The tonic herbs of TCM are classified according to a comprehensive and intricate system, but there are four main categories that guide our work: Yin, Yang, Qi, and Blood. Blood tonics are “Blood-building,” which means they promote the production of healthy blood, including through the proper utilization of nutrients. Blood is a primary carrier channel for distributing Qi, nutrients, hormones, and immune cells throughout the body. Unsurprisingly, Blood is intimately involved with the entire body’s activities, but in TCM it has the strongest affinities to the Heart, Liver, Spleen, and Kidneys – organs that correspond to four out of the five seasons of Chinese medicine, meaning that Blood-building tonics are basically always in season.
Blood tonics are especially tonifying to the Yin elements of these organ systems, promoting their optimal functioning. Extremely supportive of reproductive health in both men and women, Blood plays a vital role in the circulation-sex system of TCM, which explains the mutually dependent connection between the Heart (circulation) and Kidneys (sex) in cultivating overall health and vitality. The intimate coordination between these two organ systems that together govern the circulation of Blood, Qi, and Jing helps maintain hormonal balance, sexual vitality, longevity, and emotional balance.
Shen is stored in the Heart, so adequate blood supply to this “ruler of all organs” supports emotional balance, mental clarity, and spiritual connection. Emotional imbalances or Blood deficiency can express in symptoms such as mood swings, anxiety, and cognitive dysregulation, which can impact both sexuality and overall health. This Longevity Latte is an indulgent way to honor the Late Summer season and tend to the Spleen, while thoroughly improving blood flow and stimulating the body’s production of longevity-promoting substances (such as Jing itself, and the most powerful antioxidant superoxide dismutase – a potent free radical scavenger).
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk or whole milk
- ½ tsp He Shou Wu extract
- 1 ¼ tsp beetroot powder
- Small slice of fresh ginger, peeled
- ½ tsp Rose extract powder
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp honey
- Pinch of sea salt
Warm the milk on your stovetop with the ginger slice. Let simmer for about 5 minutes on low heat. Strain out and add to a high-speed blender with the other ingredients until frothy.