from trauma, that window of tolerance is a lot smaller. So when somebody's window of tolerance is very small, and then they have a few herbs in their system that causes them to have a response that they don't like, instead of it being a slight inconvenience, it becomes a much larger feeling of being overwhelmed. And so if we start with a smaller dose, if there is a response like that, then there's not as much of a response, and it doesn't feel as overwhelming. Plus, like I said, a lot of what I work with when I work with people is more on an energetic level anyway, and I focus on the energetic. And the funny thing is, when we do that, a lot of the time, the therapeutics tend to fall into place. You tend to end up with the right physical therapeutics as well. But because I focus on the energetics, I do suggest starting with a much lower dose.

That's why I like it if you're going to try this for yourself; if you are a practitioner, I have classes. We talked about this. You can get the book and start there and kind of see if it's something that makes sense for you. But if you're trying this for yourself, then I encourage you to start with teas or just a very small dose of something in whatever form you can. If it's Ashwagandha, you're probably going to find it in capsules and things like that. But that helps you to determine, “Do I feel a little bit good, or do I feel a little discomfort?” Determine from there. Is that what you want to continue using? If you're feeling a little bit good, maybe go up to the full dose and see how that feels. Sometimes the full dose can be a little too much, and it can start to feel a little over-stimulating. And so you find, “I'm just going to stick with the half dose,” or whatever you chose to begin with. So yes, I definitely encourage you to start with a lower dose and work your way up.

It's the same thing I do with essential oils, minimum effective dosing. The smallest amount possible to get the best results. First of all, it's cost-efficient. You're not spending a whole lot of money overusing a substance, but you're also minimizing the chance that you're going to have a response to something that makes you uncomfortable and makes you go, “Maybe this is not for me.” 

[1:18:42.7] Ashley James: I like that very solid advice. Start with teas like the entry-level, nice, safe dose. On the other side of the spectrum, it's the concentrate, which is like tinctures and essential oils. And the capsules are somewhere in the middle because you can regulate that. Once I know I like something like Ashwagandha, I'll get a whole bag of it, an organic, good source, big bag of it in bulk because, like I shared, I can then make my tea with it. And you can get a machine to encapsulate your own stuff if you want to save money. But I'm just throwing in smoothies. Just scoop it up, throw it in there, blend it in, cover it up. You can do that with lots of mushrooms. There are so many good tonifying mushrooms for the nervous system. That's really helped me as well. Do you touch on that? I know you are teaching your courses, and I definitely want to make sure the listeners know about that. They can work with you in that capacity. But do you have anything to say about mushrooms? 

[1:19:54.1] Elizabeth Guthrie: Yeah. Actually, it's interesting because I almost forgot to talk about the autoimmune discussion. So one of the things that we have found, and there are a lot of different things that point to this, is that there may be a connection to somebody having this lasting trauma response and having high levels of inflammatory markers in their body. And so we're beginning to see that there's some sort of connection between inflammation and trauma setting into the body and making it harder to heal from trauma. And I have several clients who we end up — I almost feel bad for him because they come to me, thinking we're going to do a lot of nervous system herbs, and then we end up totally down the immune path, and they're like, “What's happening? This is not what I signed up for.” Sometimes that is what is standing between people and their healing. It is an inflammatory response. It's out of control and is making it impossible for their nervous system to ever get to a point where it can heal because the inflammation response is blocking it. 

So, a lot of the mushrooms have immunomodulatory properties, and those immunomodulatory properties can help to bring things back into balance and to help with an inflammatory response. Now, of course, there are other things you can do. You can look at healing leaky gut. I know you've had some good people on here talking about inflammation in the past, so you all may want to look up those episodes as well. But as far as herbs, any kind of immunomodulatory herb, a couple of cups of green tea, if the caffeine doesn't bother you if it does, then stay away from it, but the L-theanine in the green tea is a fantastic option to help with calming and relaxing. So, for most people, if you drink a cup of green tea, then you're getting a balance between the two. But things like stinging nettles can be immunomodulatory and very helpful, or like you said, the reishi mushrooms, that kind of thing, could be extremely useful for immunomodulation. So if you think that you have an inflammatory load that is higher, then that may be a good thing to be doing alongside some of these nervous system herbs that we've discussed. 

[1:22:25.5] Ashley James: Are there cultures that have noticeably lower rates of autoimmune inflammation? Do you know of any? I'm just thinking of, for example, Asia, which probably consumes the most amount of green tea. They are naturally getting good amounts of L-theanine, and then also, Asia loves reishi. They are widely accepted and taken mushrooms. I just wonder if certain cultures, because they include these foods and beverages in their daily life and in their culture, like, “See here, these guys are doing this, and they have 25% less autoimmune than those in America,” for example, who consume less amounts of these things. I wonder if we can look at each nation and see which ones have significantly higher rates. Of course, who's tracking all this? But it would be interesting. I know that cardiologists have done studies of the Japanese population versus the American population when it comes to heart disease or cancer rates. And so I just wonder if we're tracking autoimmune now as well, as we tracked those other issues? 

[1:23:50.4] Elizabeth Guthrie: So interesting because as you were talking through that, I was Googling. Google is the best and worst thing ever, right? But hey, so I actually found some information. I'll try to send you this link so it can be in the show notes for anybody who's interested. But on, there is a prevalence of diagnosed autoimmune conditions in selected countries, and it is not very many countries. But since we're talking about the United States and Japan, it's showing a 2% rate in Japan and a 7% rate in the United States in 2019. Now, does that mean that it's absolutely that, or maybe they're not diagnosing it? We'd have to look at their structure and how they chose to diagnose because, obviously, undiagnosed stuff happens all the time. But I suspect that you're probably on to a bit of something there. 

[1:24:46.6] Ashley James: Well, yeah, and I've had several guests on how to reverse autoimmune, and it's largely diet. Surprise, surprise. Largely with diet, we can wreck a lot of major issues and discussions, and that's why we listen to this show and learn from these guests in how to take control — and there's that word again — the feeling of being in control. We're giving that feeling back to the person who is listening because “Here's something you can do. You can go to the store. You can buy this tea. You can take it.” Like now, they feel like they've got something they can do. So many times, I've heard so many stories of people going to their medical doctor. The medical doctor is basically saying, “You just got to live with this and just deal with it.” 

Again, I'm not ripping on all medical doctors. You can't do a mass generalization, nor do I. However, with our observation of their education, we have to understand that their education has informed them, and they see through a lens that is different from those who have been holistically trained. It's a different lens to look through, and they really will have the hubris to believe that they have the answer and no other answers exist outside of their body of knowledge. Not all MDs, but there's been so many cases, and so many people have just, like you said, thrown your hands up and given up because you've been told by the authorities that what you have is something you'll always have. And that's not the case. There are so many answers out there. A medical doctor that I interviewed was really interesting. She ended up going a hundred percent holistic and became a functional medicine practitioner because she became incredibly sick, and no medical doctor that she went to could solve her problem. And they basically said, “Well, now you're just going to have to live with this,” and she was just bedridden. And so it took natural medicine, and she was infuriated because she spent almost half a million dollars and up to twelve years of her life becoming this highly specialized medical doctor, and that all went out the window. Now, that education would help you stop an artery from bleeding out and help someone recover from a stroke or heart attack, broken bones, and certain infections. There's a time and a place for this amazing emergency medicine that I value and trust, and I will be the first person to go to a hospital in those emergency situations. But you don't take your car to a plumber. Why are we always going to the same? And this is the system that we live in because it's a for-profit system. So they've set themselves up as the only doctor to see. 

And that's why we have to reach out to podcasts like this, to learn from people like you, so that we can take matters into our own hands and start to explore. We can do this on a daily basis to improve our health through nutrition, herbs, whatever practices like going for a walk in nature. Move your body in a way that brings you joy. Like I said, I love Tai Chi and Qigong, and you can do it in a structured way, or you could just throw on some music and dance. These things really do affect your hormone levels. They really do matter. They really can bring down inflammation. These activities in your life — when you go to sleep, when you wake up, when you enter nature, and what you eat — all play a major role in affecting your body and honoring that. And then this doctor, I asked her, “Why is it that so many medical doctors — not all of them, I'm not throwing them all in the same category — act as if natural medicine either doesn't exist or that it's some snake oil quackery, and that pharmaceutical-based medicine, that allopathic medical system, is the only medicine?” And she said, “Listen, we invested almost half a million dollars and eight to twelve years of our life, just depending on specialties and stuff, invested a huge amount of time, a huge amount of energy, a huge amount of blood, sweat, and tears, essentially, and we come out of this believing that we must have been taught everything that matters. And if they didn't teach it in the last eight years and half a million dollars in education, then it isn't important.” And that is what every medical school is pushing, right? 

And so what we have to do is understand that the practitioner you go to is incredibly important in what you choose. And also, do not let their opinion be the end-all-be-all. Do not let them dictate your healing because I was told I'd never have kids by an endocrinologist. After a battery of tests, I was told that I was barren, and that's ridiculous. We have a wonderful boy that's almost eight years old, and it was a natural medicine that brought my fertility back. I reversed a hundred percent of my polycystic ovarian syndrome, and I was told by many people that you cannot reverse it. And I'm like, well, I'm about to show you. 

[1:30:02.0] Elizabeth Guthrie: And so, when you're coming to all of this, and you have had trauma. It's interesting when we're talking about nutrition, and my Master's Degree, there was a focus on functional nutrition, and there is a strong movement that says that autoimmune concerns are a nutrition thing. Diet, diet, diet. And that is true for a lot of people. But there are also a lot of people who have trauma around food, and they may have an eating disorder, or there may be nutritional concerns that make it difficult for them to hit that from that angle. And if that's the case, be aware, and listen to what Ashley has said about it. There are other things. There's Tai Chi, yoga, and there are herbs that can help. There are ways that you can focus on your health that don't include nutrition. 

Now, for those of you who are able to work with nutrition and it works for you, there are some amazing options there, but don't feel like that is it. This is what I'm talking about with trauma-informed care — pivot, pivot, pivot. If you have an eating disorder, or like a lot of people with adoption trauma, they have concerns around food, and they may be fighting food, hoarding, and things like that. There are a lot of restrictive diets that are used to help people heal up the leaky gut and things that can actually activate those responses where somebody now is struggling to fight the need to hoard food in their room because they can't have certain things. So all these little nuances like that, if you're listening to this and you're hearing the things, don't get stuck on just one thing. Recognize that there are other things that we are talking about and don't hear, “Oh, it has to be nutrition,” because Ashley mentioned all these other things too. That's the kind of thing that I am trying to help practitioners to notice and to recognize because there's a lot of stuff that we've been taught that we see as, “Well, this is the way.” And then, we have to recognize that we can become creative and we can still stay evidence-informed. We can recognize that there's empirical evidence for these other methods that maybe aren't as simple as looking at something from a nutritional angle. There may be a little bit more complex. There may be a little more nuance that we have to wrestle with. But when we do that, we are becoming more accessible to other people. 

So there's amazing stuff that's being done. And what I encourage you, as practitioners who are listening to this, is to constantly be willing to expand your horizons. Look at different options, and learn about new things. If you can't carry it, then find people in your area that you trust, or find people who work virtually, like I do, that can help you as a referral system. Build your referral network when necessary. And then, of course, those of you who are listening have hope that there are options available. It just may take some time to find what works for you with the situation that you have dealt with. You told me about homeopathy at the beginning of this, and it may be something like that. It may not be something that has a physical component. It may be something that is purely energetic, like flower essences, which is not exactly homeopathy, but it's kind of a form of it. And what I work with a lot are flower essences and aromatherapy, and herbs. The flower essences help a lot when somebody has struggled on the physical front. 

[1:33:40.2] Ashley James: I love that you keep preaching the willingness to try new things. I don't want to say get out of your comfort zone because that can kind of trigger the fight or flight response. But think of it from this perspective of being in control because, like you said, that's calming when you're feeling like you're in control. So you get to brew the tea, you get to sip the tea. You could put on a YouTube video just to see what basic Tai Chi is. It's really fun, actually, stroking the horse's mane. I went and did Tai chi. I remember this was like 20 years ago, and I was heavily into studying martial arts, to study Okinawan goju-ryu karate, and jiu-jitsu. And then we did a little bit of gōngfu and some Tai chi. And I go with my sensei to this town that only has like 100 people, and it's small. I was in rural Canada. And it was in the senior center, and it would be a senior center gymnasium filled with eight-year-olds, and he would lead the class. It was so cool just to be there and do this in rural Canada with a bunch of seniors when I was in my early twenties. 

It feels really interesting because how many times in our life do we breathe and move slowly like sloths? We never do that, but what an interesting thing for a nervous system because, especially for me, I'm a busy mom. I'm running around doing so many things. I always kind of catch myself going, “Wow, I feel really crazy right now.” You know what I mean? I feel not crazy, but I feel really like a mom with her head cut off, like a chicken with its head cut off. I'm making food. I'm packing food. I'm taking the kid here. I'm homeschooling there. Go to this class, go to that class. I feel really productive and great, but even though you're still having fun and being productive, how many times are we surviving on fight or flight? Many women I talk to believe that, “I need this adrenaline. I need this cortisol to get through the day.” I need to be in fight or flight to get through the day, to be productive.” And they think that they need it to be productive. 

And to do something like Tai Chi or Qigong, where you intentionally move slowly to something we don't do, and you intentionally breathe controlled and deep and really oxygenate your body, especially in the last few years, so many of us really do need that. And what happens is the nervous system goes, “Oh, okay. We're not freaking out. We're not putting out fires. Wow, there are no fires to put out.” And then you just feel your body, like you said, come into the now and relax. If you can hold on to that while you're being busy through the day, you not only really enjoy being productive. You'll just be, like you said, centered, calm in the now, and you can be busy and productive, but you hold on to that state where you're telling your body, telling your nervous system, that everything's okay. That you're safe, that everything is fine. So you don't have to trigger the fight or flight, and your body can continue healing and assimilating food. Being in a fight or flight, sometimes we lose our hunger, or when we eat, it sits in our stomach, just like a pit in our stomach because our body is not digesting it. You're not digesting when you're in fight or flight. And so if you can eat a meal and you feel like you really digested — it's not sitting there, and it's not stagnating in your gut — that is so good because your body is able to assimilate those nutrients. 

So I love the little tips you gave us. Start with the tea, then get experimental, but have fun with it. Choose something that you don't feel is scary. But trying new things from the standpoint of it is going to be fun. This is going to be an experiment. Maybe include your girlfriends, like you said. Everyone buys a different tea and you can all share with each other. I love that. Or essential oils — you and your friends could take some different essential oils and share them, and you have an essential oils party. There are so many things that we can do together to make it fun. Making it fun is not triggering the fight or flight response. If you can make it fun, then it's not threatening. 

[1:38:21.6] Elizabeth Guthrie: It's fine if it's a healthy expression of the sympathetic nervous system. And I love that you've mentioned that because, to me, it is so important to come to a place where things are enjoyable. We want to be able to dip into the dorsal vagal, which becomes a freeze response when we're dealing with trauma. But we want to be able to settle in front of a fire, surrounded by loved ones, and be in almost a meditative state. I don't want to call it a dull state because I'm not trying to call it negative. But it is almost like the mind becomes a little fuzzy, and you are just able to sit and be with people. That is a little bit of an expression of dorsal vagal. And we want to be able to have those fun moments of a little bit of sympathetic expression. They're supposed to be there, but it's being tempered by the ventral vagal and coming back into that connection. 

And another thing that I mentioned in the book is there are ways to make your own flower essences with the flowers that you have. And so, if you have a flower that you're particularly fond of, you can make essences. You can do it direct if it's something that's edible. If it's something you shouldn't be eating, you don't have to do a direct flower essence. You can actually put the water next to the plant. So there are all kinds of different ways to make this interactive. The book, of course, is called The Trauma-Informed Herbalist: A discussion around effectively supporting clients who are struggling with trauma. But I had a lot of people read it who aren't practitioners and who love it because I am talking to practitioners through a lot of this and talking about being willing to be flexible and find other things. But my whole essential oils chapter has a whole list of different oils and the ways that I have found them to be emotionally useful for people. Or the plant spirit connections and digging into trying to find more aetheric ways to connect with plant medicine. And when you do that, you are reclaiming that autonomy when you are making those choices. That's where you will find yourself able to get back into a place of ventral vagal connection more frequently.

[1:40:39.2] Ashley James: Love it, love it. Thank you so much for coming to the show and sharing those things. I want you to tell us how we can take your courses.

[1:40:49.4] Elizabeth Guthrie: If you go to, you will see at the top and or the bottom that there's a place where you can go to my classes under Empathic Coaches Academy. It is the name of the school. And if you go to, you'll be able to see about my work about the book if you're interested. The classes range from — like, I have one class that's specifically trauma-informed aromatherapy. I'd love for us to get on that topic next time because that is a fun topic. It's a six-hour class that digs into trauma-informed care from an essential oil standpoint. I'm currently teaching trauma-informed herbalism, so you can go, and you will find that there as well. And then, of course, I have my full practitioner program that's available for people who are looking to dig even deeper.

[1:41:43.9] Ashley James: Love it. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Is there anything you want to leave us with? Any homework, maybe?

[1:41:52.5] Elizabeth Guthrie: My homework to you is to try something. I'm not going to tell you that you need to go do the tea activity, even though that mindful tea activity is my favorite thing, where you drink the tea and you smell it, and you just spend some time with it. I encourage you to take one thing from this session and go this week and try it out. See what you notice about how you feel when you try it. And from that, what would you do differently or the same? So if it is the tea and you go, and you get three or four of your friends together, and you all do a tea swap, did it work? Did you find something that you felt was really good for you? How does that change what you're going to do from here on out? Making these small little steps is the way to rewire. Remember the visual I gave you at the beginning? We're not looking to balance a seesaw and fix things overnight. We are unplugging one thing, untangling it, and plugging it back in. Unplugging the next, untangling it, plugging it back in. Slow and steady is what's important when it comes to healing from trauma.

If you have questions, don't hesitate to reach out to me at any time. I am here to support you all as much as I can. But I genuinely feel like your best decision is to brainstorm some of the stuff that you've heard today. Brainstorm it, take it, and try something out and see what you can find that can bring yourself back into more of that ventral vagal connection. 

[1:43:28.6] Ashley James: Awesome. Awesome. Let's all go do that. I love it. I love it. You know what? I think what I'm going to do is I'm going to write a little sticky note that says ventral vagal stimulation or something to remind me, are you in the rest and digest? And I'm going to put that on the fridge or something. Sometimes it's nice to have little reminders. I write notes to myself and put them on the fridge. Oh yeah, put it in the bathroom. Just remind yourself and go to the toilet. You can put a sticky note right across the hall, or whatever wall is in front of you or near you, or near the toilet paper, because you're sitting there for 30 seconds to minutes, or however long you're there. You've got some time to check in with yourself, check in with your body, do some deep breathing, and maybe visualize what you want to have to happen. 

That's a big thing I teach people when I teach them to get out of their anxiety. It is to imagine what you want to have to happen because we are always imagining so much of what we don't want to have to happen, which triggers the anxiety response. Imagine what you do want to have happened today. And that tells the body that we're not under attack. We are in a safe place where you can imagine what you want to have happen. Even if it's like, “Oh, I imagine making myself some moon tea tonight, having had a really good day.” Just imagine yourself making it, sipping it, having it hot, and smiling to yourself at how great today went. That's it. You don't have to imagine the whole day. Just imagine that, at the end of the day, you're saying, “Hey, this was a really good day.” That's enough to tell your body, “Oh, I'm not under threat right now.” Taking those times to just check-in. So I love this whole discussion, and there are so many actual things, so much homework that we can do. So, thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing with us today. 

[1:45:29.1] Elizabeth Guthrie: Thank you, Ashley. I'm thrilled that I've been able to do this. This has been amazing. And I hope that as people begin to find themselves more and more in the ventral vagal state, they're able to make connections with each other. And that's how we're going to eventually heal a lot of the wounds that have happened over the last few years. It is to bond together in safe and effective communities. So I thank you and thank you to everyone who is listening to this because we've covered a lot. It's been a lot of material. But you people are the ones that are making this change. We're sitting here, we're discussing these ideas, but when you go out, and you make those changes, and you start healing yourself and your families and your communities, that's where the real legacy stands. So, thank you. 

[1:46:17.9] Ashley James: I hope you enjoyed today's episode with PhD candidate, Elizabeth Guthrie. Looking forward to Part 2, which will be the next episode that I publish, in which you will hear the update from this last interview. You can go to to sign up for the free webinar that Elizabeth is putting on. She's going to be teaching a really interesting herbal, somatic, aromatherapy, clinical herbalism. It's all really interesting. So if you like today's interview, it just gives you a whole new thing to add to your tool belt — this idea that you could add essential oils and teas. You don't even have to get into the heavy-hitting stuff like tinctures and extracts. You could really work very gently with herbs to nourish the body and support the body in emotional, mental, and physical well-being. And so you're going to want to sign up for the free talk that she's giving. It's a webinar. It's coming up Saturday, August 5th, at 10 a.m. Go to and just sign up for the free thing. Even if this is after August 5th, still go to that link because I'm going to be making sure that we get the link to her ongoing stuff that she's doing and making sure that we link to that because she's giving ongoing talks and training. This is a free webinar that she's giving, but she also does paid courses that you can take in the comfort of your own home. And you, too, can become an at-home herbalist to support yourself and your family in amazing health and healing. Thank you so much for being a listener. Thank you so much for sharing this podcast with those you care about. Please share this episode with those in your life who you think would love to use plants around them to support them in healing emotionally, mentally, and physically. Have yourself a fantastic rest of your day.


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Jul 22, 2023

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505: Quantum Healing: Bridging Ancient Wisdom with Modern Science | Dr. John Douillard 

Today's podcast discussion centered around quantum healing, ayurvedic herbal medicine, and the benefits of drinking structured water. Dr. John Douillard, an Ayurvedic physician, shared his experiences with structured water and how it positively impacted his energy levels and mental clarity. The conversation also touched on the universality of Ayurveda and how its principles of living in sync with natural cycles apply to people from different regions and cultures. Dr. Douillard emphasized the importance of using whole herbs and their natural microbiomes to support the body's innate healing abilities. The discussion highlighted the synergy between ancient wisdom and modern science in promoting overall well-being and health.

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Ashley James And Dr. John Douillard


  • The benefits of drinking structured water and its impact on energy levels
  • Living in sync with the natural cycles of nature and how Ayurveda promotes this approach
  • Ayurveda is described as a universal study of nature that can be applied to anyone, regardless of race or location
  • The significance of using whole herbs rather than extracts, as the synergy of the entire plant with its natural microbiome supports the body's healing processes
  • The benefits of ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb known for its ability to support relaxation and energy levels
  • The importance of a diverse gut microbiome and how Ayurveda recognizes the role of beneficial microbes in health.
  • Ashley shares her personal experience with a moon milk recipe containing herbs like ashwagandha and how it has improved her sleep and overall well-being.


Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I'm your host, Ashley James. This is Episode #505. 

[0:00:13.6] Ashley James: I am so excited for today's guest. We're going to have a really great show, I can tell. We've got Dr. John Douillard here with us, and in our pre-talk, before I hit the record, I was like, “Okay, we're all set. You got your water.” He's like, “Yeah, I got my analemma water,” and I'm like, “What?” We're both drinking structured water right now. This is so cool. 

So John, tell me, so you just started drinking about a month ago, and then now you're drinking, all your water is structured. That's what I do. I stir all my water. I've been doing it since just after Thanksgiving. So it's been, what, seven, eight months that I've been drinking the analemma structured water, and I do notice more get-up-and-go, and my plants look crazy. My plants look like I fertilize them with crack, I don't know. It really does make a difference. But you can't just do a little bit. Like you said, you started drinking a little bit, and then you started drinking more and more of your water with structured water, and then you noticed more energy. It's really interesting, isn't it? 

[0:01:13.9] Dr. John Douillard: Yeah, it really is interesting. I think when I really said, “Okay, I'm going to make sure I drink this water, and also, it helps make me drink more water because I really want to get the effect of it. So I started stirring it. Actually, my staff have one too. So they're stirring it into the big kind of glass, the all filter thing, that they just stir all the water for the day in that, so they're using it too. When I started drinking a little bit more of it, just like three big glasses, like 16 oz glasses a day, I started feeling more energy, more lighter. I always have good energy, but I feel like the energy was so much clearer. I was clear-headed, and I was less weirdly distracted by the world we live in, social media, this, and that. I was way more focused on my quiet time, my spiritual time, and I'm more motivated. I always have that motivation, but sometimes I can get distracted, and other things pull me up. But with this, I just felt like it changed my vibration and my brain or something. So I'm still a rookie at this, but I am giving it a good go, and I'm excited about it. 

[0:02:30.9] Ashley James: That is so cool. I don't know if you know this, but they came out recently with the whole house unit, and my listeners get 10% off coupon code LTH, as always. Our listeners can go to to check it out. Plus, also check out all the studies that analemma puts out. They're putting out a study around bathing in the water, and they found that it changed cardiac output for the better. Now, I'm not a cardiologist, but I read through the study, and I'm like, “This sounds great!” I have no idea what it means, but it was very sciency. I'm sure, John, you would understand it if you read the study. I know that you told me that you read studies every day, the latest studies that come out, and I love it when doctors do that; that they are plugged into the latest science. So I'm excited to see the studies as they come out in terms of bathing in structured water because I believe in frequency medicine. And so it just makes so much sense to surround the entire body with structured water and see how that's going to help us. They take already healthy people and do these studies to see how average healthy people would benefit instead of taking sick people. They want to make sure that they're not crossing any lines in seeing this medical device. Although I'm sure one day, we might be able to start to see studies about that. But already healthy people have improvements in skin health and heart health, and it's very interesting. So yeah, I love drinking it. I wonder how many things you and I have in common. This will be fun. 

[0:04:13.4] Dr. John Douillard: And I love the fact that when you actually stir it into the water, it's permanent. Like a lot of structured water, they're very temporary. With this one, you create that structured water, and it stays forever, which is kind of really unique other than the quality of their structure. But that's kind of where you need not worry. You can do a whole batch and then have it last, and it's always there for you.

[0:04:39.3] Ashley James: That's what I do. I fill up all my mason jars and sit down, and I'll stir them for 2 minutes each. Or I'll fill up really big containers of water, and I'll just sit there for like 10 minutes and just stir, and I'll be doing something else, like talking with the family or whatever, listening to something, or watching something, and it's meditative. For me, I love it. I feel a sense of productivity, and I'm like, “Okay, my water is stirred for the day.” But I got to be honest. I can't wait for the day that I have the whole house unit. I think I'll miss stirring it, but at the same time, it will be wonderful to bathe in it as well. It's really, really interesting. 

I'm really excited to get into what we're going to talk about today because you have such a depth and breadth of knowledge when it comes to taking ancient wisdom and modern science and showing us the way, showing us the light, right? There's so much diet confusion, even herbal confusion, and medication confusion, and we're all bumping around, sick of being sick and sick of feeling like we're kind of lied to by the mainstream medical system that claims that they've got a pill for us. Whatever your problem is, they've got a pill for us. And that's just suppressing the body, trying to force it into suppressing a symptom, forcing it into a way of being a state. But as we know, when there is a disease, it's going to show up somewhere else. So we suppress something. It's whackable. It's going to pop up somewhere else, and now you got five more symptoms from that medication to handle. Whereas if we come in and look for the root cause, support the body's innate God-given ability to heal itself. Instead of trying to play god, let's step back and go, “How can we support the body's ability to heal itself?” Now we will be able to watch the body come into correction. 

So you have a wonderful store. We're going to talk about that later, where you provide herbs and herbal blends that will all support us as tools. Listeners can go to and use coupon code LTH to be able to access the products that we're going to talk about today as you teach us about using food as our medicine and using herbs as our medicine. I'd love to hear what happened. How did you figure it out? How did you get super excited about Ayurveda and using this ancient wisdom along with modern science to guide people?

[0:07:17.9] Dr. John Douillard: Well, back in 1986, while I was a Chiropractic, I heard the word Ayurveda and I was studying acupuncture at the time. And for some reason, I just loved that word, and I wanted to know what it was, and it's the kind of traditional system of medicine from India that's thousands and thousands of years old, and I was just so intrigued by that. So I ended up having a chance to go to India for a four-week, six-week trip to learn Ayurveda. And I went there and found an Ayurvedic teacher there, and I was invited to stay there and train with this Ayurvedic physician. And so I had to practice in Boulder, Colorado, at that time, and I called my partner up, and I said, “Hey, I don't know when I'm going home, but I'm not coming home for a while.” I literally closed my practice by phone. He could barely hear me, and this was the 1980s. There was no cell phone. It took an hour to get a line to call from the United States to India. 

And so, I just closed my practice, and a year and a half later, I came back, and somebody I didn't even know was driving my car, and things in different houses everywhere were scattered. And when I was there, I met Deepak Chopra. He was opening up a center in Massachusetts, and he wanted someone who had been trained in Ayurveda to do it. So at the end of my training, I also, more importantly, met my wife in India, even though she was from California. Along that way, in that year and a half, we got married, and now she's pregnant. We were living in India with my pregnant wife, who couldn't handle the smells in India at all. So she needed to get out of there, and Deepak said, “This is perfect timing. I'm opening up this center once you come back and run the center for me.” So we did, and literally, the day I got there, it was like November day. We walked into his new clinic, and there was a doctor's conference that I was supposed to teach. I literally got off the plane and started teaching. So I started teaching medical doctors Ayurvedic medicine, and I realized really quickly that this was not going to work — a chiropractor teaching medical doctors Ayurveda unless I had some science to back this up. So that sort of launched me into finding not only the ancient wisdom, which I'm so fascinated by but by the science to back it up. And that's what I do to this day. I write articles and do videos on ancient wisdom, modern science. And if I can find some ancient practice that's been time-tested and still in practice today, and I have science to back it up, I feel like that's what we should at least look at. I mean, science alone can prove coffee is good; coffee is bad. It's always good. It's always bad. Whatever it wants to prove, it sort of proves it. So without having some time-tested wisdom behind it, I feel like you don't really know for sure. So that's what I do.

[0:10:15.2] Ashley James: I love it. You know, some old-school doctors will say, “Well, this medication has been on the market for 50 years. So I would rather go with this medication that we have had for centuries, look at it, and see that we know very clearly what the side effects are and what the effects are. And I'd rather give you this medication than the new one that's been on the market for one month, and we really don't know what it does.” And then we have Ayurveda which is thousands of years old. And it's funny to think about medication, “Oh, it's a 50-year-old medication. Wow, that's really old.” Well, how about a system of medicine that's thousands of years old and has been proven time and time again, tried and tested? It makes so much sense. Now, Ayurveda is cultivated in a specific area of the world. Can it be rubber-stamped to any culture, to any people? Because we have very different climates. We have very different access to food. Can someone in Chile, someone in the Yukon, and someone in the Netherlands all feel the benefits of Ayurveda, or do they have to adapt it to their climate, to their seasons, to the herbs that are accessible to them? 

[0:11:40.6] Dr. John Douillard: That's the beauty of it, really. That's such a great question. My teacher literally drove it into my head again and again. He used to tell me, and he goes, “Ayurveda is not Indian. Get it into your head. It's universal.” It's a universal study of nature. ‘Ayur' means life, ‘Veda' means truth. So it's the truth or the science of life. So it's about living in sync with the natural cycles of nature. It's going kind of downstream with the rhythms of nature as opposed to feeling exhausted at the end of every day. You feel like you have to work your butt off, and then you kind of have to recover on the weekends or have to have that glass of wine to come home. 

Life has become a struggle for a lot of us. But traditionally, if you listen to nature and watch nature, watch the birds, the deer, the animals, they're not struggling. We're struggling. And it's about living our life in that natural way. For example, the beautiful thing is just the food we eat. In the winter, we all know pretty much, let's say, North America, it is cold and dry, and nature has an antidote to that coldness and dryness, and it's the harvest which is nuts and seeds that grow. That's what they eat in the winter to give them a higher fat, higher protein food to insulate them for those winter months. It makes perfect sense. In the spring, when it's rainy and muddy and allergy season, the harvest is completely different. It's a very austere, leafy green harvest with some berries and some bitter roots, like all the dandelions in your yard that the deer are digging up. Those bitter roots will scrub and clean up all that mucus that builds up in your intestinal tract during the very wet, rainy, congested, mucousy spring months. And in the summer, when it's very hot, nature gives us cooling fruits and vegetables. So, that's the study of nature. That's what Ayurveda is based on, and that applies everywhere, anywhere, anytime.

[0:13:39.9] Ashley James: I love it. And when it comes to the herbs, there are herbs that can only be found in the regions of Asia in India. Are these herbs applicable to every race? Do we see that people of Caucasian descent have a different reaction than people of Asian descent or universally to everyone, no matter our genetics, responds well to the same herbs? 

[0:14:09.7] Dr. John Douillard: The cool thing about Ayurveda is it gives you ways to classify the herbs according to their taste and their quality, which can apply to anyone from any race, anywhere. But what's really important about it is that you have herbs. You know, in old age, they say you eat stuff that's local, and I understand that that's really important. And we use a lot of Western herbs and classify them ayurvedically, which makes good sense. But there is a study, Ashley, that was done about ten years ago in Utah and in New Mexico. And they went into a museum that had Indians that were a thousand years old, and they took their poop, and they measured it. They were able to figure out a way to measure what kind of bugs they had in their poop. And they found that there were these massive numbers of bugs with lots of diversity. They compared that ancient thousand-year-old poop to modern poop, and there was such a lack of diversity in our guts that they called it an extinction of that — the lack of microbial diversity in the last 30 years. The food that we eat has reduced in diversity, different kinds of food by 50%. So, in other words, by eating the same industrial food again and again and again, we were losing that diversity. So going to Europe and traveling to Asia is a way to get more microbial diversity. 

I've actually done studies on that with my patients to back that up. So that's a really important piece of the puzzle. So in the [inaudible 0:15:40.3], I would say, “Yeah, I want to eat local stuff and eat the food which makes sense. They want to get the right bugs for the right season, for the right place in your gut at the right time. The problem is we spray pesticides on so many things that we're eating food, and the soil just doesn't have those bugs. So when we get herbs, we get them from Indian organic farms. They are certified organic. We have to get them tested by the FDA to find out exactly what bugs are in there. And as long as the bugs are good, and they're usually loaded with good probiotics, and you actually ingest those foods, you're actually inoculating your gut with the right bugs for the particular condition you're trying to treat. But also, I always like to prescribe herbs based on the season they were harvested. There is an herb called ashwagandha. Everybody's probably heard of that herb. Now, it's harvested in the fall for the winter. It's a warm, heavy, sweet root that builds resilience, endurance. It's an anti-aging agent. It's just an amazing herb, an adaptogen for stress and things like that.

When you take the whole herb with the bugs on it, you have a synergy. There are what are called bacterial endophytes, which are bugs that are on the plants naturally, and those bugs on those plants support the intelligence and the potency and the benefit of that plant. It's like if I took all the bugs out of you, you would be a completely different person. If I take all the bugs out of our food when we sterilize them with pesticides, that's not going well for us — all these kinds of sterilized foods, processed foods. And the same thing happens when you take an herb versus an extract. If you take an herb and you take the whole plant, and then you create an extract, you've created a sterile compound. It's completely sterile. So when you take what we do in America — because I want to make that herb more potent — I want to take that herb and concentrate it by a hundred times and make it bigger and better. So it's the American way. 

But the study showed when you take curcumin, for example, out of turmeric, which is one of the three hundred constituents out of the whole turmeric root, and you make it into an extract, you made it into a drug, and it is going to be a drug. It has been shown to help people reverse colon cancer and breast cancer, and prostate cancer. It is a really powerful drug. But whenever you make a concentrate like that, you're going to have consequences, side effects, just like the TV commercials for the drug companies. So when you take the whole plant with the herb in the natural climate microbiome that's on that plant, you have a food that works in synergy with your body. It supports the body to do the job for itself, for it to do the job for the body. And that's what I really love about Ayurveda. That's what I have, and it is obvious in our stores. It's whole herbs, and we test them for identity. We test them for bugs. We test them for heavy metals. We test them for everything twice. We test them twice when I get the herb and after we make our formula, and then we know that these are just really polyherbs. So I take these herbs personally and give them to my patients for years and years because they're inoculating their gut with the bugs that we desperately need. We need a diverse microbiome, and we just don't have that anymore. That's the difference between Ayurveda which is like, “Hey, let's use the whole plant. Let's use nature the way it came and not try to mess with it.” Who are we to think we can make it better? Let's use what nature provided for us and watch it work for us and with us, as opposed to overruling us.

[0:19:20.1] Ashley James: I make moon milk, like a turbo moon milk, that my husband and I drink every night, and it has over ten herbs in it, including ashwagandha, which I just love, and a ton of turmeric. I've been thinking to myself lately; maybe I want to try making this with fresh turmeric, like with the turmeric root. I've been using powdered turmeric. And, of course, that's more concentrated. It's been dehydrated and ground up as a powder. 

[0:19:50.6] Dr. John Douillard: No, no. Not really. If you get the fresh ground turmeric, that's completely fine. It's when you take just one constituent out of it and concentrate that one thing that it becomes an extract and is going to be sterile. But when you have just ground-up turmeric powder, that's perfect. That's great. There is a pretty amazing study that shows that if you mix that sixteen parts turmeric with one part black pepper — this was at the St. John's Hospital in Bangalore in the year 2000 — it increases the absorption of the turmeric by 2000%. So all you gotta do is add sixteen to one, a little bit of black pepper to your turmeric, put that in your mix there in your moon milk, and you are going to make that turmeric so much more active.

[0:20:36.4] Ashley James: Love it. Yeah, definitely. That is one of the spices, that is, the black pepper, and I've learned not to put too much. There was one time I made it, and I put way too much. I'm like, I do have that American; if something is good, more is better. And I often overdo it, and there can be too much black pepper, so I have dialed in for that. I'm actually going to be posting this soon on the website as a blog. I want to share my recipe because I've been playing with it for a while, and I've got it dialed in. I'm really happy about it, and it tastes so good. It's such a beautiful ritual at the end of the night. I like to try to eat dinner earlier and then go to bed hungry, like going to bed on an empty stomach. And so I like to have that moon tea right around maybe 8 p.m. when the body goes, “I wish I could have a second dinner,” and I'm like, “No, no, no. I'm going to drink this.” It's delicious, and it's calming. It's a beautiful ritual to just smell it and sip on it and feel the nervous system calm down and get ready for bed. When I introduced it to my life — I already got good sleep — but I noticed it's even better sleep, deeper dreams. Like I have these wild dreams. And every time I do something that I know helps me for my sleep and deepens it, I'll get even wilder dreams and even more colorful dreams, and I'll wake up remembering all my dreams. I just know that whatever I just did, that was good. I can keep doing that because it's deepening the sleep and the restoration. But I noticed that I am even calmer. Not that I'm prone to anxiety, but I just noticed that I'm calmer and happier and don't yell as much. The nervous system feels like it is much more stable just introducing, like you said, ashwagandha and the other herbs into my little ritualistic evening drink.

You were saying bugs, and I know I have to clarify because lately, there's been a big push for us to eat insects. When you were saying bugs, you did mean healthy gut bacteria, a diverse microbiome of the gut bacteria, and not crickets and roaches and other things that there have been people saying, “Oh, let's eat mealworms instead of beef or something.” I just wanted to clarify for the listeners that are going, “I don't want to eat crickets.”

[0:23:11.7] Dr. John Douillard: Yeah, no, a hundred percent. It's all about these microbes. In fact, in the Ayurvedic textbooks 2500 or 3500 years old, they talked about invisible bacteria. They called them krimi, and I talked about how they could cause problems and they could be actually beneficial. They talked about this, and they couldn't even see them. I don't even understand how they knew this. And they also said that the ones that actually caused problems, you don't want to kill them. You want to change the host, and change the environment, as opposed to killing them. It's something we're just beginning to understand now. When you kill bugs with antibiotics, you're killing so many good ones, and that's part of the reason why we have such a lack of diversity which we now know as an extinction event. That's what I love about ancient wisdom and modern science. It's like they knew that this microbiome existed thousands and thousands of years ago. And they also had some really amazing insight into how to manage all these microbes that can do good or bad. 

I love your drink. I want to see your recipe. And you should know that in Ayurveda, it's always said that you need energy to go to sleep at night. And I can say I'm too exhausted. I'm too tired. I'm wired and tired; I can't get to sleep. The reality is you need energy to go to sleep at night, and ashwagandha is one of those adaptogens that's literally named after putting folks to sleep. The botanical name is Withania somnifera, which means put you to sleep. That herb gives you the energy so you can sedate yourself into sleep, but it also allows you to run a marathon or take your SATs in the morning. That's the sign of a really good adaptogen. It's something you can take at night before you go to bed and also in the morning for energy because you don't want to stimulate your body to make the energy you don't have where you're going to debt over time. You have to pay it back at some point. That's the beauty of it. You have to understand, like, okay, you know, a little bit of caffeine here, and it is fine, but let's not get dependent on things that are going to, possibly down the road, deplete you. 

[0:25:24.8] Ashley James: So it builds you up. I saw a study about how we need more ATP. We actually have healthy people who have healthy sleep and healthy energy levels. They have a surge of ATP, which is cellular energy made by the mitochondria right before sleep, and I thought that was wild. Of course, more ATP doesn't make you jacked up like you just drank a Monster Energy drink; you're not all jittery. It's just more access to cellular energy. When I thought about it, it made complete sense. What do we do when we sleep? Our body detoxifies. So the cells require more cellular energy to go through the process of detoxifying, which means we should also have more antioxidants readily available. 

What is melatonin? We're now seeing that melatonin is a powerful antioxidant. In some cases, it's even more powerful than glutathione, and we need healthy levels while we're sleeping to help the cells detoxify. So that makes complete sense. We need to give the body what it needs to go deep, deep, deep, detoxify, and restore itself at night, and then come up and have lots of energy during the day. So the more energy we have during the day, the deeper we can go at night, but if you're kind of just crawling through the day, you're going to be tired at night because we need that beautiful rhythm up and down. And we need nutrients. 

[0:26:46.8] Dr. John Douillard: I love the fact that you know about that study. Very few people know about that study. And that is exactly right. Before you go to bed, just like you said, there's a surge of ATP. ATP is adenosine triphosphate. Right before you go to bed, when the body uses that energy to get you to go to sleep, the adenosine breaks off, and you're left with triphosphates that get wasted, get excreted as waste, and you are left with adenosine. Caffeine is a blocker of your adenosine receptor. So when you drink caffeine, the adenosine is trying to sedate you. It's a sedative. So if you have a bunch of ATP before you go to bed, the adenosine breaks off from the phosphates, and you have this adenosine that actually sedates you into deep sleep. But you also get that surge of energy that you were talking about, just like when you drink coffee. The adenosine receptors are blocked. So it will literally not let you get rest if you need it. So it does, in a way, overrule your intelligence. Not that it's bad, but it needs to be done intelligently. But that is such a great understanding of them. And everybody wants to sedate someone, and most of the time, people are so exhausted that they can't have the energy they need to put them to sleep. So they take a sedative to make an already sedated person more sedated and more exhausted, as opposed to deeply rejuvenating them, giving them the ability to make that ATP so they can have that energy they need to go to sleep. But that's the science behind it. The adenosine breaks off, and that's what puts us in and gets us to drop into that deep sleep. 

[0:28:19.9] Ashley James: So we got to step back and go, okay, how do I support my mitochondrial health? What kind of nutrients does my body need? What do I get to do to make sure I protect my mitochondria because mitochondria are related to gut bugs? It's really, really, really interesting. But anything that harms bacteria in the body can also harm mitochondria. So we want to support it, and I just want to kind of hold the mitochondria like it's a baby, a newborn baby, and just protect it and give it what it needs and know what it doesn't need. So what do you recommend? Of course, everything is in balance, right? We don't look reductionistically and say, “Let's just look at the mitochondria.” But what are the things that are really bad for the mitochondria, and what are the things that are really good for the mitochondria?

[0:29:13.0] Dr. John Douillard: Well, the best thing for mitochondria is what actually makes mitochondria energy, which is infrared light, which is basically the light in the morning. As long as the shadow that the sun makes in the morning is longer than you are tall, you're getting pretty much unopposed red and infrared light, not any UV radiation that could actually potentially do some damage in excess. And that infrared light actually penetrates your skin inches, even through your skull, and activates an enzyme called cytochrome c oxidase which is an enzyme that actually activates the mitochondrial energy in your body. So they said we didn't do photosynthesis in Biology class, but now we know that infrared light actually does activate energy from the sun. 

And here is the crazy thing — you mentioned melatonin. Well, I'm a big fan of melatonin. But only 10% of the melatonin in your body is actually made to help you go to sleep. 90% of the melatonin is made by the infrared light from the sun. So whenever your body makes energy, just like any energy plan, there's going to be a lot of waste products, and those are called reactive oxygen species, and the inability to make that energy or get rid of that trash is what causes accelerated aging and mitochondrial damage. So the body had to figure out a way to use an antioxidant to make an antioxidant inside the cell to take out all that trash. Otherwise, it would accelerate the aging process. The antioxidant that the body chooses to make from the infrared light of the sun through the same cytochrome c oxidase enzyme is melatonin. So the body makes 90% of the melatonin. It stays inside your cell. It doesn't have anything to do with you going to sleep at night. But it is inside your cell to shovel out all the free radical damage that comes as a result of energy production. 

So the sun is going to give you massive amounts of energy in the morning, particularly infrared light in the morning. The more of that morning sun you get, the more mitochondrial energy ATP you're going to get throughout the day and the more melatonin you'll produce at night. So that's one way that you can really help yourself. You should clean out in the summertime, and you can get outside and get that morning light. It's so critically important. You know, 90% of the time, the average American is indoors. And all the new lights, the LED lights, don't have any infrared light. You know the old incandescents would burn you if you touched them. And that's infrared light. It is hot, heating. So a lot of us are now having an infrared light deficiency which is really an important piece of the puzzle because it's so powerful to protect us from DNA damage and mitochondrial damage and accelerate aging, things that don't have to happen if we actually recognize that the sun is a really important thing. 

In fact, we also have this paranoia about UV radiation. But did you know that in 1901, UVA radiation, the stuff that the sunscreens block primarily, won the Nobel Prize for healing skin disease and autoimmune conditions, and all types of conditions? That literally won the Nobel Prize. That's why those old-time pictures of hospitals where they wheel people out on the balconies and they'll be out there in their hospital bed in the sun, remember those pictures? That's because of UV radiation, the thing that we were so afraid of. So we got to be aware of that. The sun is not our enemy now, obviously. And the infrared light in the morning will prepare you for UV radiation in the afternoon. And again, as the sun sets, the infrared light at sunset is going to heal any potential damage that might have been caused by excess UV radiation during the day. 

So, the sun really had a plan, and we were supposed to be in it a lot of the time. But we just take our little dip in and out of it, and we become really super sensitive to UV radiation. And I think it's something we have to realize that we really would have to be outside and in nature, under the trees in the forest. You get all that radiation bouncing off the leaves, and it's a really safe way to get all the health benefits of nature therapy and all that. And that's primarily because you're getting literally blasted with infrared light. It's really fun to go on Google or whatever and then search for infrared light in a city, and the photography of infrared light in the city looks exactly like a city normally would — it would look like bricks. But if you take an infrared picture of a forest, it's an explosion of white light, like you went to heaven, and you're just like, “Oh my gosh, it's just an amazing difference.” What is happening in the forest is all the infrared light is just blasting around underneath the leaves and bouncing off of you and everywhere. 70% of all solar rays are infrared, so we really need to have them. And if we lock ourselves in the house all day, we're not going to get them. So that's a big piece of the mitochondrial puzzle, big-time. 

[0:34:40.8] Ashley James: I just looked it up. I just looked up ‘city,' and I looked up ‘forest,' and you're right. It looks really different. And the forest is so beautiful. I'm in Seattle, just north of Seattle, and just this morning, I was surprised that it wasn't sunny. Usually, in the summertime, it's sunny. But no, we have a really thick overcast right now. So on days when it's thick and overcast or on times when it's winter, I am so thankful I have my Sunlighten Saunas. It's near-mid and far-infrared. Is that a good second to the actual sun, and should I be getting it into it first thing in the morning instead of in the evening because the infrared helps the body more in the morning?

[0:35:24.4] Dr. John Douillard: I think it is a good thing to do first thing in the morning. Although, because we have such a deficiency, I think doing it anytime will actually help us. But doing it first thing in the morning sort of helps to align our biological clocks. Normally, most traditional cultures are up to the sunrise. They watch the sunrise. They got this blast that says, “Hey, the sun just came up. The infrared just clobbered me on every level, and this is literally my nighttime biological clock turned off and my daytime biological clock turned on. So it's like synchronizing our watches to be, “This is the time when I shifted gears,” and it's kind of a night way to help us make that happen. But, as I said, I'm doing an infrared sauna. I'm a big fan of those definitely if it's in a near-infrared and red near-infrared light combination. That's the combination you're looking for. Far infrared is a little more heating, a little more therapeutic, but you have to limit how much of that you get. 

[0:36:19.6] Ashley James: Oh yes. And I, of course, have overdone that as well. I figured it out.

I'm about 20 to 30 minutes maximum. You know, too much water and too little water can kill us. And so it's like the sun. Too little sun, too much sun also can be harmful. There's a sweet spot, the Goldilocks effect; none of us are getting it. Most of us aren't getting enough water and minerals, let alone enough sun, and enough earthing, getting our bare feet out on the ground, and making sure obviously the grass you put in your bare feet is not pesticide laden. And that's a problem, though. So you got to make sure it's a yard or a lawn or forest that you trust. But touching the earth is so important. I have had several interviews on earthing or grounding, releasing the excess electrons back into the earth, and getting to earth's potential. And that's something that is backed by science as well, but we're so insulated. 

Think about our lives. Think about how artificial our lives are. We are so disconnected from nature. We are so disconnected from where our food is coming from, and so many hands have touched it by the time we get it. It's been so adulterated by the time we get it. Even the frozen organic — sometimes you get frozen organic vegetables because that's better than nothing at all. So if you're super busy, but you want to eat vegetables and you want to eat healthily, I'd rather you have some frozen organic than go for completely processed crap. But even that has been washed in high concentrations of chlorine, and we just don't even know. We're so disconnected from our food sources, from nature, from the earth, from the sun, from the sky, from clean air and clean water. We're so artificial. We're so insulated that we end up collecting these excess electrons in our bodies because we're always away from the earth. We're wearing rubber shoes. We're driving a car with rubber tires. And if we finally just took off our shoes and walked in the grass barefoot in the sunlight in the morning as a routine while sipping some wonderful herbal tea to hydrate ourselves and get the good nutrients in us, that would be an amazing, multi-purpose ritual to bring in each morning instead of dragging ourselves out of bed and running to the coffee machine to trick our body into thinking it's not tired. Like you said, how it blocks the adenosine.

I love that you're bringing these ideas to us. You have really interesting thoughts about diet. Can we talk a bit about your book Eat Wheat?

[0:39:14.1] Dr. John Douillard: Yes, of course. 

[0:39:17.7] Ashley James: I'm gluten-free, by the way. So when I saw that you wrote a book called Eat WheatI was like, “Okay, this is going to be interesting. It's fine.” I don't believe in diet dogma. So I'm not going to sit here and go, “Everyone has to eat the way I eat.” But I took it at face value; I was like, “Okay. He's just going to tell us we need a lot of wheat. Here we go.” But actually, I loved it when you and I talked a bit about this. I got so excited because it's such a wonderful concept. So yes, please tell us about your book, Eat Wheat

[0:39:44.7] Dr. John Douillard: Yeah, it's not really about wheat. We have talked about pesticides. Pesticides on our foods literally have been studied to kill the bugs in our mouth that make the digestive enzymes that help us digest things like wheat, dairy and nuts, seeds, lectins and phytic acids, and ketogenic and oxalates. All these things that we're being told don't eat, don't eat, and we're literally bubble wrapping our diet. And then, we talked about an exchange in microbial diversity. Well, this is how we get it. It's by eating a variety of foods. Those foods we've been eating for millions and millions of years. I'm not saying we should eat processed wheat. I'm not saying we should eat a food if we feel bad eating it, obviously. But if you eat a food and you feel bad eating it, then we should not say, “Hey, I'm going to stop eating that food.” You put gas in your car and this car stalls. You don't think it was the gas. You'd think, “Something is wrong with my car.” So that's what we should be thinking about — what can we do to strengthen our ability to digest our food the way we were designed. And so, the reason why I wrote Eat Wheat was because the whole gluten-free industry was sort of based around the fact that folks weren't feeling good eating wheat. A lot of it was the processed version of it, but a lot of it wasn't. A lot of it is the fact that folks just aren't digesting the way we should. And then they eat the hard-to-digest food, and then they pay a price for it. So they, obviously, logically think it's the food, so I should stop eating that food.

Studies have shown now that when folks are gluten-free — and I'm not trying to promote eating wheat. I'm trying to promote strengthening digestion to fix the upstream cause. Weed is a canary in the coal mine. If you eat that wheat and you can't digest it, then you need to ask yourself the question. Why am I not digesting that well, and how can I reboot that digestion? How can I troubleshoot every aspect of my digestion and figure out where my digestive system is broken down? Well, the wheat here is processed, and it's sprayed with glyphosate. It is. But everything is sprayed with glyphosate because it's in the rainwater now. So you have to be able to digest well to detoxify well. If you don't have good digestive strength, you're not going to detoxify, and ETA 2019 and 20 reported 70 million tons of toxic chemicals dumped in our atmosphere every year, which filters down into the water we drink and the air we breathe. So if you eat organic food, you're still getting those chemicals on your food that don't really wash off. So if you don't digest your wheat, your dairy, and your nuts and seeds well, sure don't eat them. But don't stop there because that means your ability to break down the toxins in the environment, which can cause real problems for you, are also going into your intestinal tract undigested, and they'll find a way into your tissues, into your brain, and they're going to wreak havoc down the road. So that's why I didn't like the idea that we were being told to bubblewrap our diet and not really fix the upstream cause. 

And studies have shown that when folks compare people who eat wheat to people who don't eat wheat, gluten-free versus non-gluten-free folks. And these are not Celiac patients. They found that the folks who ate wheat had significantly six times less mercury in their blood than the people who were gluten-free. There are significantly more good bugs and less bad bugs than the gluten-free folks, and they had significantly more killer T-cells than the folks that were eating wheat. Now, what that means is that these harder-to-digest foods have a hormetic effect. That thing that says, “If it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger,” like the cold bath plunges and all that. It doesn't kill you, but it makes you stronger. The harder-to-digest foods that we've been eating for millions of years, the nightshades, and all these foods that we are being told to avoid, the phytic acids, the lectins, and things. They're naturally occurring. And if you take them out of your diet, you're going to surely lose your digestive strength. They did a study — I thought it was a really amazing study — with kids with asthma. They found that the Amish kids who have cows as pets — so they run barefoot in the barns and stuff — have the lowest rates of asthma on the planet. And they did another study with their genetic cousins, the Hutterites, who come from the same valley in Switzerland, but they became modern farmers, and their kids have the highest rates of asthma on the planet. It doesn't make any sense. Like it is not a genetic thing. It's just something's going on with these kids. Well, they measured the Amish kids, and they found out it was the dust in the barn that they were breathing that would cause allergies for some kids, but it was actually creating a hormetic effect or hormesis effect that causes an immune reaction against them getting asthma. 

So we have to not bubblewrap our bodies. We have to challenge it. That's what wine is. Wine is a xenohormetic which means xenohormesis, made with plants that struggled in their life growing in really dry, harsh environments; deliver delivers the benefits — the antioxidant, longevity, and resiliency benefits to humans as hormesis. And that is what our foods also did — the lectins, which are on every bean, in every nut, and pretty much every vegetable. This is why eating a vegetarian diet is a little bit harder for folks, actually. Eating grains is hard for folks, right? And if you don't have really good digestive strength and you become a vegetarian, and you never fix the digestive problems, that's why a lot of vegetarians don't do well in the long run. A lot of them sort of crash and burn like the guy Leo. He started having real severe issues, and they go back, and they started eating meat, and they felt good again because wheat doesn't have any nutrients in it. 

Now I'm not suggesting people eat meat, but I am suggesting that we fix the digestive system and make sure that we don't leave that stone unturned. And that's why I wrote Eat Wheat. It's more of a troubleshooting guide for your digestive system to find out what part of your digestion is broken. So you're not in harm's way down the road. Eat beef if you want, but boy, be careful if you start seeing yourself taking one food out of your diet, the next food out of your diet. While I was in practice, I graduated in 1984 and started seeing patients. I was a natural chiropractic practitioner with a lot of nutritional support, and my patients would come with digestive problems. We take them off of wheat, and they get better. We put them on probiotics, and they get better. But shortly thereafter, the problem would come back, and I realized taking them off of wheat, dairy, or whatever, wasn't actually solving the underlying problem. There was an underlying weak link in their digestive system. And I started digging into the underlying causes of what's causing wheat. So they tell us, don't eat this, don't eat that. That's because that's not the cause of the problem. Humans have been eating a variety of foods for millions and millions of years. Now, pesticides, that's the cause, and we have to get rid of processed foods and pesticide-rich foods. There's no question about that. But you can get really good wheat. You can get really good grains, and that is a signpost of whether your digestive system is really strong. 

So that's why I really wrote the book because I saw so many people being duped. And we now know that when people are not able to eat wheat, they are letting other undigested or harder-to-digest proteins and harder-to-digest fats which are in our environment that you literally cannot avoid. The studies show that they will go undigested or incompletely digested through your stomach and your small intestine. And because they are incompletely digested, the pesticides, the environmental pollutants, and the harder-to-digest proteins are going to irritate the lining of your gut. And an irritation of the lining of the gut is going to cause inflammation in your gut and compromise and end up getting up taken into your body's lymphatic system causing lymphatic congestion, which is linked to extra weight around your belly, tiredness, fatigue, stiffness, achiness, brain fog, skin rashes, breast tenderness when you menstruate. 

These are all drain-clogging events that come from undigested proteins and fats that should have been broken down upstream in your digestion and end up in your lymph, which is the trash can, and also carry in your immune system. And when that system gets stuck in traffic, you're going to pay the price, and that price is a symptom of an underlying digestive issue and your gut immunity, which is 70% of your immune response, is in your intestinal tract and is actually linked to your respiratory immunity.

And I wonder, and I've seen some emerging studies coming out about this, but when you have a broken down digestive system where you can't eat XY and Z and you sort of bubblewrap your diet and not fix the real problem, then we have a pandemic that requires your skin of your respiratory tract and the skin of your intestinal tract to be as strong and resilient as it possibly can. If we don't have that, we are going to be a vulnerable host for any opportunistic bacteria or viruses that come our way. There's going to be another crazy virus that's going to come, and we need to be strong as a host and not depend on a vaccine or a killer powder or whatever because there's a lot of controversy there. But if you're getting your digestive system strong and your body strong, that's the source of our immune strength, and that sort of is what I'm all about when it comes to wheat. It's not about saying, hey, wheat is really good; you should eat it. Even though it's processed, it's got a bunch of glyphosate on it. I get that, and I know people and they go to Europe, and they feel better. I get that. The thing that we're doing is we're not looking at the elephant in the room, which is the digestive weak link.

[0:49:54.0] Ashley James: You know I'm smiling ear-to-ear. You're saying exactly what I feel inside. It's like thank you. Thank you for saying that. It's like what everyone's thinking in the holistic space. It's not about waiting for Papa's government and Mama's pharmaceutical company to come to take care of us. On Facebook, a lot of people will have this ring around their avatar that says, “I have an immune system.” I know that was a little bit of a show of where we stood, and a lot of people took it as a political stance. It's not. It's saying, “Listen, I'm not going to buy into the propaganda. I'm sorry. You're not brainwashed.” Like, so many people are brainwashed, but they were fear-mongering so heavily. And I know many of my listeners did get the experimental gene therapy injected into them because their parents did it. Their doctor may have said their whole life that this is so good. You should definitely do it. Their job said they had to do it. Everyone around them, their neighbors, said they had to do it. And I have watched in such sadness as so many people's lives were destroyed by that. And, of course, we don't talk about that, or you're a conspiracy theorist if you talk about that. But really, be careful what you put in your body. And like I said about the drug that's 50 years old, “Okay, well, we can trust that a bit more because we've seen it work on people for 50 years, and we know what it does and what it doesn't do. Something that just came to market, and they're suppressing the effects of it. Why were their parents giving their six-year-old children this is beyond me. But that's how intense the fear-mongering was. And I am so sad and sorry for the teenagers, the amount of teenagers, and all the people that died suddenly and unexpectedly, and all the young people now that have heart disease that didn't before, and of course, getting the virus itself wasn't fun either. 

Like you said, we have to look at why it was that some people that were healthy walked around, like — like my husband — when he had it, he was at the height of his infection. He had like 100-degree fever, and he was mowing the lawn for 4 hours. We lived on 5 acres, and he had a push mower. We had the driving one, but there's something about walking and mowing the lawn for 5 hours every two weeks. It was fun for him and was a great exercise. And I watched him from bed as I was sick, and he can eat wheat once in a while, and it doesn't affect him like when I eat it. And I've had heavy metal toxicity so bad. I would wake up tasting heavy metals, and my liver was inflamed. That's why I've done the Sunlighten Sauna to help get rid of my heavy metals and the PES and take the chlorella and all the herbs. And I've detoxed from heavy metals for the last four to five years, and I feel like a whole new person. And I've been working on my gut health for the last few years. But at the height of my infection, I was in bed, feeling miserable. I watched my husband mow the lawn for 4 hours, and my husband has amazing digestion. It makes sense. So we have to go; what's the root cause? Let's go all the way back to the center of our body, our digestion. It just makes so much sense. 

If we don't have a strong digestive fire, we're not getting in nutrients; the body has all these leaky guts. The things that aren't supposed to be entering our lymph are entering our lymph. And a lot of people talk about the byproducts of the bad bacteria entering the body like a toxin in itself, sort of the poop of the bad bacteria, getting into our lymph and into our brain, and making us just feel miserable all day long. And there's no pharmaceutical that's going to be your knight in shining armor. If you have poor digestion, everything's broken down. I had a doctor on the show. He simplified it, and I love this analogy. There are 37.2 trillion cells in the body, and they're all very, very different under a microscope. But there's one basic truth. If you can bring the groceries in and take the garbage out and do it successfully and repeatedly, then you're going to have health. And I take his analogy one step further, and I say inflammation is like what we look at on TV, and we see that there's a flood somewhere, and people are sitting on the roof. And there are helicopters trying to save them, and there's dirty, muddy water up to the eavestrough of the house. You guys in America called it the gutters of the house. But you can just see the one or two-story houses are just completely underwater, and all the families are on the roofs waving at the helicopters to come to save them. When we see that, imagine that every cell in the body that has inflammation is like that. The groceries can't come in, the garbage can't come out, and it's not functioning. And that sludge, the lymphatic sludginess, and we have to go upstream and go, “Where is this coming from?” Go all the way back to digestion, like you said. And we have to honor that 6 lb of hopefully healthy bacteria in our guts. I alluded to a chihuahua or a little panda, some kind of animal that's small, maybe a kitten that's about 6 pounds that you like. When you used to imagine, you want to hold it and take care of it. This is the gut bacteria in your gut and is helping you digest your food. It stimulates the nutrients. It is our pharmacy inside us because it can transform our food into other compounds and chemicals that our body needs. 

And so it all comes back to that. Like you said, it's so important — the bacteria that are on our food instead of sterile food, the healthy bacteria on our food. That's something I learned from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition when I took their health coach training program. There was this video where they showed a strawberry, and they said, “This strawberry grown in organic soil has this kind of bacteria on it. And when you eat this raw strawberry, if you've left it on the ground, the bacteria would have digested it. We've seen those videos where they'll speed up the camera, and you'll watch a fruit dissolve into a fuzz and then get back to the earth, like becoming earth again. And when we eat it, the bacteria that are on the strawberry helps us digest and assimilate the nutrients of the strawberry. And it blew my mind like it was fireworks going off of my head. I was like, “Oh my gosh, you just expanded my universe.” Because I was raised, like everyone, to think that the sterility of food was what we needed. You have to have the milk go through the pasteurization process. You have to have pasteurized food. Sterile food is best. When you bring your food home, you wash it, soak it in the tap water that has all the chlorine, and kill all the bugs. Meanwhile, if the body is sterile, we die.

We need the gut bugs. We need that. So I love that you're talking about this and that we got to wake up and go; it's not about removing the food. It's not just about removing the food you're reacting to because, eventually, you'll have nothing to eat. And I have friends who are now eating the carnivore diet because they are left with nothing. They cannot eat anything except meat, and they're suffering.

[0:58:07.8] Dr. John Douillard: A hundred percent right. That's it exactly because the meat doesn't have anti-nutrients. So it is easier to digest for folks, and that's why we keep going down the road of like, “Oh, I don't feel good with this diet. I'll try this next diet.” They keep going down this next diet and trying to fix my problem by changing my diet, going from one extreme diet to another. And you know, I've been in practice for almost 40 years now. I see the casualties of these extreme diets. When I help people get their digestive strength back, they can start having a variety of foods like your husband. A digestive system that is not only digesting wheat if you want it. But they have an immune response that is 100% dependent on our digestive strength and ability to detoxify, which in this toxic world we live in, if your digestion is not strong, your ability to detoxify is going to be compromised, and that can create a real problem. 

I was teaching a seminar years ago at Tupelo, the Elvis Center, back on the East Coast. One of my patients did a show, and one of my students came up, and she said, I found this McDonald's hamburger underneath the seat of my car, and that was there for ten years. That's a true story. And it looked exactly like a McDonald's hamburger. It hadn't been done with the strawberry that you just mentioned. It was completely recognizable. Everybody was just shocked it didn't degrade. It just looked like the hamburger. It was amazing. So yeah, we really do have to understand the digestive system. And the very first system that's evaluated, which I think is so cool, is the lymphatic system. It's called Rasa. And the study of Rasa is called Rasayana, and the study of Rasayana is the study of longevity. And there is a whole branch of Ayurveda about living a long, healthy life. And so, understanding the lymphatic system is such an important part because it's not only trying to take the trash out. It carries your immune system and also delivers properly broken-down fat as baseline energy to every cell of your body. So if you don't have good lymphatic flow, then you're going to start to feel compromised immunity, more vulnerable to allergies or hypersensitivity reactions. All of the undigested proteins and fats are going to end up in the fat cells around your belly and hips. They are going to go into your brain lymphatic system, called the glymphatic system, which dumps 3 lb of plaque out of your head every year while you sleep at night, causing brain fog and cognitive decline, information, infection, and even autoimmune system concerns, according to the science. 

I did a debate with Dr. David Perlmutter when my Eat Wheat book came out. He wrote the book called Grain Brain.

[1:01:15.9] Ashley James: Yup, I had him on the show.

[1:01:18.0] Dr. John Douillard: And you can watch the debate. My mother said, I definitely want a debate, so I'm pretty sure I did. 

[1:01:23.0] Ashley James: I can't wait to see it.

[1:01:25.5] Dr. John Douillard: But, you know, what was really interesting was there was so much science on the other side of the ion. He actually did finally admit in our second debate that wheat isn't really that bad. And the diet that he eats today isn't the same diet that he ate when he wrote that book, by the way. And that's what I also love about Ayurveda. It doesn't change. You don't say, “Oh gosh, you know what? We made a mistake; you shouldn't eat this or that.” They've been using the same diet forever and ever. We should eat what comes out of the ground in the season because we have no other choice but to do that. And when you do that, you change the bugs in your gut from one season to the next. Studies are now showing good science from Stanford to show that the bugs in your gut are supposed to change from one season to the next to the next. So we shouldn't knock our gut with the food, with the bugs, with the microbes from the foods in that season. And studies are now showing those bugs on those foods, those microbes, actually support the function of those foods. So if you want to have foods to help you decongest from allergies in the spring, you eat the foods that are in season because they have the right bug for the right season. Same thing with dissipating heat in the summer. They seem to be boosting immunity in the winter. The science is in on that, but we haven't had anybody write a book. 

My second book is called The 3-Season Diet, about eating according to the three major harvests in nature. I do know that there are four seasons, so people question me on that. But there are three harvests. There's a spring harvest, a summer harvest, and a fall harvest for winter eating. Generally, nature takes a rest like we should. Everybody takes a rest. And those diets change dramatically from a very high-carb diet during the end of the summer, and that high-carb diet is really important in nature. If you're going into winter and you haven't eaten a lot of fruits to convert into fat and reserve fuel, all the grains that will harvest that excess fuel convert into fat and reserve fuel. You need that when the winter months are coming. That's part of nature. And the spring is a very austere harvest where you go into ketogenesis because you're not eating anything. There's no food. Think about the spring. Look out your window in the spring and see what you can eat. If you're living off the land, you would naturally go into a ketogenic diet naturally occurring. You burn your own fat, and that's how you would be in ketogenesis because there's no pasta. There's no pizza harvested in the spring whatsoever. 

This winter time is a naturally occurring high-protein, high-fat time of the year because you're not growing anything. You're probably going to have to do more hunting. And that's what our traditional ancestors did. They all had to have a little bit of meat. They didn't need a lot of meat. But they had a little bit of meat, and it was mostly seasonal. Why would you kill your chickens in the summertime when you can eat the food out of your garden fast enough? You know what I mean? So nature really did have a beautiful plan that we've gotten ourselves far, far away from. And now we're beginning to see that all of these diets are actually okay. But whenever you go into an extreme diet, the next best-selling diet is usually giving you permission to eat the foods that the other diet says you shouldn't eat because you're craving them. And if you go on any extreme diet for a little while, you're going to feel better, but the test is will that diet provide you a lasting benefit where you really feel good for the long haul. And now, I would recommend folks take a look at eating foods that are in season. We put together a free — nobody read my The 3-Season Diet. They thought I really didn't know that there were four seasons, so they didn't read it. I don't know what they thought, but it didn't do as well as I thought. But the point is that I've put all the recipes into a free eating guide that people can get for free. Every month we put out a recipe guide, a grocery list for every month of the year, and superfoods for every month of the year, so you can get, “Okay, here's what's happening in July. Here's what's happening in August.” And you can just get a list and eat more of those foods in that season. That's the key that, hopefully, folks will take away from this. It's, hey, you know what? It's the summertime. I'm gonna give myself personally way more vegetables. It's winter time. I'm going to give myself personally way more fiber, way more fat, way more protein. In the spring, I will intermittently fast way more aggressively. I'm going to force my body into a little bit of calorie restriction because that's the hormesis time. That's the time of the year that provides strength and resiliency, and immunity because we are giving the body a sort of a nature break from eating lots of heavy food that we did in the season prior, which is the winter. So you have a beautiful understanding when you look at nature and tell yourself, hey, I want to try and mimic that somewhat.

[1:06:25.2] Ashley James: Oh, I love it. So here's the idea. Let's take your book, and you're going to do a relaunch, like a second edition or whatever. But instead, call it The 3-Harvest Diet, and then you can do some kind of subtitle about The Ancient Wisdom and Science of Eating with the Seasons. Just do it. To do that, people are going to buy it and read it, okay?

[1:06:52.0] Dr. John Douillard: I'd love that, but I hated that. But the people at Random House were like, “Oh, we're going to call it The 3-Season Diet.” I'm like, I don't even get that. They just overruled me completely.

[1:07:04.9] Ashley James: Really? Well, go back to them and tell them my idea and say, “I know what I'm talking about,” and just say, “The Ashley James said it, of the Learn True Health Podcast. She knows what she's talking about. Put your foot down.” 

[1:07:19.5] Dr. John Douillard: Which is true. 

[1:07:21.4] Ashley James: So most of the population that's listening is living three to four seasons. Well, I joke about the third season because I'm in Seattle. We don't really have three seasons or four seasons here. We just have rain, cold, and mud, and then a beautiful spring, and then an amazing summer, and that's it. And so fall, and winter is just like cold, mudded rain. So I joke that we have three seasons. Actually, mud is the season here. But what about people in the subtropics and equatorial regions of the world where they have access to fresh fruit all year round?

[1:08:02.7] Dr. John Douillard: They do. But there is still harvest there. There are still seasons there, and they can still eat foods that are locally grown, that are naturally occurring, and are still sort of natural cycles there. And also, the people there are different from those in the northern hemisphere. We go from a 72-degree house to a 72-degree car to a 72-degree office. So we never really experience the changes as much, like if you live in the tropics or in Florida. It can be 50 to 60 degrees in the wintertime, and it can be 80 to 90 degrees in the summer. That's an almost 30-degree difference. So they're actually experiencing that every single day, almost every moment of the day, and they sort of do the air conditioning thing now but not as much as we. We are so much more insulated, and that's where you really lose that natural rhythm of nature of helping to strengthen that hormesis effect of dealing with cold and being stronger for it.

[1:09:01.2] Ashley James: You keep talking about building on the fat for the winter like, “John, okay, I've got a few winters on me.” I'm sure there are some listeners who are like, “As much as I want to eat with the seasons and heal my body, can I skip building the fat for the winter? And could I just go straight to burning fat for next summer?” So what do you recommend? Of course, go all the way back to healthy digestion and lymph, right? Because you talked about how that buildup creates unwanted belly fat. But for those who want a good healthy digestion and also want a really strong healthy metabolism and equally strong detoxification to handle the toxins as they burn the fat. But what do you do for people who are really ready to get down to their ideal body weight? How do you help them to build that fire in them?

[1:10:01.1] Dr. John Douillard: Well, in so many ways, obviously, there was a time when we really needed that extra fat, and this is not that time. Most of us need to help lose a few pounds and get ourselves back to energy balance where we're putting in, reusing, and not storing excess, right? So there are lots of ways. Every spring and fall is a really great time to do a calorie-restricted type cleanse. We have Ayurvedic cleansers that folks can do. We have a four-day cleanse, which is really super easy. We have a 14-day which is more of an overhaul digestive reset that folks can do. So there are ways that they could do that. In our 14-day cleanse, people usually lost about 17 pounds on average, or short home cleansers, which is an ebook. Anybody can download it for free. Woman's World magazine called me up one day and said, “Can we do a cleanse?” And I said, “Sure, you can take my short home cleanse right on my website, and you can get it for free.” They did it. I didn't hear from them for almost nine months. They called me up and said, “I want to do a fact-checking test interview with you.” I go, “For what?” And she said, “Well, we did your cleanse, and we had 40 people do it. It was mind-boggling. People lost 11 pounds on average in just four days; It was an amazing reset. 

So there are simple ways to just kind of reset your ability to burn fat which is a really important thing. I did a study with my own patients. Once, we had about 25 folks to study, and we had them eat breakfast, lunch, supper, and no snacks. And they were like, “Wow, no, snacks.” That was hard for them, and they complained for the first two weeks, and they started feeling better at the end of the two months of study. We measured their anxiety, depression, and cognitive decline. We measured their sleep. We measured their anxiety, their exhaustion, their exhaustion after work, and their weight loss, and all of those. Sleep also was significantly better. They lost 1.2 lb every week during the entire study.

One of my patients, one of those people in the study, would come in, and then every week, we'd meet, and she'd go, “I love this. I'm feeling so good. I'm not snacking and feeling great. And a lot of them said, “Well, you know, I'm feeling so great with just breakfast and lunch. I don't even want supper.” So many of the folks felt like they could just skip supper and go down to two meals a day, which they did, and they lost even significantly more weight. But the lady who kept saying, “I feel so good. I'll never stop eating this way,” she said, “But I haven't lost a pound.” I'm like, “This is a study. It would be great to have you lose a few pounds. It would be great for our numbers here.” And every day, every week, she came in, and she hadn't lost a pound, but she felt great. Six months later or something, she walked into my office as a patient, and I said, “How are you doing?” And she says, “Great! I lost 25 lbs.” I said, “How? When?” She goes, “I don't know. I told you I never stopped doing that, eating breakfast and lunch and no supper, or a lighter supper, or a soup-like supper. And I just somehow slowly lost the weight.” And she was a really type A go, go, go, go person yoga teacher and mom. There's just so much going on her plate. And I said, “I just think it takes time for your body to feel safe enough to burn the fat.” We store fat when we're under stress. That's where understanding that the harder you push, the more devices you have. This is crazy. I'm going to store the fats under the mattress for a rainy day. And that's what is so important for us to meditate, do yoga, or breathing practices, some type of prayer, some type of downtime where we're not just going, going, going. It is a really important piece of the puzzle. 

A lot of the things that impact our physiology are our crazy mindset. That makes us do the same dumb things again and again and again and again. I already talked about this years ago. I called it mental armor or unwanted emotions. And are, according to research, the molecules of emotion; we know that those are actually stored in our fat. And they actually are little energy, kind of pre-recorded stress responses that make us do the same dumb stuff again. But when you burn fat, you free and release those, you have access to those old underlying emotional patterns of behavior, like during a cleanse when you force that metabolic, if you do self-inquiry, which we give people a self-inquiry guide. In that process, they can begin to go, “Wow, I see the reason why I go home for the holidays; I start acting like a four-year-old again.” And then the key is to begin to take action to free ourselves from those old patterns by not responding to their stress but by looking through the window of compassion and understanding. And instead of reacting to them, respond from what's really inside your heart, which is that you love and care for them. But there will always be like them who trigger us. And then we end up trying to engage in behavior to make them change, to be something that we think they should be. If they were the way I think they should be, I would be happier; they would be happier, and there would be a happier place. So it never really works, so that's part of it as well. Ayurveda understood that this crazy mind of ours gets our senses in big trouble. So we have to pull every string, the upper digestive string. How do you reboot digestive strength? How do you detoxify the lymphatic system? How do you shed all unwanted emotions? How do you force the body into fat metabolism so you can get into energy balance? All these things apply, and they can be done gracefully throughout the year. And it becomes kind of a beautiful way of life where you really feel like you're going downstream with the current, and you don't feel like life is a big struggle any longer, and that's the key. 

[1:15:42.6] Ashley James: Ayurveda was never just about physical health. Like it wasn't just, here's the food and the herbs, and when you eat it, and when you take it. Ayurveda was true holistic medicine in that, looking at the body and life, and your being as a whole, your life as a whole. In the Learn True Health podcast, I always say that you're not just your physical body. We are emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, and energetic. And even every aspect of your life is your health — the health of your marriage, the health of your relationships, the health of your career, while you're driving, while you're walking, while you're brushing your teeth, what's going through your mind, your self-talk. Every single aspect of your life can be kind of looked at and examined. Is this in harmony? Do you have joy here? Do you have a blockage? Is it toxic for you? Are you stuck? Are you growing?

We do not practice reductionistic medicine like MDs do. We don't reduce us and break us down into our parts. And so what I hear from you is that Ayurveda is that true holistic medicine and that you're looking at everything, every aspect including your emotions, but also your mental strategies and maybe the unwanted strategies that were developed in childhood that aren't serving you, looking at that as well and seeing how it is now affecting everything. How does that affect digestion? How is that affecting detox? How was that affecting your weight loss? It's all interconnected. Nothing in the body happens in a vacuum. We have to remember that. 

[1:17:32.0] Dr. John Douillard: Yeah, I know, that's a hundred percent true. In Ayurveda, it's that you feel the pain or distress in your heart and that stress is then carried to your brain, and it's actually etched into the white matter of your brain, which is where the waxy myelin is like etching the stress and recording it in a certain part of your brain. Well, they now have discovered that part of the brain that cleans that out, and it's called the glymphatic system, where it dumps 3 lbs of black trash out of your head every year while you sleep. I did Ayurvedic panchakarma detox retreats for 26 years. So people come into our clinic, and they would do a detox retreat, and I would guide them through this for many, many, many years before I started writing and teaching more. And one of my patients — there's a technique called Nasya where you actually sniffed medicated oil into your sinuses, and you clean out the brain lymphatic system. It is what happens. It's a pretty elaborate procedure, and I have a video on my website about how you can do it at home. But it was the thing that would actually help people crack that emotionally. You know, sometimes patients can't get over that emotional hurdle to get themselves to feel at peace and turn off the alarm bells so the body can actually heal. So she did these treatments, and I gave her her self-inquiry guide, and she was writing it in her journal after she did this because the brain is kind of sniffing medicated oil up into the sinuses. But it was after a really big head massage and eucalyptus steam to visually dilate the head and the vessels in the head as much as possible, and then you sniff this sort of medicated oil to trigger a brain lymphatic sinus dump.

And after she did it, she said she was sitting there and writing in her journal, and she said, “I had this epiphany where I was abused when I was 14 years old and should have completely blocked it out of my mind.” She was probably 35 years old at that time. “It was so amazing for me to see this event. But what was really, really weird was I wasn't affected by the event. I was completely taken by my childhood. Before the event, I was just a happy-go-lucky kid. Then this even happened, and then I became this type A hyper-vigilant corporate executives perfectionist. I even have a color-coded closet. Everything was perfect in my life to keep me safe. And I looked at my life before, and I looked at my life after. After that event, I said, this wasn't worth 25 years of my life.” And she said, “I just dropped it.” And she let it go. She came to me with a goiter in her neck, the size of a grapefruit or a cantaloupe. You couldn't miss it. Within the week of the Ayurveda detox, I swear to you that goiter was gone. You could not see it. Her numbers were measured, and it came down by 200 points. She had hyperthyroidism. Within six months, her hyperthyroidism was completely normalized. Two, four, or five years later, or something like that, I was in Denver at a Christmas party, and she came running up to me — I hadn't seen her in a long time — with two little kids in tow, and she said, “I just need to introduce you to these kids that I would never have had if this didn't happen.” So, the idea that the emotions are just in your head, in Ayurveda, they don't compartmentalize. Those emotions are physically based in our body, and we can detoxify them out of ourselves so we can have access to them mentally and emotionally, make transformational changes, and free ourselves from underlying emotional patterns that aren't serving us any longer. And that's what Ayurveda means. 

Ayurveda means truth. It means the truth of your life. We know 95% of the things that we think and say, and do as adults come from impressions from the first six years of life. So most of us walk around, pretty unconscious, thinking of doing stuff based on old impressions that saved us and helped us survive and navigate our childhood. But becoming conscious is what Ayurveda was all about, like freeing ourselves from those old protective patterns and letting something real, more powerful, more beautiful out, letting the delicate petals of your flower really open and letting that vulnerability out, letting that love out and even your power out. What got me was guiding people through this process and watching them transform. Oh my gosh. You ask about their digestion, you ask about their back pain, you ask about their heartburn, “Oh, that's great.” But when you see someone light up because they're free from those old emotional traumas, the underpinnings of their digestive health, and you really see it's all tied together. It's not just one or the other. It can be. If you fix heartburn, they feel better; that's great. But a lot of times, it's all one thing. It just kind of morphed into different expressions. 

[1:22:27.8] Ashley James: Yes, the root problem has a bunch of branches. So the symptoms are showing up in different ways, and you take a stressor, and then the bodies are sympathetic, and then they're not digesting, probably, and then they're not sleeping. And because they're not sleeping, they're taking coffee, and maybe they're super stressed, so they start drinking, and then they start yelling at their kids. It just got snowballed, like you said, unconsciously. At that point, it feels like their health has so many symptoms. It feels like a kitten has been playing with yarn. How do I get this back to an organized ball? Where do I begin? It's just a tangled yarn, and so many people grab supplements. And I love supplements when they are high quality, and they're meant for you. But we just kind of grab it desperately, hoping for a solution, or grab onto a diet because the marketing around diets is wonderful. 

The doctor that wrote Proteinaholic said, and here goes chapter one, and I started crying. It was just so beautiful. He goes, “These diets, you did not fail these diets. These diets failed you.” And then he proceeds like the whole book is demystifying these diets based on science. He has a really interesting story. He had humor that's, “Oh, I'm a doctor that cuts your stomach out, and I'm going to help you lose weight by cutting your stomach out and telling you to eat a ‘low-fat', highly-processed, 1200 calorie-a-day diet.” But then, in his thirties, he began to become sick and fat, eating the diet that he puts his patients on. So he had to eat humble pie and go back to the drawing board. He did not start going, “I want to become vegan.” That was the last thing he wanted to do. But after looking at everything, he's like, “Oh my gosh. Everything I've been saying is wrong, and everything I've been saying is like cutting up people's stomachs. It was just a temporary solution. This wasn't the long-term solution. But, like, “Oh, you have a sore throat. Let's cut out your tonsils,” It's just like, “Oh, but the problem is the gallbladder. Let's cut out the gallbladder. Let's just remove body parts. That's the solution.” That's when clients coming to me — I'm a health coach — and they have all these symptoms, I'm like, “Okay, so how many body parts have they removed from you?” Because so many times, someone starts talking about their digestion, I'm like, “And when did they remove your gallbladder?” And they're like, “How did you know?” I'm like, “Well, this is a dime a dozen.” How many people have had their gallbladders removed or other body parts removed? Because, you know, it offended the MD. 

I love MD drug-based medicine for when it can save someone's life, but they suck at chronic disease. They cause more chronic diseases. They do not help fix it. They will help you manage the disease, keep the disease, and make other diseases happen. They're great for emergency medicine. That's where they shine. I love them there. But they're the worst. We're taking our cars to plumbers is what we're doing. And we have to stop believing the propaganda that drug-based MD medicine, allopathic medicine, is where we should go when we have multiple symptoms and chronic illnesses. We need to go to doctors like you who look at ancient wisdom and the latest science to get to the root cause and support the body to come back into balance. It just makes so much sense. 

I'm really blown away by this idea that as we burn fat, we're processing stored emotions. I always knew that as we burn fat, we're processing toxins and heavy metals, like the things that were storing the fat. But the idea that then we would be unlocking old patterns, old negative beliefs, and old unresolved emotions makes sense if you're changing your diet. You're changing old, old behaviors, so there's some stuff that comes to the surface there. But then, just the process of burning fat is going to bring up stuff to resolve. It's really such an interesting way of putting it. You talked about these different detoxes, and I'm really, really interested if our listeners have identified with what you talked about and say, yeah, I think my digestion needs some support. I feel like my lymph or my glymph could really use some support, and I'd like to burn those 11 or 17 lbs. You said I'd like to get my metabolism fire going, and I'd really like to address this. If they could pick one cleanse or one protocol on your website, what would it be?

[1:27:11.9] Dr. John Douillard: I think that the first one is as simple as this 4-day short home cleanse, which is a free book that you can get and takes you step-by-step through the entire process. It gives you some herbs. There's one herb we call Gentle Digest. It's just a combination of five spices — ginger, cumin, coriander, fennel, and cardamom. You can make your own mix with that and spice your food, cook with it. And the studies show that it will actually increase the strength of your stomach acid, increase the amount of bile that you produce from your liver and your gallbladder and increase your duodenal pancreatic enzymes. And if you have that upper digestive coordinated, you won't let undigested proteins and tabasco, undigested into your intestinal tract, irritate the lining, and find a way through into the lymphatic system where they cause all kinds of havoc. And like you said, on why doctors are taking parts out, started here. It started by bubble wrapping our diets. So instead of fixing that problem I just mentioned, we just say, “I'm not going to eat this. I'm not going to eat that. I'm going to go on a low-fat diet. I'm going to go on a high-fat diet. I'm going to do all these extreme diets trying to dance around, without realizing it, dancing around the underlying problem. And that’s the beauty of Ayurveda, their thousands of years of experience being experts in rebooting and strengthening digestion. 

You probably know Dr. Bernard Jensen from years ago. He was a great doctor about gut health. He created the first cleaning boards for the colonics. He created iridology and had a health clinic out in Escondido, California. I was a big fan, a real longevity nut. I got to meet Jack LaLanne. I was a fan of Paul Bragg. I was a fan of Bernard Jensen way back in the day. And I finally got to lecture with Dr. Bernard Jensen, and he was my mentor. He has written over fifty books. He’s just a really brilliant guy. But he is old now, probably in his late 80s. And his belly was really super distended. His assistant told me that he had to take 17 digestive enzymes with every single meal, and I was like, “God, that can't be right.” 

And then, when I went to India and I studied Ayurveda, they were so kind and gentle to the intestinal tract. They would never clobber with really aggressive agents that could irritate the lining. It was all about creating a really nutritive environment for the good bacteria to proliferate, and they weren't about killing the bad, ripping the guts to shreds with antibiotics, or heavy, aggressive cleanses or coffee enemas. All of those can work medicinally, but in the long run, you want something that's going to be sustainable. And so it was really an eye-opener for me about how we do it in the West. It is so aggressive — more is better, push harder — versus in India, where they had thousands of years to figure this out, and they knew that they got the environment. Like you said, it's Goldilocks — it can't be too dry in there, constipated. It can't be too wet in there, mucousy. It has got to be just right for the good bugs to proliferate and for the lining to stay intact. And if that lining breaks down, you know we're in trouble. And that's what happened to us. That filter in our intestinal tract doesn't really get replaced. It can just break down over time. So that's what Ayurveda is really about. It is understanding how to reboot that upper digestion and heal the lining. There was a study that came out just a couple of weeks ago that showed that when you actually heal the gut, that actually was the key to longevity and when they've healed the gut, it actually had a cascade effect of healing every other organ in the body. We all know gut health is really important. But to have science to show that gut health is the kingpin, the organ responsible for our longevity, that's new science. And that's what Ayurveda said thousands of years ago — the seat of your stress in your nervous system is in your gut. It takes a beating, so it keeps on ticking, but we really have to care for it with kid gloves and create an environment that’s so conducive. That's why the cleanses we do are gentle. It's not like an endurance event. You eat. You're not starving because if you're starving, the body stores fat. And just like we said, when you're under stress, you store fat. Well, when you're not under stress, you release the fat. But when you store the stress as fat, what is that? That's emotional stress that got stored in your fat, and when you actually force the body to release the fat by creating parasympathetic dominance, it’s taking away the emergency of the body from naturally burning fat and releases those emotional toxins and patterns of behavior that were there because of a stressful situation recorded because of the stressful event that scared the heck out of it. When you were ten, you went into a cave, and a bear chased you out. You are never going to forget that. It’s a species survival thing, and we hold on to those memories. But a lot of them don't need to be remembered. We can let them go. 

[1:32:08.5] Ashley James: I love it. And earlier, you talked about how the study with people eating wheat versus not eating wheat. The people that didn't eat wheat, which we don't expect to be healthier because they're gluten-free. They had higher levels of mercury, and the first place my mind goes is, “Oh, gluten-free products are higher in mercury.” But that's not the point that you were saying. What you're saying is that people who have stronger digestion also have stronger lymph, have stronger detox. The toxins are able to move through and get out. And that they're able to eat some poison. They're able to actually eat like you need a little bit of poison to strengthen the body, in a sense, and test the body. But when you have all those aspects in alignment, then if you eat something with mercury, your body is going to get rid of it, which is people who are removing food after food after food, eliminating the gluten, eliminating the dairy, and the eggs. And they just kind of start going down this list of all the things they can eat, or, now, I can't eat nightshades, and now I can't eat legumes, and now I'm sensitive to apples, and can't eat bananas. They just keep removing food after food. They will feel temporarily okay, but the root cause is not being addressed. So their lymph is still backed up. Their digestion is still compromised. Their immune system is compromised. The integrity of their detox pathways and all the ways that we eliminate them is weakened. And so then, when heavy metals get in us through our food, and if someone has amalgams or gets injected, they just stay in the body. So it's really interesting. We can't just assume, “Oh, this person ate this, and this person ate this, and here's the outcome. Oh, it means that food is bad and that food is good. Okay, done. I'm going to stop thinking and just take it at face value.” There's so much more to this, and we have to go deeper.

That's why I love this conversation today. You're probably now one of my favorite guests. You're right up there, and I got to have you back on the show because this is just scratching the surface of what you know and teach. I'm so happy to bring your information to the listeners because we are all desperately seeking, if not for ourselves, our friends and family. We're all looking for the answers to help us. Now, I know there's not one one-size-fits-all, but like you said, with Ayurveda, it's looking at the body as a whole and helping the body come back into balance and supporting the nature that we've observed for thousands of years on how the body is able to the function. And for those who are religious or spiritual, it just only makes sense to eat the way God intended. It just only makes sense to eat what God has provided. And I can’t think of a religion where fasting isn't part of it. And so, people who aren't tuned into religion or to any spiritual practice, they eat three meals a day and some snacks, and they think fasting is ludicrous. 

One of my friend's partner just goes, “I think fasting is unhealthy,” and she fasts. And she goes, “What makes you say?” And he goes, “I don't know. I just think it's unhealthy. I don't have any basis. I just think it's unhealthy.” His blood sugar is above 400 all the time. We keep showing him this information and we feel really bad for him because his health is deteriorating and he's so young. But he's got this belief, “If fasting is good for me, my MD would have told me.” It’s what he said. Unfortunately, there's a percentage of the population who believes everything their MD tells them is right, and if their MD didn't tell them, then it's not worth knowing. And MDs are not trained in this. Again, taking your car to a plumber; plumbers are great for leaks in your house. They may not know how to fix your car, but we have to think critically. And I love that you're showing us how to think critically around our health and how to dig deeper. So listeners can go to and use coupon code LTH and definitely get the four-day free cleanse there on the website. Out of all your products — we didn't really talk a lot about your products — is there something that you want to let us know about on your site because you've designed so many amazing herbal products? Is there something that stands out that you'd like to let us know about?

[1:36:58.2] Dr. John Douillard: There are probably two, and one of them is the one we talked about today. There is that formula we call Gentle Digest, which is ginger, cumin, fennel, coriander, and cardamom. Take a couple of those before each meal to reboot your upper digestion. And then there's an herb called manjistha, which is the Ayurvedic lymphatic herb. It's phenomenally important for helping that extra weight around your belly and making sure whatever you eat, if there's some undigested food, doesn't end up creating lymphatic congestion, which can cause so many health concerns. Many of the things that most people are experiencing are lymph-based, and we don't really look at or think about the lymph. There's nothing really in Western medicine about the lymph. There's no medical pharmaceutical-grade drug for the lymph. But in Ayurveda, there are a lot of herbs for the lymph. It’s the first thing we treat. So those are the two I would say to start with for folks, and they are very safe. There are the Whole Herbs, all the natural conditions, all the bugs, all the natural microbes that are there. They've been used as food for thousands of years. It is like taking a thousand times potent extract that can actually do good but also have some consequences. That's the beauty of it. It's really kind and gentle and very safe. 

[1:38:12.8] Ashley James: How do we take it? Both of them. 

[1:38:16.0] Dr. John Douillard: The Gentle Digest is a capsule, one or two capsules before the meal, and the Manjistha is also a capsule, and you take probably just one of those after the meal, and you’ll be set. 

[1:38:26.4] Ashley James: Nice, it’s very cool. I really want to have you back on the show. I’ve got a list of things. I want to talk about parasites. I want to talk about breathing. Oh my gosh, there are so many things we can geek out. There’s a lot of really cool stuff. So please, please come back on the show. And then go back to your publishers. I want your book to be relaunched with my title that I came up with. You don't even have to give me credit. Just do it. I want people to read it. I'm so excited. Thank you so much for coming on the show and introducing these concepts to my listeners, who, in turn, are going to share them with their friends and family. My goal has always been to help end suffering. I suffered for so many years. I know you've listened to a few episodes. I don't know if you know my story. In my twenties, I was so sick. I suffered so much. I’m not suicidal. I never wanted to die, but I’d cry. I felt like I was trapped. I was trapped in my body, and I had chronic adrenal fatigue and type 2 diabetes, and it was out of control. I was on constant antibiotics. I couldn't even process human language in the morning. It was really bad. I was just exhausted and sick all the time. And I was hungry all the time. It wasn't me. My spirit inside did not match my body. I had to turn away from MDs because they didn't have anything for me. They said I would always have PCOS. I'd always be infertile, I always had to be on drugs, and I’d always have diabetes. They just told me, “I'm sorry, you're stuck. This is your plot in life, your genetics.” And just the lie after lie, and the hubris, and the poison they gave me. It was disgusting, and they acted like they had the answers and there were no other answers. And so many people are suffering. 

So when I found natural medicine, actually, I re-found it because I went to a naturopath as a child, and then I rebelled. So I had to refind it and use food, herbs and supplements, vitamins and minerals. But that was when I was in my twenties. Now in my thirties, I’m getting my body back, and we have a beautiful son. And I don't think we're done having a family yet, but we lost our daughter two years ago, and I gained 40 lbs. I didn't feel like I ate myself into those 40 lbs, which is really interesting because I ate so clean during pregnancy that within weeks, like two or three weeks after the birth, I was back down to my pre-birth weight. So it wasn't like I gained weight during the pregnancy. I was really good about my nutrition. And it was after losing her that I put on 40 lbs, and these are 40 grief pounds. I had PTSD, and just when you said that, it's really interesting because I pretty much lost it now, but it was a struggle. And I kept coming up against, and like now, seeing when you talked about losing weight, it can bring out the emotions that were there.

And that's so true that I felt like I was really going through some stuff while losing it. But it was a different weight loss than what I've experienced in the past because it was so charged with emotion, let's just say. So now this really makes sense, and we can be gentle with ourselves and forgive ourselves. I can only say what I feel like as a woman. I don't know what it is to be a man. But for women, I feel that we hold a lot of guilt and shame for not looking like magazine models. Maybe we looked amazing in our teenage years, in our twenties, and then it kind of all falls apart after a few kids. Although I do have a friend who's had five daughters, and she still looks like she's 19. But for most of us, there's something that happens, and maybe it’s trauma like you said. There's a lot going on in digestion, pesticides, and drugs that kill our good bacteria. But there's a lot of guilt and shame. And much of the weight that we are carrying is emotional. So thank you for bringing that up, and I wanted to share that with the listeners so that I can give them the grace that they can hold mercy in their hearts for themselves and let go. Hold that grace and love themselves enough to let go of the guilt and the shame so they can take the steps towards health and healing and heal emotionally while they heal physically. 

I want our listeners to go to your website, It gets you there with the coupon code LTH. Go check out those cool products, get the books, and tune in for the next time we have John on the show because I can't wait to have you back. This is going to be a lot of fun.

[1:43:30.6] Dr. John Douillard: Well, I'm honored, and I would love to come back. All the things you just mentioned, I feel like there's just so much to talk about there, and it can help so many women. I'll tell you, in one of John Hopkins’ studies, 40% to 60% of women during and after their pregnancy have what's called a hiatal hernia, where the stomach pushes out from the baby so hard and herniates through the diaphragm and causes digestive problems, breathing problems, lymphatic problems, and cognitive problems for decades. And I wanted to write a book called I've Never Been Quite the Same Since My Pregnancies, and my publisher thought it was a bad idea. I think I’ll get a new publisher. But the idea is like, that doesn't have to happen. Those things are reversible, and I treat so many women, decades after that, with proper breathing exercises, reboot their digestion, and all those problems go away. And along with that is the emotional peace where you can shed some of those old, unwanted emotions. And those patterns of behavior that just haunt us, and they don't have to. Yeah, I can't wait to dive into that with you next time. 

[1:44:37.5] Ashley James: Cool. Alright. Sounds good. It’s a date. Looking forward to it. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Can't wait to talk to you again. 

[1:44:44.2] Dr. John Douillard: Great. Thank you. 

[1:44:45.1] Ashley James: I hope you enjoyed today's interview with Dr. John Douillard. We're definitely going to have him back on the show. He has a whole talk on how to reactivate the diaphragm so that we breathe correctly. And I thought it was really interesting that they did a study and found that 93% of athletes, or gym goers, people that run on the treadmill are not using their diaphragm correctly, that something's blocking them from full activation of their diaphragm. I guess I'm not one of those people because I feel like I breathe really well. But my husband and I were on the treadmill this week at the gym. And he turned to me and said, “I don't feel like I'm breathing correctly.” That was really interesting because I'm watching him as he is

running, and then he stops the treadmill, and he's kind of winded because he just sprinted, and he's looking at me and goes, “It doesn’t feel like I'm breathing correctly now.” We see the chiropractor, and we see naturopaths, acupuncturists, and all kinds of really cool holistic practitioners. But he just had that realization that he didn't feel like his diaphragm was fully engaged. And then right after that, I interviewed Dr. Douillard, and he and I got to talking about it, and that's why we’re definitely going to have him back on the show to teach us this because it's a real thing. 

I recently had a client who I've been working with using phototherapy patches. I discussed in a recent episode having amazing results, and she noticed that her diaphragm came back online. She said that when she would fall asleep, her oxygen levels would drop into the 70s, and she is on monitors. She's on medical monitors throughout the night. And so she knew this and that after using the phototherapy patches, she felt like it awoke something in her diaphragm. It re-engaged it, and she started breathing better. And when she sleeps now, her oxygen level stays in the 90s, and I thought this was fascinating that we can reactivate. First of all, I never thought that the diaphragm — unless we had some kind of major brain trauma or some kind of major neurological troubles and kind of major structural trauma — I didn't realize how common it was for people to not be engaging their diaphragm correctly and the auxiliary secondary muscles that help to control the rib cage and the sternum. This whole upper body thoracic structure could be off. Just like someone could be walking, like their gait, they could be walking. And some people are walking, and everything's fine. But then you look at someone, and you're like, “Hey, your foot kind of bends inwards.” Or the way you're walking looks like the rest of your body is kind of off because of the way your gait is. Well, just imagine breathing; I always thought we all breathe pretty well. And according to Dr. John, we're not. Most of us aren't doing it correctly. And we can, with some exercises, reactivate and bring online the full use of our diaphragm. How cool is that? Especially for my husband, who is getting really great numbers in the gym, running more and more, and sprinting more and more. And he wants to maximize his experience on the treadmill. So I thought that was really cool. I'm excited to have him back. 

I don't know if you remember the very beginning of this episode; it was a long time ago, almost two hours ago. At the beginning of this episode, we opened the episode talking about structured water, which surprised me because he's like, “Yeah, I got my analemma water right here.” And I had my analemma water. So we had a good conversation about it. If you don't have your structured water device yet, what are you waiting for? Go out and get it. It is not that expensive compared to all the other machines out there. It's under $300. I think there's one that's like $170, plus we have a coupon code. So you use this little device, and you stir your water with it. We have an interview I've done about it. We have an interview coming up. I'm interviewing one of the scientists that do the studies, and he's got some really cool things to share. I’m going to be interviewing him next month. That's exciting, so tune in for that. You can go to and be sure to use coupon code LTH for the listener discount. Get your savings when you buy your analemma structured water device. Check it out. And if you like your entire house and all the water in every tap and faucet coming into your home already structured, then you can also check that out there as well, because they have the device that you hook up to your plumbing and then you can bathe or shower in structured water, which they're releasing the studies. And there are already some studies you can check out by going to The preliminary studies are fascinating. I thought it would have to do more with skin health, but they're seeing that it actually has to do with heart health. They're seeing vast improvements in heart health, and how cool is that because that affects every cell in the body. They also say that if you want to improve brain health, improve heart health because the major aspects of brain health have to do with making sure that we’re getting the flow of nutrients and oxygen to the brain and removing the junk. It's all about bringing the groceries in the cell, and just like a house, bring the groceries in, take the garbage out. As long as we do that effectively, then every cell can be healthy.

Now, if you'd like to get some of Dr. Douillard’s wonderful Ayurvedic herbs, supplements, and also his free guides — he talked about his four-day free cleanse that he gives — you can go to Make sure you use coupon code LTH. They're giving us a 10% off on orders over $50, which is pretty easy to do. You buy two bottles of something, and you're over $50, and then you get 10% off. How cool is that? And that’s a repeating coupon code, so you can use that every time you go to coupon code LTH and join our Facebook group. I'd love for you to come in. Tell me what you thought about this episode and what you learned. I thought this was amazing. I got off the interview with my husband. I said that this might be in the top 20. I mean, we’ve done over 500. So to make the top 20 is pretty big. But the amount of wisdom that Dr. Douillard just landed on us and it was so cool. I just love that you can walk into your kitchen and take cumin, ginger, turmeric, and black pepper. These kinds of herbs are just sitting there in our kitchen, and we can use them to support digestion.

I had just been recently reading some studies because I’m in the process of writing a blog that I'm going to be publishing about my moon milk that I've been drinking for quite a while. He had mentioned some of the spices. I'm like, “Oh yeah, those are all the herbs that are in my moon milk.” I've been doing research on ginger, fennel, coriander, cardamom, and cumin. Those were the five he talks about that are in his supplements. I've seen that in their studies, it’s like, “In the six-week study, someone took a teaspoon of this herb every day, which you can easily do.” And I’m like, yeah, sure, you can put it in tea or make moon milk like me. You can also just throw it in your soup. If you want to, you could put it in your smoothie. That would be an interesting smoothie right there. You can put it in your juice. You can blend a bunch of juices together and make a virgin caesar. But there are all kinds of ways you can get these herbs into you. And in the six-week study, they found that taking these herbs significantly decreased bloating, decreased gas, and increased the ability to perform digestion. The list goes on and on. I was using them. I have about 15 herbs I make in my moon milk, and most of these herbs are probably already in your kitchen, which is so great. And there's just a handful that I go to the store for, like the adaptogens I love to add, like ashwagandha. These herbs not only aid in digestion, but they also help to balance out hormones. They help to get rid of parasites. They help to boost the immune system, decrease inflammation, aid in sleep, and just on and on and on. Everywhere I look, it almost seems like it just helps every single system of the body, and it's so easy, and it's almost free. Just walk into your kitchen. You already own most of these spices, so start using them on a daily basis to gain the benefits. 

I just love Dr. Douillard’s methods of bringing in that ancient wisdom and now also using modern science to understand what they've been teaching for 5,000 years and using in these ancient ways. But now we can look at it through the modern lens and go, “Yep, yep. These studies prove what they’ve been saying for 5,000 years. And now, we understand the processes as to why these things work so great. So yeah, definitely get his free cleanse. Go to, and if you do decide to buy any of his herbs, which I've checked out and I really like, that's coupon code LTH. Come join the Facebook group, Learn True Health on Facebook. Would love to see you there. Tune in next week. We're going to have a two-part interview, more about herbs, actually. We’re diving in and learning more about herbs, and it's pretty exciting. I love what we learn in the next two episodes. So tune in for that. 

Thank you so much for sharing this podcast with those you care about. If you're a new listener and someone shared this with you, guess what? They care about you. It was like sending you a big virtual hug by giving you this episode, just so you know. So definitely share this with those you care about and tell them, “Hey, I like you, and I thought of you. This is my little virtual hug sending you this episode.” And then tell your friends to come join the Facebook group community, the Learn True Health community, because we love supporting each other in our health success. We're helping as many people as possible to learn true health, and you're part of that. So thank you.


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Body, Mind, and Sport

Eat Wheat

The 3-Season Diet

Jul 13, 2023

Webinar On The Science Behind The Organix Mattress:

To learn more, explore and see the deal Joey has given us:

Or Call 1.866.647.5513 and remember to mention Ashley James and the Learn True Health Podcast (LTH coupon code) for the amazing deal!

Come join our FB group!


504: Revolutionary Medical Mattress: Heal and Sleep Deeply

In this interesting podcast episode, Ashley and her guest delve into the world of an extraordinary American-made mattress that originally served as a medical device designed to facilitate healing, even for severe bed sores. Joey Woodward, the current owner of the company, takes the spotlight as they discuss the mattress's unparalleled quality, meticulously crafted by hand in Salt Lake City, Utah, using exclusively sourced US materials. He shares the mattress's intriguing history, originally catering to hospital patients, and emphasizes its durability with a generous 20-year warranty. The podcast encourages listeners to explore the scientific evidence and testimonials on the website, offering an exclusive discount for this exceptionally remarkable health-promoting mattress that promises to be a transformative addition to one's well-being.

Discover the wonders of the Organix Bed by placing your order through this exclusive link: or use coupon code LTH or call 1-866-647-5513 and mention Ashley James and the Learn True Health Podcast to get the listener special discount! How do I choose a healthy mattress? Join the FREE Webinar hosted by renowned sleep expert Jason Payne. Register nowfree of charge!



  • Ashley's personal experience with health tragedies, highlighting the importance of a comfortable mattress during recovery and bed rest.
  • The significance of the mattress for bed-bound individuals, especially senior citizens, preventing bed sores and discomfort.
  • Testimonials from customers and hosts praising the mattress's unmatched comfort and the desire to have it even while traveling.
  • Comparison between Organix mattresses and cheaper, potentially toxic alternatives, emphasizing the longevity and value of Organix beds.
  • Discussion of the mattress's health benefits, focusing on its non-toxic and safe materials, making it the healthiest sleep option.
  • A dive into the materials and studies supporting the health benefits of Organix mattresses.


Hello, true health seeker, and welcome to another exciting episode of Learn True Health podcast. Today features my favorite health device. Out of everything I have in my arsenal, this is the one I use the most — it's my mattress. It began as a medical device that helps the body heal even up to level four bed sores. Those are usually fatal. You can go back and listen to Episode #355 with Bob Rasmussen, who was the chief engineer and founder who originally designed all this. And since then, my guest today has taken the reins of the company and is ensuring that the quality continues well after. The company's been running for 30 years and will continue to hold the highest standards. All materials are sourced in the US. It's made in their facility by hand in Salt Lake City, Utah. But this bed, which, of course, you're going to listen to the interview so you'll hear all about it. I just want to make sure you have this information at hand, so grab a pen if you can,, and that takes you to the webinar that I did with Jason. He goes through the different slides that show the science behind it. If you are like me and you kind of geek out on the science and you want to see the studies they've done and see how they measure pressure, go in your mattress, lie on your side, and see how many hours you can lie on your side before you're so uncomfortable on your shoulder and your hip that you have to roll over. I can sleep the entire night on one side. That's how amazingly supportive this mattress is, but at the same time, it's not soft, so you don't sag and hurt your hips and lower back. It keeps your spine perfectly straight while making sure that your shoulders and hips have no pressure.

With that said, gives you the science webinar if you want to geek out like me and see the science. If you want to look at the website and explore the mattresses that Joey is going to talk about because we're going to talk about the health benefits of this mattress versus other mattresses and the things to look for, especially if next time you are ready to buy a mattress, and what not to get if you're not going to get this kind of mattress that we're talking about. At least there are certain things to avoid to maximize your health, and so we're going to talk about that. So things I think everyone should know because, as far as I know, everyone sleeps on a mattress. I know a few people that sleep in tents and like to sleep in hammocks and maybe sleep on futons or sleep on the floor. Most of the population spends a third of their life on a mattress, and so we all have that in common. You got to know what not to get. There are certain mattresses, many mattresses out there, that are slowly poisoning you and your family. So we'll talk about what to do, what not to do, and then the best options. You can go to And then you can also call them. They're really friendly. That's 1-866-647-5513. And we talked about this near the end of the interview, but Joey, my guest today, gave us an amazing discount, and that's because before he took over the company, I worked at a deal, and I got the best deal that anyone else has ever gotten for their listeners. I love love, love helping save you guys money. So actually, when he looked at the deal during the interview, you can hear his voice is like, “Oh wow, I have never seen a deal this good.” I love helping you guys save money. I love saving money. It's part of my values. I want health and financial freedom for everyone.

So enjoy today's episode. Please share it with any friend you can possibly think of who is in pain, who is suffering, who has disrupted sleep. This could be a huge game-changer for them. 

[0:04:14.5] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I'm your host, Ashley James. This is Episode #504.

I am so excited for today's guest. We have on the show the owner of my favorite organic, healthiest mattress you will ever own. I'm so excited. Joey Woodward, it is such a pleasure to have you here. My life transformed about five years ago when I got my mattress. We've slept on it every night for five years. My son has jumped on it. We've done everything to this mattress, and it has not changed. It is not warped. Just like Bob Rasmussen, the founder, the creator, and the original inventor of this technology, promised back in Episode #355, he talked about how he invented this technology originally wanting to support people who are bedridden or are chair-bound and support the body to not only not produce bedsores, but to help the body heal should they then have a bed sore. And they saw such incredible results in the medical field. He thought, “What if we brought this into the mattress industry?” And sure enough, it allows your back, no matter what position you are sleeping in, to be completely straight in the proper alignment while also taking pressure off the shoulders and the hips, and those pressure points. I was so amazed, this was back five years ago when we started sleeping on this mattress, that I had to go to the chiropractor less. And when I went to the chiropractor, most of the time just for check-in to make sure everything was good, they were surprised. Because I saw two different chiropractors in the same office, they were both surprised that I would most of the time not be out like I used to be three times a week. And then I started only needing to go once a week, and then once every two weeks, and then once a month, just for checking. Then sometimes, it takes several months, or not even, to see my chiropractor. I came in, and they were like, “Wow, you're good,” and I said, “Yeah, I'm out of pain. I sleep deeply.” I sleep so deeply that there's drool on the pillow. It's incredible. 

So when people say they have sleep problems, I'm like, okay, well, there are certain things we got to do with diet and exercise, and getting out in the morning and in the sunlight, and avoiding blue light, and avoiding sugar, caffeine, alcohol. There are all kinds of things we can do for sleep hygiene. But if you have a bad mattress, I don't care what you do with all those things you can do to improve your sleep. You're still not getting really good sleep because your body is constantly moving because of those pressure points. 

So Joey, what you do with Organix is amazing, and thank you so much for coming on the show. We're going to talk about the studies and the science, and we're going to talk about some testimonials. I just wanted to open it up by giving my mind that this is the last mattress I will ever own. I mean, I'll definitely buy more in the future for the guest rooms in my house or when our son outgrows his bed. But this is the only brand I will buy for the rest of my life. It's non-toxic, and it's made of organic materials. I remember Jason even saying at one point that he looked into all of the ingredients that went into making it, and it's even vegan. He was just going down the list, making sure that it was super healthy. Most importantly, it sets your body up for a perfect deep sleep. It helps people with pain. It helps people feel comfortable. My husband and I, who could never agree on a firm mattress or a plush mattress, have what would be considered a plush mattress, but it holds you like you're on a cloud. You feel like you're floating, but you're not sinking. You just float there, so I love it. I love it so much. Welcome to the show. 

[0:08:13.4] Joey Woodward: Thank you so much, Ashley. Yeah, so the pleasure is all mine. She is exactly right when it comes to this mattress. I have the same one she has, and I drool on my pillow almost every night. It's funny that you say that, Ashley. It's something that definitely will get you into the three and four stages of sleep. It keeps you there. It's pressure-relieving. That's the biggest thing that people don't realize, Ashley. And if you have a mattress that can relieve pressure from your body, it literally can take away the pressure. It is going to allow your blood to flow through your skin so you don't have to wake up and try to move your body and rollover. And so that's a lot of times what happens when you don't have a good sleeping surface, something that can actually relieve pressure. And like you said, Bob Rasmussen, back in the day when he wanted to make this into a mattress. Very, very smart man. I'm glad that he did that because he was able to bring this to the market and make it so that a lot of people are hitting that stage 3, stage 4 sleep and getting through the whole night dreaming deeply. 

This technology was originally made for patients in the hospital, believe it or not. And that was something that, of course, people in a coma, and burn victims, obviously can't move in a bed. And so, having this technology relieves pressure on their body and helps them sleep. So now it's a technology that will last for a very long time. Twenty years is our warranty, but I believe it's going to last longer than that. It's a gel matrix. It's not going to break down heat, moisture, or oxygen pressure. It just does not break down, and it just protects all the other materials inside the bed. 

[0:10:06.7] Ashley James: Back a few years ago, when I had some health tragedies — pregnancy, lost our child, and then immediately after, had COVID, and then had some recovery complications — I think it was directly related to grief. But I had to be on bed rest, and there was a lot of time I couldn't, and I obviously don't sleep on my stomach, and I was just on my back a lot of the time. It was interesting because if you've ever been on bed rest or had a cold or flu and you had to be in bed for a few days, you're so achy. After 12 hours of lying in bed, it is just painful. You get achy. And I was in that bed for a few weeks, and I did not experience that at all. I thought this was such a blessing for people who need to be bed-bound.

And I'm thinking about our grandparents and our senior citizens, our aging population, and how there might come a point in their lives when they are bed-bound. I have a friend whose mom was bed-bound for two years before she passed, and I know so many people in my life who have died from bed sores. One of my dad's best friends, this was back in the 80s, he had a heart attack. He was in the hospital. He was bed-bound, and he was finally about to come out. I think he had so many complications from a heart attack, and he died of bedsore, and he was young. I've seen people both at home and in hospital settings, and in nursing facilities. But imagine if you have a loved one at home and they're bed-bound. This is a necessity. This is an absolute necessity to purchase for your grandparents or for your parents, absolutely.

It's funny, now that we have this mattress, we don't really want to go on vacation because we joke, “Can I bring my mattress with me?” At one point, we had an RV, and we had our mattress in our RV. I just imagine if I'm going to travel, I want this with me. So that's just the downside of having this mattress. It's like it ruins it for any other mattress. But what's great about when we go on vacation is we come home, and we're like, “Oh, we're so happy to be home.” We like going out and exploring, having fun, and visiting friends in different states. But then we're like, really looking forward to coming home to our bed. I just think how interesting it is that usually, people are kind of sad that their vacation is over, and we're kind of like, “When can we get back to our bed because it's so comfortable?”

[0:12:53.8] Joey Woodward: That's so true. I can't tell you how many times I've heard our customers say that to me. I say it myself. My wife says it too. And whenever we go on vacation, we do say we miss our bed. Nothing really compares to it. We have an RV as well, and the same thing. We can only stand a few days there, and coming home, we can't wait to get back to sleeping again. And a lot of our customers, like I said, feel the same way. I've had reviews on our website that say that people call in and say, “Thank you so much. I can't go on vacation, though, so that's bad.” But they appreciate our mattresses. 

[0:13:35.2] Ashley James: Your mattresses are more expensive than, you know, I could go to this thrift store out in Monroe in Washington that sells $200 mattresses. And I don't think I would sleep very well on those. I don't even know if that's better than sleeping on the floor, to be honest. But they sell these wooden and spring things with toxic materials. I've walked by them, and it's like off-gassing. I can smell the formaldehyde, so it's off-gassing. And they sell for $200, $300, $400, and $500, just depending on the size of the mattresses. So you can go and get a really cheap mattress. And the thing is, the Organix beds aren't necessarily out of your price range. I guess for me, I had to shift my mindset because we had spent about $4,000, which I thought was a lot of money on a mattress back in 2013 somewhere around there. And by the time it was 2017, that mattress we bought from Mattress Firm or Mattress Train or Sleep Country, whatever their name was at the time, was completely warped. It was so warped that we went back and we said, “Hey, there was a warranty,” and they said, “Oh, I'm sorry. The warranty degrades every year.” I felt like it was a bit of a scam. But the entire mattress was so warped you could see indents of where our bodies had been. It was really interesting that we had spent so much money on what I thought our mattress was going to last us a long time, and it didn't. 

And then we got our Organix bed, and now it's been about five years. It is as new as the day we got it. And this is what Bob had said, that in all the testing you did, you saw that they last over 25 years. So my thing is, it's non-toxic. It's safe ingredients; let's just say materials and not ingredients because we're not going to eat it. It's non-toxic. It's safe materials. But from an environmental and financial health standpoint, you don't need to buy a new mattress every five years because this one mattress is going to last you for over 25 years. So there are less mattresses you're throwing away in the landfill when you see how long it lasts. It is like the Cadillac, but the old kind of gear. They used to say, “This was the Cadillac of whatever.” This is like the Cadillac of beds if Cadillac lasts ten times longer than all other cars. This is amazing. So I really appreciate that. So when you look at the value of the mileage you're going to get out of it, you get so much more mileage. It's actually cheaper than buying other mattresses. But my biggest thing for me is that it is the healthiest mattress that my listeners could sleep on. So I'd love to dive in and talk about the materials and the studies done around this. Just share with us why the absolute healthiest sleep you could get would be on this type of mattress. 

[0:16:48.5] Joey Woodward: So I always say to our customers and friends and family, it's like buying two mattresses, but you're getting four. The biggest thing is most people don't realize that their mattress is probably hurting them before year 8. Typically, they need to change it. It just depends on the product, obviously. You get what you pay for. We all have heard that, right? And so, with this product, it is like that. You're literally buying two mattresses, but you do get three or four mattresses, and just because of how long it's going to last you. It doesn't break down very fast. 

Now, how to choose the correct mattress? You could go out there and buy a $200, $300, $400 mattress, even a $1,000 mattress. But then the chances of having VOC exposure, EMF exposure, there's a lot of different things out there in memory foam. And so, just go Wikipedia memory foam. You'll find that it's a pretty good chemical cocktail of different things. There's formaldehyde, asbestos, chloroform, and there's propylene oxide. There's all types of stuff there. And so memory foam is in 90% of mattresses. And the other percentage out there is everybody's trying to get the cleanest, most non-toxic mattress out there. And so, the issue with that is people are looking for a hundred percent organic. Well, that's great and all, but a hundred percent organic means that it's just like anything else that's made by earth or food. It's going to break down, and it breaks down fast. So typically those mattresses that are out there, you'll see warranties of 20 or 25 years for those non-toxic, fully organic mattresses. But the issue with those is that if you look at the actual warranty and read the fine print in there, you'll see that their prorated warranties after year 10, they only give you 60% back. After year 15, you get another 15% off of that, and so on and so forth, all the way up to the 25th year. While this warranty is 20 years, no questions asked, it's no-nonsense. Literally, you get a new mattress if the mattress sags a quarter of an inch, which is not going to happen. I'd be surprised if you found that. 

We've had customers that have called us up and said, “Hey, my mattress is sagging. It's in the center, and it's coming down.” Well, the first thing we look at is their frame. Is their frame supporting the mattress the way that it should be? And every single time, we've not found one where the mattress was sagging. It was actually the frame. We'd have them go get a level, put that on it, make sure that it's level on the base, and then put the mattress back down, and their problem is fixed again. 

[0:19:50.2] Ashley James: I had that a few years ago. I was like, “What's going on with my perfect mattress? Come feel this. It's feeling weird on this side. This can't be.” Probably my husband was like, “Just check our frame.” Because we have a son, and I tell him not to jump on the bed, but he still jumps on the bed. Sure enough, it wasn't the mattress. It was absolutely the frame. And we got everything fixed. My husband used to be a carpenter. So we just zip, zip, zip. He fixes it, and then it's like, oh, it's perfect. I was like, “Oh, yeah, of course. I would not lose faith in this mattress.” And something to be aware of is everything underneath the mattress has to be good also. Our mattress is heavy. Our movers said, “This is the heaviest mattress.” I mean, it's substantial. It is a substantial mattress. You can't go to the thrift store and buy the used $50 frame for the bed. You have to have a substantial frame for the substantial mattress, and that's going to last you over 25 years. So yeah, just invest in a good frame. I believe you guys also sell a frame as well. 

[0:21:04.5] Joey Woodward: We do, yeah, and we offer box springs as well. Most of the time, Ashley, their bed frames are going to be just fine. It just needs to be adjusted or whatever. So if anybody out there has an existing bed frame with an existing box spring or even just a platform bed with those slats on it, I'd say nine times out of ten, your frame is perfectly fine. It just needs to be something that's going to hold the mattress flat. Now, it will work with adjustable bases, and most of them out there are great bases. So you can put that on it, and they will support the mattress just fine as well. And so, we also offer those as well.

[0:21:47.5] Ashley James: And then I wanted to just hone in on what you said about what are the materials that you will not find in the Organix mattress, which is the memory foam. When I heard that memory foam, specific kinds of memory foam, increased sudden infant death syndrome.

[0:22:10.1] Joey Woodward: Yeah.

[0:22:11.0] Ashley James: I believe they ended up determining it was like a mold, or something, that was growing inside it. But once they removed that type of mattress, they saw a significant reduction in SIDS. That's really scary because in America and in other countries — I'm originally from Canada, but I live in the States — and we have the same philosophy in Canada. We trust that if something is to market, if you can buy something online or at a store, that it's safe. But that's not the case. So the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, rubber-stamp tens of thousands of new chemicals and building materials every year without doing testing. They can't. There would be too much of a backlog. They do not test for safety. I have a whole episode on home building materials and the safety and the studies around it, and how many of the materials that you could go to Home Depot to buy are incredibly dangerous for us and toxic, and they off gas and they stress our livers out, and people become sick. But they don't realize it was something that they bought because it was at Home Depot or Lowe's, or something they bought online, because we think we're a great nation. We're America, right? We think everything is safe, and it's not. Really, it's left to the individual company to be ethical enough to make a safe product. 

So a lot of mattresses out there off-gas formaldehyde. They are not safe for us. They're toxic. They're damaging, and they cut corners to make profits. They make something feel good and plush while you're in the showroom. But then it is damaging to your health. And that is another reason why I am passionate about Organix mattresses because you guys go above and beyond. You're made in the US by hand. Tell us about that. It's kind of old-fashioned, but I love that you build these by hand, and the quality is there because you're making sure that no corners are cut. Everything is to the standards that you sleep on. Everyone sleeps on an Organix bed, works at Organix. You guys sleep on your own mattresses, so, of course, you're not going to put something toxic in there. 

[0:24:43.4] Joey Woodward: Yeah, we make it directly here in Salt Lake City. We source all of our materials from the US, first of all. They don't come from out of the country or anything. They're all from the US, and they're all super clean and non-toxic. No VOCs and all that stuff. When we put this mattress together, it's the same person that's been doing this, and it's his team and him in Salt Lake City that's been doing this for the past 30 years. There's no reason for him to change, and he's got an apprentice that's also been doing this for 17 years. So they'll be doing this for us for a very, very long time. It's great. You can go to our Instagram and watch some of the videos where they actually are building that. It's just at, and you can see how they're putting that together by hand. 

But yeah, all the materials are super clean. They are in a clean environment. If you go to our website, you can read some of the reviews and just search for the word ‘smell.' I dare you. You're going to see that all these people, they actually have even mast cells, which can smell everything, go through and say this has no smell. No, not at all. And so when they receive the mattress, you would think that it would be, “Hey, you probably should go off-gas that for about a day or two.” Nope, you don't need to do that. You just open the mattress, which of course, we bring it in your home for you and set it up. It is full-service delivery. And then you will notice right away there's no smell. So you might ask, you know,” Hey, what store can I try this in? Where can I go find this? Where can I lay on this?” Well, we don't offer that. It's actually not in stores. The reason for that is one, of course, the cost would be higher. The mattress would be more expensive because we'd have to pay for brick and mortar. So your costs are less, but also you would find that if you were to go try a mattress out in a store, any store, most of those mattresses that are sold through stores have a higher return rate than we do at Organix Bed which is kind of interesting. You would think that they would have it lower, but when you try a mattress for the first time in your home, and then you try it for 30 days, which we do have a 90-day trial, by the way. You can try it for 90 days again until you keep it. But 4% to 5% every year is our return rate. Stores are 15% on average, so that kind of gives you an idea of the difference there. People think that if they're going to lay on it at the store, it will tell them, “Oh, this is the perfect mattress for me.” But what you're not really thinking about is you're not sleeping on it there in the store. And what's more important in a mattress? Are you going to lay on it and watch TV, or are you going to sleep on it? Sleeping on it is obviously the answer there. And so get it in your home, try it for 30 days up to 90 days, and if you don't like it, we'll take it right back. No questions asked, no restocking fees, and any of that stuff. We come and pick it up for free. We'll box it up for you and literally bring it back, and you get 100% back on that mattress. 

[0:27:58.7] Ashley James: That's so cool. Now, let's assume the person isn't going to return it. When they bring the mattress in, do you remove the old mattress as well? Is that part of the service, or is that something they can pay for? 

[0:28:11.4] Joey Woodward: We do offer that service, and it is available to pay for. We used to offer it for free, but because of COVID and all the companies that we work with, in order to get the mattress to you, it's freight companies, and they're all third-party. I wish we were as big as FedEx and we could have a shipping company too, but we're not. 

[0:28:33.9] Ashley James: One day. Just keep dreaming. Everyone needs this mattress, okay? Every hotel. Can you imagine? Oh my gosh, I would specifically choose the hotel chain just if they had the Organix bed. So I hope you guys knock on the hotel doors, but AirBnB should definitely have this. Because it lasts longer, think about it, hotels usually buy mattresses that last longer, and they don't feel that great, and they should be buying your mattress. But that would be like a destination, to go to sleep on one of your mattresses. 

Now, you guys are giving a really great discount to my listeners, and I'm so grateful that you guys do this. You can go to Of course, the links to everything that we're talking about today are going to be in the show notes of today's podcast at And you can check out the three different beds, the three different mattresses there. We are going to talk about them in a sec. And you can check out some of the testimonials and the facts, but also see the discount and see the cool things that you guys are gifting my listeners. So thank you very much. 

And then there's also a webinar that I did a few years ago with Jason. So people who are visual, and usually people who are visual, don't listen to us. I'm also kind of visual. I like seeing stuff. But here, we have an auditory experience listening to podcasts. But if you want the visual, to see the slides where they're showing the people sleeping on this mat that measures the pressure points, it's cool. It's a cool visual. So go to to check out that webinar that shows you the visuals of the studies. But in the last three years, can you tell me what's new? What's up? Has there been any studies that have happened or any cool new information that's happened in the last three years since you joined Organix?

[0:30:50.2] Joey Woodward: The biggest thing, I guess, that has happened is we've added a couple of more mattresses to our line. They are the Sereniti, the Tranquiliti, and the Harmoni. In terms of firmness versus softness, people have asked, what's the firmest, the softest one? The Harmoni starts out as the firmest one, but it's still a really nice, plush mattress. It is about 11 inches thick. The Tranquiliti is 13 ½ inches thick and it's kind of right in the middle. But it's soft and firm. It's one of the most recommended mattresses, the Tranquiliti, by any other health and wellness expert out there, as well as chiropractors and spinal specialists. There are over 1,400 of those that have recommended the Tranquiliti. And then the Sereniti, which actually has just come out over the last couple of months. And that's the same mattress as Ashley's and mine. I like that one the most because it's the most plush, but it also is the most supportive. But again, they're all going to be great. 

[0:31:51.5] Ashley James: Yeah. So, the Sereniti is the upgraded version of the one we have, that you have and I also have. I have a California king-size because my husband is six foot seven, and he likes that extra length. So, California kings are long in height but a little bit narrower than a king. But still, I feel it's very big. Our whole family fits on the bed. It's wonderful. So mine is the Sereniti. But you guys have upgraded. You've added a few new things. But it's so comparable that if I were to lie on my bed versus the new upgraded one, I couldn't really tell the difference. So in terms of the support, it's as plush. My husband likes a firm mattress. I like it soft. But soft is bad for the back on any other type of mattress because you're sagging. You don't sag with this technology because it collapses exactly where it needs to and holds you exactly where it needs to. So it relieves the pressure. Again, you can watch the webinar at to see what I'm talking about. But these columns collapse like a honeycomb. It's so comfortable. How many times can I say it's comfortable? So you've got these three different mattresses, and I know you said the most recommended is the Tranquiliti, and everyone says it's the best. It's kind of like the Goldilocks. So I'm going to tell you, Sereniti all the way. That's my favorite. 

[0:33:21.6] Joey Woodward: Yeah, I agree with you there. I like the Sereniti. My wife likes the Tranquiliti. But we've kind of met in the middle, and the Sereniti is definitely the one that we got and love. And so I recommend the Sereniti as well, but the Tranquiliti is a gray mattress. You're not going to go wrong with that. The Harmoni is a great, great mattress if you want to put it in a second bedroom, put it in your kid's bedroom, or even have it for yourself. It just depends. If you like a more firm, go with the Harmoni. If you like something that is still firm but soft, go with the Tranquiliti. And if you like something that's supportive and, like she said, it's not going to sag or anything — of course, none of these mattresses do — go with the Sereniti if you want something softer. And so, they're all great. We do offer another mattress called the Athos Aria. If those three mattresses aren't at your price point, it's still a great low to no-VOC mattress and no-EMF mattress. If you take a look at that, it has an organic cotton cover and organic materials inside of that as well. And so that's on our website, Athos Aria. That one starts at around $2,700 in a queen, and Tranquiliti is around the $5,000 mark in a queen. And so it just depends on your budget, but they're all great mattresses. 

There was a study by Dr. Robert Troell. He did this a few years back, but it's still current today, for sure. People that have slept on this technology sleep through stages three and four. 80% longer than any other technology. And so this technology, like I said, is one of those things where you can't really find any other technology out there that's going to relieve pressure from your body. Some of the things to think about with the health effects of VOC exposure — it can cause short-term headaches, dizziness, throat, eye, and nose irritation, nausea, and vomiting. Those are things that people might experience from sleeping on a mattress with memory foam — long-term exposure, central nervous system damage, cancer, kidney, and liver damage, of course, where we went into SIDS with babies. More than anything, I recommend staying away from anything with memory foam in it. If you don't go with us to get this mattress, definitely stay away from any mattress with any VOC exposure. EMF is another thing as well. Definitely, if you can stay away from a mattress that has little to no EMFs. There's been readings and tests on these mattresses where people have actually come to our facility and tested these beds, and they found that there are rooms that are empty that actually have higher readings than directly next to the gel line of this mattress. So it's kind of interesting to look at that. 

[0:36:31.4] Ashley James: That's cool. So it's like the batch almost protects you from the EMFs. I had a really interesting interview. I don't remember the number right now. It's somewhere in the 50s. Sal, he's a Ph.D. This was seven years ago, so I'm just thinking he's a Ph.D. electrical engineer, I believe. His passion was to go around helping people fix the electricity in their homes because there's dirty electricity in so many homes. He talked about how there was this one MD who hired him to come in because his kids couldn't sleep. They're just up all night, and he goes, “There's no medical reason why they should be like this.” And he used the readings and found that there was so much metal in the crib and in the mattress of the baby, and the entire house had dirty electricity from the transformers. So the whole neighborhood had dirty electricity. But if you have a metal frame, or a metal mattress, the mattress has coils in it, and these coils are often touching all the metals. It's on a frame inside the mattress. All the metal was radiating this electromagnetic frequency that was just so unhealthy for them. They were just wired. And so he moved in the short-term to fix everything. He unplugged everything from the walls near the beds and moved the beds away from the walls that had outlets or wiring. He even goes so far as to say, if you can shut off the breakers in that side of the house, do that as well. Unfortunately, you have to go upstream and change the whole neighborhood, like changing the transformer, but that's what it takes. 

And he said there's a town in either Arizona or New Mexico, there's a whole town that would hear humming when they went to bed every night, and they thought it was aliens or something, and it turned out the entire town had dirty electricity. And think about sitting in a bed, and you have lamps plugged in on either side. This is back in the day when we didn't have a cell phone waking us up in the morning. They had their radio alarm clock plugged in on one outlet and a lamp on the other. And then, on both sides, there was at least a lamp on both sides. And the bed is in between two outlets that are plugged in. And if you were sitting in bed reading, you would hear this humming, loud humming. And that was the dirty electricity humming through the metal in your mattress. He has all sorts of stories about how he would enter someone's home and use this equipment to test the electricity. And his number one recommendation for sleep is don't sleep on a mattress with metal and unplug everything from the wall around the mattress, or turn off the electricity going to that area. Turn off your Wi-Fi, just everything. 

And what I love about the Organix mattress is that the coils are all wrapped together. Everything is done in a way that's so comfortable for the body, but also its low EMF. It does not take the EMF in your room or the outlet. So you don't have to go and unplug your electricity every day from the breaker downstairs, in the basement, in the garage, or wherever your breaker is. You don't have to. I have to go outside. My breaker is outside. It is kind of ridiculous. Sometime in the winter, it was raining. I tripped a breaker because I used too many gadgets in the kitchen. And I'm standing in a puddle with my bare feet about to touch the breaker. I'm like, I don't think I should be doing this. This is the worst place for a breaker. Oh, man. So I was like, you know what, I don't want to win a Darwin Award today. So I walked back inside the house. I'm like, I need to go get my shoes or just do it another time. I don't need to touch a breaker while standing in a puddle.

But the difference between virtually all mattresses out there and yours is that we can sleep comfortably, are non-toxic, and do not have EMF exposure. So just the list, we kind of go down this list and then wonder, all the health nuts like me are raving about you. 

[0:40:41.8] Joey Woodward: Yeah, in fact, there's a customer out of California; they called us one day. He purchased our mattress that day instantly when he found out that there are mattresses with little to no EMFs. And he said that his current mattress literally was pointing north. He said that his friend came over with a compass, and they were testing some things in their house to see whether he had EMFs, and his mattress was pointing north. I don't know how that would be something that you can test, to point out.

[0:41:13.7] Ashley James: Polarity. They are testing the polarity. So, I mean, that makes total sense because you can alter the polarity. If you take a compass and put it near an electromagnetic field, it will move. It will move to the electromagnetic field. So our body has an electromagnetic field. I think it's too weak to move a compass. But running water has an electromagnetic field. Running electricity through wires has an electromagnetic field. And if you take something, a strong enough electromagnetic field, and you move a compass towards that, it will align with the polarity of the electromagnetic field. So this is just showing the EMF. His old mattress had such an intense EMF that it had its own polarity. It's stronger than the earth's polarity. And that's what most people sleep on.

[0:42:07.4] Joey Woodward: That's a first for me. I hadn't heard that one. He's been saying to me since then that he loves us. He always calls me, and I talk to him, and he's actually a great guy. He loves his mattress. But it is definitely one of those things where I believe that this mattress helps a lot of people sleep better. It's obviously one of those things where if you can't get enough sleep at night, it's going to affect your day. It's going to affect your life, and you're on a mattress for a third of your life. Why not invest in something that will help that and help your life because it is one of the most important things out there, aside from food, exercise, and all that stuff. Sleep is one of the most important out there. 

[0:42:50.2] Ashley James: You will have a longer life if you sleep better. So many studies show that at night if we don't get enough sleep, our brain can't clear out the excess proteins that build up. These proteins build up, and they see a link between that and dementia and cognitive decline. Try not sleeping really well for a few nights, like okay, have a baby. And then try to think. They call it baby brain. My husband and I have this rule. We don't make any major financial decisions while we have a baby brain because we made some really weird decisions that we laugh about to this day when we were both under the haze of a baby brain. And men have it too because their sleep is not as much as the mom, but their sleep is definitely being disrupted, and if your sleep is disrupted, you got what we call a baby brain, but you just got a bad sleep brain at any age. Kids will express it through hyperactivity. They'll seem disruptive and hyperactive because they can't regulate their emotions if they don't get sleep well enough. And I got to tell you, our eight-year-old son loves our mattress. I look forward to the day when he outgrows his because I'm definitely going to be buying an Organix for him. But he would prefer to sleep on our mattress, regardless of whether we're in it with him or not. He would rather fall asleep on our mattress then we move him to his because he senses it's way more comfortable than anything else. And kids know. They're intuitive. 

Also, if we don't get enough sleep, the next day — they've done studies — we'll consume an average of five hundred more calories, and we'll have dysregulated cortisol levels which also affect insulin. So we'll have dysregulated insulin, blood sugar, and cortisol levels will be hungry, or will be more likely to give in to cravings. People with addiction tendencies like needing to chase dopamine will be more likely to give in to those. They lose willpower. Willpower becomes less abundant after a night of poor sleep. And if this is your chronic state of sleep, this is all you know, and you don't know a world where you get deep restorative restful sleep or you feel more in control of your body the next day and your emotions and your thoughts. 

And I had an amazing naturopathic endocrinologist on the show, Dr. Alan Christianson, and he talked about, I believe, the longest and the largest study on the causes of early death, all-cause mortality, and what we attribute to the length of life. So if you want to live a long, healthy life disease-free, there's one factor — that's not smoking — and it shocked him, and it was directly related to sleep. It is your body's stress level. If you have poor sleep, you have lower heart rate variability. So, therefore we can measure your stress levels, and we are in a higher state of stress after a bad sleep. We are in a lower state of stress after a good sleep. The body can reset and recalibrate, detox, and do the things we need to do with good sleep. So, I mean, everyone listening knows sleep is good, but you don't know that you have a bad sleep until you get an Organix mattress, and then you go, “Wow, I didn't know I could take my sleep to the next level.”

So again, I'm a giant cheerleader for you guys because it's like a tool that everyone needs. Like you said, one-third of our life is in this. Why would you hum and haw over money when it's something you're going to use for over 25 years and beyond at one-third of your life? Don't you also offer financial assistance or some way of doing a payment plan for people who don't have all that money upfront? 

[0:46:43.0] Joey Woodward: We do, yeah. Right now, we have two options; one is through PayPal. Everybody loves PayPal, but the other option is through a firm. So we have both those two options. Both of them are offering 0% interest for six months, and then, of course, if you need longer-term financing, then you can go up to 36 months. And, of course, that's a little bit of an interest payment. But you can definitely get financing for this mattress. There are a few options through our checkout. You can call us, or you can look at our website. I just want to bring up one last thing. You mentioned your son. I think he's going to love this for sure, once he gets it too, because, obviously, he's sleeping on your bed. But my son — I have five kids — he's fourteen, and ever since we got him this bed, and I don't know if this is before the bed, or maybe he's just responsible, he's just a good kid, I don't know. But he actually is one of those kids that wants to go to bed every night. At nine o'clock, he goes to bed right on time. He's like, “Hey, I know this show's on, and it's a cool show or whatever, but let's stop it and watch it tomorrow.” He goes to bed and literally stops watching TV. And then he wakes up by himself. We don't have to wake up like a typical teenager, like some of my other older kids. I have a twenty-one, twenty-two-year-old. He did not have this bed growing up. But we're terrible at waking them up. But this one, he just wakes up and goes to bed on time. Like I said, I can't say that this is the mattress. 

[0:48:17.8] Ashley James: Well, this is what I see with my son. When I say, “Okay, let's go brush your teeth. It's bedtime.” Like we start the bedtime routine, he goes, “My bed or yours?” And then sometimes I'd just be like, “Just go get in your bed. Come on.” And there are times I'm like, “Okay, let's lie down together and read a story or something.” And when he lies in our bed, in our Organix Sereniti, he falls asleep half the time. Sometimes when he lies in his bed, it's like he's calling out to us like, “I'm still awake. I can't fall asleep.” But I'm like, “Just go to bed.” And there's a distinct difference between the two. We do lots of stuff for him. Like, we noticed a huge difference and improvement in his sleep when he started doing the magnesium soak, and I have over five episodes about the magnesium soak. It's the world's longest name,, coupon code LTH for the magnesium soak, and it is phenomenal. The thing is, if you have a magnesium deficiency, soaking in this every day while you're at your computer, while you're in your sauna, while you're eating dinner, while you're watching TV or reading a book at night, but soaking your feet in a minimum of 20 minutes, maximum of up to 60 minutes. He soaked every night for 30 days. Most people reach full cell saturation in that period of time, and people are chronically magnesium deficient. So we did notice, and we started doing magnesium soaks with him. This is back when he was a toddler. He went from fighting us all night long to go to sleep to saying like, “Hey, I'm kind of tired. It's bedtime,” and I looked at him, like, “Who are you?” But then when he gets in the bed, if he's in our bed, like I said, if he's in our Organix bed, he falls asleep half the time. I'm just waiting for him to outgrow his mattress, but maybe I should just pull the trigger. After you said that about your fourteen-year-old, I feel like, you know, that meme where Fry is holding money, shaking it, and going, “Take my money, take my money.” Just take my money. I need that mattress for my son. Because you're right, he does way prefer falling asleep in our Organix bed versus his. So that makes sense. Like I said, I'm kind of kicking myself right now. Why haven't I just pulled the trigger?

[0:50:47.2] Joey Woodward: I'm sure some of it is lying next to his mom. It's that relaxing feeling. Plus, it does sound like one of those magnesium soaks that are really, really relaxing. 

[0:50:56.6] Ashley James: They are super helpful. But you know what? I say it because there are times when I don't practice what I preach, and I'm on my computer working at night when you're not supposed to be on a computer working at night. But I'm like, “I got to get this done.” And I say, “Okay. You got to lie down and go to bed yourself.” And so, he'll fall asleep in half the time, regardless of whether I'm in bed or not. He will fall asleep much faster in our bed. And that says a lot about your mattresses. I love that there's a return policy that is so easy. I love that you give people 90 days to try it. I love that you can use a firm. I prefer firm, but I mean, I've been with PayPal forever, but I prefer firm. I've bought some stuff and used them, and I really appreciate how easy the process is to buy things through them so you can do the payments. And there's really no risk then because try the mattress for 90 days. If listeners call your company, they want to definitely mention the Learn True Health podcast with Ashley James so they get the discount. I believe the coupon code is LTH, as always, Learn True Health LTH. But what are the things that you're giving the listeners? Tell us about the goodies.

[0:52:22.4] Joey Woodward: Yeah, definitely call us because, in this day and age, it is hard to get a hold of companies. We actually answer the phone. We love people calling us. The number is 866-647-5513. The goodies that come with this it's actually one of the best deals that we have ever done. It's 10% off the purchase, which, if you think about the price of this, is definitely a lot of money coming off of the mattress there for you, $400, $500, or $600, depending on the mattress, that you get 10% off. And then also, if you don't live in the city of Utah, there's not any sales tax because you're actually buying online with us. So that's one of the great things about buying from us versus buying from a local store. Unless you live in Utah, sorry, you got to pay tax. But in other states, you don't have to worry about that. As far as the other goodies that come with this, there are sheets that come with this, and it's sheet sets by Malouf, hypoallergenic sheet sets safe for babies. It's a great company. They have a 5-year warranty on it. There's a mattress protector that comes with this that has a 15-year warranty on it. And the mattress protector, if it fails in the time of that 15 years, in other words, water comes through, or you spill something on it or whatever, they actually will come out and clean your mattress for you.

[0:53:52.0] Ashley James: What? 

[0:53:53.3] Joey Woodward: And as long as it's on the receipt, it has to be on the same receipt as the bed, that they'll come to clean your mattress if it fails. And then, if they can't get the stain out, they'll actually replace the mattress too. So it's made by Malouf. You might think a mattress protector, though, might be plastic feeling or whatever. No, it's not. It actually feels like just a tightly woven fabric. It's very nice to put your sheets right over it. You don't notice it's there. Also, the sheets are deep-pocketed. They'll handle the 17-inch mattresses. The Sereniti won't have any issues with that.

[0:54:28.9] Ashley James: Nice. And I don't recommend regular cotton sheets. It's actually better to have bamboo, like organic bamboo, because they do have a big give and stretch. Whereas if you put really, really tight organic and you really make it tight, it's almost like a drum, and you don't want that disruption because the mattress is meant to collapse naturally, where your shoulder is where your hip is. It's meant to perfectly align you. I just personally found that I feel as though it doesn't disrupt the mattress when you use that more stretchy fabric like bamboo. 

[0:55:07.7] Joey Woodward: Yeah. Actually, the bamboo sheets are great. And then it does come with the full-service delivery, and that's normally a $369 service that we include in this. So you're saving roughly $600, $700, or $800 depending on the mattress that you get with all of these things. So just as a recap, you get 10% off, free sheets, a free mattress protector, and free full-service delivery. And again, they'll bring that mattress into your home, set it down, discard the plastic, the box, all the stuff that comes in, and then leave you with a nice mattress to sleep on for that night and, of course, the rest of that time. 

[0:55:46.4] Ashley James: Nice. And also, there are a few other things you guys sell. So I recommend checking it out. I personally love your pillows. Do you guys still sell the pillows? 

[0:56:00.4] Joey Woodward: We do. 

[0:56:01.4] Ashley James: Okay, I was like, “Uh-oh.” Because this was five years ago, stuff changes, but you guys still sell the pillows. I really love my pillow, and Jason said, “You know, I love my pillow too, but some people don't like it, and some people do.” I'm like, “Yeah, not everyone wants perfect protection for their neck.” I don't know; I just love it. I love the pillow. I feel like it perfectly contours my head and supports me. But everyone sleeps differently, right? So if you're kind of sick of your pillow and you're looking for a more supportive pillow, you should totally check out the pillow they sell as well.

[0:56:38.2] Joey Woodward: Like our mattresses, they're Oeko-TEX certified, safe for babies, CertiPUR-US certified. It's all super clean, hypoallergenic great stuff. There won't be any off-gassing or anything with that stuff to you with the pillows. And yeah, we do offer adjustable bases if you'd like that. Once you get one, I warn you, you're going to be in your room a lot more often. Maybe in front of the TV on your bed instead of down on the couch or whatever. But the adjustable bases are super nice with a mattress like this. 

[0:57:12.8] Ashley James: Yes. Like I said, I've had times where I had to be in bed, bed-bound, bed rest in the last five years that I've owned this. There had been times when I had to be on bed rest and 12 to 24 hours straight in bed, obviously going to the bathroom but otherwise being in bed. There was no pain, no stiffness, no achiness. It's pretty remarkable how different the experience is on this bed versus any other mattress. So it's a tool. It's a tool we should all have. It just makes so much sense to me. So I love everything. I love that the materials are safe. I love that story about the low EMF, and I love the discounts you are giving us. The fact that we can call you guys and chat with you guys and also no risk to trying it. We can definitely return it within 90 days if we don't like it. But few people do. I would never. I would fight you if you tried to take my mattress away. I'm going to fight you. 

[0:58:20.2] Joey Woodward: What I love to hear, Ashley, is you like your mattress after five years. You know, there's a lot of people like that, ten years, 15 years. We hear that all the time. “I still love my mattress.” And they always talk about they can't go traveling and all that stuff like we went over, but yeah, and you're going to love it for 10, 15, 20 years. It's going to be something that you'll always feel the same about. It's a great mattress.

[0:58:42.9] Ashley James: Yeah. And when Bob and I talked about this in Episode #355 that originally, the oldest mattresses that they made were still good so many years later. So yes, the warranty is 20 years, and they can see that even after 25. There's no wear and tear, and it's still supportive. It's so great, but it is still holding up. But there are people who have even older, and it's doing well. So I'm like, “I wonder, can this be the last mattress I buy for me?” I don't know. I'm excited to see how long it lasts before I need to replace it, and I know that it's going to be a very long time. So that's exciting. I can't wait to get one for my son. I can't wait in the future to get one for the guest bedroom. Although I have had problems where guests never want to leave. So maybe, not right now. But I do want to be able to give people the experience so they never want to leave because it's such a nice experience. Every time I go to visit other people, their mattresses are really horrible in the guest bedroom. Like people usually take the passed down like grandma slept on it, and that we slept on it, and then our kids slept on it, and now it's your mattress. It's like a hundred years old, and I just had the worst experiences. I love my friends. I love visiting them, but their mattresses all really suck. I can't tell you how many times I have been in a foreign state or country and needed to go find a chiropractor because it was just such bad sleep being on someone else's mattress. So it'll be really, really nice if money wasn't a problem to invest in a guest bedroom bed that would just knock people's socks off and make people feel so welcome, so comfortable. I don't know. That's just me. I just like pampering people. I like pampering myself. But it seems like a necessity since we know how important sleep is.

Before we wrap up today's interview, thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing all this information. Of course, listeners can go check out more by going to, and they can also go to to check out the cool webinar we did with all the science stuff. Are there any other stories of success, stories of testimonials of people's cool experiences? Maybe people have had health shifts or noticed that their pain is going away. Those kinds of stories when they started using the Organix bed that you'd like to share with us?

[1:01:17.7] Joey Woodward: Definitely, yeah, there is a ton out there. More notably, I think there are a lot of people that did come find us when they were looking for a mattress with no smell. We get that a lot. There are a lot of people who call in, a lot of people that come to our chat on our website and ask questions about the smell. And there was this one customer. Her name is Christy, and she is a great customer. I gave her my personal cell phone and talked to her for a while, just to make her feel comfortable because she was actually very concerned. She went from one bed to another. All these mattresses that claim to be no smell, a hundred percent organic, and things like that. She told me about some mattresses that she got that were a hundred percent organic, and she's one of those that cannot be in a fragrance aisle or be in an area where there's any sort of smell. She'll get sick. And so she could smell the mattresses that she was shopping for and buying, and she bought a mattress that she said smelled like a farm. But nobody else was saying that. She was saying it smelled like a farm and it was just an organic mattress. And so what she asked us to do, which was really unusual, and we've never had this happen before — she wanted us to wash the outer cover of the mattress twice with borax so that it would actually get rid of more of the oils in the organic fabric, which I assured her that all the oils were gone already, and there are no issues there. But we went ahead and did that for her just to make sure that she was happy when she received the mattress. And, of course, when she received it, there was no smell for her. And that's one of those things where she was super surprised. I was actually surprised that she could smell because she could probably smell things that anybody could not smell. But she can smell it. She's that type of person. And so I'm very happy that she's happy with the bed. She said that she was going to recommend it to everybody. And so that happens, not exactly that, but a lot of those people with mast cells come back and say there's no smell, and so they just love our mattress.

[1:03:40.8] Ashley James: We have to recognize that when we can smell something, it has entered our body. We often think that we have some kind of magic force field like, “Oh, I'm just having it. I'm selling something, but it's not going in me.” If you smell something, your liver, within 15 minutes, is processing it. Smelling is the act of inhaling vapors, which are tiny molecules of liquid right off a chemical, and it gets stuck into the mucosal layer of the sinuses, the lungs, and the esophagus, and we swallow, and it goes into our stomach. And also it absorbs in through the mucosal layer of our respiratory system, leading into the lymph system and then moving towards the liver. Low VOC is good, but not all VOCs are bad, like the orange peel. Opening an orange peel is high VOC, and that is not unhealthy. There are many chemicals that are incredibly toxic, and they're not VOCs, volatile organic compounds. Those chemicals interact with the ozone. So it's more of an environmental thing and not necessarily a harmful thing. But the fact that you can smell acetone when walking into a spa because the women are getting their nails done, and within 15 minutes of smelling it, your liver is processing it. And there's no VOC in that instance. So to smell a mattress, you are inhaling chemicals. Just like if you smell new carpeting, new linoleum, that new-car smell. All of it can be formaldehyde, and it's incredibly toxic, like thousands of other chemicals. There are 80,000 new man-made chemicals in our air, water, soil, mattresses, cars, and building materials. And they're allowed to be there even though they're incredibly harmful. So if you don't smell anything, what we're saying is that you're showing through one of your senses that the off-gassing isn't there. That isn't foolproof because there are certain chemicals that are odorless. But there are plenty of mattresses out there that you can definitely smell something. And if you smell something, your body is processing it as if you ingested it. Because you did, you ingest it into your lungs.

So I love, love, love that people who are so sensitive become sick, sick from anything that has an ascent because their body cannot process it; that they do not become sick when they use an Organix mattress. And that makes me really excited to have something that's safe for us that we should all be using. Thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing. And I know you said there are hundreds and hundreds of testimonials we can see on the website. Remind us again what the phone number is. 

[1:06:40.5] Joey Woodward: It is 866-647-5513, and there's only two options after that. It's customer service and sales. Number one is sales, and customer service is number two. So it's fairly simple. But yeah, give us a call. Feel free to call us anytime. We're actually open seven days a week, by the way. So if you're listening Sunday, or whatever, if you're catching this later, call us on Sunday. We are open until 5 p.m. Mountain time. During the week, we're open until 7, so give us a call. 

[1:07:16.0] Ashley James: Very cool. And for people outside of the US, do you only ship to people in the US, or do you also ship to other countries?

[1:07:24.5] Joey Woodward: We ship to Canada and the lower 48. If we need to ship to Hawaii or Alaska, we can do so, but there is an additional shipping charge. We would give you a quote based on where you live. Same thing with Canada. We can't ship to Canada for free, but we will credit you $369 toward that shipment. What we have found by shipping to Canada, though, is that, of course, one, you get this mattress. You can't find it in Canada, but you get this mattress. And then, two, if you find anything that's comparable out there, you're going to spend more money on it even with shipping costs. And so, give us a chance to give you a shipping quote, and we'll definitely ship it up to you, and it goes pretty quickly. Shipping times all across the country and to Canada or anywhere is from two to five weeks depending on where you live. Of course, if you live in a rural area or some small town, it might take an extra week or something. But in a big city, it's fairly quick. And keep in mind that we don't roll it up in a tiny little box and ship it to your front door. So that's why it's not three days. It's going to take a little bit of time to drive a very large mattress across the country or wherever you live. So that's the reason. But it's worth the wait. 

[1:08:51.0] Ashley James: Yes, it is. And you will feel like Princess and the Pea lying on the perfect mattress. When you do get it, you'll just lie in it and go, “Oh my gosh, this is amazing.” The experience is that you are floating. It's like a cloud, but it's supporting you perfectly. It's suspending your body, and you don't feel any pressure anywhere. It's the coolest thing ever. And you did mention that if you've found something comparable, you'll spend more money. There are copycats out there, and I did purchase one before the Organix, and I have to say, I was incredibly disappointed. I don't want to disparage any companies publicly, but I will say, a horrible experience with that copycat company because other people saw the technology that Bob created and wanted to copy it, and there were lawsuits and all kinds of things that I'm not going to disparage anyone. But what I will say is that you will save time, money, and energy to get the real McCoy. Instead of trying to go after a copycat, get the original that has the science behind it. Copycats are just a poor-quality second, and I had a personal experience with it. And I'm glad I did so I could go, “Wow, the original is worlds beyond and worlds better than the copycats out there. 

So thank you, Joey, for coming on the show. I really appreciate your time. And I wish you the best of success because the work that you're doing is really helping people and improving the quality of people's lives. So it's companies like yours we need more of. We need more companies with integrity that are focused on our health first and companies that make a product that lasts longer. You look around, and you see washing machines only last five years. After seven years, it's like they break down. If you go into a house that was built in the 50s and comes with a washing machine from the 80s, you know that washing machine is never going to die. You see these things. I've had this experience where it's like, “Yeah, okay, the appliance is four years old. It's not going anywhere.” But the appliances they sell today, good luck in trying to get that appliance to last you forty years.

There's something about how we used to make things to really last. I just love that your company is about making a product that lasts, that's non-toxic, that's safe, that's healthy, and that actually promotes healing. You're like, we're only not going to not be harmful. We're going to help the body heal. And so of course there's a higher price for this. This is made by hand. This is non-toxic. This is a white-glove service, and we can do a payment plan. At the end of the day, this is going to last you over 25 years. So it's going to save you in the long run. But I want more companies like yours out there, so I believe in voting with my dollar like I vote with my fork. I buy organic. I support local farms. I put my money into the companies that I want to see do well because they're doing well for us. So thank you for all that you do. Please, listeners, use the coupon code. Tell your friends, especially friends that are sick and suffering or friends that have relatives that are having problems with bed sores. This is a technology that everyone should be aware of because it makes such a difference in the quality of our lives.

And Joey, you're doing great work. So keep it up. Thank you so much. And if you ever in the future have any scientists or studies, or things that you want to share, come share them, and we'd love to hear them. 

]1:12:35.3] Joey Woodward: Awesome. It was my pleasure. It was a great time, for sure. Thank you so much, Ashley.

[1:12:40.0] Ashley James: I hope you enjoyed today's episode with Joey Woodward. Wasn't he great? You know, it's interesting, after doing over 500 interviews — I've actually done probably close to 530 because I have not published everything that I've done. And there are certain ones that I chose never to publish because you know what? Some people just don't make it. Just because they get on my show doesn't mean that they are good enough for you to listen to. I'm sure they're wonderful people. It's just I feel very protective of you guys, and I wouldn't publish something that was not helpful or beneficial, or sometimes guests just aren't that great. So I do my best to only publish what's going to help you and what I know is going to be a positive influence. And when I listen to people, they're real. These are real people. These aren't like paid doctors. These aren't trained professionals. You listened to Joey. He's just so authentic. He's being himself. You can hear his passion. 

As I was getting today's episode together to publish, sometimes I sit back and listen because I'm on the hot seat when I'm an interviewer. So, I'm kind of listening for when they are answering the questions for the first time when it's live. I'm always listening for, what is the question the audience has. Like, what is the question you have for him? And then, when I sit back to listen to it afterward, I can hear it like it wasn't me. It's the weirdest thing. I love my show, and it's sort of like listening to someone else's show because I sit back and I forget what I've even said sometimes in the interview. I remember the content. Like, I remember what the guest said. But sometimes I forget what I said. So I'm listening with new ears. I can sit back and relax and just be in the moment and hear him. And when I'm hearing his voice, I don't know if you noticed this, but he's very chill, right? He's just happy. He's chill. He's calm. I'm just imagining you own a mattress company for a living. You definitely want to make sure that you're getting good sleep. And he just sounds very calm, but he also sounds like he's not a trained professional guest on shows. He's not trained professionally to public speak. 

And that's what I wanted to say — it is that a lot of my guests are real, so real. And they're here to share information, and they're not perfect. I'm not perfect. I'm trying to get better and better. Everyone does. Everyone tries to improve. We are not polished. This isn't mainstream TV or mainstream radio. This is just real people, and that's even better, getting real information, learning from real experiences, and real people. I love podcasting, that we can throw away all that junk that the middleman filters of the advertising companies, and the ratings, all the stuff that kind of warps politics. If all that we could throw away and go, okay, let's just be real people and help each other.

So listening to his voice, I could hear his love and authenticity and hear his excitement, and it was cool. It's cool that he stepped in and took over the company as Bob retired and kept it going. So, it's neat. I just love that this company is supporting American workers. It knows where every single aspect of its materials comes from that's actually non-toxic, super low EMF. Just all the stuff that you could do, the science behind, how you could examine this mattress to see the quality. I just say jump on it and sleep on it, and then you'll feel it for yourself.

Just in case you didn't get these web links written down, I wanted to make sure you had it, gets you the webinar. And then gets you the special deal, the web page that Joey designed for us. Actually, it was the previous owner that designed it for us, and Joey's honoring it — the really, really super good deal that he talked about in the interview. And then, of course, you can call them at 866-647-5513 and mention the Learn True Health podcast with Ashley James, coupon code LTH, and they should be able to hook you up with the exact same discount. They will give you the same discount and all the special deals and goodies that get thrown in when you go to But they should be able to answer your questions, help you with financing if you'd like that, and just make it all smooth for you. And if you have any questions or concerns, or you want to tell me how great your experience was with Organix and any of that, please email me at I'd love to hear from you. 

You can also talk about it in our Facebook group, the Learn True Health Facebook group. Jump into the Facebook group with us. I would love to see you there. We all support each other. It's a beautiful community. Just search for Learn True Health on Facebook, or you can go to and join the Facebook group. Even if you don't do Facebook, just create an account for this. Sometimes people just join with no profile picture and a fake name, just so they can be in the community. I know. I'm sorry, it's Facebook. It's just one of those platforms. I'm not saying that I align with any major company or any social media company. It just happened to be the best way to get a community together, and you can use the search function in the group because the group's been around for, I think, five or six years now. And since then, we've answered so many health questions it's become almost like a directory. You could type in any problem you could think of or any symptoms. And there are already answers and already so many resources, and there's so much information. We have holistic doctors in our group that answer questions, and dentists, nurses, massage therapists, herbalists, acupuncturists, and midwives. There are so many professionals that are in the holistic space that are coming together, answering questions, along with myself and a lot of other health coaches and experts. So it's a really supportive community. That's why I keep saying, come on, join us. Let's all learn together because we all deserve to have this holistic information, so we don't need to suffer anymore. We have to take action and go out and seek the information, and that's what I'm here to provide for you. 

Check out the episodes coming up. I've been very busy editing. I don't know if you've checked out the website lately, but I've also been posting a blog post like I've got the yogurt one up, which is the lactobacillus reuteri from Dr. Davidson's last two episodes, and that is so delicious. It's made from cashews. You can make it from other things. I have a listener who made it from blanched almonds. She had to remove the skins, and she did that. She said it turned out amazing. I personally love the cashew yogurt. So check out that link. I'm going to be publishing a blog post very soon with detailed instructions on how to use a sauna and a few other things that are around your house to help the body detoxify heavy metals properly or healthfully. And then I'm going to be posting soon my turbo moon milk recipe, which I've been using. It's so delicious, and I use it at night, and it's a wonderful elixir that supports. It's with a lot of adaptogenic herbs, so it helps the body to regulate and come back into balance, decreasing inflammation. It's antimicrobial, a huge immune booster, really supportive of the gut, just increasing the gut strength and health in digestion, helps with anything from sleep and inflammation to hormones, and just all of it. I put this together, and I've been sharing it with some friends, and they loved it too. I shared it with my family. As for me, I like it too with ashwagandha, and those were in there. But all the herbs are super healthy. A lot of them are already in your pantry. 

What I like is the ritual at the end of the day to sit there. I've already had dinner a few hours before, and I'm on an empty stomach. Maybe I'm a little bit hungry, but I'm not going to because I want to go to bed on an empty stomach. And I sit there, and I drink the moon milk, the turbo moon milk. It's like an elixir, and it sets the body up for a really healthy detox while you sleep, and it just calms the body. It's not like I am frazzled or anything. I think even really healthy people notice that they feel good drinking it. And then people who are suffering from parasites, or inflammation or just toxicity, or liver problems or hormone imbalance of any kind, or sleep issues, any of those — they will find that drinking this elixir before bed supports them in a gentle way and they'll start to feel a difference. 

So check out those blog posts that are going to be coming out really soon. It might already be out, depending on when you listen to this episode at Just go to my website, Awesome. Thank you so much for being a listener and sharing these episodes with those you care about. My goal is to help. Originally, seven years ago, when I started, I said I want to help a million people, and I'm like, you know what, that's too small because there's a lot more than a million people suffering. Let's just help as many people as we can. Let's turn this ripple into a tidal wave. Keep sharing. Let's tip the scale. Tip the tides towards health for everyone because suffering should be optional. The information is out there, but people don't have access to it until we show them, until we say, hey over here, look over here. So you can always use the search function on my website to find all kinds of great resources. There are over 500 episodes. So there's lots and lots of information on every single symptom, condition, and health goal. Just go to and check it out and have yourself a fantastic rest of your day.

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