Tonics, Tinctures & Teas
Everyone needs to take an active approach to managing their own health for the better. One of the most powerful influences in one’s health is diet. A basic knowledge of how food and herbs can help what ails you is key to practical meal plans. The key is to nurture good habits. Consume foods rich in nutrients, while avoiding or minimizing bad habits like careless eating of refined foods.
Many people believe nutrients come strictly from foods like fruits and vegetables, which is incorrect. Natural Herbal Extracts are an easy and effective way to ingest these needed nutrients. The best way to take herbal extracts is in liquid form. This is because when you ingest a liquid herbal extract, it is quickly and easily absorbed, digested and utilized by the body. There are many ways to ingest these herbs - we will explore tonics, tinctures and teas together!
Tonics: a preparation of herbs that restore your immune system to a healthy state of balance and enliven specific organs or the whole body. We shall focus on sexual tonics and adaptogenic herbs.
Sexual tonics increase sexual function and responsiveness. These herbal tonic combinations are not aphrodisiacs —they do not directly arouse sexual desire—rather, they make sexual activity and enthusiasm possible by fortifying natural vitality (Letha, 2010).
Adaptogenic herbs are help plants that help you adapt and increase your resilience to stress of all kinds, both mental and physical. Stress upsets the whole body’s biochemistry which can cause or increase difficulties with ED (erectile dysfunction). By helping the body achieve a state of balance you may decrease your risk for conditions that may cause ED, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, enlarged prostate, vascular disease or metabolic syndrome.
Tinctures are made by infusing herbs in alcohol. Alcohol is used most often because alcohol is a potent solvent, extracting a great deal of herbal concentrate. Some herbs simply will not release their medicinal qualities to a solvent that is less potent, such as water, vegetable glycerine or apple cider vinegar.
Vegetable glycerine is also used to make non-alcohol tinctures – (these are known as glycerides.)
Tinctures made from apple cider vinegar can be used as salad dressings, or in foods, as well as for your regular tincture use.
*The best way to use tinctures is sublingually (under the tongue), or to take it in a little water.
Shelf life of tinctures:
Alcohol based tinctures - virtually unlimited shelf life if stored in a cool, dark location. Refrigeration is not necessary.
Vegetable Glycerine based - 3 to 5 years in a cool, dark cupboard.
Apple cider based - 6 months to 1 year if kept in a cool, dark cupboard or refrigerator (recommended).
Teas are an herbal extract made using water as the solvent. Teas are the most popular method of preparation. However, tea extracts the least amount of herbal concentrate. We shall focus on infusion - steeping herbs (tea) in hot water, typically for 15-30 min. The longer the steeping process, the more potent the tea will be.
Since herbal extracts consist of no artificial ingredients, they must work naturally with the bodies circulatory and endocrine systems. Please plan for approximately 2 months of consistent use for noticeable enhancement of sexual potency. The benefit lies in the herbal extracts natural ability to gradually return the body to a state of balance and health, without side-effects (Trattler, 2013). Once the body is balanced, we may live a happier, healthier life.
My favorite daily teas are Turmeric and CBD minty citrus. I look forward to sharing more about my daily teas and their benefits when combined with yoga.
As for tincture, I am currently trying Maca (Lepidium meyenii). It has a rich history of traditional use as a panacea and is referred to as 'Peruvian Ginseng.' An update of my personal experience with it will be up in a month...
Watch for my next blog…
Harvard Health Publications. (1991, August 9). What Are Some Causes Erectile Dysfunction? Retrieved from Patient Education Center: http://www.patienteducationcenter.org/articles/what-can-cause-erectile-dysfunction/
Letha. (2010, Dec 13). Chinese Herbal Sexual Tonics. Retrieved from Asian Health Secrets: http://www.asianhealthsecrets.com/chinese-herbal-sexual-tonics/
Pursell, J. J. (1 Jan 2016). The Herbal Apothecary. Brooklyn: Timber Press.
Reid, D. P. (2015). The Tao of Health, Sex, and Longevity: . New York: TouchStone.
Sabna Kotta, S. H. (2013, Jan 7). Exploring scientifically proven herbal aphrodisiacs. Retrieved from The National Center for Biotechnology Information : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3731873/
Schwartz, F. (2013, July 13). The Difference between Tinctures, Tonics and Teas. Retrieved from Thrive CMH: https://www.nourishingherbalist.com/2013/07/23/the-difference-between-tinctures-tonics-and-teas-oh-my/
Steelsmith, L. (2005). Natural Choices for Women's Health. New York: Crown Publishing Group.
Trattler, R. (2013). How to Get Well without Drugs or Surgery. New York: North Atlantic Books.