When ever I think of “tonics” I think of the wild west and the guys in their wagons touting the latest cure. One of the more popular tonics like Hostetter’s Celebrated Stomach Bitters had an alcohol content of 44.3% by volume. Others, like Parkers Tonic had 41.6% and Peruna had 28%.
From the 1850’s to the early 1900’s, cocaine- and opium-laced elixirs, tonics and wines were broadly used by people of all social classes. Yes folks , there was cocaine in coke.
I imagine a Gene Wilder character re blazing saddles and Madeline Kahn as Lili Von Shtupp saying “it’s true! It’s true!”
So when my acupuncture doc told me to go buy some a tonic called shoh wu chi at the chines grocery store I was a little ambivalent.
Shou Wu Chih is a sweetened, black-colored liquid containing 15% alcohol, as well as various herbs. Its herbal ingredients include the following:
* Root of Polygonum multiflorum (Radix Polygoni multiflori, also called fo-ti or ho shou wu) – 25%
* Root of Angelica sinensis (Chinese angelica, also called dong quai or danggui) – 25%
* Rhizome of Polygonatum sibiricum (King Solomonseal) – 20%
* Rhizome of Rehmannia glutinosa – 10%
* Rhizome of Ligusticum wallichii (Chinese lovage, also called Ligusticum chuanxiong) – 10%
* Root of Angelica dahurica (Dahurian Angelica, also called Angelica glabra Makino) – 7%
* Fruit of Amomum villosum (Villous Amomum, a type of cardamom) – 2%
* Clove – 1%
Other ingredients may also include:
* Hedychium coronarium (white ginger)
* Jambosa caryophy Llus Ndz
* Citron (Citrus medica)
* Conioselinum univittatum Turcz
Depending on the manufacturer, Shou Wu Chih may or may not contain alcohol. The listing of ingredients on an alcohol-free brand is: Fo-ti, Angelica root, Rehmannia, Ligusticum, Solomonseal, Angelica dahurica, Cloves, Citri medica, Cardamon in distilled water base.
Shou wu chih is sold in glass bottles. It is generally consumed by adding between one and three tablespoons to a cup of hot water, tea, or soup.
Shou wu chih is a liquid tonic formula for men and women. It is claimed by the manufacturers that it gently increases the energy level and it tonifies, warms, and invigorates the blood, nourishes the liver and kidneys, and benefits the eyes. It is sai that regular use strengthens the bones and tendons and improves sleep Based on the herb Polygonum Multiflorum it is suitable for long-term use.
Research has shown that it decrease cholesterol levels and also improves energy levels.
So if your an alcoholic get the one without the alcohol. I think worth it to give it a try, I called it “chinese Geritol” and my doc laughed and said “Yes Yes I call it the same thing-ancient Chinese secret!”
Remember western medicine is actually the alternative medicine. Chinese medicine has been around for thousands of years.
“Its True. It’s True”