They could involve individual tonic herbs or a combination of small formulas. In some cases, tonics are made into wines by using alcoholic extraction to obtain the active ingredients of herbs and allow them to keep for a longer period of time. In TCM, wine is considered a ‘guiding’ drug, which enhances and reinforces other drugs, while improving blood circulation at the same time. “It is important to first address the underlying deficiency before applying the appropriate tonic in order to obtain the maximum benefit,” she says. Tonic formulas also help to augment or replenish the body substances when they are deficient or weak, says Tay. In general, herbal tonics help to strengthen the body, aid in sleep and digestion or boost the immune system. 33 epicureasia.com
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