Firstly let’s establish what your daily flow looks like, do you have a hot cup of something every morning to start off your day, maybe you love a good midday smoothie or a herbal tea before bed... Have you got your own personal practice rocking?
When do you find yourself allocating space in your day just for you? It’s really lovely to get clear on this, as that sacred space is a wonderful time to create a little self care ritual and add in delicious healing tonic to ensure your health is supported and your vibe is high. Maybe you listen to podcasts, like our episode on What Is Tonic Herbalism?
To begin, determine whether you’re an AM or PM person, generally the herbs can be taken at any time throughout the day but some of them do have energising qualities, and some folk experience this effect more than others, so it’s great to be aware of the energetic of a herb before you take it. We usually recommend taking your herbs in the morning so then you have the whole day to notice how their medicine unfolds for you.
Reishi is great before bed as it acts like a soothing balm to the nervous system and allows one to enter a beautiful deep sleep. Our sleepy reishi tonic is beauuuuutiful. Astragalus embolises Qi (energy) within the body, an action which may lead to a feeling of stimulation in some peeps who are sensitive or have delicate systems, therefore it's best mixed into your morning brew or an afternoon "energiser" rather than your sleepy time tea, gotta catch those zzz’s remember!
Having said that, tonic herbalism is centred around a philosophy which incorporates small doses taken consistently in the diet over time, in a stable system a dose of 1/4 - 1 teaspoon per day shouldn’t elicit any extreme side effects within the body.
Dosage can vary depending on what your health aim, intention or condition is, as mentioned above, we recommend 1/4 - 1 teaspoon per day initially, this is a great sweet spot for most people, there is the option of slowly building your dose up over time if desired and/or necessary and if/when tolerance increases. Tonic herbs are designed to be a part of the daily diet and benefits accumulate over time, so as long as you're taking them daily, you're going to reap the rewards, wahoo!
A simple recipe template to follow when crafting your hot tonic drink (smoothies are a no brainer):
* Optional extras include raw cacao (to make a hot chocolate), carob, maca, lucuma, mesquite, turmeric, cinnamon, vanilla etc (simply add to taste, maybe not all at once.. unless you’re into that!)
Get creative, experiment with different flavour combinations and channel your inner wizard and/or mad scientist.
All the herbs should be compatible with this basic recipe, however a little note on schizandra, it’s quite tart in flavour, so it's more suited to take as a simple tonic tea, it combines well with fresh ginger and lemon, add little honey and you're cooking with gas! We love these flavours in our Immortal Beauty shots! We don’t advise consuming it in milk/nut mylk drinks... Same goes with MSM (which is a mineral, not a mushie/herb). This is much better added to a glass of lemon water (pair it with Vitamin C for bio availably) first thing in the morning, rather than to your hot tonic elixir ;) Just sayin!
If you prefer a more savoury flavour, feel free to add the herbs to your soups, broths and stews; miso is a natural favourite. We have plenty of ma’s and pa’s that Trojan Horse these herbs into their family meals, the kids don't notice a thing! Mason's Mushrooms in the family spaghetti bolognese is a real winner. We've had a few lols with some clever mum's who've snuck chaga into their kids’ chocolate brownie's or given our epic cupcake recipe a go and the little munchkins were none the wiser! #mumtricks
Now you might also be asking how long it will take before you see any health-related results, when taking the herbs? Fair question! While the answer isn't so clear cut (it never is, hey!) we have a full article on When Will I See Results here. But the magic will lie in taking the herbs regularly for at least 30-100 days...
So go forth lovely ones, create, concoct, experiment, and master your weird and wonderful tonic herb recipes, keep it simple or channel your inner Heston (Blumenthal) or Mason and enjoy the deep nourishing qualities these epic herbs can bring to your daily flow.
The reason that Qi herbs are such a staple; I think it has a lot to do with this idea that's been entrenched in Chinese philosophy, in Taoist philosophy: humans being this bridge between Heaven, Sky, and Earth.