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Using Tonics To Improve Your Healthby Dave Foreman
For over a year now, I have made the shift back to using mostly herbs as part of my supplement program. My foundational supplements now include what are better known as tonics. In short, tonics are herbal in nature and provide nutritional support to a particular area of the body. The use of these herbs in their not-standardized-form provides key support for the health and function of that particular part of your body. An example is Hawthorn. Hawthorn berries are considered a cardiovascular system tonic when using modest doses of the “whole herb”. I can also use this herb medicinally (more like a drug) when I take it in higher doses or as a standardized supplement. Currently I am taking the Vitamin Shoppe Brand Hawthorn to help support my cardiovascular system (heart, veins, arteries, etc.) nutritionally and in function. I don’t expect it to lower my blood pressure or control my heart rate like it might do in higher doses, just to support my overall health.
Using tonic herbs helps bring balance to our body. Being in balance is where we want to be. When our body is in balance, everything is functioning as it was intended to. Too often when we acquire a health challenge, our approach is to push hard in the opposite direction. A good analogy is at your local playground – a seesaw. If you have a heavy person on one end and a lighter person on the other, it will be out of balance. In order to bring it in balance we put weight on the lighter end to push back in the opposite direction. The end result is often a seesaw that is out of balance (the other person is up in the air). But, if we gently put weight in the middle of the board, we are more likely to get the two people in balance without much effort. Tonic herbs work in this manor. Gently nudging the body back into balance.
If you have been struggling with a particular area of your health maybe it is time to switch to tonics. Keep in mind though that tonics do not act as “medicinally” as other supplements. You will need to use them more often and for extended periods of time. Here are some of the tonic herbs I am currently using: Ginseng, Turmeric, Hawthorn, Ashwaganda, Astragalus, Reishi, Cordyceps, Holy basil and Rhodiola. There are probably others to list here; I just can’t remember them off the top of my head. (Maybe I need something for memory) This list does not contain the only herbs you will find to be tonics, just the ones that I feel work best for my lifestyle. It would be best to consult with a store associate to find the tonic herbs that are best for your particular health needs.
Finally, the great thing about using tonics in your daily supplement program is that they usually mix well with your existing supplements. Keep using many of your existing supplements with the added support of these tonics and you will be steps ahead on your path to better health.