Maybe you’ve started hearing whispers about these things called tonic herbs, or you’ve stumbled across the SuperFeast website, Instagram, Facebook, the phenomenal podcast... Maybe even had a friend or family member rave on about all the wondrous benefits of tonic herbs and now you’re thinking what the heck are all these peeps talking about and why are they spooning herbs into their tea, coffee and hot elixirs…
OK, we have a whole podcast episode dedicated to this very topic! Tonic herbs are used to nourish, tone and restore the organ systems of the body, encouraging them to perform at their innate capacity and function. The word tone, which originates from the Latin word “tonus” (meaning “ability to respond”) can be understood in the same regard as “muscle tone". Our organs are specialised muscles, when you tone a muscle it becomes stronger and more responsive, if you want stronger biceps you grab a couple of dumbbells and pump those babies until they’re good and ripped, so if you want fit and healthy organs, tonic herbs are your new best friends.
Tonic herbs were first mentioned in the Emperor Shen Nong's Classic of Herbal Medicine around 2,000 years ago and fall into the “superior herb” category. Superior herbs are the herbs collectively known to be safe, gentle, well-tolerated and effective.
Tonic herbs (superior herbs) do not force the body to change, but rather work with it to adapt, allowing a measured, nourishing and normalising effect to unfold within the body and its systems.
Traditionally tonic herbs are consumed daily to promote longevity and prevent illness, offering nourishment to the vital organs without negative side effects.
So now you’ve discovered that you and tonic herbs are gonna be BFF’s for life where do you start?
When embarking on your journey into the realm of tonic herbalism it is a really wonderful practice to get clear on why you want to begin this journey and what aspect of your physical, emotional and/or spiritual health you’d really love to nurture.
To do this I recommend taking a still moment to tap into your intuition, your inner wisdom, and really feel into what is coming up for you.
But also remember: any herb is better than none! These herbs unfold their medicine in a multidirectional and multidimensional way, so combining a mindfulness ritual when selecting and consuming them, in my humble opinion, can really enhance their effect within the body, mind and spirit. Intention is such a powerful tool and force to work with in any facet of life so why not embrace it when choosing to nourish yourself in this way.
Alright so you’ve decided that reishi (for example) is your baby and now you wanna romance this mighty queen so she treats you real fine, whadya do?
All SuperFeast herbs are fully extracted and ready to roll (we take the woody, hard, difficult to chew reishi and make it a powder for you). Our extracts are not sensitive to temperature and can be added to any hot or cold food or beverage of choice; no activation needed here guys!
To begin simply add ¼ - 1tsp of your desired herbal buddy to your desired food or drink of choice. You can add more than one; the tonic herbs will work in synergy with one another. We love adding the herbs to hot drinks especially hot cacao, chai, herbal tea (roasted dandelion is an all time favourite), coffee if we’re vibing it, hot water or milk (we love nut mylks) and sometimes sweetener of choice (honey is a favourite), stir and enjoyyyyy!
If you’re feeling a little fancy you could try one of our epic tonic recipes in our blog!
How do I do it, you ask? Good question! I’m picky and go through a whole convoluted blending process to get my tonic’s super smooth and frothin’! Love me some crema! I blend all my desired ingredients and then pop them in a saucepan on the stove to give my potion one last burst of warmth. I then pour this potent elixir into my favourite mug, pull up a rug on my sheepskin, sip slowly and joyfully (like an aspiring Zen master) and allow the medicine to unfold. It’s a lovely little ritual I’ve created.
You can create your own special way to romance with your herbs too. Maybe it’s outside on the verandah taking in the sunrise or perched on the couch next to your favourite cushion, maybe you’re sharing the experience with your kids around the breakfast table, whatever resonates I encourage you to set aside 5-10 minutes to really savour your tonic, thank your herbs for being here and sharing their potent medicinal magic with you and really marinate in the luxury of that quiet time just for you. <3
Mum’s and Dad’s we get it, your tonic time might look like a quick 2-minute scull in between fixing lunches and tying shoelaces, but for even that minuscule moment of attention you can take to savour the experience, grab it. It’ll set you up for a great start (or finish) to the day.
Tonic time my friends, it’s a mighty time, a sweet time, like hammer time but a little bit more chill…;)
What a great question. A tricky one, too. We have a full article here, called When Will I See Results. Check it out.
Want to dive even deeper in to learning about tonic herbs? Check out our Tonic Herbalism 101 Course. It's free. It's online. It's at your own pace. It's fun. It's informative. What have you got to lose?
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At SuperFeast, we follow the Daoist philosophy, an ancient tradition that, among many things, highly revered nature and her rhythms...