Before clinical trials and pharmaceutical companies, people turned to the plant world to heal their ailments. As far back as thousands of years, superfood remedies and today’s superfoods were used across cultures to support health and improve wellbeing.
Today, there’s a newfound interest in the various solutions that plants can offer. Whether it’s to support feelings of mental wellness or to support functions of the body, billions of people across the world use some type of superfood remedy — which includes superfood tonics.
The benefits that a superfood tonic can offer are almost as diverse as the plant world itself. In this guide from Sunwink, we’ll discuss what they are. Plus, we’ll talk about what makes superfood tonics different from other natural remedies and even share a few of our favorite tonics.
What Is a Superfood Tonic?
A superfood tonic is a type of beverage containing natural ingredients like ashwagandha, lemon, and hibiscus.
Some people believe a superfood tonic can enhance the function of a given body part and could nourish, strengthen, or restore it. Superfood tonics could potentially play an important role in maintaining wellness. Superfood tonics are gentle and rarely produce serious side effects when used as described.
Superfood tonics cover a broad category of different remedies. They can include adaptogens (like ashwagandha), astringents, alternatives, nutritives, and bitters.
Superfood tonics are used in the major healing systems of the world. This includes traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda — amongst many others.
What’s the Difference Between Tonic, Tincture, and Infusion?
If you’re familiar with the world of superfood remedies, you may have also heard of superfood tinctures and infusions. While they technically belong to the same family as superfood tonics, they have a few differences.
Superfood tinctures are highly concentrated extracts that are made by soaking the bark, leaves, or roots of certain plants in alcohol or vinegar. This is done for at least three weeks (but usually more) so that all the beneficial compounds of a plant get released.
Superfood tinctures have a very long and stable shelf life. And if you ever use them, keep in mind: A little goes a long way.
Infusions are similar to tinctures aside from one crucial difference. Instead of alcohol or vinegar, they use oil to extract plant compounds.
An infusion can either be cold — which can take months to extract — or hot — which involves a stove-top simmer at a low temperature. Infusions tend to be highly concentrated, but not quite as concentrated as a tincture.
Finally, superfood tonics are the least concentrated out of the three. They are made by boiling plants in water for a short period of time to extract their beneficial compounds. Then they are mixed with other liquids to dilute them and enhance their taste.
What Do Superfood Tonics Do?
Some superfood tonics can be used to improve general wellness, while others may support systems in the body. Below are some of the things that superfood tonics can potentially do for you.
1. Support the Immune System
We learned full well the importance of a healthy immune system after living through a pandemic. But a healthy immune system not only protects us from infections, but speeds up wound healing, and keeps our energy levels sky-high.
To support the immune system, it’s important to ensure that all its components — whether it's the virus-fighting white blood cells, the gut microbiome, or the lymphatic system — are working as they should. Superfood tonics can provide your body with the vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial compounds that serve as the immune system’s building blocks.
Immunity-supporting superfood tonics can contain various ingredients. For instance, ginger root is known for digestive support, while reishi mushrooms can help maintain feelings of clarity.
2. Support Respiratory Health
Our lungs can take a hit due to many reasons, such as air pollution, cleaning products, and cigarette smoke. Plus, lung infections can lead to phlegm, swelling, and coughing.
When you want to support your lung health, there are various superfood tonics that can be used to support your wellness goals. When it comes to superfood tonics, they can help soothe the body and promote feelings of relaxation.
Mullein is one popular superfood remedy, which has been shown to support lung health due to a compound called quercetin and could help support healthy sinuses. Some other popular options include licorice, oregano, and rosemary.
3. Maintain Liver Detoxification
Your liver is involved in hundreds of vital functions.
First, it’s a giant filter for your blood, removing toxins, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and potential allergens. Second, it produces bile, which is needed for healthy digestion. In addition, the liver helps to turn food into energy, regulate blood sugar levels, and maintain healthy immunity.
It should come as no surprise that a liver that doesn’t work well can show tons of different signs. This can be anything from acne breakouts to high cholesterol to sluggish digestion. Because the liver helps to clear out excess hormones, poor liver function can even lead to a hormonal imbalance.
Superfood tonics can support a healthy liver. A superfood tonic made from milk thistle is a remedy going back thousands of years. Due to its high antioxidant content, it may reduce inflammation and support overall liver function.
Another popular remedy is dandelion root, which can maintain proper bile production in the liver and can support overall wellness.
4. Support a Healthy Digestive System
A healthy gut is important for many aspects of your health.
If you experience gut problems, it can show up as irritated skin (for instance, acne is sometimes linked to the microbiome), food sensitivities, weight problems, and low mood.
That’s not to say anything about the different digestive diseases — such as heartburn — that millions of people experience every year.
For supporting the digestive system, some people turn to superfood tonics containing ginger.
Chamomile, dandelion, peppermint, and orange peel are also popular for maintaining the digestive system.
5. Calm the Nerves
In this day and age, no one is a stranger to stress and tension. While it’s important to reduce stressors, this isn’t always possible. Calming superfood tonics can be an option for soothing feelings of tension.
A class of superfood tonics known as “nervines” are ideal for promoting feelings of calm. They can help maintain the central nervous system (AKA the brain), which can support a positive mood and help reduce feelings of overwhelm. Some popular nervines include chamomile, valerian root, St. John’s wort, and skullcap.
6. Support Brain Function
Your brain has many functions, but the ones that are incredibly important for daily living include memory, focus, and decision-making. If they’re off-kilter, anything from your work performance to your ability to enjoy a book may suffer.
There’s no shortage of superfood tonics to help promote healthy brain function. Ginkgo biloba and adaptogens like ashwagandha can help maintain brain health.
7. Maintain Strong Muscles
Besides making us look awesome, strong muscles can boost our metabolism, improve blood sugar levels, and give us more energy. There’s no substitute for an exercise regimen when it comes to building muscle. However, superfoods may help increase your gains.
One popular remedy is a combination of velvet bean seed and Safed musli, which have been shown to support healthy growth hormone levels in those who strength train.
Another popular remedy is cinnamon. Due to its high antioxidant content, it may help relieve feelings of muscle soreness.
Are Superfood Tonics Safe?
Of course, it’s hard to generalize about superfood tonics since there are so many of them. But overall, they tend to be safe with very few side effects if used properly.
While technically anything made from a plant infusion can be called a superfood tonic, it’s best to stick to tried-and-true remedies. If you plan to use a superfood tonic for health and wellness support, make sure that it has a high evidence base to back it up.
Aside from that, it’s always best to buy your superfood tonics from reputable brands. This way, you’ll be getting the highest-quality ingredients while avoiding any “fillers” that can do more harm than good.
Best 5 Tonics To Help You Thrive
Sunwink’s sparkling tonics taste delicious while providing you with a hefty dose of superfood ingredients.
These five tonics from Sunwink feature a range of plant-powered products to help promote feelings of wellness.
1. Digestion Lemon Tonic
Our Digestion Lemon Sparkling Superfood Tonic is a delicious way to ease bloat while promoting healthy digestion.
Dandelion root stimulates your body’s gentle detox, while lemon balm soothes the digestive tract and chicory root supports a healthy microbiome.
2. Hibiscus Mint Unwind Tonic
To refresh and rewind, our Hibiscus Mint Unwind Sparkling Superfood Tonic combines the antioxidant powers of hibiscus with the calming effects of ashwagandha. For an extra healthy boost, we added mint, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Immunity Berry Tonic
To support your immune system, we combined elderberries, blueberries, and goji berries. These come together to create a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral beverage in our Immunity Berry Sparkling Superfood Tonic.
4. Detox Ginger Tonic
To give your body’s gentle detox pathways a helping hand of support, we combined ginger with dandelion and burdock root. The result? Our Detox Ginger Tonic, an excellent way to support your digestive health.
5. Turmeric Recover Tonic
Drink those sore muscles away with our Turmeric Recover Tonic.
With a healthy dose of rosemary, you can promote healthy circulation.
Plus, superfoods like turmeric and ginger support multiple bodily systems — just what you need after going extra hard in the gym.
Drink Your Way to Better Health
Superfood tonics and superfoods in general have been used for thousands of years to promote basically all aspects of health. Whether it’s your digestion, immune system, or brain function, there’s a superfood tonic that can help you feel supercharged.
For tonics that are truly delicious, turn to plant-based products by Sunwink.