Have you ever stood in front of your fridge only to realize you’re not even hungry and have no interest in cooking? Do you find yourself eagerly searching the shelves but nothing piques your interest?
If you’re anything like me, a dismal mental slump may accompany this moment of the blahs! Even the health-minded among us will occasionally shut the fridge door and succumb to the unhealthy urge to order a pizza or visit a local restaurant! We all do it, but I won’t tell if you don’t! (Smile)
What’s really happening? Over many years of observing the workings of my own inner body, I’ve come to realize that these thoughts may be related to our gut-brain connection delivering a subtle message that it’s a time to give that tummy a rest. Rather than order pizza, we should consider a mini cleanse and nourish with a healing tonic rather than overload our system with solid foods—and no, replacing a meal with a healing tonic is nothing like a long, unpleasant fast.
Healing tonics are a profound way to satiate our hunger, energize and tonify our bodies, and give ourselves an immunity boost. That’s why I thought to introduce my readers to this important subject. Sit back now and learn how to nourish yourself in a new and pleasant way.
The Benefits of Healing Tonics
As stated above, there are three major advantages to using healing tonics: they energize and tonify the body, and they boost the immune system. There are other minor benefits, but these are the three major components that will help you feel your best.
Let’s talk a little about each of them. However, I also want to address the mental and physical causes of any underlying conditions. These causes require an extra level of nutrition, which is why I recommend healing tonics. They promote the following benefits and provide for a maximum degree of well-being.
We all want to feel alive, positive, and, most of all, alert. We’re at our best when we have the mental, physical, and emotional stamina to deal with the daily ups and downs of life, to stay serene under adversity or pressure, and to meet the demands of our jobs and families.
To stay energized, we must first free ourselves from our #1 enemy—killer stress. Yes, consistent stress keeps us in a state of brain fog, and therefore we just piddle and never get anything done. This produces frustration and yes, more stress! Believe it or not, you’ll find that you’re most energetic when you’re relaxed. Part one of my in-depth blog post “The Longevity Secret” is related to this subject, and you may find it a fascinating read.
Tonifying the body is a bit like changing the oil in your car. We need to give ourselves an occasional tune-up to repair, maintain, and tone up our organs and nervous system, not to mention all the other parts of the greatest machine known to humanity. Tonifying our bodies requires a healthy daily workout. However, even when we’re diligent in our exercise routine, it’s still easy to neglect our inner body—especially if we’re under stress. In addition to regular exercise, we also need to repair, restore, and rejuvenate our organs and skin. And we can’t do that with just a tasty snack or meal!
#3. Boost the Immune System
The immune system of the human body is one of the great mysteries of life. There are countless oils, potions, and other products that claim to repair or enhance our immune system, never mind that it’s highly complex and rarely understood by the average person.
Medical News Today offers a thorough analysis of the workings of the immune system. I recommend the full article, but here is a brief quote:
“Our immune system is essential for our survival. Without an immune system, our bodies would be open to attack from bacteria, viruses, parasites, and more. It is our immune system that keeps us healthy as we drift through a sea of pathogens.”
I also recommend my comprehensive, must-read blog post, “Healing the Immune System,” for even more exacting information on the subject.
I’m frequently asked this question. But before I answer it, let me state that a tonic is definitely not just a fancy beverage or drink. According to most dictionaries, the first known usage was recorded between 1640 to 1650. “Tonic” originates from the Greek word “tonikos,” which pertains to stretching or tones. Interestingly enough, this word is also used in the sense of toning musical instruments. What a perfect way to describe how a healing tonic benefits the body. A tonic has medicinal properties, and it works wonderfully to “tone the body, mind, or spirit.”
Making Your Own Healing Tonics
Among my many stacks of books, I recommend one in particular that you might want to consider purchasing if you’re interested in this topic. Healing Tonics by Jeanine Pollak contains 101 herbal concoctions (i.e., healing tonics). The vast detail that Pollak provides in making every imaginable tonic is by far the best that I’ve seen, and I often reference this book when making my own tonics. It even includes tonics prepared with bone broth and others prepared with bitters, which both add superb and special qualities.
Another great resource for tonics is the website WayofLife.net. It offers a wonderfully detailed list of some special herbs and how they affect the body.
These Sun Tea Tonics are nonalcoholic and ready for use in one to two hours. The Elixirs contain alcohol, and when aged between two to four weeks are even more powerful:
1) Nourishing Synergy: Lemon Balm (nourishes the immune, stomach and nervous system); Mint (refreshing to digestion); and Rosemary (tonic for nerves & brain). (When making an Elixir use vodka or gin.)
2) Strengthening Synergy: Lemon Verbena (uplifting & cooling); Apple Geranium (strengthening); and Fresh Limes (digestion). (When making an Elixir use vodka & tequila.)
3) Opening Synergy: Hawthorne Leaves & Flowers (cadiotonic for strengthening cardiovascular system); Hibiscus and/or Rose hips (immune boosting); Fresh Orange Slices (high intake of flavonoids & vitamin C supports arteries). (When making an Elixir use vodka or brandy.)
—“Making Summer Herbal Tonics,” WayofLife.net
Personal note: I don’t use any alcohol in my own healing tonics, as you’ll see from my recipes below. Also, please note that I don’t recommend any supplements and/or other products from sources I may reference in my blog posts from this or other websites. Thanks for your understanding.
Healing Tonics from the Traditional Cook Recipe Files
Raw Milk & Cream Shake/Tonic
—Used with permission from Kim Schuette. This very healing tonic serves one and is loaded with maximum nutrition.
Note: Use sour or piimä cream instead of raw cream if you follow the GAPS diet (raw, sour, and piimä cream are best for supporting hormone health). You can make cultured cream from viili, piimä and filmjölk cultures. These are all room-temperature, mesophilic cultures available at Cultures for Health.
2–4 oz. raw organic cream or coconut cream (such as Artisana coconut cream)
3–6 oz. raw milk, kefir, or yogurt, if desired (coconut milk or whole milk yogurt may be used instead)
1 cup berries, fresh or frozen (optional)
2–3 raw organic egg yolks
1 tablespoon or more raw liver, frozen for at least 14 days prior to use
1 teaspoon raw honey
1 tablespoon organic, unrefined coconut oil
Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and process until well blended. Enjoy!
Basic Bone Broth
This recipe is a great base for nutrient dense broth to which you can add almost any herbs or roots. See my blog post “Medicinal Bone Broth for Winter’s Woes” for other recipes and herbal information.
Chicken bone broth: chicken back bones and feet
Beef bone broth: beef oxtails and/or marrow bones
High gelatin broth: 1 pig foot and chicken feet
Fish broth: snapper head and/or bones, or use some other non-oily fish
Add to above ingredients:
1 gallon or more water
½–1 tablespoon organic apple cider
Instructions for chicken, beef, or high gelatin bone broth:
- Place bones of your choice in a slow cooker or a soup pot if you’re making it on the stovetop. Fill with approximately 1 gallon of water (or enough to cover bones). Add apple cider vinegar to help extract the minerals from the bones.
- Set slow cooker on high for first hour. Turn to low for remaining cook time. On the stovetop, allow broth to come to a gentle boil, then lower to a simmer for the duration of the cook time, about 12 hours.
- Remove bones and/or marrow to a large glass bowl to cool. (Separate the marrow from the bone to add back into the broth.) Once the bowl has cooled, store in the refrigerator overnight. The following day, scoop the broth into BPA-free containers.
- Freeze or use a portion of the broth to make a medicinal bone broth soup right away.
Instructions for fish broth:
This requires special cooking instructions. Please see full the recipe in my blog post “Fish Broth and Your Thyroid!”
Note from Maria: I am a Certified Natural Health Professional, CNHP, not a medical doctor. I do not diagnose, prescribe for, treat, or claim to prevent, mitigate, or cure any human diseases. Please see your medical doctor prior to following any recommendations I make in my blogs or on my website.