Tonic Herbs Aren't Your Grandma's Cod Liver Oil
When you think of tonic herbs, the Beverly Hillbillies come immediately to mind. Granny’s spring tonic episodes were hilarious. Maybe your grandparents were big believers in tonics. Parents intervened before they could try any on us. Remember that big bottle of Liver, Iron, and Wine tonic in your grandmother’s medicine cabinet?
Snake oil salesmen also come to mind when you think of tonic herbs. Did people felt much better after taking them because their primary ingredient was alcohol? Think of Aunt Bee in the Andy Griffith show when she and all the church ladies got very drunk on tonic or Lucy and her Vita-Meata-Vegimen. Wouldn't you prefer gin and tonic myself.
Tonics are meant to support the immune system, and a number of herbs are used in them, depending on the desired results. Echinacea, ginseng, ginger, garlic and licorice are all popular herbs to boost the immune system. Angelica, cayenne, hyssop, comfrey, thyme, yarrow, and licorice are good digestive tonics. Many of these can be brewed into tea.
Tonic herbs that benefit the urinary system are parsley, buchu, and yarrow. Black cohosh is said to decrease the symptoms of menopause as well as aid the nervous system. Tonics containing alfalfa, angelica, comfrey, nettles, or black cohosh may help with the muscular system. Skin problems sometimes are helped by calendula, comfrey, Echinacea, dandelions, garlic, nettles, and turmeric.
Proponents of using herbal tonics will tell you that the results will not be dramatic, but will be evident over time. Their aim is to restore balance to all the systems of the body so that it will help the body to heal itself. It sounds like a miracle that you can get your body to heal itself. While most of these tonics will not be harmful, be aware that they are not cures for anything. People who have serious medical conditions and are considering herbal tonics or supplements should do so with the advice of their primary physician.
Chinese herbalists have been using tonic herbs for a variety of reasons throughout the ages as have most ancient civilizations. Indeed, some modern drugs are derived from herbs. As people are more aware of the effects artificial products and our environment has on our health, they are exploring natural ways to improve their overall health.
A dizzying array of herbal tonics and products are on the market. You certainly would not want to take them all at once. If you want to try several, try one for a few months and rotate to another after that time. Everyone wants to feel their best and an herbal tonic is worth a try.
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