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Making Summer Herbal Tonics

Hot and steamy, summer is a time for fun!  Whether it’s lazing in a hammock, hanging by the pool, or enjoying the night sky, summer tonics add a healthy twist of fun. Easy to make, herbal tonics are cheap and nourishing!  What goes into making a tonic can be as experimental as you are.  Way of Life carries a great selection of tonic herbs for your picking!

Try adding dried western and/or eastern herbs, fresh garden herbs, fresh picked fruit, and H2O or your favorite spirit.
“Simple tonics can be found throughout your back yard garden,” urges master herbal wizard formulator Paul Gaylon “these simple herbs act to help modulate the body’s natural immune system, cleanse, enhance memory, increase energy, and simply nourish health”.  Gaylon uses both local and global herbs to make synergetic tonics. Each herb offers healthy properties, but when combined, the synergy of interaction propels individual herbs into a powerhouse for enhancing wellness.  Try his liver tonic in a capsule or special order his tonic tinctures.

Summer Herbal Tonic Recipes:

Sun Tea Tonics are non-alcoholic and are ready to use in 1-2 hours.  Elixirs include alcohol and are more powerful when ages for 2-4 weeks.

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) STRENGTHING 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).

4) LONGEVITY SYNERGY ELIXIR: The following Chinese herbs are from the Global market and can be purchased at Way of Life. Make this an Elixir (not a sun tea): Schizandra Fruit (enhances & nourishes all fluids), Lycium/Goji Berries (longevity), Longan Fruit (strengthens endurance), fresh tree ripened plums, vanilla bean. The Elixir Spirit to use is Brandy.

MAKING SUN TONICS: Use fresh or dried leaf, flower, berries. Cut or crush herbs in a large open mouth ball jar (be sure to write the amounts if you want to repeat).  Pour to cover with fresh filtered water.  To  release the herbal properties, place the jar for a few hours in the full sun. Strain liquid, dilute to taste or drink as a potent “green” beverage. Refrigerate extra or until ready to serve. Serve with a sprig of rosemary, strawberry, or lemon slice.

MAKING ELIXER TONICS: Chop fresh or dried herbs ( leaf, roots, flower or berries may be used), fresh fruit such as berries, plums, figs, etc. and place in wide-mouth glass jar.  Cover with 3 times as much Spirit.  Store  in cool dark place for 2-4 weeks.  Check once a week, turning upside down a couple of time to stir up the herbal elixir and top off if liquid evaporates.  When ready, strain and store in cool liquor colored bottle. Serve over crushed or cubed ice or dilute with H2O gassed mineral water, or fresh juice. Add a sprig of mint, rose petals, or lemon peel.

Resource for more Tonic making ideas: Healing Tonics 101 Herbal Concoctions by Jeanine Pollak.