Healing Tonics (Sterling Ethos, 2016) by Adriana Ayales blends rainforest herbal traditions with recipes that teach and promote a healthy life. To introduce readers to the world of herbalism, Ayales shows us what exactly is an herbal tonic and how it can restore the mind, body, and spirit.
Herbal tonics are a potent selection of herbs known to deeply restore, tone, and invigorate multiple body systems. An herbal tonic is a solution or preparation of one or many herbs known to holistically promote health, and be a medicinal source to the mind, body, and spirit.
Many would say that most herbs are tonics. For an herb to be recognized as a tonic, the herb must have been found over many centuries of human use and study to meet specific qualifications. Tonic herbs are said to provide “adaptive energy,” which helps us handle stress much more easily. It is possible to develop a very high degree of adaptability to the many challenges we face and the changes that constantly take place in our lives. By overcoming stressful circumstances successfully, we grow as human beings and we enjoy life much more fully and with radiance. The superior herbs are thus a primary source of true human empowerment. A few keys to knowing about tonic herbs:
• A tonic herb must have anti-aging properties, meaning it is known to support a healthy and long life free of disease.
• A tonic herb must have a profound health-promoting chemistry that produces noticeable positive health effects within a short period of time after consumption.
• Tonics must help balance physical, emotional, and psychic energy — so as to truly improve one’s spiritual well-being and happiness.
• Tonic herbs are known to not have side effects — they are meant to be used over a long time in order for the body to take in long-term benefits. In fact, tonic herbs are known to be gentle and friendly herbs that most, if not all, people can take with no severe effects.
• Most tonic herbs are like foods — they tend to be easily digestible and assimilable; you can add them to your food and drink, enhancing the flavor and effects of any carrier you choose.
Basically, herbal tonics are by definition herbs that safely promote one’s health and healthy aging through regular consumption. Tonics are particularly effective because they “teach” the body over time, creating positive effects that eventually operate in the body without the assistance of the tonic. To this day, more and more studies are uncovering the existence of tonic herbs and demonstrating the chemical response they generate in the body over time.
Nowadays, tonic herbs grow in many places throughout the world (China, the Himalayas, Mongolia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, India, Indonesia, Africa, South America, North America, Europe, and Oceania). But, the principles of tonic herbalism were established by the ancients in Asia, particularly by great Daoist teachers: Asian wise men and women. These principles are profound and time tested, and are now largely supported by modern science and modern theories of health and healthy aging.
Reprinted with permission from Healing Tonics by Adriana Ayales and published by Sterling Ethos, 2016.