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When I was a child, my mother suffered from a disease that had not yet been named. She was a mystery to us all including the physicians who would stare into her medical charts with visible confusion. As such, my mother was restricted to bed rest for most of our years together and because of that she couldn’t attend many of my school events or any of my graduations.


Don’t get me wrong, she would always be around to celebrate when I would return home and no one would smile bigger or with more pride than my mother. She rarely had the health to travel away from home and as she continued to decline the fear of even leaving the house became its own condition for her to battle. Though, as weak as she was physically, she remains to be the strongest person I have ever known and the very reason I do what I do.


She never lost hope. Even as the days and months stretched slowly into years and each one achingly the same. She never lost hope even when she could see how I was growing more and more anxious with each new prescription. I remember how the promise of each new pill like the moon would raise the tide of both my hopes and fears.


Now, as I look at my children’s school calendar hanging on the wall, I’m ever grateful to see the tiny boxes of our future filled with soccer tournaments and birthday parties instead of the doctor appointments and hospital visits that once filled our own when I was their age. And as I march faithfully with them from box to box, I take with me the things my mother’s illness taught me about the value of wellness and what that word really means.



When my mother was feeling at her worst, she would ask me to make her lemonade. She taught me how to make it from her bed using hand gestures to measure the amounts of sugar and water. And when I would return, she swore that somehow the lemonade was able to rejuvenate her slightly. She even said that it almost felt…healing.


As a child I can’t explain to you the excitement I had in making each pitcher. And I did it so methodically, as if the I had stumbled on something miraculous by accident but the secret somehow laid in the exact ratio of the components within.


In retrospect, I can see how sending me to the kitchen provided her with the much-needed time to be alone with her illness. She needed the space to feel the lows in privacy and to avoid worrying me, which was something that I was already remarkably good at. And indeed, each time I returned to her with a precariously overfilled glass of lemonade she almost seemed better again.


As time would pass I came to realize that my lemonade wasn’t going to work in the ways that I had hoped, but my mother explained to me that medicines don’t all work the same. In fact, not all medicines are even focused on healing. Some of the very best ones, like lemonade, are there to keep us going, to keep us strong even through the hard days which is the best kind of medicine.


Now, I look back on over 20 years of making botanical medicine and I recall my former clinical practice and remember the faces I was honored to work for. It’s too easy to say that there were innumerable times that I wished I could have moved heaven and earth for the person sitting opposite of me but luckily, I remembered that sometimes what I could do best was to make some lemonade.


When Scott and Jeff (co-founders of MTE) approached me with this project I couldn’t help but think about all of this.


They didn’t talk to me about a consumer market or a target price. They didn’t mention sales analysis or consumer behavior. They said they wanted something that could help people occupy the life they have. They wanted to make something to help all of the mothers or fathers or friends and family members that are trying to decide if they have enough energy to get up and do something great! Or even do something boring! Or even just do the dishes! Something to help them find energy so they can get more out of life.


I knew exactly what they were talking about. So, we set out to make some lemonade.

What is MTE?

Dialed-In Focus

What is MTE?

Mood Support

What is MTE?

Boosted Recovery

What is MTE?

Calm Energy

What is MTE?

A daily wellness companion providing comprehensive system support for energy, mood, focus, stress response, and sleep at night.

What is MTE?


This formula is something that I’ve been tinkering with for decades either in the lab, in practice or at home. Over the years many ingredients have come and gone but the core of it has largely been the same. And like those hand signals my mother used to teach me how to make lemonade the selection of each ingredient was chosen through trial and many, many errors.


If MTE’s formula was the shape of a triangle at its base would be an adaptogenic mini-formula. Adaptogens restore balance to the glands involved in the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response. This is a bigger task than you might know. In fact, in all of botanical medicine there are maybe 20 or so of these types of plants, and MTE has 4 of them.


Why 4? Because each one delivers its own unique gift:

Holy basil, for example, may strengthen our immune system and promote the function of our respiratory tract, and may also promote peace of mind and reduced irritability. But it is potentized by including ashwagandha, which is thought to feed our energy levels by nurturing our thyroid gland, which regulates metabolism. Ashwagandha may also reduce the biochemical impact of stress.


But what’s probably most impressive is that adaptogens can get better over time. Don’t get me wrong, they should provide a quick pick-me-up, too, but that’s the least of their potential. In my experience, I found that people really noticed the difference from using adaptogens within the first week of daily use, but that feeling only intensifies over the next 3 months.


The second layer to the triangle would include so-called superfoods (using air quotes). I never liked that word because like any trendy term it can quickly become abused, and it certainly has.


Superfoods used to mean a food that is packed not only with vitamins but also with unique phytochemistry not seen in other plants. And these plant compounds can aid in the uptake and bioavailability of those other nutrients. At times, they can even outperform those vitamins.


Take for example, spirulina, which is a blue-green algae that has played a role in the human diet for millennia, beginning in North America. Nearly 70% of its dried weight is protein and the other half filled with vitamins A, E, K and beta-carotene. But what makes it a superfood is the myriad of unique compounds it possesses, like phycobiliproteins, which are light-harvesting pigments that protect the algae from solar radiation. These compounds have been shown to be strongly antioxidant in humans, mirroring their use in the algae.


In MTE, spirulina is joined with maca and amaranth both used by traditional cultures in Central and South America. You may have heard of maca’s younger cousins, kale and broccoli, as they are part of the same botanical family. And amaranth was so important to the Mayans that it was used in place of currency. In fact, the Mayans consumed it for sustenance, and particularly in sports which simulated battle and were known to go on for several days.


The peak of MTE’s triangle is reserved for the most powerful and quick-acting ingredients. These ingredients, like a tip of an arrow, carry the most significant role, and the dosages have to be carefully mixed as not to overpower the composition. This is of vital importance in proper formulation as the previously discussed portions of the triangle form the shaft of the arrow and carries these actives through the air and to the target.


Not to overstress the point but often these peak ingredients are thought of as the ‘active’ ingredients, but this is not the case with MTE, as each subset of the formula is meant to perform a unique role in the composition. And since all of the components are layered to take effect over different periods of time the product unwraps over and over again as it is frequently used.


The tip of the triangle in our case is a combination of Teacrine, GABA and InnovaTea. These three components, all found in Green Tea, are reunited in a ratio that accentuates their individual roles:


Theacrine may activate a unique form of energy through the promotion of feel-good neurochemical activity. Unlike ‘energy’ that is achieved through a false stress response, theacrine may promote the brain's ability to engage motivation, thereby acting on behavior versus the heartrate.


It’s interesting to note that this the same cognitive pathway is how our brain helps us achieve goals and why those feel-good chemicals are part of our ‘reward system’. This motivational form of energy aims to increase mental focus, induce calm awareness and bestow an overall sense of mental wellbeing.


However, theacrine is bolstered by the addition of GABA, a unique nootropic that is also the body's main inhibitory neurotransmitter (read: calm-down chemical). In short, GABA works to reduce the ‘noise’ of overthinking and allow the brain to relax. This gives the opportunity for theacrine to have a greater impact without caffeine-style pitfalls like overstimulation or trouble resting well at night.


Lastly, InnovaTea®, which is a small amount of caffeine extracted from fermented green tea. Numerous clinical trials have shown that when small amounts of caffeine are used with theacrine and GABA, it may actually increase the effects of both theacrine and GABA . In other words, caffeine isn’t the main mechanism of MTE, but rather a finite fuse to activate the other components of the formula and help them to last longer in the brain.


To be fair, the complete mechanism of action for the combination of theacrine, GABA and InnovaTea® is very complex and involves detailed explanation of neurotransmitter activity at a level that only nerds like me like to discuss so I will save you the boring details. The best way to truly understand this formula is to try it; there’s really no amount of explanation that will make up for direct experience.



In closing, I’m excited to see what this formulation can do for you. My hopes are that these modern PCR bags filled with a powder mix comprised of thousands of years of history and tradition will help expand your experiences. I hope it will help you engage in whatever you are wanting to do from tackling that mountain of emails to saying ‘yes!’ to that invitation.


Because the time we have is precious and all of us will have to deal with moments of feeling unmotivated, fatigued, or just too stressed out to really engage in life. But I believe that what we have made here is the lemonade that will keep us going and help us push through those times that seem unrelenting because I promise, what’s behind the next corner will likely be worth it.

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