Medicinal

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What are they? Roots, seeds, leaves, beans, bark, berries, teas, extracts, and more. Most often linked to Eastern tradition, medicinal ingredients are becoming increasingly mainstream in the West. Chances are, you already know about ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, and cacao. But, did you know about reishi and chaga mushroom? Or mucuna pruriens? Or ashwagandha? Buying them in ground, powdered form allows you to easily add them to food or drinks.

Why? Food is medicine. In combination with an already healthy, plant-based diet, tonic ingredients will boost the perfomance of vital organs, mental clarity, libido, and overall vitality. Cure your own cold without Advil. Reduce your own bloating without Midol. Or, up your energy levels without coffee.

Where to Buy? Mainstream items can be found at any grocery store. For rarer ingredients, I personally shop around Toronto Chinatown's herb depots. Their prices rival specialty, health-food stores, though sometimes the later will have deals on ingredients. Purchasing online is also a great option. Companies like Jing Herbs  and Dragon Herbs will ship to your home. They key to building a collection of tonic herbs is to stock up whenever, and wherever you find a deal. Ie: I found extremely cheap, loose-leaf tea at an expensive shop, so I bought in bulk. You will only use a tablespoon at a time (at most) in each recipe, so don't be afraid to store the surplus in a dry pantry, or the freezer.

Adaptogens are a category of tonic herbs which possess dual-directional abilities. Like their name suggests, they help a person adapt to stress factors by encouraging the body back towards its homeostasis. That means, whether you need to be "lifted" or calmed down, ataptogenic herbs will intelligently function that way in the body. Neat, eh? Ashwagandha, euleuthoro, maca, rhodiola, panax ginseng, schisandra, and more qualify as adaptogens.

Do They Actually Work? Oh yeah.

 


Tonic Herbs 


ASHWAGANDHA
Taste: Earthy, “like a horse”
Properties: “Indian ginseng,” adaptogenic, antioxidant, arthritis, inflammation, anxiety, libido, fertility, thinking, ageing




ASTRAGALUS
Taste : Sweet, warm, bitter, mild-licorice 
Properties: Adaptogenic root, ageing, stress, boosts immune system, energy




CHAGA MUSHROOM
Taste: Mocha, tangy
Properties: Antioxidant (highest concentration on earth), anti-cancer, blood-pressure, immunity, liver function, hypoglycaemia


CISTANCHE
Taste: Salty, sour
Properties: “Nature’s Viagra,” energy, libido, and kidneys

EUCOMMIA BARK 
Taste: Bitter 
Properties: Lower back pain, knees, adrenals, immunity, endocrine system, urinary system 

ELEUTHERO
Taste: Sweet, pungent, warm, bitter
Properties: “Siberian ginseng,” immunity, energy, stamina, antiviral, cardiovascular function, cholesterol,




GINSENG
Taste: Sweet, bitter, spicy
Properties: Vitality, immunity, alertness, stress, cognitive function, digestion, hypertension, cardiovascular function

HE SHOU WU
Taste: Sweet, bitter 
Properties: Fights ageing, tonifies kidney and liver, boosts jing, nourishes blood, fortifies muscles and bones, lower-back and knees, enhances sex-drive, fertility  

LUCUMA
Taste:  Butterscotch, sweet-potato
Properties: Anti-inflammatory, potassium, calcium, fibre, stabilizes blood-sugar, digestion




RHODIOLA
Taste: Rose
Properties: Stamina, mind, memory, cardiovascular function, antioxidant, liver function

MACA ROOT
Taste: Maple, rich, nutty, bitter
Properties: Fights fatigue, energy-enhancing, immunity, memory, fertility, hormonal balance



MUCUNA
Taste: Bitter, bark-y 
Properties:  L-DOPA precursor to dopamine, DMT, treats depression, increases libido, improves sleeve, muscle mass and bone density, optimizes testosterone production

REISHI MUSHROOM
Taste: Bitter
Properties: Boosts immune system, “mushroom of immortality,” antibacterial, anti-viral, antioxidant, prevents cancer, longevity





SCHISANDRA BERRY 
Taste: All five flavours (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent) 
Properties: Balancing herb, memory, liver, digestion, liver, skin, (jing, qi, and shen), concentration, coordination, endurance, aphrodisiac, athletic performance (especially running)



Teas 

DANDELION
Properties: Diuretic, laxative, digestive, reduces joint-pain 

EPIMEDIUM (Horny Goat Weed)
Properties: Aphrodisiac, libido, cardiovascular health, prevents diabetes

HORSETAIL
Properties: Good for kidneys and bladder, brittle fingernails, and bones

NETTLE
Properties: Stimulates lymph system, helps relieve menstruation pain, inflammation, supports adrenals 

OATSTRAW
Properties: Calcium, anxiety, physical performance, cardiovascular health

VALERIAN ROOT
Properties: Induces sleep, relieves anxiety

YERBA MATE 
Properties: Anti-oxidants, focus, mental clarity, caffeine




Other Ingredients

ACAI
Properties: Antioxidant, super berry, slows aging, mental function, blood flow, libido

BEE POLLEN 
Properties: Energy, metabolsim, skin, vitamines A, B, C, D, & E, amino acids, aphrodisiac

CACAO
Properties: Magnesium (relaxation), blood circulation, theobromine in cacao is a vasodilator (quicker delivery of nutrients), antioxidants, iron, chromium, vanadium, copper, zinc, and phosphorous

CHIA SEEDS
Properties: High in protein and omega fatty acids, energy, detoxification, hydration, weight-loss, brain function, and nervous system

COCONUT OIL
Properties: Thyroid, skin, immune system, heart, brain function, energy, supports metabolism

GOJI BERRIES
Properties: Anti-aging, antioxidant, energy, skin, nails, B vitamins, energy

HEMP SEEDS
Properties: Essential fatty acids: Omega 3, 6 and GLA; easily digestible, vitamin E. 

HONEY
Properties: Prevents cancer and heart disease, helps gastrointestinal disorders, throat irritation, antibacterial, antifungal, energy 



Medicinal Spices

CAYENNE
Properties: Arthritis, muscle pain, anti-inflammatory, relieves congestion, anti-diabetes

CINNAMON
Properties: Balances blood sugar, reduces heart disease risk factors, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, improves sensitivity to insulin (regulates metabolism), anti-cancer, helps urinary tract, teeth, and gums 

CLOVES 
Properties: Contains eugenol = anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, improves insulin function, numbing agent (good for toothaches), anti-bacterial 

GINGER 
Properties: Digestion, intestinal tracts, anti-inflammatory, lowers cholesterol, sinuses, nausea, aphrodisiac

NUTMEG 
Properties: Anti-depressant, insomnia, anxiety, joint pain, teeth, gums, blood-circulation, kidneys, brain function 

PEPPERMINT
Properties: Soothes digestion, helps IBS, relieves allergies and asthma 

SAGE
Properties: Memory, mental clarity, colds and fevers, digestion, soothes symptoms of menstruation and menopause  

TURMERIC
Properties: Anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, increases antioxidant capacity, brain-function, liver-function, cardiovascular function, arthritis, Alzheimers, depression 



1 comment:

  1. This is great! Can't find it anywhere else on the net!

    ReplyDelete