Energy Enhancing Immune Boosting Herbal Tonic
The weather outside this week has been cold, dreary and snowy. I whipped this tonic up on Wednesday afternoon to warm me up, boost my energy (cabin fever going on here!) and enhance my immune system. Our immune systems are so delicate and easily influenced by many external AND internal factors. Daily strengthening of this system is key to radiant health. This tonic lends not just to “physical” health but to “mental” health. I have been doing a lot of work on the computer lately and needed some L-dopamine boosting. What is she talking about, you ask? L-dopamine has to do with mental focus and can also help with depression, SADS (seasonal affective disorder) – AKA winter depression, winter blues or “I can’t get outside and GROUND, soak up the sun and be with nature.”
L-Dopa is an amino acid which is a precursor to dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter manufactured by certain neurons in the brain. Dopamine neurons are triggered by good feelings. In short, dopamine makes you feel good. Since dopamine itself can not cross the blood-brain barrier, it is delivered in a precursor state – a form which causes the brain to produce dopamine. L-Dopa is just such a precursor. L-Dopa has been found to be effective in alleviating depression, increasing focus and in treating Parkinson’s Disease. One of the best natural sources of L-dopa is Mucuna Pruriens.
Mucuna is an herb (a bean actually) that grows wild in many parts of the world and is reputed in Indian medicine for its therapeutic properties. It is more of a traditional medicine that has still to find its place among modern medicines however it has proven itself valuable and effective in many parts of the world. It has a long history of use in traditional Ayurvedic, African and Caribbean medicine. (source) It is recommended to take it as needed. A few days on, a few days off. One week on, one week off. See how it works for your body and adjust. I add it to my tonics when I am focusing on a project (writing), doing a smoothie class or socially interacting – as needed.
Other Mucuna Pruriens Benefits:
- Improved mood and feeling of well-being
- Mental clarity
- Better sleep
- Anabolic: increased lean muscle mass, decreased fat
- Increases bone density, helps reverse osteoporosis
- Smoother skin
- Stronger immune system
- Helps regenerate organs
- Healthier cholesterol profile
There are other superstar herbs in this tonic blend – but overall they synergize to balance and enhance one another to warrant you one HEALTHY, powerful, grounding drink.
Maca is a wonderful hormone balancer. It is important to remember that MACA does not itself contain any hormones, but its action on the body jolts the pituitary gland into producing the precursor hormones which ultimately end up raising estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels, as well as helping to balance the adrenal glands, the thyroid and the pancreas. This occurs naturally while increasing energy. (source) I take Maca daily to keep those hormones in check. I usually increase the dosage a bit during “that time of the month” and it makes life (and Scott’s life) more enjoyable.
Reishi Mushroom This prized fungus may be able to boost your immune system, fight cancer, ward off heart disease, calm your nerves and relieve both allergies and inflammation. According to Eastern thought, the body needs to defend itself against threats to its “equilibrium.” These threats can be physical, such as viruses and bacteria that cause infection; emotional, such as stressors that cause anxiety; or energetic, in that they reduce alertness. Whatever the threat, reishi helps the body maintain its defense against these threats to its equilibrium, helping the body to maintain balance. In this sense, diseases like heart disease and cancer mean that the body is out of balance, which is why an equilibrium-enhancing remedy such as reishi can help so many diverse ailments. Read more here for some astounding proof of this mushroom. (source) I take Reishi daily.
King of cacao – Raw chocolate. Cacao is increasingly being consumed for its nutritive and health enhancing properties as it has been in many cultures for thousands of years. If you feel exceptionally good when eating it, you can thank the “bliss” chemical anandamine along with theobromine and phenylethylamine for boosting your mood. Pure cacao powder also contains a good dose of magnesium, which plays an important role in maintaining a healthy heart.
Dandy Blend is so versatile that, depending on how much powder you use, it can be everything from a pleasant, nutty roasted tea to a rich, strong espresso. It also is the easiest way to get the benefits of dandelion root into your diet. Dandelion root aids the liver. Add one spoonful in a cup of hot or cold liquid, stir, and it is ready to drink. It makes a particularly good iced coffee for use in warm water. Rich, smooth full-bodied coffee flavor, but no caffeine, acidity or bitterness. I LOVE this stuff! It’s also great to add to raw ice creams, puddings, pies, hot chocolate drinks,etc. for a coffee-like taste with NONE of the coffee side-effects.
Cordyceps is one of the oldest Chinese remedies to boost the immune system, fight disease and fatigue, promote more energy, and induce vitality! This herb increases the natural killer cells in your body that help to treat, protect, and prevent harmful activity in the body- whether it be from sickness, disease, stress, free radicals, or other environmental pollutants. The polysaccharide content is also a key factor in not only the strengthening of the immune system, but also the powerful anti-oxidant properties, which in turn, help to slow oxidation and aging of the body. Cordyceps is highly effective in attacking the pathogens that take harmful action on your immune system. It is a leading herb for its energy supplementation, with no contradictions like those you would get with herbs like ginseng. Cordyceps is used as an energy tonic, for sustainable and lasting natural energy, without affecting the heart, as it is used in some cases to nurture and treat the heart. This is truly indicative of cordyceps amazing adaptogenic qualities, making it one of the safest and most effective herbs on the planet, providing absolutely no side effects, as it is naturally non-toxic. (source) Cordyceps is part of my daily tonic intake also.
Hemp seeds make a tonic super creamy and pack it full of nutrition. One of the most nutritious and easily digested foods on the earth is the hemp seed. Hemp seeds contain all of the following: protein, essential amino acids, and essential fatty acids. Hemp is truly a food that can sustain all of man’s dietary needs.
Hemp contains more of the beneficial amino acids than proteins such as milk, eggs or meat. Hemp is a complete source of protein and is easily digestible. Hemp seed contains almost seven times more omega-3 fatty acids than fish. It also provides an option for those unable to eat gluten, meat, sugar and milk. It is a good addition to a diet for those concerned about avoiding carbohydrates. (source) Try my Vanilla Cacao Hemp Seed Milk.
This herbal tonic tastes and looks like a mocha cappuccino. This is just a sneak peak of the tonic recipes that I am creating for you for the Tonic eBook. You will have such amazing recipes to fuel your body, mind and spirit to a whole new level. I am so excited to be able to share it with you.
Double the recipe for two people – which is what I did (Scott loves these tonics also). Or make a double batch – one serving in a.m. and one later mid-afternoon, if need be. (I just keep the extra in a small thermos to keep warm for hours when I am ready for it).
- 1 1/2 cups of liquid (I used a tea made of chaga mushroom, Gynostemma and nettles) – you can also use almond milk, herbal tea of choice or water
- 1 tsp. Reishi mushroom powder (learn more here)
- 1 tsp. Cordyceps – (learn more here)
- 1 TB. raw Cacao powder
- 1 TB. Dandy Blend
- 1/4 tsp. Mucuna
- 1 tsp. Maca powder
- 1 medjool date
- 1/4 cup raw organic hemp seeds
- 6 drops Sweet Drops, Liquid Stevia Sweetener, English Toffee - or to taste
- pinch of pink himalayan salt
Heat your liquid in a small saucepan on the stove (NOT THE MICROWAVE please). While liquid base is heating (warm/hot, never boil – so keep an eye on it), add all the other ingredients into a high powered blender (I use a Vitamix). Once your liquid base is warm/hot, add it to your blender, fit lid on tightly and blend for about 20 – 30 seconds till smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust flavors.
( * Tip: The reason the liquid is best warm/hot for this tonic drink is that it synergizes all the herbs to work more efficiently. Best taken on an empty stomach.)
Want to learn more about tonic herbs, access amazing tonic blend recipes, learn the basics to make your own blends and so much more? My Tonic Alchemy eBook will be available soon!
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May the GREENS be with You! and Be Inspired! Kibby