Introduction to Tonic Herbalism

Three Treasures
There are a number of names for the three circuit model including Jing, Chi, and Shen. In Ayurveda, these three energies are known as Ojas, Prana, and Shakti. The same archetypes are referred to as the pig, the lion, and the human in contemporary philosophy. In essence, they represent the structural composition of our life force: the body (consciousness), the breath (unconscious), and the heart-mind (spirit or superconsciousness).

These three energetic elements are viewed in the reverse in Buddhism. The three poisons are greed, hatred, and delusion. This alternative perspective offers the initiate a model established for neutralizing traces of karma that bind soul to the wheel of reincarnation, Mara. Through this understanding, an individual is better equipped to combat the traps of physical interplay to experience the three jewels: Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, otherwise known as enlightenment, truth, and community.

Jing
Jing is our primal energy. It defines our genetic potential and is also forms the basis for our aging process. In turn, this energy from a mother and father come together in the creation of a child. This level is referred to as prenatal or original Jing. As gestation is concluded, the newly born infant begins to breathe and eat by way of his or her own primacy, postnatal or active Jing is released to maintain the functions of the body.

Jing is concentrated in the sperm and ova. Right exercise and diet greatly influence the transmutation and cultivation of our own energy. Through the use of Jing tonic herbs, the energy that our children inherit is refined. Yang Jing herbs tonify and enliven weak and depleted minds and bodies and are associated with the element Fire. Similarly, Yin Jing herbs prevent against energy leakage and degeneration of cells in the body due to inflammation known as false fire especially around the heart and kidneys. They are associated with the element Water.

Top Jing Herbs
Cordyceps
Pharmaceutical Name: Cordyceps
Treasures: Yin Jing, Yang Jing, and Chi
Atmospheric Energy: Warm
Taste: Sweet
Organs Associations: Kidneys and Lungs
o Used to strengthen the body and mind at a fundamental level.
o One of the primary herbal substances used in tonic herbalism as an anti-aging agent and for the purposes of rejuvenation.
o A very powerful lung tonic, increasing respiratory capacity and efficiency.
o One of the most potent immune modulating agents known to mankind.

Eucommia
Pharmaceutical Name: Cortex Eucommia
Treasures: Yang Jing, but also Yin Jing to a lesser degree
Atmospheric Energy: Warm
Taste: Sweet
Organs Associations: Kidneys and Liver
o Used to strengthen the back (especially the lower back), skeleton, and joints (especially the knees and ankles).
o Believed to confer strength and flexibility to the ligaments and tendons.
o Often used by athletes to strengthen the entire body.
o Been found to help regulate blood pressure.

Ho Shou Wu
Pharmaceutical Name: Radix Polygonum Multiflorum
Treasures: Yin Jing and Blood
Atmospheric Energy: Warm
Taste: Bitter, Sweet, and Pungent
Organs Associations: Liver and Kidneys
o Constant consumption of this famous “longevity herb,” is said in the Orient to help return an aging person to youthfulness.
o It is said to increase energy and to clean the blood.
o One of the most important and widely used Chinese Tonic herbs.
o Considered to be a primary fertility-enhancing herb.
o Research has demonstrated that Ho Shou Wu can very significantly increase superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity. SOD is a powerful natural antioxidant and free radical scavenger that has been demonstrated to have powerful anti-aging benefits in humans
o Perfect essence tonic for the athletically inclined, providing strength, resilience and stamina to the body.
o An ideal longevity-promoting, anti-aging tonic herb.

Chi
Chi holds meaning of varying degrees to different people. In tradition Chinese medicine, Chi is defined as immediate energy that generates thought and action. The kind of Chi that produces healing and nourishment from food and air is our nutritive vitality. Wei Chi is the source of defensive energy that prevents the loss of energy and protects against Sahr Chi, energy with negative intent.

Chi is also produced as a result of the functions of the Lungs. Chi strengthens the digestive system as well as the respiratory system and has potent immune potentiating activity. Like Chi, blood is considered to be a vital aspect of our being. Blood is produced from the food ingested after Chi is extracted through the spleen. Our red carpusels are nutritive and are considered yin. Our white carpusels are protective and are considered yang.

Top Chi Herbs
American Ginseng
Pharmaceutical Name: Radix Panax Quinquefollum
Treasures: Yin and Chi
Atmospheric Energy: Cool
Taste: Sweet and Slightly Bitter
Organs Associations: Lungs, Spleen, and Stomach
o Provides energy, adaptability, and heightened awareness
o Tonifies the lungs and is said to moisten and cool the lungs.
o Promotes the secretion of body fluids.
o Especially strengthening to new mothers.

Astragalus
Pharmaceutical Name: Radix Astragalus
Treasures: Chi and Blood
Atmospheric Energy: Warm
Taste: Sweet
Organs Associations: Spleen and Lungs
o One of the premier tonic herbs of China.
o Builds energy and helps warm up the body.
o One of the most important double direction immune modulating herbs in the world.
o Said to strengthen the primary energy of the body and strengthen all metabolic, respiratory and eliminative functions.

Eleuthero
Pharmaceutical Name: Radix Acanthopanacis
Treasures: Chi and Jing
Atmospheric Energy: Warm
Taste: Slightly pungent, somewhat bitter and astringent
Organs Associations: Spleen, Lungs, Kidneys, Heart, and Liver
o Recognized the world over as one of the ultimate adaptogenic agents.
o Helps provide real long term energy and the ability to cope with a world of stress.
o Premier supplement for those who require additional physical strength or who suffer as a result of low resistance to the side effects of extreme exertion. It aids in the recovery from hard exercise, as well as from extreme mental exertion.
o Provides an abundance of both quick and long-term energy that results in an improved ability to handle stress, and further results in the improvement of one’s capacities, both physically and mentally
o Has been demonstrated to be a remarkably safe substance.

Shen
Shen is our spirit or higher nature and is expressed as love, compassion, generosity, acceptance, forgiveness, and tolerance. Shen is not considered to be an emotion or a state of mind. It is nonjudgmental awareness. Thinking, seeing, speaking, hearing, exercising, working, and loving are functions of Shen. The age-old way of developing Shen is to give as is expressed in the Golden Rule of popular western culture, “Treat others as you would like to be treated.”

Shen tonic herbs facilitate the opening up of Shen, and some are also stabilizers which help to stabilize our emotions so that the spirit reemerges as ruler of our awareness. Dominant emotions can become obsessions or even addictions. If Shen is weak, emotions become imbalanced and desires run wild. Shen tonic herbs have been used by great sages to foster enlightenment and harmony with nature.

Top Shen Herbs
Asparagus
Pharmaceutical Name: Radix or Tuber Asparagi Lucidus
Treasures: Yin Jing, Chi, and Shen
Atmospheric Energy: Cold
Taste: Sweet and Bitter
Organs Associations: Lungs, Kidneys, and Heart
o Credited by Chinese wise men as being able to open the heart, prolong life, and also to tonify the sexual functions of both men and women.
o Used in Chinese herbalism as a major lung tonic.
o Prolonged consumption will make the skin soft, supple and smooth.
o Useful for those who are experiencing dry skin due to a dry environment or due to internal dryness.
o Seems to lift a person’s spirits in a way that is consistent with the Taoist philosophy of attaining happiness

Reishi
Pharmaceutical Name: Ganoderma
Treasures: Jing, Chi, Shen
Atmospheric Energy: Neutral or slightly warm
Taste: Bitter
Organs Associations: Heart, Liver, Lungs, and Kidneys
o Has attained an unparalleled reputation in the Orient as the ultimate herbal substance.
o Believed to be a tonic to all of the body’s energies. It was revered as a major tonic to each of the three Treasures, Jing, Chi and Spirit.
o Believed to build primal power and to replenish energy spent handling stressful situations.
o Most famous as an herb used to build the immune system.
o Ancient books said that “continuous consumption of Reishi makes your body light and young, lengthens your life and turns you into one like the immortal who never dies.”
o As a Spirit tonic, nothing compares to Reishi. It is simply the greatest Spirit tonic of them all.
o Used by the Chinese to protect the Spirit and to nurture the growth of intelligence, wisdom and spiritual insight.
o Studies done in Asia indicate that Reishi is a supreme health food supplement that has virtually no toxicity or side effects.
o A profound immune potentiator. It has been found to significantly improve the functioning of the immune system whether the immune system is deficient or excessive. In this sense, it is an immune “modulator”—that is, it helps to modulate, or regulate, and fine tune the immune system.

Schizandra
Pharmaceutical Name: Fructus Schizandrae
Treasures: Jing, Chi, and Shen
Atmospheric Energy: Warm
Taste: Sour and Sweet with salty, pungent, and bitter overtones
Organs Associations: all major organs and all twelve meridians
o Develops the primary energies of life and is thus of great use to any one who consumes it.
o Generates vitality and radiant beauty when used regularly for some time.
o A safe and powerful tonic herb which is mildly calming and possessing pain-alleviating properties.
o Said to purify the blood, sharpen the mind, improve memory, rejuvenate the Kidney energy (especially the sexual energy and functions in both men and women), and causes the skin to become radiantly beautiful.

Five Vital Organs
The early Yang phase is called Wood. It is the first stage of the new cycle. It controls the liver, eyes, blood, and Chi. It is the center of action and is empowered by creativity. The late Yang phase is called Fire. It is the development of Yang energy and controls the heart, blood, and Shen. It is the center of love and is empowered by wisdom. The element which established balance is called Earth. It is the center. It controls the spleen, digestive system, blood, and Chi. It is emotional centeredness and is empowered by nonjudgmental contemplation.
The early Yin phase is called Metal. It represents the transition of Yang energy into Yin energy. It controls the lungs, skin, and Wei Chi, defensive energy. It is the center of release and is empowered by nonattachment. The late Yin phase is called Water. It represents the storage of Yin energy and controls the kidneys, the skeleton, and Jing. There are Yin and Yang aspects to the kidneys. It is the center of courage and is empowered by maturity. Musically, these circuits are associated with the pentatonic scale: C, D, E, G, A.

Women’s Sexual Health – Boost Your Libido Naturally With These Proven Herbs!

There is no Viagra for women but you don’t need one as the proven herbs enclosed combined with a healthy lifestyle will get your libido back on track, here’s how they work…Before we look at how the herbs work, lets look at the common problems which cause women to lose sexual desire.

Surprisingly, testosterone is needed in sufficient quantity as libido plummets if levels fall.

Another natural chemical needed is nitric oxide which controls the flow of blood into the sex organs and swells them with blood during arousal – its vital and it declines with age. Its also vital in sexual health terms to have strong blood circulation to the sex organs and any women who has low libido is likely to have poor blood circulation.

Low estrogen levels are associated with lack of desire, arousal, and issues that may cause intercourse to be uncomfortable and are crucial for peak sexual performance.

Last but by no means least we have state of mind, stress and anxiety are passion killers and combined with low energy levels cause sex drive to disappear. When your energy levels are low and your mood and spirit decline as a consequence you just simply do not feel in the mood for sex.

Here are some of the best herbs to reignite desire and lift overall wellness.

Avena Sativa

Avena Sativa helps calms the mind and helps the body relax as well as, enhancing sensitivity in the vagina.

Satavri

Shatavri moistens dry tissues of the female sexual organs and increases overall body strength. Shatavri also works naturally to produce testosterone and this means there are no side effects which can happen when women take testosterone replacement therapy.

Methika Extract Contains estrogen saponins which help reduce levels of cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides, naturally with no side affects.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo and helps to fight the effects of aging and is seen as a general tonic herb and is seen as one of the best herbs for better blood circulation and keeping the blood vessels healthy. It helps fight mental fatigue, stress and reduced energy. Ginkgo increases blood flow to the brain which take up around 20% of total body oxygen usage, this helps lift energy spirit and mood.

Ashwagandha – Extract “Indian Ginseng”

Ashwagandha energizes and rejuvenates and is a fantastic general body tonic. It minimizes the effects of stress, while at the same time enhances vitality, and promotes sexual and reproductive balance throughout the body.

Ginseng Eleuthero

Ginseng contains ginsenosides which have an affect on the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, which secretes adrenal corticotropic hormone (ACTH). ACTH then binds to the brain cells, reducing stress, enhancing mood and lifting the spirit.

Shunthi (Ginger)

This well known herb has a number of benefits. It acts as a general heart tonic and acts as a circulatory herb and helps alleviate a number of conditions and has been used for centuries to ignite passion in both men and women.

Two More

Are Dong Quai which is seen as the best herb for women’s health and Damiana which both help with numerous female health problems and are used to help alleviate PMT – We have covered them in our other articles and they are simply a must for all women.

So there you have a great combination of herbs which will help combat the mental and physical issues, that cause lack of sex drive.

Not only will they lift libido, they will also enhance overall wellness at the same time – try them and see.

Herbs That Can Reduce Stress, Anxiety, and Tension

Herbs have been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and in herbalism. Herbs have been known to treat a variety of symptoms and diseases. Stress is the number one most serious health problem in America today. Due to the change in the majority of jobs from physical to mental aptitude its no wonder why Americans are so stressed out. In addition, the society is on the go 24/7 leaving no time for people to relax, rest or shut off their brains. Not to mention that the pressure and mounting economic problems that we are facing in this day in age is one for the record books. With all this stress we become physically, emotionally and mentally unbalanced. To maintain, restore and prevent further chronic stressful influence on our mind and body, herbs are the perfect remedy to balance the body’s nervous system.

Herbs can be categorized in three types adaptogen, tonic, and nervine herbs. Adaptogenic herbs help the body adapt to stress through balancing the nervous system. Tonic herbs strengthen the organs and bodies system to prepare for stress. Tonic nerves are able to increase or decrease the activity of the bodily processes in a specific system.Nervine herbs heal the damage caused by stress and combat further stressful influence. Nervine herbs can be distinguished as a sedative to relax and calm the nerves or as a stimulant to perk up energy. Most herbs fit into more than one category or type of herb giving it increased ability to relieve, reduce and alleviate symptoms, illnesses and disease.

Due to the fact that herbs generally correlate to specific areas or systems of the body, there are a large number of herbs that can relieve stress and anxiety. Here you can find a few of these herbs and how they affect the body.

ADAPTOGEN:

Ginseng- There are several kinds of ginseng however three can be helpful at reducing stress, Siberian, Korean or Panax and Indian or Ashwagandha ginseng are all good at normalizing the body in times of stress. Ginseng is an adaptogen and a tonic, which protects the body against stress. Ginseng regulates the circulatory and immune systems, which help to support the body in times of stress. Ginseng is a popular herbal supplement for athletes because it improves performance, increases stamina, improves recovery time and boosts ones immunity.

Maitake- Maitake is a mushroom that grows in clusters at the base of trees. It has been used in Chinese medicine as an adaptogen to enhance the immune system. Research has also indicated that it can be used to regulate blood pressure, glucose, insulin, and both serum and liver lipids, such as cholesterol, triglycerides, and phospholipids, and may also be useful for weight loss.

Gotu Kola- Gotu Kola has a triple effect as an adaptogen, tonic and nervine herb. Gotu Kola rejuvenates the skin by stimulating repair, growth and strengthening. It also helps with stress coping and reducing anxiety. Gotu Kola improves concentration and memory.

Wild Yam- The Wild Yam is an adaptogen and nervine, which targets the muscles and skeletal system. It acts as a muscle relaxer to reduce inflammation. It also is toted as an antispasmodic, antiheumatic, hepatic, diaphoretic, and reduces nausea during pregnancy.

Licorice Root- Licorice root is an adaptogen and tonic for the respiratory and immune systems. Licorice root helps regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. It helps the body to handle stress by normalizing blood sugar levels as well as adrenal glands, and stimulates cranial and cerebrospinal fluid. Licorice root boosts energy, calms the mind and is soothing to the body.

TONIC

Red Clover- Red clover is a digestive tonic and a skin nervine herb. Red clover contains a natural plant estrogen called phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens maintain proper skin and bone health. If ingested it cleanses the blood and detoxifies the tissues. Additional estrogen in the body can alleviate high stress symptoms and reduce cholesterol.

Chamomile- Chamomile is a digestive tonic and sedative nervine herb. It was originally used to reduce fevers. Now it has been proven to be one of the safest herbs on the market for relaxation and calming effects. Chamomile has a restorative effect on the body by enhancing the metabolism, treating a nervous stomach and depressing the central nervous system. As a tranquilizer, chamomile enhances sleep and feelings of relaxation. Its properties include anti-inflammatory, anti anxiety, antihistamine, antioxidant and antispasmodic.

St. John’s Wort- St. John’s wort is a stimulating tonic herb. It also is a functional nervine with respect to the integumentary system. St. John’s wort specifically helps the pituitary gland, which regulates the secretion of six hormones that regulate homeostasis. St. John’s wort helps to break down excess quantities of the stress hormone norepinephrine that get excreted into the bloodstream during stressful situations. In this way it helps to treat stress, anxiety, depressive disorders and mental disorders.

Skullcap- Skullcap is a tonic and nervine herb that can be used for relaxation without a sedative effect. Skullcap is the best nourishing tonic for the nervous system. It strengthens and supports the nervous system. It slows down the nerves to calm and sooth the body and brain. Skullcap is great for muscles spasms, headaches, agitation, anxiety, insomnia, hysteria, exhaustion, depression and nervous tension. As an anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic it decreases fevers, enhances digestion, and stimulates liver function.

Motherwort- Motherwort works on the circulatory, respiratory, reproductive, and nervous systems as a tonic and nervine herb. Motherwort stimulates circulation to strengthen the heart. It quiets the nerves, promotes relaxation, and relieves stress.

Lemon Balm- Lemon balm is a sedative nervine and tonic herb that calms and regulates the nervous system. By inhaling the aroma of lemon balm you will reduce your blood pressure, calm palpitations, reduce rapid breathing, decrease digestive spasms, eliminate nausea and indigestion, relieve migraines and combat fever. It relieves anxiety, dispels sadness, and uplifts the spirit. Lemon balm also has antibacterial, antiviral and antihistamine characteristics.

NERVINE:

Kava Kava- Kava Kava is a nervine herb from Melanesia. Kava Kava treats anxiety and depression, relieves stress and insomnia. It also doubles as a powerful muscle relaxer, tranquilizer and analgesic, although it is not addictive. Kava Kava works subtly to relax the entire body.

Hops- Hops is a nervine herb that acts as a sedative. Its has a calming and relaxing effect on the Central nervous system to ease restless tension, irritability, nervous system disorders, indigestion, and insomnia.

Passion Flower- Passion flower has a mild tranquilized effect as a sedative nervine herb. It relaxes blood vessel spasms, decreases migraines, promotes sleep, treats anxiety, insomnia, depression, and nervousness. Passion flower has a calming effect without feeling like one is sedated. This herb calms the body and also is effective as a painkiller.

Lavender- Lavender is known to be the most calming herb today. Just smelling this herb can relax the mind and body by reducing irritability, anxiety, stress and tension. Lavender is a nervine herb with powerful sedative capabilities to promote relaxation, enhance sleep, balance hormones, relax muscles, and stimulate the immune system. It also has healing benefits as a digestive aid. Lavender decreases the stress hormone cortisol levels to slow the brain waves, which reduces stress, nervousness, agitation and promotes a sense of calm.

Valerian- Valerian is a sedative nervine used to relax the nervous system. Its ingredients are comparable to prescription grade sedatives given out by physicians. Valerian decreases stress levels, alleviates anxiety, improves sleep, calms nerves, and decreases tension and irritability. Valerian is ideal for those who also suffer from nervous muscle spasm.

Oats (Avena Sativa)- Oats or wild oats are a functional nervine that nourishes the nervous system. This herb can alleviate mild depression, balance sugar levels, help nervous exhaustion and weakness and relieves stress. As an anti-inflammatory and high in mineral content, oats sooth inflamed skin and strengthen the nervous system