You may have recently fallen in love with adaptogens or superfood mushrooms — if you’re a hardcore Chalkboard reader, you’ve probably been taking them for years. But did you know that adaptogens are part of a larger category of important plants called tonic herbs?
“When something is classified as a tonic, it implies that it is meant to be taken regularly over the long-term with the purpose of toning and strengthening the body’s systems. Tonic herbal formulas generally include herbs that are very gentle, safe and nourishing. They feature many herbal superstars like the adaptogenic herbs eleuthero, licorice, maca and schisandra. They also often include mushrooms like reishi and other plants that support a balanced immune response.”
While tonic herbs are designed for day-to-day use and most are very gentle, every body is different. We’ve found that the most effective way to work with these herbs is to slowly incorporate them into our daily routine one at a time. Some herbs, like rhodiola, maca and lion’s mane, may be notably felt right away. Others, like pearl powder and mucuna, may have more of a cumulative effect — showing up as glowier skin or an improved mood over time. However, the best way to discover which herbs are best for your constitution is by working directly with an herbalist.
This quick guide to tonic herbs includes twenty-five of the most commonly used and comes from holistic health coach Katrine Van Wyk’s new book Super Powders. Exploring the world of adaptogens, mushrooms and all the rest can be overwhelming. Orient yourself with this list and keep it on hand as you discover the tonic herbs that best fit your needs and constitution. Then grab a copy of Super Powders for delicious ideas to incorporate all the tonic herbs below…
A Quick Reference Guide To Tonic Herbs
Amla: rejuvenating, digestive support, skin — Shop
Ashitaba: concentration, beauty, longevity — Shop
Ashwagandha: calming, new- mom support, libido booster — Shop
Astragalus: immunity booster, whole body toner, healing — Shop
Chaga mushroom: strength, resilience, healing — Shop
Cordyceps: energy booster, antioxidant, immunity support — Shop
Eleuthero: alertness, performance, muscle building — Shop
Goji: energy, beauty, longevity — Shop
Hawthorn: heart support, protection — Shop
He Shou Wu: immunity booster, blood cleanser, youth elixir — Shop
Holy basil (tulsi): vitality, mood, soothing — Shop
Licorice: belly soother, anti-inflammatory, fatigue fighter — Shop
Lion’s mane mushroom: brain function, concentration, anti-anxiety — Shop
Maca: hormone balance, fertility, mood, libido — Shop
Moringa: anxiety relief, digestive support, antioxidant — Shop
Mucuna pruriens: mood enhancer, fortifier, motivator — Shop
Panax ginseng (Asian ginseng): mental performance, memory, alertness — Shop
Pearl: hair, skin, and nails, radiance, bone health — Shop
Pine pollen: brain food, immunity support, libido — Shop
Reishi mushroom: calming, rejuvenating, immunity support — Shop
Rhodiola: clarity, strength, performance — Shop
Schisandra berry: skin, detox support, nurtures adrenal glands — Shop
Sea buckthorn: skin glow and skin health, digestive support — Shop
Shatavari: women’s adaptogen, hormone harmonizer, fatigue fighter — Shop
Turkey tail mushroom: gut health, immunity strengthener — Shop
When shopping for tonic herbs, look to reputable brands that disclose their sourcing. It’s key to avoid a concentration of heavy metals in poorly sourced herbs and to ensure you’re buying herbs that are potent and natural. A few of our most trusted brands include Anima Mundi, Sun Potion, Dragon Herbs and Thorne.
The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.