Make Your Own Wine Tonic
Tonics have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for a very long time. It is not unusual to see bottles of rice wine with herbs floating in them, ginseng being one of the most common (seen above) as it has known energy and immune boosting benefits. Recently there has been a trend towards bitters which share some similarities with wine tonics and historically have been used as a digestive aid. Wine tonics are easy to make and customizable to particular ailments and palettes. Typically rice wine is used, however a good quality vodka or brandy may also be used. Herbal tonics can be taken daily to strengthen the body, aid in sleep or digestion and boost the immune system. Herb selection can be tailored to the need of the individual. A small amount is ingested each day somewhere in the range of 20ml – 60ml. The simple steps to making your own TCM tonic are outlined below.
1. Gather the herbs for the desired effect, tonifying blood and qi, regulating qi and vision. Pictured below clockwise from left is nu zhen zi, dang gui, sheng di huang, ju hua, ling zhi and zhan zha in the middle.
2. Break up herbs into small pieces or grind and combine with chosen alcohol, either rice wine, vodka or brandy. Cover herbs completely with alcohol. There should be about an inch of alcohol above the herbs.
Be sure to label the jar with all ingredients, including volume and percentage of wine plus the date. You may also want to include the grams for each herb. One traditional way of determining the ratio of alcohol to herbs is having 1 g of herbs to 5 ml of alcohol. Using this ratio 100g of your herbal mix would be enough for 500 ml of vodka (40% or 80 proof).
3. Shake jar daily for a few minutes at a time. Store jar in a cool, dark place for 4 – 6 weeks. After adequate soaking time strain alcohol from herbs into a sterile bottle. Label bottle with ingredients and date. Keep stored in a cool and dark place.
Take in small doses 20ml – 60ml daily or as needed. I prefer to mix the wine with a small amount of warm water to get the full flavour of the herbs.
The information provided here is for educational purposes only. Always consult a licensed health care professional before adding any therapy, exercise, herb or supplement to your diet or health regime.