Your mind is your life. Mastering your mind is central to successful, happy living. Tonic herbs and superfoods have been used by humans since the dawn of civilization to support the mind. And now we can add some wonderful nutraceuticals to the list of dietary supplements we can consume to vivify, calm and expand our minds. Some herbs are believed to strengthen the mind, and some of these of course are classified as major tonic herbs for that very reason. Here are some of the functions of the mind that tonic herbs, superfoods and modern nutraceuticals can support.
To think is to be human (no doubt some animals really do think – but not in the league with us). We can proactively reason, calculate, contemplate, project, wonder, imagine, draw conclusions, formulate complex theories, solve complex problems and make logical guesses. Several tonic herbs have long been valued in the East for supporting thinking.
Duanwood Reishi, Schizandra, Himalayan Rhodiola, Deer Antler, Red Ginseng, wild Chinese Ginseng and wild American Ginseng have been used by countless masters to help them think. These are natural nootropics (substances that promote thinking).
Learning is a combination of memorizing combined with an ample amount of reasoning and logic. This allows the mind to tap stored knowledge and apply it, or at least describe it. Ginseng and tea have both been shown to improve learning in students. Other tonic herbs have been used for centuries for learning.
Our memories are vast and important. We store millions of memories, but memories can fade away, quickly or over time. Herbs and teas can improve memory. It has been proven clinically in the United States that tea improves memory. Trans-Resveratrol can significantly improve learning and memory ability in animal models.
The capacity to focus makes the difference between winning and losing, succeeding and failing, creating and quitting. There are two aspects of focusing: (1) concentrating on the matter at handle, and (2) not allowing the mind to be distracted by external events or by internal chatter. Focusing has been a central concept to masters of all sorts for millennia, especially for spiritual masters like monks, but also for leaders and warriors. Here are herbs that have been specifically used to promote focus, by supporting both aspects mentioned above. Ginseng, Schizandra and Tea have always been the go-to natural supplements to promote focus. Tea contains both caffeine and L-Theanine. L-Theanine is a world class focus-promoting nutraceutical. We get it when we drink a cup of high quality tea. It is also available in serious-dose amounts in Tao in a Bottle. Note, Dragon Herb’s L-Theanine is actually extracted from green tea – most brands of L-Theanine on the market are grown with yeast and are thus inferior. Tao in a Bottle contains 100 mg of L-Theanine per capsule.
Meditation is the path to enlightenment. Every culture in the Far East developed sophisticated and deep meditation techniques based on profound philosophical understanding of human nature and the universe. Meditation requires the ability to (1) empty or center your mind without falling asleep, (2) to focus your attention on parts of the body or on a universal principle or on a sound or series of sounds with meaning, or on a visual image such as a mandala or the face of a guru, (3) the ability to maintain bodily composure for a period of time, and to breath in a controlled and relaxed manner. Every form of meditation will have its own idiosyncratic requirements, but all of the requirements can be supported by tea and tonic herbs.
Modern science has been investigating meditation and many studies support its benefits in terms of health, mood balancing, sleep support, increased creativity and so on. There has never been a meditator in Asia that did not also consume tea or tonic herbs. Tea is double-direction – it promotes both wakeful concentration and calmness at the same time. Many tonic herbs also have double-direction activity because they are adaptogenic. Here are herbs and teas you should consider for supporting your meditation – you would be joining the masters. The herbs will circulate to your brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, chakras, dantian (Taoist energy centers).
Being wakeful is not always easy when you’re a student or perform your work at a desk. Coffee and tea are the world’s go to mental energy enhancers. We also suggest a couple of great mental energy tonics that are not caffeinated. Himalayan Rhodiola, Schizandra, Ginseng, Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng) can enhance mental energy as well.
Calming the mind is the goal of every meditator, yoga practitioner and agitated person on earth. A “calm mind” is not the same as a “sleepy mind.” Calmness is a positive attribute, especially when one is under stress and duress. Chinese herbology has mastered the art of calming the mind naturally and wisely. Here are some great calming herbs and formulations. These products promote relaxation without causing drowsiness.
Mental stimulants can obviously stimulate thinking in bursts. Tea and coffee, both based on caffeine, are the world’s leading mental stimulants. Tea is extremely healthy. Coffee is a mixed bag – very healthy in some regards, but also a little unhealthy because of its adrenal-draining action. Dragon herbs offers these two herbs. Here are some Dragon Herbs products that support powerful thinking. Tea also contains an amino acid known as L-Theanine that is relaxing but mentally focusing.
Tonic herbs make you more creative. After consuming high quality tonic herbs for a few days, you are likely to experience a burst in creativity. Great genius take tonic herbs to support their creativity. Here are some of our best choices.
There is no higher purpose in life that acquiring wisdom. Everybody gains experience, but not everyone (by a long shot) acquires wisdom. The tonic herbs are directly associated with the development of wisdom throughout Asian history. Here are the herbs of wisdom.
Many masters and gurus in the Far East have taught that it is possible to develop your intuition to full capacity. This is accomplished through meditation and training. To support this process of intuitive training, you may consume some of the following herbs and superfoods.
There are three “Treasures,” - Jing, Qi and Shen. However, in Chinese spiritual philosophy, there is a fourth Treasure – it is Will. Our will drives us and keeps us on the path of spiritual evolution and on the path of success in whatever we are doing. Taoist and Zen masters knew of herbs that strengthen one’s Will.