Among their countless benefits for your health, there are important components of tonic herbs to keep in mind when considering the side effects of personal supplementation. In this article we will overview how tonic herbs are classified, how they react with our bodies, and common misconceptions associated with the “side effects” of tonic herbs.
In order for an herb to be considered a “tonic,” it must be non-toxic, in which case would provide no known side effects, assuming it is a high-grade product and taken in a proper dosage. In more recent years, the phrase “adaptogen” has been created, as it is another classification of tonic herbs. As its name so eloquently indicates, adaptogens promote the overall purpose of homeostasis, through aiding your body in “adapting” to both your outside environment as well as the imbalances within. This means that a person with excessive energy could take an adaptogen and experience a calming effect without feeling drowsy or sedated, whereas another person who experiences fatigue could also take the same adaptogen and find themselves in a wakeful state of energy without being overly stimulated. Adaptogenic tonics are bidirectional, not meant to specifically force treatment of your body in one way or another, being capable of both increasing and decreasing bodily processes. This is an amazing trait of tonic herbs that is physically impossible to replicate in conventional medication. There is often a laundry list of side effects attached to medications because they can only move in one direction, having one purpose for your body and blindly disregarding whatever other local processes that may interfere with its treatment.
Now that we’ve established that tonic herbs are non-toxic and adaptogenic, with no side effects, it is important to know what to expect when taking it. Since it is inevitable that toxins have infiltrated our bodies, through food, air, environmental pollutions, medications, alcohol, drugs or any other nook they could squeeze themselves through, when you begin taking a tonic herbal supplement, you will begin to detox. Its adaptogenic properties and strong antioxidant properties will team up to restore balance of your internal organs and processes and clean up your system. The side effects of detoxing are often confused with the side effects of that which is inhibiting the detox. Detox symptoms vary depending on how toxic your body is. Diarrhea, headaches, skin outbreaks, fatigue, hunger, or unwanted weight gain or loss are initial and temporary indicators of your body’s release of toxins. More serious side effects of detox could lead to illness, as toxins are their strongest when being evicted, as opposed to latently stagnating and taking a holiday deep within your body.
Lastly, and possible most importantly, if you are on any medications, it is important to consult a health care professional before taking any herbal supplements. Naturally, a relationship between bidirectional adaptogen and monodirectional medication with specific purposes and side effects should be both consulted and monitored. The power of herbal tonics is best discovered in a stand-alone fashion. Also, we should take note of the obvious principle that no one thing works for every body all the time. For example, we all have our own taste and appetite for food, and the same principle applies to herbs. We are fortunate to have access to so many amazing and beneficial tonic herbs, so it is important to remember this while using common sense and paying attention to our bodies.
Tonic herbs have so many wonderful properties, and when taken with proper preparation, dose, consult, and grade, you can truly witness your body’s journey to homeostasis. The road of detoxification certainly will have its bumps, so just remember to drink plenty of water, get a good amount of sleep and stay active, as all of these things will help to not only expedite this process, but also lessen the symptoms of the detox. Once your body begins to regulate and starts to protect itself from free radicals, you will not only feel great, but also begin to witness all of the wonderful, safe, and long-term benefits tonic herbs are capable of.