It's How You Take A Tonic July 06, 2018 21:20

Really, it is a simple idea.

Whatever IT is, a tonic builds to those goals by making our body, mind and spirit stronger.

By two ways, either;

  • Effects
  • Benefits

After a while, taking a tonic will come naturally.

Tonics may be perplexing at first, because tonics are different than other botanicals, but the best way to take a tonic is being consistent with dosing.

That makes them work better.

The more consistently we take a tonic the more we reap the effects and benefits, because tonics are building over the period of time that we take them which will enhance their effects.

You see, the benefits build over time. Effects are immediate.

One may get wonderful short term effects, but we also want those really good benefits that are ripened by patience.

  • To get effects: Take a large enough dose at one time during the day.
  • To get benefits: Take a small dose several times throughout the day.
  • To get effects and benefits: Take one or two small doses and one large enough dose throughout the day.

Tonic effects can be boosting to different kinds of performance and various demands of activity. So, here we see timing is a working key to unlock a tonic's stored potential.

Also, what we take with a tonic will work by synergism of their similar effects and enhance the overall experience.

The benefits are naturally working each time we take a tonic so they make gradual changes to the body. Each step is made with each dose.

They are building to benefits when taken with food, especially complete meals full of protein, healthy fats and other supplements geared towards your goals.

By being consistent we will get the best of tonics.

That is what makes a tonic work for you.

Tonic Herbalism March 12, 2016 17:18

  1. Tonic Herbalism: The Three Treasures - Jing - Qi - Shen
  2. The Principle of Yin and Yang
  3. The Theory of Five Elements
  4. What is Qi?

Tonic Herbalism: The Three Treasures - Jing - Qi - Shen

The extensive multi-faceted science of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Tonic Herbalism recognizes three fundamental substances, or treasures, that make up our body, mind and spirit. Foundational in nature, these substances are precious to life on all levels of functioning and being. These have been validated for thousands of years and by modern research as a viable method of understanding, in a broad way, how our bodies work and what they may require in the ways of nutrition, exercise, study, and any other relevant activity. The keys to longevity, optimal health, strength, and our capacity to love is affected by the availability and balance of these three treasures. They work synergistically, by being mutually interactive and supportive of each other. Without one of these treasures we will feel less than optimal health and may even achieve an imbalanced dis-eased state of affairs.

Tonic Adaptogens Contain the Three Treasures Locked Within.

1st Treasure - Jing - Essence

Our constitutional lifelong vitality is a direct reflection of how much Jing we have within us. We are born with our individual constitution, and we have the ability to use and develop our Jing over our lifetimes. With little Jing we are weak and cannot resist stress well without a toll being taken upon our health. With much Jing we are strong and can easily overcome challenges in life. Jing is closely associated with glandular and hormonal health and output. It is associated with regeneration, growth, and the power and drive or our sexuality. Jing is found at the base of our spine in our sexual organs, kidneys and adrenals.

A premier Jing tonic is Deer Antler Velvet

2nd Treasure - Qi - Energy

One's day to day energy levels are related to the power of our Qi. The activity of our metabolism and depth of our motivation is the associated with how much Qi is circulating within our internal organs. We have several different types of Qi throughout the body that nourish us, protects us, and give us action. Qi is developed directly from everything we eat and every breath we take. It is most closely associated with digestive, assimilative and respiratory functions as well as our overall immune function. Qi is felt and experienced by our stomach, spleen and lungs.

A premier Qi Tonic is Red Ginseng

3rd Treasure - Shen - Spirit

The manifestation of our emotional, mental, and spiritual health is known as Shen. Summed up simply and quickly it is our Joy-of-Life. Who we are as a personality and the coherence of our thoughts is found in the power of our Shen. Those who are timid, confused, and ruled by their own emotions have little Shen, while those who are expressive, intelligent, and have compassionate control contain plentiful Shen. The depth of our feelings and our capacity for love and bliss are in perfect relation to how much Shen we hold within our hearts as seen by the sparkle in our eyes.

A premier Shen Tonic is Reishi Mushroom

One Treasure Supports Each Other Treasure

Each treasure alone does not make us a complete physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual human being. But the interplay of all the treasures give the strength, energy, and passion to live a full life, in the now, with profound happiness. Jing will be unable to circulate without Qi and ripen into full life-force without Shen. Qi will have no power behind it without Jing and the expressiveness of Shen. We cannot feel the depth of our Shen unless we first fill our Jing to capacity and nourish our Qi.

Many of the most important tonics contain at least one of the three treasures to assist in stress adaptation. The premier tonics contain two, or all three of the treasures, so that a single tonic may have the ability to raise our overall being into greater capacities of health and wellbeing.

The Principle of Yin and Yang

Within the culture, art, philosophy and spirits of the oriental people their is an intrinsic unity to everything - a oneness to all creation. All things and all processes are infinitely interconnected in the cosmic dance of the macrocosm of planets, stars and galaxies, the microcosm of the subatomic, atomic and microbiologic, and even our realm of life and the human organism.

The influences of this unifying theory of all aspects of being is first recognized and understood in the original division of two polarizing forces in the great principle of yin-yang. This is easily seen in cold and hot, take and give, pull and push and the spiritual principle of karma - reaction and action. Even more interesting is, that because of unity, yin and yang are not mutually exclusive. This actualizes the cyclic conceptualization of yin-yang in the taiji, that to keep the polarities charged and lively, we will find the yin within the yang and the yang within the yin. The yin-yang symbol easily expresses this with the fish and eye of each energy.

The manifestations are nearly infinite and woven into the fabric of tonic adaptogens and how we may apply their healing actions and benefits into our own lives and circumstances.


The Yin-Yang Symbol - Taiji - White is Yang and Black is Yin.
One can always find Yin within Yang and Yang within Yin.

Manifestation of the Yin Energy:

  • Black
  • Cold
  • Dark
  • Form (Blood)
  • Potential
  • Receptive
  • Rest
  • Descending
  • Inward
  • Contracting
  • Space
  • Moon
  • Female
  • Earth (Jing)

Manifestation of the Yang Energy:

  • White
  • Hot
  • Bright
  • Energy (Qi)
  • Kinetic
  • Aggressive
  • Activity
  • Ascending
  • Outward
  • Expanding
  • Time
  • Sun
  • Male
  • Heaven (Shen)



      Although this may be confusing and hard to grasp initially, daily contemplation and reflection will offer us greater insights in this mysterious and revealing principle. Practice will help us identify either of the polarities and how to apply yin-yang with tonic adaptogens.

      Tonic adaptogens that give us energy and increase metabolism are considered yang and they will promote liveliness and activity in their own specific ways. These help us overcome work, promote play and performance, and enliven our spirits.

      Tonic adaptogens that assist rest and decrease metabolism are considered yin and they will promote calming and inactivity. These help us become restful, promote relaxation and meditation, and make us more accepting of circumstances.

      Below is a brief summary of tonics that are either yin or yang. As a note the principle of formulation of several tonics often attempts to balances the energies of each tonic with their opposite to further the idea of yin and yang existing within each other and promoting each other for greater healing, health, and well-being.

      Yang Tonic Adaptogens

      Yin Tonic Adaptogens

      Yin-Yang Tonic Adaptogens

      The Theory of Five Elements

      From the interaction of the polarities of the great principle of yin-yang is born the theory of five elements. If we are to imagine the movement of the yin-yang symbol and its interactions we will begin to see the transformational energies of these polarities manifest as differing elements of creation. These elements are seen in every manifestation of creation including the human body. The yin would further separate into the two elements of water and metal. The yang polarity would further separate into the two elements of wood and fire. Earth represents the balance of both forces. As yin and yang transmute into one another, so do the five elements through their cycles of transformation.

      Shen Cycle - Engendering Cycle

      Each element will have natural attributes of action that will engender the next element in the cyclic process of creation. Within the five elements theory this can been see as: water nourishes wood, wood fuels fire, fire creates earth, earth manifests metal, metal melts into water. Although it may take a bit of imagination, this creative and symbolic way of understanding broad characteristics unifies our perception. As an example; water creates the woody growth of life, which when burned in fire turns to ash and becomes earth soil, descending and hardening into metal ore that will become heated within the interior of the earth and become fluid completing the cycle. Concerning tonic adaptogens, this cycle is important to understand as they assist the building up of deficiencies and correcting towards homeostasis. Where we are lacking in elemental strength is simply the adaptogen we require to continue the cycle.

      Ko Cycle - Controlling Cycle

      Each element has another element that is controlled by its actions of manifestation. This can be seen in the five element theory as: water cools fire, fire melts metal, metal overpowers wood, wood lives in earth, earth directs water. Once again we can come up with interesting ways of understanding these relationships. As it concerns tonic adaptogens this cycle is another understanding of how to implement them with efficacy. If we are overheating, the consumption of adaptogens that cool our fires and strengthen our water element - an example of this is American ginseng.

      Table of Elemental Attributes

      Element Color Power Season Emotion Flavor Sense Yin Organ Yang Organ Body Part
      WOOD Green Birth Spring Anger Sour Sight Liver Gall Bladder Joints
      FIRE Red Growth Summer Joy Bitter Tongue Heart Small Intestine Vascular System
      EARTH Yellow Transformation Late Summer Worry Sweet Taste Spleen Stomach Muscles
      METAL White Harvest Autumn Grief Spicy Smell Lungs Large Intestine Skin
      WATER Blue-black Storage Winter Fear Salty Hearing Kidney Bladder Bones


      We can use this theory to greatly assist our tonic adaptogen program so that we may choose which elements we wish to cultivate physically, mentally and spiritually. Although many of the tonic adaptogens will generally contain the potential for nearly all the elements, they will always have a predominant element that they strengthen that element more than the others. For example, many of the medicinal mushrooms are predominantly wood elementdeer antler velvet is predominantly a fire element, and panax ginseng is predominantly earth

      What is Qi?

      Qi (氣) , pronounced "chee", also spelled chi or ch'i, is believed to be the pulsing life force energy of the human organism. There is no direct translation into English which is why we must use the Chinese word to describe this electrical and magnetic energy of our bodies. Qi can be seen in the meridian channels, colored aura, and chakras energy centers of the body.

      Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners believe and measure this invisible force by various indirect ways such as pulse diagnosis, the condition of one's tongue and through the acupuncture points upon the body. The qi of an individual can be viewed from the overall whole aspect of one's being, as well as the individual parts found in the organ systems. It travels through the organs and acupuncture meridians.

      Qi is Thought of as Electro-magnetic Energy and Imagined as Electricity

      Many Ancient Cultures and Modern Scientist Measure and Study the Existence of Qi

      Health within the TCM system is understood as a form of active balance of qi within our body. Full vitality, energy and growth is created from the interplay of Yin and Yang. Too much Yang qi and one may be overexcited often, hot, have a fast pulse. Too much Yin qi and one may be lethargic, cold or have a slow pulse. An active balance of these forces within will yield plentiful active life force. To understand the principle of Yin and Yang and how to easily identify the duality of existence please read the following blog post on The Principle of Yin and Yang.

      Within the Three Treasures System, Qi specifically represents the vital life force of one's being which is easily understood as energy. In this system our quantity and quality of qi is determined by the food and air we breathe and the organ health associated with respiration and digestion.

      The quintessential qi tonic is Ginseng. Visit our Ginseng Collection and add your own qi tonic to your Tonic Adaptogen supplement program.

      Constituents and Analysis of Deer Antler Velvet March 12, 2016 15:06 4 Comments

      The sectional analysis of Velvet Antler can be separated into 3 dominant areas concerning constituents and the desired benefits of supplementation.

      1. Overview
        1. Constituents
          1. Growth Factors
            1. IGF-1 and IGF-2
      2. Tips and Uppers - tines
      3. Middles - shafts and branches
      4. Bottoms - trunks


      Within the deer antler velvet industry there are three sections used to identify the composition of velvet antler. The jelly Tips and Uppers are generally from the end to the first fork and are found as any additional tines. The next section is the Middles and goes from top fork to the next fork down the main shaft and is also found in the same range on advancer branches. Lastly is the Bottoms which includes a flattened center section known as the trunk.

      Deer Antler Velvet and its Potency is Understood by Three Sections: Tips and Uppers, Middles, and Bottoms

      Each Section Contains Constituents Necessary for a Full Potency Deer Antler Velvet Supplement

      Like many tonic adaptogens, the composition of deer antler velvet has hundreds of constituents. Velvet antler is predominantly protein, but each section contains different concentrations of particular constituent groupings.

      Tips and Uppers – The tine is also known as the Wax or Jelly Piece due to its fatty glossy texture. In this section is found the highest amounts of:

      • Lipids
      • Growth factors
      • Polysaccharides
      • Hormones.

      Middles – The shaft is known as the Blood Piece from the larger amount of vessels found in the interior. This section is rich in:

      • Type II collagen
      • Proteoglycans
      • Glycosaminoglycans
      • Polysaccharides.

      Bottoms – The trunk, or flattened base section, known as the Bone Piece, is completely hollow inside with very high concentrations of:

      • Bioavailable Minerals
      • Amino Acids
      • Enzyme Cofactors
      • Bone Stem Cells

      The above listing came from a couple published sources. Although there is some variance between what each source considers which part we have tried to simplify it and make it easier to understand. The internet is ripe with experts who will tell you much information that is false. For example: some may claim that deer antler velvet contain "ash". Indeed ash is what you get when you burn it at high temperatures. Ash is actually the mineral content, just like wood ashes is actually the mineral of wood.


      Deer antler velvet contains hundreds of studied and analyzed constituents that work in synergism to promote the various benefits for health and well-being. One may gain further understanding via a sectional analysis of the content of various parts of the whole deer antler stick. Below is a listing of the most recognized active constituents that will be found within either the extract or powder.

      • Type II Collagen
      • Glycosaminoglycans
        • Hyaluronic Acid (Hyaluronan)
        • Mucopolysaccharides
        • GAGRA [Glycosant]
        • Glucosamine Sulfate
        • Chondroitin Sulfate
      • Polysaccharides
      • Gangliosdes
      • Chondroblasts
      • Fibroblasts
      • Chondocytes
      • Osteocytes
      • Ursolic Acid
      • Amino Acids
        • BCAAs
        • 9 essential amino acids
        • 13 non-essential acids
      • Bioavailable Minerals
        • Calcium Hydroxyapatite
        • Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Sulfur, Iron, Selenium, Zinc, Copper, Potassium, Cobalt, Sodium
        • Trace Minerals
      • Lipids
        • Ectosaponins
        • Phospholipids
        • Prostaglandins
        • Glycosphingolipids
        • Lecithin
      • Many Various Anabolic Hormones
      • Growth Factors
        • IGF-1, IGF-2
        • Transforming Growth Factor-Beta (TGF-B1, TGF-B2, TGF-B3)
          • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMP)
          • Growth Differentiation Factor-9 (GDF-9)
        • Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF)
          • Transforming Growth Factor-Alpha (TGF-A)
        • Erythropoietin (EPO)
        • Fibroblast Growth Factors (FGF)
        • Platelet Derived Growth Factor (PDGF)
          • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF)
        • Nerve Growth Factor (NGF)
        • Cytokines [Interleukins]

      Growth Factors

      Most unique of the many bioavailable constituents found within deer antler velvet is a special class of proteins or peptides, known as growth factors which are also considered anabolic hormones. These molecules signal our various cellular structures for proliferation, regeneration and growth. They promote cellular metabolism by increasing the uptake of nutrition and other related compounds.

      The Most Recognized Growth Factor in Velvet Antler is IGF-1

      insulin-like growth factor one igf1

      IGF-1 Exhibits Anabolic Effects in Adults

      The growth factor matrix found within deer antler velvet confirms the long held uses of many cultures around the world that use this tonic in delayed development of children and those who exhibit hormonal insufficiency. It also validates the modern uses in anti-aging by preserving and promoting lean mass (organ and muscle tissue), as well as overall recovery rates and regeneration of injured tissues. In addition, these factors easily show the growing popularity as a sports performance enhancement supplement and weight training bodybuilding supplement.

      • IGF-1, IGF-2

        Similar in structure to certain hormones, this peptide is important for childhood growth and its anabolic effects in adults. It is naturally produced in the liver, but this capacity declines as we age. As a primary mediator for hormones that are  involved in the process required for the growth of skeletal muscle, cartilage, bone, nerve, skin and several organs. It regulates the cellular development and promotes the effects of growth in every cell within the body. Additionally it has glucose metabolism effects that regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, fat and the absorption of blood glucose by the muscles.

        IGF-1 Mediates the Effects of Many Hormones

        igf-1 insulin-like growth factor one

         IGF 1 & 2 Exhibit Anabolic Actions within the Body

        • IGF-2

        Has nearly the same functions of cell growth, cell dividing and proliferation and glucose metabolism effects while binding to the same receptor sites as IGF-1. Its differentiation is found in that it plays more of a role in fetal development during gestation.

        • Transforming Growth Factor-Beta (TGF-B1, TGF-B2, TGF-B3)

        This name recognizes a huge super family of growth factors that control differentiation and growth of numerous cells throughout the body. It has a crucial role in the regeneration of existing tissues, wound healing and physical trauma recovery. They play a role in the function and development of various organs, immunity, and the central nervous system.  

          • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMP)

        Important to signaling the development of hard tissues throughout the body. They were originally found by their ability to promote the formation of cartilage tissue and post-natal bone matrix. These proteins also develop and regenerate the basis of the central nervous system, known as neural plates, and the complete and functional development of the heart.

          • Growth/Differentiation Factor 9 (GDF9)

        Also part of the TGF-B family these factors are known to play a role in female fertility. They are involved with female development, female ovulation and oocytes (immature egg cells).

        • Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF)

        Is a polypeptide that is critical for the growth, maintenance, differentiation and survival of cellular tissues throughout the body, such as lymph, nerve and skin cells. It promotes proliferation of the cells and has been found to have specific functions concerning the integrity of the digestive tract.

          • Transforming Growth Factor-Alpha (TGF-A)

        This polypeptide has a main function of being required for the signaling of EGF and other proteins in the process of growth, maintenance, differentiation and survival of cellular tissues. It assist the neuroendocrine system and the regeneration of vascular tissue and is required for many growth factors to function appropriately.

        • Erythropoietin (EPO)

        A hormone essential to the formation and protection of red blood cells, as well as the process involved with the formation and regeneration of vascular tissue, known as angiogenesis. Preliminary studies suggests that EPO may elicit effects on the hippocampus and greatly assist memory and mood

        • Fibroblast Growth Factors (FGFs)

        These are commonly found in the processes of cell division of various tissues and are involved with bodily regulation, endocrine signaling, and the structuring of organs, glands, and other systems throughout the body. This large family of growth factors of over twenty-two variations are directly involved with wound healing. They assist proper growth throughout our developmental years, as well as regeneration of neural, vascular and hard tissues, such as cartilage.

          • Platelet Derived Growth Factor (PDGF)

          Is directly involved with cell division and regulating cell growth of soft tissue, smooth tissue, such as vascular, and the myelin of nerve tissue. Specifically it mitigates the proliferation of cells involved with blood vessel formation and the regeneration of existing vascular tissue. It is required for fibroblasts to function in wound healing and decreases the time for collagen to form within the matrix of skin cells.

            • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF)

          These peptides are involved in the processes of vasculogenesis, the formation of blood vessels from scratch, and angiogenesis, the regeneration of blood vessels. They create new blood vessels in embryonic development, after injury in associated tissues, and after exercise in the muscles. As part of the system that promotes the development of vessels, they increase oxygenation and the circulation of blood in deprived tissues.

            Nerve Growth Factor is Important for the Central Nervous System

            • Nerve Growth Factor (NGF)

            These proteins are directly responsible for the growth, maintenance, and survival of sympathetic and sensory neurons (nerve cells). They have been shown to promote the repair of peripheral nerves, the protective myelin, and possibly brain tissue. Their concentration is critical in regulating homeostasis throughout the entire body. 

            • Cytokines [Interleukins]

            Our immune responses depend on the activity of Interleukins which are naturally produced by wide variety of cells within the body. The name originally derives from these factors being expressed by white blood cells, known as leukocytes, in initial studies. The majority of Interleukins function in the immune and lymph systems, but there are also nervous and glandular benefits. Some studies have shown effects on the Hippocampus, known to be involved in memory, learning and emotions.

            Sectional Benefits

            Each section lends a plenitude of constituents for a synergism of benefits and results.

            Tips and Uppers

            Deer antler velvet tips and uppers, also known as tines, are the ends found on a velvet antler sticks. They are known as the wax or jelly piece by the industry due to its oily and glossy texture. It is brown and the interior is soft. . They are considered a luxury in china and are responsible for some of the overall benefits of supplementation with deer antler velvet.

            This section is known for promoting heart, nerve and endocrine health. Traditionally this tonic adaptogen is known for promoting bodily growth and its duo-directional immunomodulating attributes.

            • Nerve and Heart Function
            • Endocrine Function
            • Bodily Growth
            • Immunomodulating

            The Numerous Tines of a Velvet Antler Rack Contain Lipids and Unique Peptides

            Deer Antler Velvet Tips and Uppers Contain Very Small Amounts of Key Signaling Molecules

            This section contains the highest amount of lipids that assist the nerve, heart and endocrine function.  It is high in in essential fatty acids such as linolenic acid, and other lipid molecules known as phospholipids, prostaglandins, and naturally occuring hormones. A special grouping of fat structures, called ectosaponins, are responsible for regeneration and the quickened growth of tissues.

            Additionally the largest amount of growth factors are present in this section. These unique peptides are responsible for proliferation of cells and tissues throughout the various bodily systems.  More than a dozen have been isolated from velvet antler such as IGF-1, epidermal growth factor (EGF), nerve growth factor (NGF) and interleukins (cytokines).

            Lastly, as within the middles section, we find Polysaccharides that are known to have preventative immunomodulating benefits that will benefit both an underactive immune system and an overactive immune system. As the tips do not contain essential minerals and cofactors one must additionally supplement with the bottoms section for full synergistic potency.

            Although there is major discrepancy between sources, especially on the internet, and purveyors who sell multi-hundred dollar bottles of deer antler velvet the tips and uppers are actually quite focused in their narrow amount of benefits. Many retailers put only a few grams of just this section in their entire bottle. Why not add the rest of the whole antler stick? This is why we choose to reference published works by trustworthy researchers.

            The tips and uppers are highest in our Power Velvet supplement.


            Deer antler velvet middles, also known as the shaft and branches, are the long sections found from top fork to the next fork down and are also found in the same range on the advancer branches. It is traditionally called the Blood Piece from the larger amount of vessels found in the interior that feed the fast annual growth of velvet antler.

            This section contains constituents that support joint health, such as tendon, ligaments and cartilage. It is high in proteins that are the as promote the repair and restructuring of skin muscle and vascular tissues.

            • Joint Health
            • Cellular Health
            • Tissue Regenerative
            • Blood Building

            Deer Antler Middles Contain Many Different Raw Materials for Regeneration and Growth

            The Shaft and Branches of Velvet Antler Contain Many Key Constituents for Joint Health

            This middles are full of the highly bioavailable type II collagen and free form amino acids which are readily used in nearly all soft tissues of the body, as well as joint tissue and function. We gain benefit from proteoglycans such as hyaluronan (hyaluronic acid) that also assist joint function, injury recovery and have profound anti-aging benefits. Additionally we find complex carbohydrate structures such as polysaccharides, also found in the tips and uppers , and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), specifically mucopolysaccharides, which are easily recognized as glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate that assist mobility and flexibility. A full potency tonic adaptogen requires the inclusion of necessary minerals, that are not manufactured by the body, and essential co-factors found in the bottoms.

            The middles are indeed one of the most important parts of deer antler velvet consumption. We have selected relevant sources that cite information that most of the recovery and regenerative capacities are offered by this section. When added to both other sections of whole stick velvet we gain a very powerful synergistic supplement.


            Deer antler velvet bottoms, also known as the flattened center trunk, are the section towards the base. It is traditionally called the Bone Piece due to a mineralization and its harder structure, only a very small amount of the whole stick is the bottoms, but it does contain many important enzyme synergist that activation each formulation for maximum effectiveness.

            This section contains constituents that support joints and the crystalline matrix of bones, as well as structural components and co-factors and that are important for cellular and enzyme functions.

            • Joint and Bone Health
            • Flexibility and Mobility
            • Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus
            • Trace Minerals

            Deer Antler Velvet Bottoms Contain Bioavailable Minerals and Co-factors for Optimal Efficacy

            The Trunk of Velvet Antler is a Synergist for the Many Unique Constituents Found in the Other Sections

            The composition of the bottoms contains joint and bone support in the form of type II collagen, proteoglycans, hyaluronic acid and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Additionally we find large amounts of calcium hydroxyapatite in bioavailable balance with the necessary synergist minerals, phosphorus and magnesium, for optimal absorption which will support cellular functions and the complete structuring of bone matrix. Trace minerals cofactors, such as selenium, copper, zinc, cobalt and iron, are important to overall health and enzyme function and, in combination, support every bodily system. Other cofactors include bone stem cells known as chondroblasts and fibroblasts. As with all tonic adaptogens, these elements and cofactors are necessary concerning the signaling molecules found in the tips and uppers and the raw materials found in the middles .

            The bottoms are such a small amount of the deer antler velvet that many purveyors don't use them and claim that other manufactures use only this part. Out of 2,000,000 pounds of deer antler velvet produced annually, why would they only sell the bottoms? Regardless adding what small amount we can greatly enhances the formulation. A few "expert" internet sources claim that the bottoms are mainly "ash". Bucks and stags do not grow ash, ash is actually created by burning the whole stick. What is leftover is minerals, which some ignorant folks call useless ash. For example: wood ash from a fireplace is in fact only the leftover minerals.

            Deer Antler Velvet Resources and References

            • Internet Sources
              • general access to antler section of website -
            • Books
              • Davidson, Allison, Velvet Antler. Connecticut. 2000. Print.
              • Kamen, Betty PhD and Paul, The Remarkable Healing Power of Velvet Antler. Novato California, Nutrition Encounter. 2003. Print.
            • Textbooks
              • Bensky, Clavey, Stoger, Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica 3rd Edition. Seattle Washington, Eastland Press, 2004. Print

            Tonic Tinctures Storefront

            Please visit our Tonic Tinctures Storefront to discover more adaptogenic supplements and gain further access to greater energy, health, and wellbeing.

            Medicinal Mushrooms - Mycelium / Fruiting Body / Sclerotium March 12, 2016 14:42 2 Comments

            1. What is Cracked Cell Wall?
            2. What is a Polysaccharide?
            3. What is Medicinal Mushroom Mycelium?
            4. What is a Medicinal Mushroom Fruiting Body?
            5. What is a Medicinal Mushroom Sclerotium?

            1. What is Cracked Cell Wall?

            Concerning medicinal mushroom supplements broken or cracked cell wall is the process whereby the tough fibers found in mushrooms are broken down into extractable parts. Most plants have fibers called cellulose that are digestible, but mushrooms have entirely different fibers, called chitin, that are indigestible by humans and are resistant to tincture extraction methods.

            Because of these very hard fibers found in mushroom cell walls, an initial processing step of cracking these cell walls is required to make a fully efficacious medicinal mushroom supplement. The only proven method of cracking a cell wall, without harsh chemical enzymes, is by heat extraction. This is easily shown in the extensive TCM use of hot-water extraction. But prolonged heat extraction will render certain key constituents ineffective, such as triterpenes and mycelial acids, thereby reducing potency and requiring increasing dosages for full efficacy.

            Heat Extraction is Required for Cracked Cell Wall of Medicinal Mushroom Chitin

            Very Brief Flash Steaming of Medicinal Mushrooms is Applied for Cracked Cell Walls 

            Therefore an advanced technique of flash steaming the mushroom chitin is applied. This flash-steaming method allows very brief time exposure of the mushroom chitin to high temperatures. Once the chitinous cell walls have initially been cracked many of the potent bioactive polysaccharides, like beta-glucan, may be released upon extraction and easily concentrated.

            In Tonic Tinctures medicinal mushroom supplements, flash steaming is the second step of our multi-step concentrated extractions.

            Step 1 – Powdering

            Step 2 – Flash-steaming

            Step 3 – Alcohol Extraction

            Step 4 – Water Extraction

            2. What is a Polysaccharide?

            A polysaccharide, also known as a glycan, is a natural complex branched chain-like carbohydrate made up of numerous glucose molecules. Having been laboratory tested and clinically studied since the 1950's, these compounds are known to support immune function.

            These massive molecules are found in lichens, bacteria, yeast and fungi. They are also found in tonic adaptogens and being similar in structure to these living invaders, they aggressively signal our immune response into action. But unlike the invaders, there is no threat from these benign high-weight heteropolysaccharides. Upon consumption our natural killer cells, T cells, macrophages and tumor necrosis factors launch a fully adaptive immune response.

            A Polysaccharide 1,3 Alpha D Glucan Derived from a Medicinal Mushroom

            There are hundreds of different types of polysaccharides found within many different tonic adaptogens, with the most research being done on the effective D-Glucan structures found in medicinal mushrooms.  Polysaccharides are water soluble and therefore can only be extracted naturally via water. When considering an supplement for the viability of the immune potentiating polysaccharides, choose a extraction that is high in water extractable constituents. Also of consideration; when selecting a medicinal mushroom, we must ensure that the very tough chitin (cells walls) have been cracked to release all the beneficial constituents. This will make a thick efficacious extraction that will contain all constituents for full potency.

            High Polysaccharide Extractions Available from Tonic Tinctures:

            Reishi Mushroom - Cracked Cell Wall - 75% concentrated water extractable constituents by volume

            Chaga Mushroom - Cracked Cell Wall - 75% concentrated water extractable constituents by volume

            Mushroom Master - 14 Medicinal Mushrooms - Cracked Cell Wall - 65% concentrated water extractable constituents by volume

            Berry Blood Tonic - Contains Astragalus - 70% concentrated water extractable constituents by volume

            Panax Ginseng - 70% concentrated water extractable constituents by volume

            What is Medicinal Mushroom Mycelium?

            Mycelium is the feeding membrane and main body of a mushroom that grows underground or within its host plant, such as a tree. This is opposed to the fruiting body that grows on the outside we all easily recognize and commonly call mushrooms. They have intelligence, adaptability and commune synergistically with their environment to promote health and longevity in their ecology. This ability to communicate with the surrounding flora is a necessity to the organism of the entire planet Earth.

            Mycelia gathers and distributes an incredible amount of nutrients by secreting enzymes into its host substrate to breakdown the decaying matter, like cellulose or lignin in trees. Then this absorbed food is transferred through the thread-like network of hyphae to nearby flora or across very long distances to feed and strengthen entire ecosystems. Scientific studies have revealed the profound computational capabilities of these grand networks in distributing nutrients the shortest distance across their near infinite maze like structures.

            Paul Stamets, the foremost expert of fungi, believes mycelium to be "the neurological network of nature" and "Earth's natural internet".

            Fungal Mycelium Spreading its Thread-Like Hyphae Throughout its Host Hardwood

            Mycelium Benefits

            Medicinal mushrooms, when harvested from the host wood or brown rice biomass, must consist of the mycelium to contain all the enzymes, nutrients and chemicals for fullest efficacy and potency. It is in the mycelium that the benefits of the entire mushroom are concentrated to make it a potent tonic adaptogen. For example, it is here that we find that highest concentration of polysaccharides. Scientific studies conclusively prove the benefits of medicinal mushrooms are most recognizable in the mycelium.

            Lastly, to ensure the most benefit of the mycelium, which has very tough cell walls, called chitin, we must initially apply flash-steaming for cracked cell wall. This is to ensure full the full-spectrum of constituents will be available for extraction and absorption. After this second extraction step, we must use a hydroalcoholic process, in its multiple step process to create a very potent and viable extraction that we can easily consume consistently for the multitude of health benefits. Doing these labor intensive steps imbues us with the intelligence, protection, and adaptogenic capacities of mycelium.

            Please visit our collection of medicinal mushroom liquid extractions and choose your ally of fungi.

            What is a Medicinal Mushroom Fruiting Body?

            What we generally call a mushroom is the fruitbody. It is the fleshy spore bearing part of fungi that grows above ground or upon its food source host, such as a tree. The fruiting body is what we reference, with stem, cap and gills, as it is what is commonly experienced and eaten in culinary dishes. Being the reproductive part of a mushroom its main purpose it to disperse spores to inoculate new hosts for continued survival. The fruiting body is above ground or upon the host while the mycelium is below ground or inside the host. Some mushrooms do not have fruiting body such a Chaga Mushroom which is a sclerotium - a mass of mycelia.

            The Fruiting Body of Reishi Mushroom in Hardwood Cultivation 

            Benefits of Medicinal Mushroom Fruitbody

            Within the fruiting body of mushrooms one will find the full-spectrum of important constituents, but in comparison to the mycelium there are greater amounts of nutritional constituents. They are terrific trace mineralizers, especially those that are grown on hardwood, and contain plentiful amounts of copper, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, and germanium. High concentrations of vitamins are also found within the fruit-body of medicinal mushrooms; vitamin C, vitamin D, beta-carotene and several B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and biotin.

            Choose a Supplement with Fruitbody and Mycelium

            To ensure proper potency of your medicinal mushroom supplement, it is best to choose one that is produced with both fruitbody and the mycelium. For instance, we must include the mycelium as it contains the higher amounts of polysaccharides and other enzymes and acids. Both parts are necessary in combination for the complete desired adaptogenic effects of medicinal mushrooms.

            Please visit our collection of medicinal mushroom liquid extractions and choose your ally of fungi.

            What is a Medicinal Mushroom Sclerotium?

            Some fungi develop a compacted mass of mycelia that grows on the outside of their host. It is specifically known as a sclerotium and contains a bountiful amount of food reserves that strengthen the vitality of both the mushroom and its host. This tonic action is imbued to us after harvesting and extracting it for the beneficial properties. The mycelium itself is known to have high amounts of polysaccharides, enzymes and acids, but the sclerotium, being a dense mass of mycelia, additionally concentrates vitamins, minerals and oils. Although these types of fungi develop a fruitbody, with stem, cap, and gills, they are harvested before this reproductive phase to ensure maximum potency.

            A Chaga Sclerotium with its Hard Woody Exterior

            In the case of Chaga Mushroom one can simply harvest the sclerotium without having to harm the host tree. This allows the mushroom to grow back and to keep the symbiotic relationship alive. With Cordyceps Mushroom, after the mycelium has fully developed within the host, it will extend its own sclerotium. One must be patient, but be certain to harvest before fruitbody phase to ensure full potency of this tonic adaptogen

            Cordyceps with Sclerotium at Prime Harvest Time

            How to Take a Tonic Tincture? August 22, 2015 10:10 4 Comments

            1. How to Take a Tonic Tincture
            2. How to Mix a Tonic Tincture in a Beverage
            3. Tonic Tincture Expiration & Storage

            How to Take a Tonic Tincture

            Unscrew the dropper from your Tonic Tincture. One serving is one dropper which is one press of the rubber bulb which will fill a dropper tube to just above half-way, this is 30 individual drops which is also the measure of 1 milliliter.

            How to Take a Tonic Tincture

            For best results, take sublingually – place dropper(s) of liquid extract under tongue and hold for 15-90 seconds, then swallow the rest of the unabsorbed extract. If you are taking multiple tonics, take each separately so as not to mix them in the mouth.


            If we prefer we may mix the extract with a beverage to discover its qualities, this may be because of the unique taste or one's tolerance concerning the potency of these very concentrated extractions.

            The extractable components cross into the bloodstream within the mouth quite easily because of the alcohol present in the extract.

            The mouth is very close to the lower brain stem and endocrine glands where many of the important components can bypass digestion and directly enter the blood stream and have profound effects on the nervous, muscular, metabolic and endocrine systems.

            One Dropper is One Press of the Rubber Bulb Which is 30 Individual Drops Which Equals 1ml

            Considerations For Consumption

            • Shake gently and thoroughly before every use

            Turn the bottle upside down a couple times and jiggle it about. Repeat. Do not excessively shake as this will mix the air with too much of the extract and lessen potency.

            • If your extract should solidify and/or crystallize please warm a bottle to no greater than 120F* and gently shake.

            Certain extractions, like deer antler velvet with its high collagen content and reishi with its high polysaccharide content, may solidify. Warm a bottle in you hands, or under a barely warm faucet, for a few moments. Then shake as recommended above. You may need to repeat a couple times. Remember room temperate storage of 65*F will suffice and should be okay for most extractions.

            How to Mix a Tonic Tincture in a Beverage

            When exploring the world of tonic adaptogens we have will discover a couple different ways to take them and due to the concentrations of Tonic Tinctures these flavors are very ripe and potent, which of course is a definite marker for potency, the more you taste the stronger it is!

            There are many reasons for this flavor phenomenon. For example: in North America we are accustomed to the sweet, fatty and salty flavors, which is why many who consume coffee or tea will add cream and sugar to counter-balance the bitter flavors of our treasured stimulant pastimes.

            Concerning your liquid extract, be assured that the strong and presently unique taste will become palatable in time. 


            We may easily mix our Tonic Tincture in a beverage of 2-6 fluid ounces and slowly sip to assimilate the adaptogenic goodness and strengthening properties in a more palatable manner.

            One may also use this method concerning tolerance if they find that the extract may be to potent in certain regards of stimulation and energy.

            The immediate effects offered by our liquid extracts will be smoother by this method of consumption.

            Please understand how to take a Tonic Tincture to ensure proper dosage of your selected tonic adaptogen.

            Add A Tonic Tincture to a Small Beverage and Sip Slowly

             Tonic Tincture Mixed with Beverage

            Easily Assimilate the Goodness and Strengthening Properties of These Excellent Extracts

            • You may add this extract to any chilled or room temperature beverage and gently stir:
              • Water
              • Milk
              • Smoothies
              • Shakes
              • Wine


            • Do not add to hot liquids or heat extract over 120*F

            Be aware hot temperatures and hot liquids over 120*F will damage certain key constituents and decrease potency and efficacy. Always add to a lukewarm, room temperature or a chilled beverage.

            Tonic Tincture Expiration & Storage

            Once a Tonic Tincture bottle is opened, it will expire within 30-45 days; however, an unopened bottle will last two years from its manufacturing batch date (check your labeling).  This is due to the highly volatile nature of many important key ingredients and their rapid degradation after contact with air.

            Keep the lid tightly closed and bottle away from light.

            Refrigeration of unused bottles may maintain potency, but dark cool storage will suffice.

            If your Tonic Tincture liquid extract solidifies or separates, simply warm the bottle to body heat temp all the way through and shake gently. You may use a pocket or hand or faucet. You may need to repeat this procedure. If the dropper becomes plugged simply insert the clean point of a fork or other utensil.

            Please visit our catalog and choose an adaptogenic ally to suit your needs and desires.

            What is the Best Deer Antler Velvet Supplement? August 22, 2015 10:10 8 Comments

            From capsules, to liquids, to powders and tinctures they all differ in their actions, efficacy and ability to produce the effects and results we seek through supplementation.

            There are several factors, but, foremost, one should select the supplement that contains the maximum amount of viable constituents.

            Capsules and powders are easy to measure if there are no added fillers.

            But sprays, liquid extracts and tinctures, with their added benefits, are much more difficult to determine, especially if one does not immediately know the ratios, servings, and potency.

            Read your deer antler supplement label.

            If you are trying to find out  how much deer antler velvet is in the bottle and you can't directly see what is in the serving it will be very difficult to achieve proper dosage.

            Does your supplement have additives and preservatives?

            Also be sure the product isn't clumped together with several added ingredients, especially if there are preservatives like citric acid and potassium sorbate, flavorings or something else odd like Aloe Vera.

            Deer Antler Spray Comparison

            If one checks a few brands out there it is easy to see why some people may feel like there is deer antler velvet scam going on or that this subject itself is about a deer antler velvet hoax.

            Is this seriously supposed to be a deer antler velvet supplement?

            But with 1,000 milligrams to 2,500 milligrams average in many branded deer antler velvet sprays someone would have had to drink the whole bottle to get one daily dose! That can get expensive very quickly.

            Is your extract Hydro-alcoholic?

            Traditionally, in the time-honored industry of tincture extraction the solvent should be hydro-alcoholic for full potency.

            Alcohol is required to extract many of the beneficial constituents and water is able to extract everything that is soluble in water.

            Alcohol and water extracts are 99% absorbable.


            But how much IGF-1 is in the bottle?

            There is not much difference in taking varying amounts of micro-nanogram doses of IGF-1 orally. Like any adaptogen, the key to deer antler velvet supplementation is to be consistent in that the more often you take it, along with food and other supplements, the more it will work. The IGF-1, and other growth factors, signal endocrine response so that over time you will get a long-term tonic building action where the endocrine benefits will be realized.

            And it takes a lot of the concurrent nutrition to growth factors to make it work.*

            Below is a comparison of deer antler velvet supplements found in the market:

            Label Comparison

            Tonic Tinctures Deer Antler Velvet Comparison

            Deer Antler Velvet 2 oz. Liquid Extract

            The Deer Antler Velvet supplement we artisan handcraft uses the pile of velvet you see as part of the extraction process. It is a 1:2 extraction ratio or one ounce to two ounces of final concentrated extract. Each dropper is therefore equivalent to approximately 500mgs of raw antler velvet. Because we process in house we are able to pull a concentrated hydro-alcoholic extraction, without heat, a total of four times on the slices before they are exhausted and completely utilized yielding a think liquid extract that is 35% alcohol by volume.

            We at Tonic Tinctures have been manufacturing our liquid extract tinctures commercially for over 6 years with many satisfied clients.

             Brand Q Comparison

             Brand Q 2 oz.

            The market is full of these multi-ingredient formulation under several different labels, one being used by a large corporate supplement retailer. They list deer antler velvet on their label, but do so with nearly a dozen other ingredients including Aloe Vera, Niacin, Artificial Flavors, Glycerin and a couple preservatives added for good measure. The label will state 300mgs or 1000mgs per serving, but of what ingredient?

            These manufacturers make no claim as to potency or the industry standard of extraction ratio concerning deer antler velvet. They use one singular growth factor out of more than a dozen, IGF-1, in nanograms (ng), as the sole marker of potency. Yes, it is true deer antler velvet does contain nanogram doses of IGF-1.

            Numerous clients have taken these products prior and find that these sprays quickly lose efficacy. Make sure your antler velvet is fully loaded by knowing how it works and making an informed decision - How Does Deer Antler Velvet Work?  

            Brand X Comparison

            Brand X 2 oz.

            Brand X claims to use an extraction that is over 70:1. At first appearance this does indeed seem quite amazing until one checks their units for their ratio and find out that they mean over 70+ pounds deer antler velvet extracted into 1 pound deer antler velvet extract. This is done with laboratory equipment and must go through an additional step of adding this powder extract to a glycerin filler base before they call it an "Extract Liquid".  But they have extracted nothing into the liquid. They simply add the pile you see of about 5,000 milligrams deer antler velvet extract, to their "pure" supplement that is a glycerin based fluid containing artificial flavorings and preservatives.

            Tonic Tinctures Power Velvet Comparison

            Power Velvet 2 oz. Liquid Extract

            The Power Velvet supplement we artisan handcraft uses the pile of velvet you see as part of the extraction process. It is a 1:1 extraction ratio or one ounce to each ounce of final concentrated extract. Each dropper is therefore equivalent to approximately 1000mgs of raw antler velvet. Because we process in house we are able to pull a concentrated hydro-alcoholic extraction, without heat, a total of four times on the slices before they are exhausted and completely utilized yielding a think liquid extract that is 55% alcohol by volume.

             Brand Z Comparison

            Brand Z 1 oz.

            Brand Z claims to use an extraction that is over 40:1. By now we can recognize something is amiss from our previous example. And checking their website we can verify 40+ pounds deer antler velvet are extracted into 1 pound deer antler velvet extract. As before this is done with laboratory equipment and must go through the additional step of adding this powder extract to a pure hydro-alcoholic liquid. They honestly admit that you are purchasing 1,000mgs of their extract powder in 1 oz. of fluid.

             Brand Y Comparison

            Brand Y 1oz. Spray

            This company calls their supplement deer antler velvet and lists this ingredient on their label along with artificial flavors, preservatives, and soy stabilizers. But the potency of their deer antler velvet cannot be deduced as they use only IGF-1 as the marker for deer antler velvet potency. Yes it is true that deer antler velvet contains IGF-1. And then they offer several different strengths of very small nanogram doses of IGF-1 for increasing greater amounts of money. What about the rest of the antler velvet? 

            Brand T Comparison

            Brand T 2 oz. and 1 oz.

            Brand T is available from specialty purveyors of tonic adaptogens on the internet and on eBay. They also and sometimes deceivingly use an extraction ratio which can be 3:1, 8:1 or 20:1. As before, if we check the units for their ratio this is pounds raw material into pounds powder extract. And yet they put this extraction ratio confusingly in their marketing material or even on their bottle. But how much of this extract is in the bottle? What is the potency concerning viable effects and results? How does one implement proper dosage into their supplement program?