By Laura Stapleton, Company Leader
Are you someone who loves to cut loose at a festival, club, or party and indulge in enhancements?
Maybe you start off with good intentions of having a quiet one, but the temptation to play all night takes over and work on Monday is a far off consideration.
Well there is a way to bring balance to your playground without receiving a lecture on “just saying no.” Sadly the war on drugs has taken away many of our safe alternatives, but we can still have fun with awareness, and use herbs to help balance the ride.
This article is based on a talk that The Happy Herb Company was invited to deliver at a recent music festival, but it can be applied to any social event that involves extended partying and recreational enhancements. Awareness and care go a long way to keeping us happy, healthy and high on life, which is usually the aim of such events.
The Happy Herb Company, formerly Happy High Herbs, has been serving the party scene for over 20 years now and is famous for pioneering alternatives and natural highs. The foundation of this work was to support people to enjoy social enhancements without having to use alcohol or drugs, but sadly legislation has robbed us of herbs that offered us a more subtle and much safer effect.
We now specialise and focus more on herbs for health, and are well placed to share how you can implement practices for conscious partying. Please note that we are not recommending or condoning drug use, we are simply sharing our knowledge for harm minimisation and reduced comedown.
We would also like to acknowledge the work that many of the transformational festival organisers go to to ensure a safe playground for its patrons. These festivals discourage excessive alcohol and offer a very clean and loving environment for partying and healing in one space.
TIPS TO PARTY CONSCIOUSLY
Step 1 – Nourish
Build your Chi before spending it. This basically refers to loading up on health and rest the week before. Extended partying will no doubt tax your adrenals, rob you of sleep, and mess with your serotonin and dopamine levels, which is what can lead to what’s known as a ‘comedown.’
EveryBODY is unique and so it is important to know what works for you. Some people feel nourished through superfoods, others through chicken broth, but what is important here is that you load your body with nutrients that make you feel great. Note that not all supplements are equal and it’s about choosing blends that are well absorbed and assimilated.
Some Happy Herb Faves for Party Priming!
Eden Health’s Organic Superfood – The creator of this is one of our most respected herbalists and health gurus. This combination is often used before a serious detox to ensure the body has stored up plenty of nutrients, so it’s great for priming.
Jing by Superfeast – This premium formula is the ultimate for supporting and restoring adrenals and nourishing kidney essence. These are two of the main organs that take a beating when we extend ourselves beyond our natural limits. It also tastes great and is a favourite coffee replacement.
St Marys Thistle, aka Milk Thistle – This is the super herb for liver protection, a must for most people’s lifestyles, let alone a ravers. In our current way of living it could be said that the liver is the hardest working organ in our body, with many vital functions to perform. Most substances we take in, whether it be from our environment or ingestion, need to be filtered through the liver, so it’s important to have it functioning well. Taking Milk Thistle before and after a party can seriously reduce a hangover! Check out our What Hangover for an easy before and after supplement.
Adaptogens are a classification of herbs that support the body to deal with stress and fatigue. They can tone the body and bring it back to homeostasis, creating a response that can resist stress. Clearly useful for priming the body before a bender. Ashwagandha is excellent for supporting the immune system, whilst Rhodiola has been shown to have a protective effect upon neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine in the brain.
Immunitea – Let your body run at its highest potential! ImmuniTea is an herbal tea concentrate, jam-packed with great immune supporting herbs to bring you back into balance.
L-Tyrosine and L-Tryptophan – These amino acids have been known to be used as a primer for brain chemistry to help avoid a ‘comedown,’ however this is a fine art and must only be taken with great care and knowledge. Taking either of these at the same time as drug use or anti-depressants can be dangerous and not recommended. (We don’t sell these online but many of our shops stock them).
Prepare for coming home – Having a tidy home and a really hearty soup waiting for you in the freezer cannot be underestimated to support recovery. After a big event you will often be tired and your serotonin may start to drop, so do what you can to prep for a comfortable landing.
Step 2 – Partytime
So this is where the fun starts and we want to make it the best time ever. To aim for this it’s important to maintain mindfulness and awareness of your environment, and any substances that you wish to take, whether you choose alcohol or recreational drugs.
Safe Spaces – Know your environment. If you are at a festival or busy nightclub it’s wise to suss out your safe spots first in case things get a bit heavy. Know where the first aid tent is but also check out where you will be comfortable in case you start to wobble. Planting these memories in your mind before altering your state may encourage you to rest and ground every now and then, which will definitely serve you the next day.
By safe spots we mean a place where you may feel ok to chill out. If you’re at a festival it could be a tree or a lounge area. We love the Magic Mixes elixir bar (aka The Doof Doctors) that you will find at most festivals in Australia. Often with a Naturopath on site, they can help identify what your needs are and provide a nourishing beverage designed to restore you back to a balanced state.
Set intentions and manifest the perfect night – Know how you want to feel and what you want to get out of the event. Often people can get carried away in the moment and end up consuming more than they intended; if spinning out is not what you’re aiming for then be clear about that.
If all you want is to have enough energy to dance with some euphoria then set that intention, if you want to be wild and loose then still take time to visualise how this looks for you. This exercise can create a clear internal barometer that keeps you on track.
Know your limits – So this is clearly obvious, but often our limits are different depending on the environment and what your current state of health is like. Some physical circumstances may heighten your sensitivity, such as any medications you are on, if you are a woman menstruating and especially if you are experiencing any emotional trauma in your life. Be mindful of where you are at, but also of the new environment that you are in. If you’re at a festival then you are probably physically exerting yourself for longer periods and getting a lot less sleep.
Consumption and Synergy
What you consume is really important, and whilst mixing substances can seem like a good idea at the time, it’s important to understand synergy and have caution around it. In this instance, synergy is when the alchemy of more than one substance is mixed together, creating a new effect.
Lab rats were given mercury and 5% of them died. Lab rats were given aluminium and 5% died. When the lab rats were given mercury and aluminum together, 95% died; whoa!!
The general rule of thumb is don’t mix like with like. The timing of the mixing is also important. You may have heard the saying “weed before beer you’re in the clear, beer before grass you’re on your ass” … This tells us that there is a lot more to mixing two substances than we may realise.
Even some herbal supplements may have a dramatic effect on drug use. St. Johns Wort, which is an antidepressant, could be potentially harmful to mix with MDMA, which has a feel-good serotonin increase. Coffee and amphetamines could be another bad mix due to the stimulating properties. They may have one effect on their own, but together they potentiate way beyond double.
It can sometimes be useful to mix substances that counter balance themselves, St Johns Wort is a powerful liver cleanser so it is excellent to support alcohol use. Passionflower is a relaxant so it may balance the effects of amphetamines, but it is also an MAO inhibitor so it may potentiate psychedelics beyond your pleasure.
So, as you can see, synergy is complex, and without good knowledge you could be setting yourself up for a ride you didn’t ask for.
Oops too much!
Conscious partying is not just about looking after yourself, it’s about looking out for others also, so it’s important to know what to do. If medical attention is required then there is no question but to seek it out. You should also know how to put someone in the recovery position, including yourself, especially if there are signs of physical purging which is common with excessive alcohol use.
There may be options to help metabolise and straighten neurochemistry, such as using Vitamin C, Kava, B Vitamins etc. this won’t reduce the amount of drugs in your system, but it may help to ground you and feel better the next day. Once again it is important to understand synergy if you are going to use any natural supplements to support this process, and remember everyone is different. BTW – coffee is a terrible idea at this time, it is over stimulating and may send your nervous system into a frenzy.
We love The Happy Herb Company’s Rescue Plus as a safe option in any situation for anxiety. Whether the essences in this formula help, or the placebo of taking something does the job, it’s always worth having some in your bag of tricks.
If you are physically ok but you’re having a wobble then the safest option is to dance, move, or get a cold shower. Make sure you have a friend with you. There is also a technique whereby you can tap your finger tips and this will send the stimulus from your brain to all the nerve endings in your fingers. This may help you refocus if you’re feeling anxious.
Once you have ridden the wave it is worth taking a rest to hydrate and nourish. There is always a smoothie or juice bar at festivals if you’re not ready for a meal.
If the issue is too many psychedelics and things are getting too intense, then reassure yourself that it is all medicine and will pass. The best thing is to ensure that you have a friend who can stay with you in a safe and comfortable place to ride it out. If you are the one supporting someone, it is best not to steer them away from their trip, just reassure them that you are with them and that they are ok. I love this article to teach us how to support someone through an intense trip …
I Did “Psychedelic First Aid” at a Festival in Costa RicaHow The Zendo Project helps the festival community take care of its own.everfest.com (Link: https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.everfest.com%2Fmagazine%2Fi-did-psychedelic-first-aid-at-a-festival-in-costa-rica&h=ATPab2UVr3azFEgt7F3hfvYqdCUJfvuP-9c-X-BBemI3E-1TH05b-rZFIheQTVrt7Wf0cyQITw_o2UTTfZvDSYwXtJqHtL3cxbO8xa33qOXTFgu9S2MlQg&s=1
Happy Herbs Faves for Sober Partying
Sadly we are not allowed to claim anything as an alternative to a psychoactive substance, but we can certainly supply herbs that may satisfy the effect you are looking for. Here are a few of my personal faves to party on.
Vibes – Alert and uplifted mood. The clean sustainable energy of this blend is due to the adaptogen Siberian Ginseng, energising Guarana and mood enhancing Mucuna. Subtle but nicely effective.
Aphroditea – This love-filled tea concentrate designed to create a happy mood and sensual feeling with gentle loving energy. Great for dropping into your body and feeling sexy on the dance floor.
Summertime – Energising herbal extract. Blends nicely with Aphroditea
Love Bubble – Uplifts the mood, opens the heart, relaxes the body, calms the mind, brings feelings of love, bliss and happiness.
Pussy Power – Pussy Power is a delightful smoking blend on its own or sprinkled on your favourite herb as a beautiful burning aid. Great alternative to tobacco
Check out our full range of energy and party enhancements! http://thehappyherbshop.3dcartstores.com/Energy-Party_c_8.html
Propolis Manuka Spray – This is the nurse in your pocket. This antibacterial spray will keep your immune boosted and fight off any infections whilst your body is exerting itself.
Step 3 – Restore
It’s bedtime and hopefully you have had a fabulous night and the intentions you set at the beginning became your reality. Now it’s time to get some rest!
If you have been drinking alcohol then the chances are sleep will come easy, but often what happens is the sugar in the alcohol wears off in a few hours and you’re wide awake in the dark hours, so you may want a sleep aid handy.
If you have been taking stimulants or psychedelics then you may find it difficult to sleep.
Happy Herb Faves for Rest and Recovery
Mellow Yellow – This extract of California Poppy seems to be the easiest solution in terms of administration and effect. We find that this works very quickly so it is worth being in bed when you take it.
Mulungu – This is our favourite herb for sleep but it requires you to brew up a tea, which in itself can be an excellent wind down.
Sleep Easy Spagyric – This range of herbal tinctures is super potent and easy to administer.
Passionflower – This herb works on nervous disorders that affect sleep, so it’s a great one to use if you have been taking stimulants.
For the next few days it is great to really pay attention to your health. Taking the herbs listed in step one for nourishment will work really well to support recovery, particularly the Jing, Milk Thistle and Rhodiola, which will help keep you energised and balance brain chemistry. Remember to take your ‘What Hangover’ also, which should be taken before and after alcohol.
Mucuna – This has mood-enhancing properties due to its effect on dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, which like serotonin, regulates mood.
Damiana – This is The Happy Herb Company;s favourtie all time herb. It is an excellent mood enhancer as it affects the psyche, producing a mild emotional uplift that can last for up to one and a half hours. We have a lot of testimonials on this revered herb on how it has transformed people’s depression, so it is particularly good to balance a come down.
‘Out of the Blue’ Tea – This is a very special blend of uplifting herbs. Originally designed to support people with depression, it’s a great tasting fusion of magic that elevates the mood.
Cleanse your aura – Choose from either Palo Santo or Sacred Sage to smudge away any unwanted energies.
So the take home message in all of this is mainly to have awareness around what works for you, be mindful not to mix substances, set clear intentions for your enjoyment and have a great time.