I have a deep respect for Chinese herbs. I used to think they were strictly medicinal in nature, a remedy to get well. For years, my Chinese acupuncturist would recommend a few needle sessions, and a less-than-delicious muddy tea of roots and bark to detoxify my system. The ‘treatment’ was natural and it worked – quickly. I was able to say goodbye to antibiotics as a remedy and get over my belief that antibiotics were the only way. Then one day, I met Ron Teeguarden (www.dragonherbs.com), a master Chinese herbalist, educator and owner of Dragon Herbs on Robertson in Los Angeles. Ron introduced me to Tonic herbalism. In Chinese medicine there are three classes of herbs: superior, general and inferior. Basically, inferior and general herbs are medicinal and are used to correct or help prevent an illness or imbalance. Superior (or Tonic) herbs can be taken regularly (like SUPERFOOD) for longevity and wellness. Using tonic herbs peeked my interest because our food supply is not what it used to be. We can no longer live on healthy greens, organic grains and sustainable protein and achieve radiant health. And radiant health means radiant skin.
Although the concept of using tonic herbs is new in our society, it is universally accepted in Asian cultures. Tonic herbalism preaches oneness with nature and the balance of our mind, body and spirit. Ron taught me that tonic herbs should be a part of our overall nutritional program. These herbs nurture the Three Treasures: Jing (Essence), Chi (Energy) and Shen (Spirit), increase adaptability, help overcome stress and help regulate vital functions. Tonic herbs also strengthen our ability to rid the body of wastes and toxins (so important in the world today). Most of the herbs, such as Gynostemma, Pearl, Reishi and Goji Berries (I take them all) – and many others – have powerful antioxidant activity, which we all know protects us and keeps us healthy and young. What I love most is that tonic herbs promote our psychological and spiritual growth – improving clarity of mind, energy and intuition. Tonic herbs also help us achieve our full potential and promote beauty from within – Outer Beauty, Inner Health. Certain tonic herbs are amazingly effective at protecting youthful beauty by enhancing inner health at profound levels. Pearl, Schizandra, Goji Berries, Snow Lotus and Longan are all very famous in Asia for keeping the skin pure, radiant and soft.
So it’s not just about eating a high plant-based diet or applying the most advanced skincare ingredients. The road to radiant health also leads to herbs like reishi, chaga, schizandra and goji berries. Be aware of quality. That’s why I love Dragon Herbs. The herbs come from Di Tao locations, which means “authentic source”. We use a few of the herbs in our products. My greatest gift is understanding the magic of these herbs, what they can do, and how taking tonic herbs super-activates our potential. It’s not complicated like I used to think. Herbs come in the form of teas, tinctures, capsules and snacks. After all (and I remind myself of this regularly), we are what we eat.