Tonic Herbs, What Are They? Everything You Need To Know

by Sophia Richmond-Manno August 29, 2018 5 mins read


Tonic herbs. Are you scratching your head, unsure what a tonic herb is? How does it differ from your oregano or coriander? Well never fear, we've got you covered in this article. Join us, soon you'll be a tonic herb specialist ;P


Maybe you’ve started hearing whispers about these things called tonic herbs, or you’ve stumbled across the SuperFeast website, InstagramFacebook, the phenomenal podcast... Maybe even had a friend or family member rave on about all the wondrous benefits of tonic herbs and now you’re thinking what the heck are all these peeps talking about and why are they spooning herbs into their tea, coffee and hot elixirs…

Well, Let’s Clarify… What Is a Tonic Herb?

OK, we have a whole podcast episode dedicated to this very topic! Tonic herbs are used to nourish, tone and restore the organ systems of the body, encouraging them to perform at their innate capacity and function. The word tone, which originates from the Latin word “tonus” (meaning “ability to respond”) can be understood in the same regard as “muscle tone". Our organs are specialised muscles, when you tone a muscle it becomes stronger and more responsive, if you want stronger biceps you grab a couple of dumbbells and pump those babies until they’re good and ripped, so if you want fit and healthy organs, tonic herbs are your new best friends.


For a herb to be classified as tonic it must embody certain characteristics:

  1. Its consumption should not cause harm or place any additional stress on the body.
  2. It must perform a non-specific action within the body to promote healing and provide support for all of the body’s vital systems e.g. the nervous system, endocrine system and immune system.
  3. It must be adaptive in nature and assist the body in overcoming any physical, psychological and environmental stressors.

You’re New to Tonic Herbs, Where Do You Start?

So now you’ve discovered that you and tonic herbs are gonna be BFF’s for life where do you start?

When embarking on your journey into the realm of tonic herbalism it is a really wonderful practice to get clear on why you want to begin this journey and what aspect of your physical, emotional and/or spiritual health you’d really love to nurture.


To do this I recommend taking a still moment to tap into your intuition, your inner wisdom, and really feel into what is coming up for you.

  • Is it gut health you're interested in?  Try some Mason's Mushrooms
  • Perhaps your adrenals need some love? Some of our JING blend might help.
  • Is your liver desperate for a polish? Berry yourself in schizandra berry extract.
  • Has your spirit become strung out and needs a hug? Nourish yourself with some reishi!

These herbs unfold their medicine in a multidirectional and multidimensional way, so combining a mindfulness ritual when selecting and consuming them, in my humble opinion, can really enhance their effect within the body, mind and spirit. Intention is such a powerful tool and force to work with in any facet of life so why not embrace it when choosing to nourish yourself in this way.

Ok So You’re Clear On What Herb You Want to Take and Why, What’s The Next Step?

Alright so you’ve decided that reishi (for example) is your baby and now you wanna romance this mighty queen so she treats you real fine, whadya do?


All SuperFeast herbs are fully extracted and ready to roll (we take the woody, hard, difficult to chew reishi and make it a powder for you). Our extracts are not sensitive to temperature and can be added to any hot or cold food or beverage of choice; no activation needed here guys!


To begin simply add ¼ - 1tsp of your desired herbal buddy to your desired food or drink of choice. You can add more than one; the tonic herbs will work in synergy with one another. We love adding the herbs to hot drinks especially hot cacao, chai, herbal tea (roasted dandelion is an all time favourite), coffee if we’re vibing it, hot water or milk (we love nut mylks) and sometimes sweetener of choice (honey is a favourite), stir and enjoyyyyy! Wanna see how to make your coffee healthy?

If you’re feeling a little fancy you could try one of our epic tonic recipes in our blog!


Rightio then, into the kitchen we go!

How do I do it, you ask? Good question! I’m picky and go through a whole convoluted blending process to get my tonic’s super smooth and frothin’! Love me some crema! I blend all my desired ingredients and then pop them in a saucepan on the stove to give my potion one last burst of warmth. I then pour this potent elixir into my favourite mug, pull up a rug on my sheepskin, sip slowly and joyfully (like an aspiring Zen master) and allow the medicine to unfold. It’s a lovely little ritual I’ve created.


You can create your own special way to romance with your herbs too. Maybe it’s outside on the verandah taking in the sunrise or perched on the couch next to your favourite cushion, maybe you’re sharing the experience with your kids around the breakfast table, whatever resonates I encourage you to set aside 5-10 minutes to really savour your tonic, thank your herbs for being here and sharing their potent medicinal magic with you and really marinate in the luxury of that quiet time just for you. <3  


Mum’s and Dad’s we get it, your tonic time might look like a quick 2-minute scull in between fixing lunches and tying shoelaces, but for even that minuscule moment of attention you can take to savour the experience, grab it. It’ll set you up for a great start (or finish) to the day.


Tonic time my friends, it’s a mighty time, a sweet time, like hammer time but a little bit more chill…;) 


But When Will I See Results?

What a great question. A tricky one, too. We have a full article here, called When Will I See Results. Check it out.


Want to dive even deeper in to learning about tonic herbs? Check out our Tonic Herbalism 101 Course. It's free. It's online. It's at your own pace. It's fun. It's informative. What have you got to lose?


Sophia Richmond-Manno
Sophia Richmond-Manno

Her love of helping individual’s find their own rhythm and vitality is what makes Sophia tick. Creating content and educating others on the healing effects of tonic herbs, Sophia brings intention and love to all her human interactions. Sophia’s back ground in naturopathy, paired with her knowledge of the subtle energetics all around, allow her to subtly lead you down the path of your own good health. Sophia is the Customer Service angel at SuperFeast, she is most likely on the other end of the phone, when you give us a call.

Also in SuperBlog

Herb Pairings: Our Favourite Herbs Play Together

by Mason Taylor November 20, 2019

Do our epic herbs pair well together? Can you use them simultaneously? Ummm a big HELL YES! Read on to find out our fave combos...

Read More
Sexuality and Libido with Nick Perry (podcast #45)
Sexuality and Libido with Nick Perry (podcast #45)

by Sophia Richmond-Manno November 19, 2019

Continuing with our focus on men's health this month, we've got Nick Perry on the show. Nick works as holistic lifestyle coach and a corrective exercise specialist. With a special interest in men's health, Nick loves to take a holistic approach. Exploring the relationship between the physical, spiritual, mental and emotional bodies and how they relate to sexual health and our expression of life in general.
Read More
Ashwagandha for Androgens

by Mason Taylor November 14, 2019

It wouldn't be Brovember talking about adaptogens and tonic herbs that are super potent for when it comes to men's health, without talking about ashwagandha - the Ayurvedic Rasayana that is also hot right now, especially with men's health practitioners.

Read More


Sign up to our epic newsletter!