Choose Your Tincture
Join the CSH and receive a monthly Tonic Herb

As a member of the River Prairie Apothecary Community Supported Herb Share, you will pick one tonic herb to take long-term (ideally for a half year) that you will receive a bottle of each month.

You will experience the most benefit from using herbal medicines consistently. By focusing on one herb at a time, you will be more able to notice the subtle positive changes that occur in your wellbeing and also which plants work best for your body. As you take an herb over time, you not only benefit from its physical healing effects but also begin to feel and benefit from the energy of that particular plant. Some medicines have an affinity for the heart and emotions while others work with the nervous system and assist with alleviating anxiety and depression.

Choose from one of the tonic herbs below. If you need help deciding which medicinal herb will work best for you or have questions, contact Kerri; she is available to assist you. You can always change your tonic herb if your first choice isn’t working out for you or if you find another plant you like better. We’ll be adding more tonic herbs to our stock as our inventory grows, so stick around!

TULSI Holy Basil Ocimum Sanctum MOTHERWORT Leonurus Cardiaca
Tulsi - Holy Basil

Tulsi is an aromatic herb in the mint family and is related to culinary basil. It is one of the most widely used herbs in India and has been revered for its medicinal value for thousands of years in Hinduism and Ayurveda.

Tulsi has spiritual as well as medicinal significance in Ayurveda. In Hindu mythology, the plant is an incarnation of the goddess Tulsi, offering divine protection. Many Indian families keep a living Tulsi plant in their homes – tending to it with great care and reverence. The plant’s woody stalks are often made into beads used in meditation malas or rosaries.
According to Ayurveda, tulsi promotes purity and lightness in the body Tulsi cleanses the respiratory tract of toxins and relieves digestive gas and bloating. The leaves offer a rich source of essential oil, containing eugenol, nerol, camphor, and a variety of terpenes and flavonoids. The oil is a strong antiseptic against many kinds of disease-causing organisms, including bacteria, fungi, and parasites.

Tulsi oil has antioxidant properties that may explain its effectiveness in reducing the damaging effects of stress on the body. A number of studies of animals have shown that tulsi protects healthy cells from the toxicity of radiation and chemotherapy. In addition, tulsi seems to influence the neurochemistry of the brain in a way similar to antidepressant medications.

Kerri recommends this plant for seasonal depression which affects many people during long winters in the midwest. Tulsi provides a gentle lift and serves as an ally to those looking for a sense of protection and clarity. The herb has an almost sweet and anise-like flavor and is very enjoyable. Kerri grew this plant in her garden and made fresh tincture using the leaves and flowers in brandy with local honey.                    

Motherwort is another herb from the bountiful mint family that grows almost everywhere in the Chippewa Valley. It grows in the shady edges around the places where humans have moved in signifying its willingness to reach out to us from the plant world and offer its healing properties. Ironically, motherwort has very small thorns within its flowers letting us know that even though it has made itself available to be used as a medicine it also deserves for our respect.

Motherwort is great for people who are similar to this plant in that they give a lot to others and are concerned about the wellbeing of others around them which leads them to forget about their own wellbeing. As this plant is called Motherwort – or mother’s medicine – it has been known to be used as a tonic for those who worry about those who surround them too much. Even though it is normal to worry about our work, projects and loved ones sometimes, this type of stress can indeed take a toll on the mind and body. Motherwort is helpful in easing stress and anxiety especially when those worries seem to lead us astray from our purpose or drive in life. The Latin name for this plant means “lion’s heart,” and indeed motherwort helps with strengthening our heart both physically and emotionally due to worry and stress.

Motherwort is used medicinally for heart related issues and can be taken as a tonic to prevent heart issues or to strengthen the heart and improve its function. Those who suffer from minor heart palpitations due to stress have found relief with this plant. This plant has also been shown to lower cholesterol levels due to its bitter properties and effects on the digestive system.

Additionally, Motherwort is helpful with cramps and pain related to menstruation in females. It has also been used to lessen hot flashes due to menopause. However, this plant is not limited to females; it provides much healing for males who also suffer from anxiety or worry which causes them to be unable to fully rest or quiet the mind. Motherwort is helpful with quieting those cyclical, repeating thoughts that prevent us from falling asleep at night.

ASHWAGANDHA Withania somnifera

Ashwagandha, one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing, has been used since ancient times for a wide variety of conditions, and is most well-known for its restorative benefits. It is in the tomato family and the root is normally used.

In Sanskrit, Ashwagandha means “the smell of a horse,” indicating that the herb imparts the vigor and strength of a stallion, and has traditionally been prescribed to help people strengthen their immune system after an illness. It is frequently referred to as “Indian ginseng” because of its rejuvenating properties, even though botanically, ginseng and Ashwagandha are unrelated.

Ashwagandha contains many useful medicinal chemicals, including withanolides (steroidal lactones), alkaloids, choline, fatty acids, amino acids, and a variety of sugars. Medical researchers have been studying Ashwagandha for years with great interest and have completed more than 200 studies on the healing benefits of this botanical.

Some key examples of the healing effects of Ashwagandha are:

- Protects the immune system
- Helps combat the effects of stress
- Improves learning, memory, and reaction time
- Reduces anxiety and depression without causing drowsiness
- Helps reduce brain-cell degeneration
- Stabilizes blood sugar
- Helps lower cholesterol
- Offers anti-inflammatory benefits
- Contains anti-malarial properties
- Enhances sexual potency for both men and women

One of the most beautiful aspects of Ashwagandha is that it is an adaptogen; meaning that it is a type of herb that modulates your response to stress or a changing environment. Adaptogens help the body cope with external stresses such as toxins in the environment and internal stresses such as anxiety and insomnia. Adaptogens are also helpful is recuperating from and preventing illness.


Damiana is an herb of Mexico and the Southwest that has such a long and persistent folk history of use as a sex stimulant.  According to herbalist David Hoffman: "Damiana is an excellent strengthening remedy for the nervous system. It has an ancient reputation as an aphrodisiac. Today, it is it observed to have a definite tonic action on the central nervous and the hormonal system. As a useful anti-depressant, damiana is considered to be a specific in cases of anxiety and depression where there is a sexual factor. It may be used to strengthen the male sexual system."
Anyone, man or woman, can lose interest in sex. Many factors can cause loss of desire, including stress from work, illness, injury, emotional stress (especially because a relationship is on the rocks), alcohol and many prescription medications, particularly antidepressants. If you think your lack of interest may be due to medication, make a list of all the medications that you take, both prescription and over-the-counter. Take the list to your doctor or pharmacist and ask if any of these medications have side effects that could be affecting your sex life. If so, ask your doctor if you can substitute other medications that might have a less dastardly effect. Once you've ruled out common causes of libido loss, then you might try some herbal approaches like Damiana!
Damiana can be used safely for increasing libido. For acute use a cup of tea or full dropper of tincture is safe with effects lasting up to an hour and a half. For regular tonic use take no more than 5-10 drops a day. However, Damiana may interfere with iron absorption. Avoid this herb if you have liver damage and use regularly for no more than 3 months.


Astragalus has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years to strengthen the body against disease. The root is the medicinal part of the plant, and is usually harvested from 4-year-old plants. It is in the pea family and is best known for its use as a tonic for energy and the immune system.

Astragalus is an adaptogen, meaning it helps protect the body against various stresses, including physical, mental, or emotional stress. It contains antioxidants, which protect cells against damage. Additionally, astragalus has antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties meaning that it stimulates the immune system and may help prevent colds.

Specifically, astragalus is used to protect and support the immune system, preventing colds and upper respiratory infections, lowering blood pressure, treating diabetes, and protecting the liver. It is a potential treatment for people whose immune systems have been weakened by chemotherapy or radiation. Because astragalus is an antioxidant, it may help people with severe forms of heart disease, relieving symptoms, lowering cholesterol levels, and improving heart function.

 At low-to-moderate doses, astragalus has few side effects. However, it is not recommended for people who have autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus as it stimulates the immune system.  Astragalus may also be a mild diuretic, meaning it helps rid the body of excess fluid.

Source: Astragalus | University of Maryland Medical Center
University of Maryland Medical Center







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