I see a lot of excellent tonic information circulating throughout the internet during the cooler months. In the Autumn, you’ll see preventative tonics that help your body prepare for the harsher colder seasons, and then in Winter, you’ll find a lot of cold and flu. There are really great tonics perfect for every single season! And now, we’re coming into Spring, so…
~ Herbal Tonics 101 ~
Herbal tonics can help restore, tone, and invigorate the many systems of our body. They also promote general health and well-being.
Tonic herbs are used in the creation of herbal tonics. These herbs are gentle, provide nourishment, and are safe to use regularly on a long-term basis.
Adaptogenic Herbs: When used daily, they will help return our body to its natural state of homeostasis. Homeostasis is basically the state of a “steady and balanced system” on all levels; internal, physical, and chemical. Homeostasis is what you want for your body to function at the top of its game!
These herbs will also support the immune systems, build resilience against stress, and enhance vitality. Adaptogens help the body resist all forms of stressors, which helps maintain a balance and allows the body systems to run more smoothly. These include Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, Eleuthero, Shatavari, Schisandra.
Nutritive Herbs: If you’re looking for a way to get a tasty supplement that provides the nutrients your body needs, you’ve come to the right place. The vitamins and minerals found in nutritive herbs have protein, vitamins, minerals, carbs, and fats essential to our health and general well-being. Nourishing herbs can help your body become more vigorous, provide natural energy, and protect and prevent disease. Check out Red Clover, Milky Oats, Dandelion Leaves, Raspberry Leaves, Violets.
The combination of both herb’s nutritional and healing properties are just what the body systems need to restore, revitalize, strengthen, and balance the entire being. The list of tonic herbs is much longer. I only shared a few of my favorites.
Differences Between Seasonal Herbs
The tonic herbs that one chooses to create their recipes are rather strategic. With each season, the flavors change on different levels.
- Spring Tonics ~ Nutritive herbs are a huge deal during the Spring. After a long cold Winter, our body could use a boost of vitamins and minerals to help wake up and strengthen our sluggish systems. Stinging nettles, ginseng, and sassafrass are some awesome favorites of mine. Early spring greens are great ingredients as well.
- Summer Tonics ~ Cooling, calming, and refreshing tonic herbs fit just right in this category. Rosehips, Holy basil, and lemon balm are a few good options.
- Autumn ~ Pungent and warming herbs will be found in Autumnal tonics. They help prepare us for the transition into the colder months of Winter. Ginger, Schisandra, elderberry, are all great immune-boosting choices.
- Winter ~ The winter months call for potent, intense, and warming herbs as well. Astragalus, cinnamon, ginger, licorice, and are some of my favorites to add to winter tonic recipes.
Recipes For Each Season
Spring Tonic Recipe
This recipe only needs parts from four different plants, but I put a spin on it by adding two additional ingredients.
- 1 – Tablespoon Burdock Root (fresh or dried)
- 1 – Tablespoon Dandelion Root (fresh or dried)
- 1 – Tablespoon Dandelion Leaf (fresh or dried)
- 1 – Tablespoon Stinging Nettle Leaf (fresh or dried)
- 1 – Tablespoon Red Clover Flowers
- Fresh Squeezed Lemon To Taste
- Honey To Taste
- 1 – Quart Water
- Add the stinging nettle, dandelion leaf, and red clovers into a heat-safe container.
- Add water to a medium saucepan along with the roots, cover, and bring to a boil.
- As soon as it begins boiling, lower the heat and allow it to simmer for at least 20 minutes.
- Pour hot root decoction over the herbs set aside.
- Add honey and lemon mixing well,
- Allow the mixture to steep for at least 20 minutes and as long as 4 hours before straining. The longer you steep, the more essential nutrients and nourishing properties will seep out.
- Strain and store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
The fresher the ingredient, the more influential the properties. However, if you only have dried products available, you can use them, though it may not be as potent.
Summer Tonic Recipe
This refreshing and revitalizing recipe is pretty tasty, and there’s so much room to add, subtract, or tweak using different ingredients. This recipe makes about a quart of dried tea/tonic blend, which you can use later for hot or cold tea.
- ½ Cup Dried Lemon Grass
- ½ Cup Fresh or Dried Organic Orange Peel
- 2 Cups Hibiscus Flowers
- ½ Cup Dried Stevia Leaves or Add Honey To Taste (individual cups)
- Mix all dried ingredients together and store in an airtight sealed glass jar until you make a pot or cup of tea.
- Use ½ cup of the blend to make 2 quarts of cold tea or use 1 heaping teaspoon per cup of water for individual cups, either hot or cold.
Autumn Tonic Recipe
This will be another dried herb blend that you can store in an airtight sealed glass jar. Just be sure it’s in a cool, dry place. Drink hot or cold, but I suggest hot during the chilly weather. The recipe is also measured simply by parts, so you can make as large or small of a batch as you’d like.
- 4 Parts Stinging Nettle
- 3 Parts Lemon Balm
- 3 Parts Spearmint or Peppermint
- 2 Parts Red Clover Flowers/Blossoms
- 2 Parts Mullein
- 2 Parts Dandelion Roots & Leaf Combined
- 1 Part Ginger Root
- 1 Part Rose Hips
Mix all of the ingredients together and store in an airtight sealed glass jar. Boil your water about 4 cups or so and pour it over the dried herbs. Steep for at least 15 minutes and as long as 8 hours before steeping. For individual cups, you can use a teaspoon or two per cup. Adjust more or less to your taste.
Winter Tonic Recipe
One of the most delicious and fantastic winter tonics that I love most is a Spiced Masala Chai. There are tons of incredible recipes out there for you to explore. Different recipes use varying ingredients. I personally like a lot of spice, so find a Masala Chai that resonates with you and try it.
Seasonal tonics are a blessing from nature, and they produce magical effects that are incredible for our bodies.
Photo by Vicky Tran
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