When we take tonics, we feel better and have more energy. When we take stimulating herbs, we also feel better and have more energy, but only when we are stimulating ourselves. There are immediate uncomfortable effects when we lack our stimulant, but no decrease in health if we stop taking the tonic. Ginger and cinnamon certainly have their uses. But they don’t build health.
Over the long run, stimulants erode our health. Nourishing ultimately gives us more energy, though it will take a few days to feel it, whereas the effects of stimulants are immediate. [...]
Stimulating/sedating herbs are some of the most widely used of all herbs. They include coffee, tea, cinnamon, ginger, hops, kava kava, licorice, passion flower, skullcap, valerian, willow, and wintergreen. They are best used when there is a specific need: A pre-diabetic might choose to take a teaspoonful of cinnamon daily. Ginger compresses are great, and I enjoy it in my food, occasionally. The point with these herbs is to avoid daily use.
Does anyone else find this surprising? In particular, I've never viewed cinnamon, ginger, and licorice as different from any other seasonings or teas.
I had to cut out honey this year, and cinnamon has become an important seasoning for my cereal. I also used to drink a few cups of ginger tea every day. But since it's not so tasty without honey, and my stomach is out of sorts, I've been thinking of replacing it with licorice tea.
Do these seem like unhealthy choices? If not daily, then how often?