What Are Tonic Herbs?

Tonic herbs are used to nourish and restore the the body. 

Tonic herbs were first mentioned in the Emperor Shen Nong's Classic of Herbal Medicine around 2,000 years ago and fall into the “superior herb” category. Superior herbs are the herbs collectively known to be safe, gentle, well-tolerated and effective. The most extraordinary of the tonic herbs were used by the wisest and wealthiest people in China because they were believed to possess profound health and performance-enhancing benefits. These Superior Herbs are not considered to be “medicinal” in the usual sense of the word.

Tonic herbs (superior herbs) do not force the body to change, but rather work with it to adapt, allowing a measured, nourishing and normalising effect to unfold within the body and its systems. Traditionally tonic herbs are consumed daily to promote longevity and prevent illness, offering nourishment to the vital organs without negative side effects.

Only herbs that meet specific qualifications are considered “tonic” in nature. For an herb to be recognized as a tonic (a Superior Herb), it must have been found over many centuries to have profound general health-promoting actions that result in a long and healthy life.
Secondly, the tonics must have no negative side-effects when used reasonably, so they may be taken continuously over a long period of time if desired, yielding cumulative, long-term benefits. This emphasis on safety is in accordance with the first law of Chinese herbalism — “Do no harm.” 
Thirdly, a tonic must be believed to affect the psyche so as to help improve one’s state of spiritual and emotional wellbeing and happiness.
Fourthly, most of the herbs in this category taste just fine. In fact, many of these tonic herbs are routinely used in healthy Chinese cooking. The tonic herbs are considered to be the fifth food group in the Chinese diet. They are “superfoods.” The fact that they are broadly used in Chinese cuisine is testimony to their safety.

Some tonic herbs are adaptogens, but not all adaptogens are tonic herbs.

What Is An Adaptogen?

Adaptogens are densely nutritious botanical substances that help the body normalize out-of-balance systems and adapt to environmental, physical and emotional stress. They are called adaptogens because they 'adapt' their function to your body's unique needs. They are used to improve the health of your adrenal system, the system that’s in charge of managing your body’s hormonal response to stress. They help strengthen the body’s ability to cope with anxiety and fight fatigue – slowly and gently, without jolts or crashes. Think of adaptogens like a thermostat. The keep your body’s responses at a desirable level, much like the way a thermostat keeps the temperature from becoming too high or too low. 

Adaptogens are safe to take on a daily basis. Depending on your individual constitution, you could notice a change in as little as two weeks. However, the longer you use an adaptogen, the more benefits you’re likely to experience.

Difference Between Wildcrafted & Organic?

Before there was “Certified Organic”, herbs and plants that were gathered free of herbicides, pesticides, detergents and other harmful chemicals were referred to as “Wild Crafted”. Wild Crafted botanicals are not farmed or sprayed with any kind of pesticide. They are wild, native and organic by their own nature and retain the positive attributes of plants grown in their normal habitat. Certified Organic herbs and plants are usually grown under ideal conditions on a farm and produced according to standards which translate into no harmful pesticides, fertilizers or GMO plants (genetically modified organisms) to enhance their growth. They are healthy, but because they are grown under the best conditions and not necessarily in their natural habitat, they may not retain all the attributes of their wild crafted counterpart. Both Wild Crafted and Certified Organic products are free of harmful chemical additives and are much better and safer than their commercial grade counterparts. However, one isn’t necessarily better than the other.Just because a product(particularly herbs and mushrooms) are “organic” doesn’t mean they are better than wildcrafted herbs, it just means they were cultivated under organic conditions. Organic herbs grown in non Di Tao locations are not used by Root&Bones.

Caring For Your Herbs

Caring for your herbs can be a process from proper storage to regular use (with a dry measuring spoon). For specifics, please reference this blog on proper care instruction.

Why Do We Proudly Source From China/Di Tao?

Di Dao doesn't translate easily into English, like many of the great Chinese concepts (e.g., Jing, Qi, and Shen!) The word Tao, in this case, refers to the district in which the herb is grown, and Di is more to do with the soil and land in which the herb is grown. In other words, sourced from its spiritual homeland. Di Dao herbs must be high quality, medicinally dense herbs that have been grown in their natural habitat. This provides the herbs with the healing properties that allow them to be effective in fulfilling their purpose as medicinal herbs and tonics.

Ron Teeguarden, founder of Dragon Herbs and legendary tonic herbalist, translates Di Dao to "Earth Tao," or "the Way of the Earth." He says,
"Every plant has its perfect habitat where the plant flourishes, and in the case of a herb or food, becomes the most phytochemically rich and balanced."

Chaga grown on birch trees in a forest in Siberia and Chaga  grown indoors in a lab in a temperature controlled, light controlled environment are different. Medicinal Mushrooms impart a lot of their benefits from the wood that they grow on. (In comparison, most indoor grown mushrooms are grown on starch or oats).

Wild herbs possess more power and potency than cultivated herbs. Wild herbs must survive naturally even in extremely harsh climates. Cultivated herbs can sometimes be weak and fragile, and therefore lack inner power. That will be reflected in the price of an herb, in its flavor, and most importantly in its efficacy. Cheaper brands always use weaker cultivated herbs, often from non-Di Tao growing sites.

China has one of the longest-standing herbal traditions in the world, and one of the oldest books on medicinal substances (also known as a "materia medica") in the Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing, which was compiled in the 1st century AD during the Han dynasty. Di Tao is acknowledged by the Chinese government and recognized by modern TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) practitioners too.

More About Our Mushrooms + Herbs

Root + Bones uses the highest quality, closest to nature, rooted in history and lore items possible. Herbs and mushrooms impart some of their incredible benefits from how they are grown. Whenever possible, I choose wildcrafted items, those which have survived the elements, struggled to protect itself and survived.

All mushrooms are wood grown, except for Cordyceps which is grown via liquid ferment.

We only use fruiting body. No grain, starch or filler.


If you have done your due diligence in figuring out what kind of botanical you are wanting to consume, and then shop around with other companies, you might notice price discrepancies. It is important to understand why there are these differences, and that when you pay a lower price, you are often getting a lower quality. For example, another company may also sell 4 oz of Chaga powder for $25, but what is not as obvious is they are using indoor grown on oats Chaga in which the final product is a mix of the starch the mushroom was grown on, the mycelium and hopefully a little of the fruiting body. While this may be a cheaper way of growing medicinal mushrooms, it is akin to lab grown meat..

We source all products from their proper growing regions, and with as much influence from nature as possible. For example, our Chaga is coming from the harsh climate of Siberia, where they have their natural life cycle on birch trees, fight the elements and learn how to survive which then imparts those qualities into the powder.

It is also important to note that medicinal mushrooms need to be extracted, and many companies are selling you a raw powdered version of the mushroom which has no bioavailability or health benefits.

More On Pricing

Prices are based off weight, not volume. This is why 2 oz of Pine Pollen which is very fluffy will fill the larger jar, and 2 oz of deer antler velvet fills a small jar. 

Please also note the weight on the product description, i.e. 3 oz of pearl powder will not fill the jar, and the price is based off 3 oz of pearl, not on how much product it takes to fill a jar.

A Note On Servings Per Container

Since the density of powders can vary from batch to batch, occasionally a jar will not contain the proper 'servings per container'. If this happens, please let us know. When the density changes, the servings per container can shift.

Quality Assurance

We extract our herbs using either spring water (‘water extraction’), or spring water and organic rice alcohol - a process known as ‘dual extraction’.

Our processing facility in China adheres to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards. GMP is a strict code of conduct governing how products are handled. Our processing facility is GMP certified. The facility uses technology like High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) and UV fingerprints to ensure our herbs are of the highest quality possible.

Our co-packing facility in CA is also GMP certified. 

Can I Take Multiple Herbs At Once?

Absolutely. In fact, many people take multiple products at the same time for a super elixir! Find what feels right for you. For example, for boosting energy in the morning you could take Rhodiola, Pine Pollen and Cordyceps, and in the evening you could take Pearl, HeShouWu and Reishi.

Best Way To Use The Herbs?

One of the trademarks about adaptogens and longevity herbs is that they are very safe to take daily for extended periods of time. The longer you take them, the more benefits you will see.Though they can be beneficial for short term use, it is important to keep in mind, prevention of disease comes from consistent daily choices.

Are Your Products Registered By The FDA?

No, herbal supplements are not registered by the FDA. However, the FDA does regulate the manufacturing and label guidelines of herbal supplements, and we are in accordance with these guidelines.

What Do They Taste Like?

One of the trademarks of herbs/mushrooms that are beneficial for the immune system is that they contain polysaccharides. Polysaccharides are compounds that are traditionally bitter. This bitter flavor aspect of the polysaccharides provide the immune regulating and anti-inflammatory effects. Our herbs have an earthy, slightly bitter flavor.We believe that we are fortunate to be able to taste the herbs in their unadulterated state. That being said, you are more than welcome to adjust the flavor by adding it to teas, coffee, smoothies or other beverages that help mask the flavor.

Variation In Powders?

Products may vary from batch to batch. This is because of the nature of the raw starting material, time of year, exposure to sunlight..etc This can show up as slightly different tastes, textures or smells. If you receive a product that feels slightly different than your previous products, this is why.

Are These Herbs Tested?

Yes. Each of our herbs is tested for yeasts, molds, heavy metals, solvents, and pesticides. Most herb companies will only show you their Manufacturer Data Sheet with very basic information. Look for a third party lab report, not a basic one page form! For more information on exactly what we screen for, feel free to check out of COA page on our sourcing page


Orders will ship within 2-3 business days, and that we use usps ground shipping, unless an expedited service has been chosen.

You will receive an email with your shipping notification along with a tracking number. If you have not received this number 4 days after making an order please email customersupport@rootandbones.com

After orders have been placed, package scans from our carriers may be delayed. As a result, orders may not show tracking for a few days – even when your order is already on the way. Please allow extra time for tracking updates and final delivery.

In rare cases, you may not have tracking visibility – orders may arrive before tracking becomes available.

Once your order ships, you will receive a shipping confirmation email with tracking information. If your order is lost by the carrier we will refund or resend. Once the package is delivered however, we cannot be responsible for it's contents. We are NOT responsible for stolen items.

If your package is stolen, you can use this link to submit a claim: https://about.usps.com/publications/pub122/pub122_v07_revision_092016_007.h

Need To Manage Subscriptions?

To manage your subscriptions, you can follow the link to our subscription page.

*Please note, changes to subscriptions must be made 48 hours prior to ship date. Once your order is fulfilled, it will be shipped from our warehouse. Should you wish to return it, all items must remain unopened. Restocking fees may apply.

Discount Codes + Sales

We hold sales a few times a year. Please sign up for the newsletter to know when these sales happen. There are no ongoing discount codes.

International Shipping

We do offer international shipping however we cannot guarantee shipping speeds or carrier service surcharges, including duties + taxes. All fees due upon delivery are the responsibility of the recipient.


Because of the nature of the product, we only accept returns of products that are unopened and sealed. We are unable to refund the initial order’s shipping cost and the shipping of your return is at your own cost.

Please send your unopened product back to us within 14 days of receiving your order. If your product arrives damaged, please send a photo along with an email and we will gladly replace your item.

All returns are subject to a $10 restocking fee.


Once orders are placed, we cannot guarantee changes can be made. We will do our best to reach our packing team, however most often, customers must wait to receive the item and return the unopened merchandise.

Do you make price adjustments?

No. We rarely offer sales and have only one planned sale a year, for Black Friday.

We very seldom offer additional sales, but when we do, we do not make price adjustments for store credit or refunds.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Send us an email to tell us what's up and someone from our Customer Service team will get back to you as soon as possible. Be sure to include your order number (if you have one).

Please email us at customersupport@rootandbones.com