The Top 7 Benefits of Herbal Tonics
Herbal tonics or herbal tinctures have been my preferred way of dispensing herbal medicine since the beginning of my naturopathic career, which began 20 years ago. Herbal tinctures have never let me, or my patients down – or many generations before us.
There are many ways to administer natural medicine such as powders, capsules, pills, teas, decoctions, plasters, compresses, juices, herbal wines, vinegars, food, lozenges or herbal tinctures. However during my clinical observations nothing can compare to results of herbal tonics.
1. The Highest Vital Force
Herbal tinctures, particularly made from fresh herbs, have the highest vital force. It is impossible for a herbalist to grow hundreds of herbs and dispense fresh medicinal juices three times a day for each patient. Therefore, herbal tinctures made from fresh herbs and dry herbs offer the best alternative.
2. There are Herbs for every Disease
As new and more complex diseases are affecting patients, new medicinal plants being discovered and rediscovered, and new therapeutic properties of well-known herbs are constantly being researched and applied in naturopathic clinics.
Curcumin (turmeric), for instance, can address all seven pathways in multi-targeting any cancer, which eight heavy-duty specific anti-cancer drugs fall short of. (H.Osiecki, Cancer Clinical Nutrition 2012) This is equivalent to $20 per week of turmeric versus $400 a week in pharmaceutical drugs.
3. Herbal Tinctures are Usually not Standardised
Nature has provided us with an abundance of medicinal plants and we are still only scratching the surface. Every medicinal plant has its active constituents (phytochemicals) in the perfect amount and ratio. If nature had intended, for instance, that Gingko Biloba needed to be standardised it would occur naturally in such potency. Gingko Biloba has at least 26 chemical components. Not a single pharmaceutical drug is as complex as any given single medicinal plant.
When the herb is standardised it becomes a drug, the properties of which need to be fully understood and trialled. Standardising an isolated active constituent and putting it in tablet form does not necessarily make it better or more effective. The fundamental principle of herbal medicine is to use the whole plant, not one isolated constituent.
Herbal tinctures are either ethanol extracts or glycetracts. Ethanol extracts have the highest absorption rate and active constituents are more easily released into the menstruum (solvent extracting herbal constituents). If a patient cannot take ethanol for health or religious reasons, the ethanol can be easily evaporated from the dispensed tonic bottle.
5. Synergistic and Energetic Effects
Between 5-6 herbs are usually poured into a dispensing bottle for a patient to take home. A practitioner considers the energetic properties of the herbs as well as their therapeutic actions to address a patient’s condition/s. Those herbs put together as a herbal tonic have a much higher therapeutic (synergistic) effect than each herb on its own. This phenomenon only occurs with organic substances like herbs.
6. Supporting Multiple Functions in the Body
One herb can have such a diverse array of active constituents, on average 10-15, so if a practitioner blends 5 herbs in a tonic it is possible to address 50 plus therapeutic actions, thus addressing many functions in the body simultaneously. Not a single pharmaceutical drug can achieve this result.
7. No Excipients
Tablets or capsules always contain excipients or binders which slows down absorption and reduces the vital force of the active constituents.