Every day with our interaction with nature we get to know so many different things which we earlier did not know that existed. Same is the case with the herbs. Herbs are extremely beneficial for the human body and it is true to say that their contribution in making the various tonics is absolutely incredible. I personally love using herbs, I feel in a sense a lot more connected to nature and also am safe from the harmful side effects of the man-made drugs. Herbs can be quite powerful allies for our health and overall wellness. Many of us are already quite familiar with the Echinacea and the yarrow as the antimicrobials, wild cherry bark for say a cough, ginger for treating nausea, and a host of other herbs used in the acute situations to restore health. Herbs can be actually very effectively used in this manner, but herbs also shine when used as daily building and also as strengthening tonics.
What are Tonic Herbs?
These are agents which are made from the nutrient-rich herbs that are safe to consume on a daily basis, as we do consume food. In this article I delve into the tonic herbs - those herbs which can be consumed on a daily basis to enhance the vitality, longevity, and also energy. Later, I have also mentioned some of the most recommended general health tonics for good health. But, before trying out the topics it's a humble request that you consult your physician.
The tonic herbs slowly build and later strengthen our body as well. They are also great when it comes to restoring our body systems to a balanced state, thus supporting the optimum function of our physical bodies as well as enhancing our basic emotional well-being. They reflect the essence of the herbalism- integrating the plants into our diets on a daily basis as the supportive, building, strengthening allies used as preventative medicine or to even heal chronic disease. In recent years as we have linked the sad state of the Standard Indian Diet to our health struggles, there has fortunately been an increased emphasis on letting the food be our medicine.
Using Tonic Herbs for Better Health and Vitality
So what are some of the tonic herbs, and how can we use them? Tonic herbs can include:
- normalizing amphoterics, and
Tonics can work on one of the organ or body system or several simultaneously. While it might seem like a good idea to take enough amounts of tonics to cover each body system, this could become quite overwhelming! Including tonic herbs in the cooking and making tonic preparations takes some amount of planning, so keep it simple by incorporating just a few into your daily life routine.
Consider your areas of weakness in the body -
- If you have a struggle with stress or anxiety, choose an adaptogen or a tonic for the nervous system. If you have say the digestive difficulties, choose a tonic that supports the liver and also the digestive system.
- If you have a history of heart disease, choose a tonic for cardiotonic.
- If you are generally healthy and just want to enhance your health and increase the levels of energy and longevity, choose an adaptogen to support the multiple body systems, or to even rotate different tonics every few months.
- Ideally, consume these in or as the way you generally consume food (e.g. throw some astragalus or lets say some reishi into a soup recipe) or as herbal infusions and or as the decoctions.
- If your busy life simply does not allow for this, herbal tinctures are also another great option.
Immunomodulators for a better Immune System
- A strong immune system will always fight off the daily assaults to our health, and immunomodulators like the astragalus root, reishi mushroom, and also the licorice root help build immunity.
- These herbs are rich in the polysaccharides and saponins, which stimulate the body's innate immunity system.
- These herbs are also the adaptogens, which increase the body's ability to resist and also to cope with the physical and emotional stress, adapting to the stressor instead of succumbing to it.
Additionally, the astragalus (Astragalus membranaceous) is tonic to the following :
- adrenal glands,
- lungs, and
Let us also consider the other essential tonics :
- Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is tonic to the liver, it is anti-inflammatory, and also lowers cholesterol and its nervine action actually helps to relieve anxiety and sleeplessness.
- Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra L.) is tonic to the digestive system and is also a powerful antiviral (but should not be taken in quite high doses or on its own for an extended periods as it can raise blood pressure).
Turmeric for the Digestive and Musculoskeletal Systems
- Efficient digestion and also for the assimilation are paramount for health - a large percentage of the immune system resides in the gut, after all, so you need to take some good care of your gut!
- Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a warming, also carminative, and slightly bitter digestive tonic that in a way kindles the digestive fire and promotes a healthy digestion by stimulating the production and also allows flow of bile and the relieving symptoms of indigestion such as the cramping, gas, and bloating.
- It is also an efficient liver-protective, helping to prevent liver disease.
- It is also having a powerful anti-inflammatory and can even help to soothe inflammatory bowel diseases.
- Its anti-inflammatory and the analgesic actions are helpful for maintaining the healthy joints, tendons, and even the ligaments, relieving symptoms of the arthritis, and keeping tendons and the ligaments flexible
Hawthorn for the Heart
- Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) is rich in the flavonoids and is a well-known as the cardiac tonic.
- Hawthorn extract from the berry, the leaf, and/or flower is used as a general cardiac tonic, as a cardiac trophorestorative, and for the cases of angina, high blood pressure, early stages of congestive heart failure, and atherosclerosis.
- It is also a supportive and anti-inflammatory tonic herb for any of the type of heart-related condition, including helping to heal the heart following a heart attack.
- Hawthorn berries, the leaves, and flowers are also used as the calming nervines and are used to heal, the open, and protect the energetic heart.
Oats for the Nervous System
- Oatstraw (Avena sativa), which makes an ideal nourishing herbal infusion due to its extremely rich nutritive profile, is also a great nerve tonic.
- The rich vitamin B, calcium, and the magnesium content in the oatstraw and milky oats help soothe, and also strengthen nerves.
- Oatstraw and the milky oats are considered one of the best remedies for the cases of "feeding" and restoring the nervous system, particularly in times of acute stress and in the case of the nervous system weakness or even for exhaustion associated with depression , overwork, or also for attacking the emotional trauma.
- Oats also support the cardiovascular health by reducing the levels of cholesterol, improving the circulation, and reducing the blood pressure by elasticizing veins and arteries.
Ashwagandha for Reproductive Vitality
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) translates to basically "that which has the smell of a horse, as it gives the vitality and also sexual energy of a horse" .
- This name alludes to the root's extremely strong odor as well as to its use to actually restore the strength and vitality, and to improve and even enhance sexual drive by gradually lowering stress levels that may quite inhibit the sexual drive.
- Ashwagandha also enhances the endocrine function.
- In addition to its ability to build the libido in men and women, ashwagandha has been shown to improve the potency in men .
- Ashwagandha is also an adaptogen and even acts as an immunomodulant.
- Due to its general calming nature, it is also used to relieve the anxiety and tension levels.
The Most Recommended General Tonic for Good Life
Hereunder are some of the most recommended general tonics for you. These will help you lead a lot healthier life and also help regain your lost vitality. Before taking these tonics, do consult your doctor, for better results and also to find out if they are suitable for you :
About Alfalfa Tonic
It is essentially a body building tonic for the children, youth & also the elderly which stimulates the appetite, improves the digestion, assimilation & even aids excretion.
- Wholesome nutrition & Growth promoter.
- Supplement during pregnancy and Lactation.
- Perfect tonic for nerves and Kidneys.
- Stress buster, corrects Anaemia.
- Healthy ageing.
Effective in (Diseases)
- Anxiety & Depression,
- Loss Of Appetite,
- Weak Memory,
- Weakness & Fatigue
- Adults: 1 tablespoon, 3 times a day before meals.
- Children: 1 teaspoon, 3 times a day before meals.
Other Recommended General Tonics for a Good Life
- Allen Genforte Male Tonic- Sexual Weakness, Lack of Libido, Diminished Desire, Premature Ejaculation
- SBL Alfalfa Tonic- Loss of Appetite, Builds Immune System, Improves Memory, Weakness
- Allen Gynical Uterine Tonic- Heavy Irregular Menstrual Bleeding with Pain Lower Abdomen, Backaches
- Indo German Femo Care Tonic- Tonic for Uterus, Regulates Delayed, Painful, Excessive Menses and Leucorrhea
- Reckeweg Alfalfa Tonic- Anaemia, Loss of Appetite and Weight, Exhaustion, Weakness after Illness
- Adel Pekana Adel 85- For Treatment of Mental, Emotional and Physical Exhaustion
- HL Babyplex Tonic For Babies- Increases Appetite, Useful in Rickets, Grinding of Teeth, Flatulence, Stomach
- Haslab Ashoka Elixir Tonic- Female Restorative Tonic for Menstrual Disorders and Leucorrhoea
- Haslab G H Phos Tonic with Vitamin B and Iron- Tonic for Nervous Exhaustion, Depression, Loss of Memory, Brain Fag, Fatigueness
- Baksons Ferrum Plus Tonic -Anaemia, Improves Appetite, Increase Haemoglobin and Builds Immunity
- Allen Gastropep Digestive Tonic- For Hyperacidity, Eructation, Heart Burn, Flatulence, Indigestion, Gastritis
- Allen Slimaforte Slim And Trim Tonic- A Fat and Weight Reducer, Improves Metabolism and Reduce Excess Weight
- Nagarjuna Sukuntalam Hair Tonic- An Ideal Formula for Hair Growth, Stop Hair Falling and Relieve Dandruff
- Haslab Alfalfa Super Tonic with Vitamin A B C D- Tonic for Anaemia, Loss of Appetite, Dyspepsia, Flatulence, Weakness
- Willmar Schwabe India Alpha Liv (Liver Tonic) - Fatty Liver, Jaundice, Weak Liver Functions, Indigestion, Constipation etc.
Tonics are therefore great way to feel connected with earth and at the same time improve one's health. The above mentioned list is not exhaustive but is merely illustrative. You can always find new tonics which get added to the list each day. In personal experience, its always a good idea to take the help of nature rather than of the drugs. But like I said, these depend on your condition. Sometimes as much as we want to we only have the option to choose the allopathic drugs because there are no possible cures for a particular condition, but in the long run for maintaining a good health you can always consider the ayurvedic, homeopathic and the natural remedies. These have started gaining popularity since the induction of companies such as Patanjali itself, which is becoming popular each day, on that note, live healthy, stay fit and eat healthy.