Sip on this potent herbal tea daily for anti-aging and increased vitality.
By Rehmannia Dean Thomas
Ancient Chinese history is replete with tales of wise elders (men and women) who lived as recluses in the high forests of China’s five sacred mountain ranges. Legend states they attained immortality by taking elixirs of special herbs. Scroll paintings depict old sages drinking tea or collecting herbs in the forest, often accompanied by a young apprentice.
In 2975 BCE, Shennong wrote the first book on herbs and their therapeutic actions, proclaiming that many of them could promote a very long life. Indeed, tonic herbs are still revered to offer long-term benefits for our health when used along with a nutrient-rich diet. These rejuvenating and empowering herbs are said to tonify (bring to homeostasis) the body, mind, and spirit. They comprise the superior class of herbs in Chinese medicine. Tonic herbs offer holistic health benefits and are considered safe for long-term daily consumption.
Tonic herbs can help counter stress, rejuvenate the kidneys and adrenals, assist metabolism, strengthen blood, fortify the reproductive and adaptive energies, and support spiritual well-being. They can also lengthen our lives and improve our vitality.
Tonic herbs can help us adapt to the stresses of modern life. Constant stress can chip and wear on our health. When our adrenals are taxed, we have less energy for life’s endurances and excitations. Our immunity and other defense mechanisms, libido, sense of adventure, and creative drives may be depleted by stress; physical, emotional, and spiritual. Spiritual suppression may block us from realizing our higher calling. This kind of stress may stem from past hurt or doubt, and can cause a proverbial dark cloud to block our light. Over time, the Chinese masters found herbs that tonify the spirit, enhancing general health.
The following herbs are highly regarded for their empowering qualities. Long-term consumption can help us gain enduring equilibrium of body, mind and spirit.
- Reishi mushroom (Chinese; Lingzhi) (Lat. Ganoderma lucidum) tonifies spiritual clarity (Shen), and is called the “Mushroom of spiritual immortality.” Reishi has also been found to support the body’s protective energies—the immune system. The beta 1-3 glucans found in reishi are a unique class of polysaccharides that embolden the white blood cells to phagocytize unhealthy elements in the blood. Shennong stated of reishi, “Protracted taking may make the body light, prevent senility, and prolong life so as to make one an immortal.”
- Astragalus (Huang Qi) supports general immunity and “upright Chi.” Astragalus is a premier adaptogenic herb, helping to fortify and balance the adaptive and defensive energies.
- Ho Sho Wu (Polygonum multiflorum) is purported to return gray hair to its natural pigment by tonifying the kidney and adrenal meridian. Ho Sho Wu is the premier anti-aging and rejuvenation herb.
- Rehmannia glutenosa (Shu Di Huang) is another excellent anti-aging Jing herb, called “The kidney’s own food.” It also fortifies blood. It is used in fertility formulas.
- Goji (Lycium Chinensis) is a nutrient-packed berry, high in beta carotene and other antioxidants. This is one of the best longevity super-herbs.
Schizandra (Wu Wei Tze) is a superior wild berry that is tonifies all five organ systems according to Chinese medicine. It is also considered a beauty herb in Asia.
- Jujube date (Hong Zao) is used to harmonize herbal formulas and nourishes metabolism in the spleen meridian (digestive organs/glands).
Note: The herbs in this tea formula are considered safe for long-term daily consumption when prepared and used traditionally. Between one and two cups of tea daily is considered beneficial for assistance in general health maintenance. Yet, one should not rely entirely on this tea to produce suitable health. Drink this tea in conjunction with fresh green juices, a healthy living-food diet, and sufficient daily exercise.
Add all herbs except schizandra into pot (glass or clay preferred) with one gallon of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to lowest simmer and cover pot.
Cook 1-2 hours. Add schizandra in last three minutes only.
Allow to cool 1-2 hours. Strain and drink two to three cups daily.
Keep the tea in fridge and keep the leftover herbs in a separate sealed container and refrigerate.
You may cook the herbs again, same as above (you don’t need to separate the schizandra in the second cooking).
Rehmannia Dean Thomas is an initiate into the Gate of Life lineage of Taoist Tonic Herbalism. He is the author of Healing Thresholds, Raw Chi, Elixirs of Immortality, Shilajit; The Resin of Life, and a novel, The Hsien. He is creator and president of Shaman Shack Herbs (shamanshackherbs.com) and his online course on Tonic Herbalism can be found at: GateofLife.org.