We are continuing our Three Treasures series with a discussion of Qi and tonics to boost your energy and vitality by supporting this Treasure.
Unlike the Shen principle, or the Jing treasure, Qi is well-known and easy to understand. In fact, “easy” is one of the best adjectives to describe Qi- it is easy to feel, easy to direct, easy to spend, and fortunately, easy to replenish. This ease of movement, around, through, and out of us is one of Qi’s defining characteristics, and it is considered crucial not to block or impede the flow of Qi, but to allow it to move through you freely.
The ancient philosopher Men Ke wrote of Qi:
Place no obstacle in its path and it will fill the space between Heaven and Earth.
This speaks of the expansive nature of Qi, and also of its abundance in our world if we but direct our will to gather and move it. In daily life, Qi is replenished by all healthy activities: sleep, eating healthy food, interaction with nature, and inner cultivation of righteousness and integrity. Qi is the vital force that flows though all creation, and so is the very unity of all creation, and keeping this connection always in mind keeps us connected to an endless source of Qi.
As both food and medicine, plants are an abundant source of Qi, and when prepared in a living way, their lives connect ours to that of Nature all around. Some of our favourite Qi tonics make excellent Spagyrics, since the processing we use connects with their intelligence and tonic properties on a deep level.
Qi Somalixir is a complex formula of Eastern herbs to support Qi as a source of vitality now, and as a supply of long-term nourishment for longevity. It is uplifting to mood and body, and supports the vitality for many hours per dose, without any crash or depletion later.
Schizandra is a very sour berry used as an overall tonic throughout Asia. It is a source of all three treasures, Shen, Qi, And Jing, and is one of the strongest but most intelligent stimulating herbs we work with. Schizandra really gives a boost as soon as it is taken, but it is tonic to the adrenals, and so is not working at their expense. A true adaptogen, Schizandra is available as a Spagyric Essence for powering though work, and as a Spiritualized Essence for tonic and adaptogenic use.
Another uplifting energy and Qi tonic is the world-famous root, Ginseng. For our eroSoma Nectar of Ginseng, we work with Red Ginseng, considered the strongest and most revered of the tonic roots. Ginseng is an adaptogen, adjusting the body’s responses in whatever direction is needed to maintain balance. Often, this means energizing and moving vitality throughout the system, but as an intelligent tonic, Ginseng can also have a calming effect when needed.
Prince Ginseng is not botanically a ginseng, but it is a root with wonderful tonic properties, and it is one of our favourite allies. Uplifting to body, mind, and mood, Prince Ginseng’s beet-like taste shows its nourishing, food-like qualities. We love Prince Ginseng because we can take it all day, even late in the day, work hard and be productive as long as we need to, and then fall asleep and rest deeply.
Also on the Yin side of Qi herbs, Codonopsis is a deep tonic root that is so delicious that its nutritive powers are obvious on first taste! Rich and sweet like a parsnip, Codonopsis builds the Qi through the fluids of the body, especially the blood and lymph. It is a rebuilding tonic, used after depleting events such as childbirth or surgery, and our Codonopsis Spiritualized Essence is a favourite tonic for women with heavy menstruation, especially combined with Nettles or Shilajit for iron, and Oregon Grape as a liver/absorption tonic.
Finally, a lesser-known but equally valuable tonic is the herb Gynostemma, also known as Jiaogulan, a bitter green in the pumpkin family. Native names of this plant translate as “magic grass”, and it is used as a tonic throughout South Asia. Gynostemma contains many of the same tonic polysaccharides as Ginseng, giving it the same adaptogenic balancing properties. It has special affinities for the nervous system, being calming or stimulating as needed; and to the digestive system, as indicated by its bitterness. Our Gynostemma Spiritualized Essence is an uplifting tonic, energizing but not too stimulating, building to vitality over time.