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Your Personality Determines Your Herbal Program

6 min read time Sep 17, 2020


With over 15 years as a Master Herbalist and speaking to thousands of people, I have learned much about personality types.

One of the greatest lessons I have learned is the importance of matching an herbal program with one’s personality. By doing this, a person’s rate of success is much greater to achieve their targeted goal.

Remember, we all have our fears and if we don’t embrace them, one’s chances of success is limited. This is why I match the program with the personality. If anyone ever tells you that “their” program is the only one that works, run the other way. There is always more than one way.

Here are a couple examples from real conversations from customers who have concerns about herbs and superfoods:

The Timid

I heard in confusion and hesitation in her voice. She had a hard time asking her question and really didn’t know what her goal was.

I could literally hear the fear in her voice. My experience has taught me that this is a personality type that would have no ability to deal with an aggressive healing response.

The minute the healing response hit she would go into a downward spiral. In case you are wondering how I know this, the simple answer is, “years of experience”. I was up front and told her that based on her lack of direction and hesitation we would start slow and build over time. Not only did she agree with my assessment she also thanked me for picking up on her desire to go low and slow.

To be clear, being timid is not a bad thing. If you understand who you are, what you want and embrace it, you will always win the game. Some people go to a knife fight with a knife while others go with a gun. Then, there are those who go with a spork. I think you get my point.   

I suggested the following. First, I told her to get a notebook so she could take notes on how she responds to each product individually. While I usually only suggest this idea to my timid customers, I think this is a good idea for everyone. Taking notes is very empowering and gives you a greater sense of control by having more knowledge. Remember, contrary to popular belief, knowledge is only potential power. How you apply that knowledge is what gives you power. I suggested she start at very small amounts (½ teaspoon 2-3 times daily) and work up slowly. As she works up from 1/2 teaspoon to a tablespoon (2-3 times daily) or more, she is to continue making notes about how she feels and what happens with each dose increase. When she reaches an amount where she feels a healing response, yet she is comfortable, I then know she is close to her tolerance dose for now.

If she can go above a tablespoon per dose and tolerate it, then we push harder and do it.

The beginning is a work in progress, so please be patient. The goal is to figure out a beginning tolerance point so the person has something to work with as a starting point. With this type of personality, unless they are in a bad situation, there is no reason to push too hard and have an unpleasant experience. I often push someone hard enough so they see what a healing response feels like, but not so hard, where it may intimidate them. The purpose is to give them a glimpse of what it will feel like when we take it up a notch. No surprises as the timid are not big fans of surprises.

I suggested that she do this method with all the individual powders and take specific notes for each one at each incremental dose. If in the future she wants to combine them together, she should begin with the one powder she finds most important. Then, slowly add one into the mix every few days observing how it makes her feel as a mixture. Now, if she responds in a way that makes her uncomfortable, it is easy to find the source.

Two final points I wanted to make very clear.

  • First, the amounts she is taking in order to get a strong response for now, (as her body begins to heal itself) will eventually need to be increased over time if she wishes to keep moving forward. This is simply because her body will most likely become accustomed to that amount over time and will need more to support a stronger, continuous response.
  • Second, she needs to make note of the form in which the herbs and superfoods are being used: whole food, extract or juice powder and at what concentration. This way she is comparing apples to apples.  

The Fearless

On the other end of the spectrum is the customer who approaches this in a fearless manner.

I love working with this type of personality as I am the same way. It is an all-or-nothing approach.  I had a similar conversation that same day with a customer who had a more fearless personality. As a side note, about 50% of the fearless ones talk a good game until a strong response hits them. This is why I err on the safe side until I have a good idea about the customer’s personality.

I begin to review the information the customer was asking about and during the conversation he made it very clear that he knows exactly what a healing response is and how it can feel.  I was in heaven as this was my clue. This customer was (or at least he claimed to be) an all or nothing personality type. At that point, I simply wanted to confirm his desire for a stronger program by asking him to describe what past healing responses he has gone through. He answered the question in complete detail and he had a fearless tone in his voice speaking with great confidence. All he was looking for was for me to nudge him in the right direction and give him the thumbs up. With this personality-type there is less concern about how the person will respond as they know what to expect with an aggressive approach. Therefore, I begin more aggressively, but on a scale of 1-10 I always begin at a 6 or 7, not all the way.

I believe it is a good idea to get into your groove. Sometimes people bite off more than they can chew. Keep in mind, once you have had a healing response, you are now going to take it to a deeper level and chip away at the problem. It is very likely that the next response will be stronger. I have to say, I never get bored sitting back and watching this process in myself and others.

This type of personality understands 2 important concepts. First, the rewards far outweigh the idea of any potential risk. Second, they understand everything that happens is supposed to happen and is therefore an effect and not a side effect. To be clear, the idea of  “risk”  is what separates the 2 personality types. Truth be told, there really is no risk. It is simply a lack of understanding the effects of the healing response. A good portion of getting well is overcoming the mental hurdles from the healing response. After you go through it once, you understand it better and there is no longer a reason for fear.

Take home message

You are who you are and there is nothing wrong with that. Everyone needs to go through the healing journey at their own pace. The purpose of this article is to simply elucidate that whether you are the timid or aggressive type, the end result should be the same, to be healthy and thrive! There are no extra points for first place. Finishing the race is what’s most important.  

About Michael Stuchiner

Michael Stuchiner is an experienced Master Herbalist, the Head of Education for Z Natural Foods, a teacher and an accomplished author.  With a 16-year specialization in medicinal herbs, Mike also has a vast knowledge in tonic and adaptogenic herbalism. Mike has enjoyed a 25-year career as an elite-level competitive powerlifter where he learned to heal his ‘mind and body’ as an avid user of herbal remedies.

As an “in-the-trenches” herbalist, Mike has done more than 85 speaking engagements, consulted with clients ranging from young to elderly, worked with athletes in virtually all sports and with clients who have “dis-ease” states of a wide variety. Mike also mentors student Master Herbalists and will continue to teach the next generation to grow a deeper wisdom of the human body through appropriate herbal remedies.

For Bulk inquiries and custom formulations click here: https://www.znaturalfoods.com/pages/bulk

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