Tending to the preservation and cultivation of our Jing, or “essence,” is crucial to human development, quality of life, and even longevity. As the most foundational of the Three Treasures conceptualized by the Taoist sages, Jing is the building block upon which our vitality and spirituality can flourish. Though it is naturally depleted over the course of one’s life, it can also be cultivated intentionally, with Chinese tonic herbs being one of the best ways to both preserve and nourish Jing. Herbs that tonify Jing deeply support the Kidneys, facilitate hormonal balance, thoroughly enhance resilience, and promote balanced Yin and Yang energies throughout the entire body.
Jing is the constitutional essence we inherit from our parents and give to our children, and there are two types of this vital substance. “Original” or prenatal Jing is the genetic code we receive from our parents and is the foundation of our health, while “acquired” or postnatal Jing is created through the food we consume, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and our lifestyle habits. Because Jing is utilized to maintain all bodily functions, it’s considered crucial to tend to its acquisition through lifestyle choices. When it’s depleted, our bodies tap into our reserves of original Jing, which is extremely precious and finite. When original Jing runs out, so does our time on the earthly plane, highlighting the connection between longevity and Jing.
It’s no coincidence that most of the ancient Chinese longevity tonics are tonifying to Jing, including…
He Shou Wu: One of the one of the most revered Jing tonics, HSW greatly supports optimal Kidney function and toxin elimination, therefore promoting fertility, hormonal balance, and sexual potency for both men and women. Because it offers comprehensive Liver and Kidney support, it strengthens the structure of the body, including the lower back, knees, tendons, ligaments, and bones. He Shou Wu stimulates the body’s production of longevity-promoting substances, including the powerful antioxidant SOD – a potent free radical scavenger. This beloved herb is a potent recovery tonic to mitigate depletion by tonifying Qi and Blood. Through its blood-building action, it helps restore hair color (a reflection of health). He Shou Wu is also a Yin tonic, an herbal category that TCM sees as crucial for burnout prevention. You can also find it in our synergistic Beauty Blend.
Deer Antler Velvet: Traditional Chinese theorists believe that because animals are closer to human beings than plants, that animal substances are the most beneficial for tonifying Jing. Deer Antler is regenerative, imbuing us with that same capacity for regeneration. Deer Antler extract contains hyaluronic acid, a natural substance also produced in the human body, that maintains elasticity of the skin and connective tissue. Rich in minerals, collagen, amino acids, and growth factor to support a robust constitution, it enhances adrenal function, reproductive health (especially for impotence and uterine deficiency that leads to infertility), cognition, and healthy sleep cycles. Considered a Heart tonic, it enhances circulation and builds blood by tonifying marrow, which naturally deteriorates as we age – a key facet of its almost unparalleled support for longevity and graceful aging. You can also find it in our Warrior Blend.
Reishi Spore: As the “seed” or “pollen” of the Reishi mushroom, the spore is even more concentrated in certain nutrients, like triterpenes, which are modernly valued in many Asian countries for their inflammation-taming, pain-relieving, antipyretic, liver-protective, and cardiotonic properties. Due to the dynamic and modulating functions of polysaccharides and triterpenes, Reishi Spores support robust immunity at the root level, with a systematic and proactive approach. Akin to being the essence of Reishi, the spores are believed to contain an abundance of Jing to nourish our own Essence and thus promote longevity. Rich in essential minerals like magnesium, calcium, and potassium, it has comprehensive regulating and replenishing actions, while supporting healthy REM sleep cycles so that healing can occur.
Schizandra: Containing all Three Treasures and entering all twelve meridians, this powerful “five-flavored berry” that’s a perfectly balanced Yin and Yang tonic offers potent protection on many levels. As a true adaptogen, Schizandra can help regulate the body’s nonspecific stress response via the HPA axis and sympathetic-adrenal system. Schizandra is particularly protective to the adrenals, and prevents physiological damage from extreme or chronic stress. This tonic herb is also highly immunosupportive and one of the best allies for fortifying oneself during seasonal transitions, protecting the body and the skin from external elements and pollution. This points to Schizandra’s fame as a beauty and antiaging tonic. It has a profoundly balancing effect on the nervous system and improves both alertness and cognitive function without causing nervousness like most stimulants. Also available in our Beauty Blend.
Cordyceps: This Yang tonic, a highly prized category in TCM, boasts the ability to enhance life force in a way that comprehensively supports both the body and mind. However, it is somewhat unique in that it also contains Yin, replenishing our deepest energy reserves that get depleted with aging, extreme exertion, or chronic stress. Cordyceps is considered a super tonic for its ability to: protect the Liver, Kidney, and Lungs; support the Thyroid; increase energy; stimulate libido; build endurance; and promote longevity. One of its main properties is nephroprotective (preserving Kidney health), which supports sexual function, cognitive strength, structural integrity, and our Jing reserves. Cordyceps is an adaptogen that has potent immunosupportive properties, with a particular affinity for respiratory health.
Other favorites include Pine Pollen, Eleuthero, Eucommia, and Turkey Tail.