May 9, 2012 by theoghartiens
There are days when I just want a quick pick-me-up, and over the past few weeks I have been using Yerba Mate tea (which has caffeine) or steeping the variety of (non-caffeinated) loose teas that I’ve been sampling. Something about a warm mug of tea with a little honey and almond milk just makes me happy. It did not occur to me that making a tonic could be as easy!
Tonics are an age-old way of adding lots of goodness into one cup. I would have never started drinking them had I not watched this video – I love Dara Dubinet (she is so uplifting and encouraging!) and she has several tonic videos. Despite my interest, the word “tonic” sounded mystical and complicated, so I never expected to be drinking them. However, I woke up feeling chilly this morning (the temperatures were actually in the low 60’s!), and wanted something really warm and filling. So I broke out my tea stash and herbal powders and whipped one up! It was that easy and VERY energizing!
I’m thankful that I gave up caffeine last year and had been drinking decaf for several months prior to embarking on my cleaner-living lifestyle. I know that many people struggle with that incessant need for caffeine everyday – it’s a bitch! Stop drinking your daily cup and end up with a mid-morning headache and terrible case of “I hate everything!” I have been there….and it sucks! For those of you who really want to kick the habit, tea and herbal tonics can give you that same energy in a cup – without the negative side effects! In addition, adding a cleansing or “detox” tea to your tonic can really help with a sluggish digestive system and aid in weight-loss and overall improved health. I know many of you aren’t on my juice and smoothie bandwagon (but you should be, lol!), but perhaps adding some tonics to your life will help with your quest for better health?
So what goes in a tonic? Well, anything you like, really! You can choose the tea, the herbs, the type of sugar. I’ve done a lot of reading about different types of teas, and there are so many, it can be overwhelming. Dandy Blend seems popular with raw foodists, but I have yet to try it. I hear it’s a good replacement for coffee and it’s made of water-soluble extracts of roasted roots of dandelion, chicory and beets, and the grains of barley and rye. Nothing else is added. Green teas also seem very popular, as do a variety of herbs. I started my tonic with a blend of detox tea and Yerba Mate. I also added Reishi mushroom powder. Reishi comes in a powder form and can be taken daily, or mixed into your tea or smoothie. It is an adaptogenic and longevity herb that helps to support and regulate immune function, protect the cardio vascular system, and support and protect the liver. Another common adaptogenic herb that you have probably heard about is Ginseng.
Here is what I used for my “detox” tonic today:
1 scoop Dragon Herbs “Tonic Alchemy”
2 capsules (powder from) Host Defense Reishi
1 bag Triple Leaf “Detox” tea
2 teaspoons loose leaf Zhi tea Ambrosia
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons soaked Chia seeds (soak for up to two hours prior to using in your tonic)
1 tsp organic chocolate extract
1 tablespoon raw Round Rock honey
2 tablespoons coconut manna
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons Goji berries
I brewed the teas in my teapot and let steep for about five minutes. To make the tonic, add the powders, berries, sweeteners and coconut oil to your blender. Pour in hot tea. Blend until creamy. Add Chia seeds and blend another 30 seconds. Enjoy! For extra sweetness, you can add 1/2 dropper liquid vanilla Stevia.
Keep in mind that this is a cleansing tonic, meaning you will need to be close to a restroom if you choose to use the Detox tea! You could certainly make this drink with any type of tea that you like and skip the detox. The overall affect of this tonic for me was a nice, clean buzz (no jitters!) that kept me going all morning. I had a green juice about two hours after the tonic, and lunch about four hours afterwards, and did not feel tired or hungry all morning. Plus, it was hot and delicious – just what I was hoping for!
So, my first adventure turned out well and I had to share. I hope you’ll give tonics a try – I am hooked! 🙂