Not every cure comes with a safety cap or prescription…
Back before a quick internet search could tell you whether your stuffy nose was a routine cold or a rare disease caused by a bug only found on a tiny island you’ve never set foot on (because it’s definitely one or the other), and even before you actually had to pick up the phone to make an appointment with a doctor, people relied on what they could find and forage to help cure their ills. In other words: plant medicine.
If it came from the ground, chances were there was a way to use it that would benefit your mind, body and soul, and no one knew that better than herbalists. For centuries, they studied botany and how to use plants to soothe and cure. Today, even though pharmaceuticals and OTC cures are a dime a dozen, there’s still something to be said for a form of medicine that dates well before Google and phone lines and drug stores. (And if you’re interested, Google tells me there’s archaeological evidence to indicate that using plants as medicine dates back nearly 60,000 years, so this whole internet thing is good for something.)
So given that it’s been a minute since herbal medicine was de rigueur, it’s a rare and special treat to find someone who not openly champions the power of botanicals when it comes to our health, which is where Adriana Ayales, founder of Anima Mundi comes in. As someone who fluently and beautifully speaks the language of the plants, Ayales, a rainforest tribal herbalist from Costa Rica, has dedicated herself to healing and natural elements.
Believing that not every cure comes with a safety cap or prescription, Anima Mundi strives to present pure, powerful, traditional herbal formulations to help the people of today with what ails them, much like the same plants did for our ancestors. To do so, each tonic is a gorgeous, well-researched combination of wisdom from all corners of the earth: rainforest tribal botany, Chinese medicine, Ayurveda.
Let’s break down some of these botanical superfoods to figure out which jives best with your life and needs.
Anxious? Jumpy? Can’t sleep? Try drinking less coffee. Or spend some time on a yoga mat. Or maybe turn to plants in the form of Anima Mundi’s Happiness Tonic.
Why “happiness”? Well, can you think of anything that ruins your mood faster than not getting a good night’s sleep? Which is why this wildcrafted tonic is full of adaptogenic herbs that work together to stabilize hormone function, serotonin and dopamine, and sooth the nervous system so you can rest easier and, in turn, be happy!
(Side note: Don’t remember what adaptogens are? In short, they’re herbs that have been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to boost energy and resilience. They support your adrenals, the glands that help your body manage stress, anxiety and fatigue, and adapt their function to your body’s needs so they work in gentle harmony with what your system without the fear of crashing—hence the name.)
The herbs in question? St. Johns Wort (known to fight insomnia), mucuna (a bean that acts as a mood booster and nervous system soother), rhodiola (which has been shown to improve brain health), ashwaganda (a plant that supports adrenal fatigue) and albizzia (a plant affectionately known as “the Tree of Happiness”).
Responsible for releasing hormones, it’s easy for stress and sleeplessness to send your adrenal and endocrine systems into overdrive. When your body is stressed, they respond by releasing an overabundance of cortisol and adrenaline which just makes everything worse. So these “happy” herbs work together to relieve stress and anxiety, most importantly by working to aid your adrenal system.
In order for your body to properly digest everything you put into it, every part of the digestive system needs to be working well and together. Sure, you know what foods upset your stomach and which ones mess with your gut (hello, probiotics!), but do you ever think about how what you put in your mouth does to your liver?
Since it’s the liver’s job to metabolize fat, it needs to be at 100% to take the food you eat and turn it into the energy your body runs on. More often than not, that A+ liver status isn’t consistent, so a good chunk of fat gets left behind, un-metabolised. You could just let those fat cells be; they’ll make a nice home for themselves somewhere in your body, maybe they’ll even raise some kids and live a long, happy life in, say, your tummy. Then, every time you’re sweating your tush off in a spin class, you can blame your liver.
But if you want to play mean landlord, you could just add Anima Mundi’s Fat Belly Tonic into your daily routine and metaphorically raise that rent so much that those fat cells won’t have any choice but to move out of state. You see, the formula is a blend of herbs that are anti-inflammatory ( turmeric, mangosteen and ginger) and detox (cha-de-bugre and green coffee) powerhouses. They get in there and strip the liver of impurities, opening it up to perform at — you guessed it — 100%. When it’s in tip-top shape, there’s just no room for leftover fat since all of it gets processed the right way.
Feel free to use that newfangled internet to do more research on any of this stuff, but if your computer turns out to be a time machine that catapults you back thousands of years, you can bet the people you’ll find there will be using the same plants and herbs to treat their issues. And a word of time travel advice: Hide that computer ASAP lest someone think it’s black magic sent from another world to mess with their herbalist way of life.
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This information is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease or issue. Please seek your doctor’s advice for any questions regarding a specific condition and before beginning any exercise, diet or health-related regimen.