I'm a great believer in natural tonics to strengthen or invigorate the healing system. - Dr. Andrew Weil
The American Heritage Dictionary says that a tonic is?
...an agent, such as a medication, that restores or increases body tone, an invigorating, refreshing, or restorative agent or influence. And a tonic is for producing or stimulating physical, mental, or emotional vigor.
Tonics are usually liquid preparations that have a combination of herbs, vitamins, minerals and other ingredients. No tonic has any magical healing effect on any disease. That may seem to be a strange thing to say in an article about Natural Tonics for Health and Wellness. Let me explain.
The only thing that can heal a body is the body itself. Nature has designed a self repair system for the human body that will accomplish the seeming miraculous. Most of the time all we have to do is stay out of the way.
Sometimes a toxic agent, biological or chemical, can overwhelm the body's capacity to heal itself. Medical science can assist by removing any overload. The body itself then takes over and does the actual healing. A tonic acts to supply the body's repair mechanism with missing nutrients so that it functions at its best.
Is it possible to help the body by supplying things it needs to do its job? Of course it is. Ordinarily these nutrients come from the foods we eat. Often our foods don't contain all the nutrients they should, for whatever reason. This is why we are beginning to see the medical profession suggesting we take a good multi vitamin and mineral supplement daily. Before this, our ancestors learned through experience, the value of getting certain substances into the body. They made tonics to supply these substances. Natural tonics can fill the gaps in our nutrition. Our own bodies will then do the rest.
You can find recipes for tonics that are made with just about any thing under the sun. Usually natural tonics are made with some single herb or a combination of herbs. Some of the more common are garlic, ginseng, ginger, and green tea. Mushrooms are also used as tonics. Chinese caterpillar fungus (Cordyceps sinensis) improves athletic performance and increases energy. Species like reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), shitake (Lentinella edodes), and maitake (Grifola frondosa) are used to boost immunity.
Even plain water can be a tonic for someone who is suffering from dehydration. After all, the human body is made up of 55 to 75 percent water.
It would seem the best way to incorporate all the minerals your body needs is to have a tonic made with something like seawater, but you can't drink seawater. The salt content will kill you.
If you went to school in the 1960's you might remember watching an educational film called Hemo the Magnificent. Hemo was the cartoon god of blood and with the real-life Dr. Frank C. Baxter, they made several films for Disney. Hemo proclaims that he's the mysterious source of life, and the good doctor informs him, "You know what you are? You're just seawater!"
So like the seas that are essential to all life on earth, our blood is essentially seawater too. Science speculates that life began in the sea. Amniotic fluid is almost identical to seawater.
Rene Quinton, a French physician, performed a famous study on the effects of seawater. Quinton experiments proved seawater and blood plasma are remarkably similar in composition. As a result, Quinton said, "All living organisms are in fact a marine aquarium." He said seawater should be used to heal.
Because of the complete nutrient content of seawater, sea vegetables, growing in clean seawater, supply all of the minerals necessary for life. Sea vegetables have more minerals than any land plant. Between 7 and 38 percent of the dry weight of sea vegetables are minerals.
Any kind of high quality natural tonic made with sea vegetables should supply the body with every mineral it needs to function at its best. That just makes sense doesn't it?
Many illnesses can be traced to mineral imbalances in the body. Minerals are responsible for many functions in our bodies, such as helping to keep our body repair systems working. Adequate minerals should be ingested every day.
Unlike medicines, which can have an immediate effect on symptoms, you may not see immediate results with tonics. Allowing your body to heal itself may take some time. Use a tonic regularly for a few months. You are letting your body do what it knows how to do. Give it what it needs and trust it to heal itself.
See if you have an increased sense of well-being or more energy when taking a tonic. Even if you don't notice immediate effects, pay attention to how you respond to physical and emotional stress. See if you become less susceptible to illnesses. Give natural tonics an honest try.
A natural lifestyle and heathy habits are among the many interests of Tom Donaldson. Tom writes about his life experiences and what works for him on his PhreMind Freenotes Life BLOG at http://tmdonaldson.com