Adams Herbs











Silk Tree Flower               30%  
Silk Tree Bark               30%  
Schizandra Berries               15%  
Cordyceps Mushroom               15%  
Holy Basil Leaf                  7%  
Licorice Root                  2%  
Pulsatilla Flower                  1%  



USES: Restoring and creating joy.  Feelings of grief and loss.  Apathy.  Irritability.  To break through emotional stagnation.

This formula arose out of a talk given by the herbalist David Winston at a Medicines from the Earth conferences a few years ago, where he called Silk Tree the single best antidepressant he had used in his nearly 30 years of clinical practice.  Silk Tree?  Who had ever heard of Silk Tree?
As soon as I got home, I got myself a bottle of David “Grief Re-Leaf” formula – Silk Tree, plus Hawthorn and Rose Petals.  Well, I’m generally a pretty happy guy regardless; after dosing myself heavily for four days, I was walking around with an idiot grin on my face for no good reason. 

Silk Tree is almost entirely unknown in Western herbalism, and there’s barely a shred of formal research on it.  In China, however, it’s called He Huan – the tree of happiness.  Anywhere in the world, it’s a lovely plant, graceful and expansive, with leaves like ferns and flowers like feather.  The bark is more grounding, while the flowers are more uplifting.  At a moderate dose, it might take a week or so to start working, but its effects are both pervasive and profound.  Cloudy days feel brighter.  Sleep welcomes us more readily, and is generally more restoring; waking is less of a chore. 

Shizandra berries raise brain dopamine, but more importantly, they balance and tone the adrenals (roughly analogous to Chinese kidney jing, or “vital essence”), fortifying us against depletion.  Cordyceps is another adrenal tonic, but more importantly an oxygenater – at only 15% of this formula, its effects won’t be as obvious as in Leaping*(Soaring), but it should give a little energy, a little brisk fresh air, if you will.

Holy Basil is both relaxing and brightening.  It reduces cortisol, our major adrenal stress hormone.  To be honest, Holy Basil was selected only as a last-minute fill-in for the original Saffron, which tripled in price since my last batch.  (Last I checked, it was pushing $1,300 a pound, and sacrifices had to be made…)

Licorice harmonizes and sweetens the formula, while Pulsatilla is a classic Eclectic remedy for exhausted restlessness with a weak pulse, the feeling of being heartbroken, or just broken.

Supportive Practices:  Get a good night’s sleep. Mend, or walk away from, damaging relationships. Pick up an instrument.  Light a candle. Take up yoga. Get a dog. Get in shape.  Plant a garden. Read some poetry. Go easy on yourself. Make some soup, and share it.  Make a plan to make things better. Then, improvise. 

In terms of supplements, David Winston’s formula is superb, and better than mine for acute, piercing pangs of grief or loss.  He also recommends it for what he calls “stagnant depression” – a sort of emotional attachment to past hurts.  (I like mine better for apathy, the everyday blues and/or blahs).
High-dose fish oil (minimum 1,000 mg/day EPA) is essential.  Consider two months of Xiao Yao (“Relaxed and Easy Wanderer”) if there’s strong irritability.  Consider 10-18 grams daily inositol if there’s obsessive or compulsive thinking or behavior.   



© 2009 Adam Herbs. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Use common sense. Don't jump into a full therapeutic dose of anything the first day. Trust your experience more than someone's learned opinion. If you're dealing with something scary or serious, work with a professional. If the professional appears incompetent, find a better one.