This post is a request from one of my lovely readers, Linda V. She contacted me saying that she had been reading several of my posts on herbal tonics and teas and wanted to know what some of the ingredients were that I used in the blends. So, this is going to be an informative and educational post on herbs, superfoods and teas that I like to use in my rotation. So, go make yourself a lovely cup of tea, a green juice, green smoothie or tonic and be prepared to be INFORMED and INSPIRED.
♥ Camu Camu – camu camu is a tropical fruit that is similar to a cherry. It grows deep in the Amazon rainforests. It is known to be extremely high in a potent form of Vitamin C and phytochemicals. This fruit has been used for many things including; antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, astringent and many others. Because camu camu fruit is so high in Vitamin C, it tends to be very sour. The vitamin C in camu camu is more absorbable by the body because it is plant based over synthetic vitamin C tablets. People who use this fruit have found many other health benefits including; anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, hair tonic and anti-viral. (source)
♥ Ashwaganda – Ashwagandha root is a herb of the ages. It is the ‘ginseng’ of Ayurvedic medicine, the traditional medicine of India and is considered an ‘adaptogen’, a term used to describe herbs that improve physical energy and athletic ability, increase immunity to colds and infections and increase sexual capacity and fertility. One reason for ashwagandha’s reputation as a general energy-promoting, disease-preventing tonic may be its effect on the immune system. (source)
♥ He Shou Wu – is one of the most popular and highly revered tonic herbs in Asian herbalism. It is widely used in Asia to maintain the youthful condition and color of the hair. It will calm the nervous system. Because it has components that are potent antioxidants with gentle anti-inflammatory action in the liver, it can clear the eyes. Its strength comes from its remarkable ability to cleanse the body by cleaning the kidney and liver, which in turn clean the blood. He Shou Wu is rich in iron and extremely rich in zinc. (source) – (Ron Teeguarden – Dragon Herbs is a great product – iHerb.com)
♥ Pau D’Arco – The pau d’arco herb owes its medicinal benefits to chemical compounds found in its bark known as naphthaquinones. Research has found these compounds to have potent antifungal properties in laboratory studies. They even appear to work better than common prescription antifungal drugs. The antifungal properties of the herb are so strong, that its bark never molds or mildews after being cut down. Other compounds in the bark are believed to fight bacterial, viral and parasitic infections, and they may also have anti-inflammatory properties. This makes pau d’arco a beneficial treatment for individuals suffering from wounds and infections of all kinds (including Candida). (source)
♥ Schizandra Berry – Schizandra ranks along with other Chinese tonic herbs as an excellent tonic, adaptogenic and restorative herb. It helps in stressful times and increases zest for life. The berries tone the kidneys and sexual organs, protect the liver, strengthen nervous function, and cleanse the blood. Although a stimulant, schizandra is used in Chinese medicine to”quiet the spirit and calm the heart.” It is given for insomnia and dream-disturbed sleep, and is a fine example of how adaptogenic herbs often work in apparently contradictory ways to restore normal body function. It has a sour, salty and slightly warm taste.
♥ Nettles – Nettle’s key use is as a cleansing and detoxifying herb. Nettle has been used for centuries to treat allergy symptoms, particularly hayfever which is the most common allergy problem. It is high in minerals such as calcium, potassium, and iron – so it is GREAT as a base for an herbal blend tea. It contains biologically active compounds that reduce inflammation. The root is now used very successfully to treat prostate enlargement. This form of calcium is in a bio-available source/means that the body can utilize and assimilate easily.
♥ Oat straw – The oat straw plant is an annual grass. It is a tonic when taken medicinally. The grains and straw are mildly antidepressant, gently raising energy levels and supporting an over-stressed nervous system. It is also used in the profound lethargy that results from multiple sclerosis, chronic neurological pain, and insomnia. Oats are thought to maintain muscle function during training and exercise. Oat straw contains saponins (cleansing), proteins, vitamins (especially B vitamins) and minerals (especially calcium).
I remember from my herbal store days, a woman came in to purchase some bulk oat straw from me and said that it was working wonders for her. I asked her in what way that was – she said that in just two days of making it into a tea and drinking it several times a day, all her joint pains were GONE and she had more energy. She was buying a pound of it and wasn’t going to be without. It is great for women (and men) wanting to strengthen and increase their calcium intake. This form of calcium is in a bio-available source/means that the body can utilize and assimilate easily.
♥ Astragalus – The herb of youth and sustained energy is astragalus root. It has been used in China for thousands of years as a whole body supertonic, that strengthens muscle and improves metabolic functions. Astragalus extracts are immuno-modulating, rich in stress-reducing adaptogenic compounds that help regenerate cell function and healing. It greatly relieves fatigue and is used by athletes all around the world for peak performance. Since astragalus is a supertonic herb, it can be used daily and safely with cumulative youthening benefits over a long lifetime. (source)
♥ Horsetail – This perennial plant contains LARGE amounts of silica (a large proportion of which is soluble and can be absorbed. Silica supports the regeneration of connective tissue. This plant is recommended when it is necessary for the body to repair bony tissues that are in not well condition, as a result of some traumatism or because of their own corporal decalcification. Silica helps to fix calcium, so that the body can store more quantity of this mineral and it is able to form stronger bones or tendons. Horsetail is an astringent herb and has a diuretic action. It has an affinity for the urinary tract where it can be used to sooth inflammation, hemorrhaging, cystic ulceration, ulcers, cystitis and to treat infections.
♥ Lucuma - Lucuma powder delivers an abundance of healthy benefits when added to your favorite food or beverage. In addition to satisfying your sweet tooth, lucuma is gluten-free and a source of antioxidants, fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals (providing 14 essential trace elements, including a considerable amount of potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus) necessary for bodily functions and of benefit to the immune system.
♥ Shilajit – Shilajit is considered one of the most important substances in the Indian system of Ayurvedic medicine. It’s name means “nectar of God”. It has been used for thousands of years for longevity and a host of other ailments. Shilajit is a thick, blackish-brown mineral pitch resin that oozes out of cracks in the Himalayan mountains as the summer heat raises the temperature of the rock.
Shilajit is composed of centuries old, decomposed plants which are a potent source of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. It just may be nature’s most potent trace mineral source. It’s a powerful adaptogen, helping protect against all types of mental and physical stress. Read MORE about it here- it is quite impressive! In India, it is believed that there is almost no curable disease that can’t be assisted with the consumption of Shilajit.
I personally LIKE the taste and smokiness of it and it is FABULOUS when combined with raw cacao or carob powder in raw brownies, smoothies, desserts and hot tonic drinks. **However, ONLY USE A TINY AMOUNT AT A TIME! IT IS POTENT! JUST A PINCH!** So a little goes a LONG WAY.
Hope you found this post helpful and let me know if you have any questions about any other herbs/superfoods or such.
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**Be sure and check out the post I did in September on How to Make Your Own Herbal/ Superfood TONICS + Video! This post highlights some of my favorite ingredients for a hot tonic and how to make one too! Check it out!
Check out iHerb.com (Frontier Cooperative Herbs and Starwest Botanicals) and my PRODUCTS page for sources. At iHerb.com, use my coupon code KUG541 at checkout and you will save $10 on your first iHerb order of $40 and up; or $5 off any order totaling less than $40 along with FREE SHIPPING on Domestic and International orders!
** Happy Thanksgiving!
I am THANKFUL for ALL of you! ♥ **
May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired! Kibby