For thousands of years, Buddhist and Taoist sages have used tonic herbs to promote health, longevity, and Enlightenment. These herbs are Nature's greatest treasures and gifts to humanity. They develop a state of Radiant Health and constitute an ancient time-tested system of preventative health care.
What Are the Tonic Herbs?
The tonic herbs are the elite herbs of the Chinese herbal system, the most fully developed herbal system in the world. The Chinese tonic herbs have always held a very special place in Asian culture. These very special natural substances have been associated with the highest qualities of living, and thus are associated with the ideals of long life, slow aging, glowing health, happiness, wisdom, physical vitality, adaptability, sexual vigor and response, mental acuity and clear intuition, love and compassion, and harmonious relations with nature and with one's fellow human beings. The tonic herbs are not harsh and are not specifically medicinal in the conventional sense. Tonic herbs help to regulate our myriad functions so that we can re-establish and maintain our balance, our adaptability, our vigor and our youthfulness. By achieving these goals, one can be said to have attained true "radiant health.
Why Consume Tonic Herbs?
Tonic herbs are not medicinal. They nurture life, nurture the human spirit, slow down the aging process, and they protect us on every level - physically, immunologically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. What distinguishes Chinese tonic herbalism from other systems has been the attitude the Chinese and other Asian societies have taken toward health. Putting the emphasis on promoting health, they have created a body of knowledge concerning the health-promoting tonic herbs that no other society or system has matched. Other systems have generally emphasized the remedial over the preventive.
Tonic Herbs Are Transformative
Almost every person who uses the Chinese tonic herbs for any extended period of time will experience benefits. In some cases the benefits may be almost instantaneous and profound, while for others the influence may be subtle at first, with cumulative effects developing over time.
Indeed, one of the profound benefits of the Chinese tonic herbs abides in their ability to change "vicious cycles" into "benevolent cycles." The tonics help reverse the process of one problem leading to more problems. Something good happens when you start taking these herbs. You start to feel balanced and strong inside. You start having abundant energy when you need it and yet you feel relaxed and at peace. Incredibly, you become more and more adaptive so that you can do a lot of things that you couldn't do before. You find yourself taking on challenges you couldn't have handled before, doing things that you used to avoid or that you thought you were incapable of doing."
~ Ron Teeguarden
The reishi mushroom, the king of all tonic herbs, that nourishes all three Treasures, jing (essence), qi (energy) and shen (spirit). This herb is the most important herb in our life.
"Reishi has traditionally been used as an anti-aging herb, and has been used for many diseases and disorders as well. It has long been a favorite tonic food supplement by the Chinese Royal family and virtually any one who could obtain it. Reishi was particularly revered by the followers of the Taoist tradition as the "Elixir of Immortality." Taoists have continuously claimed that Reishi promotes calmness, centeredness, balance, inner awareness and inner strength. They have used it to improve meditative practices and to protect the body, mind and spirit so that the adept could attain both a long and healthy life and “spiritual immortality” (enlightenment). Due to its rarity in the past, the common people could rarely obtain a Reishi mushroom, and it was popularly revered as a greater treasure than any jewel."
~ Ron Teeguarden
Ganga and Tara's book "Herbs for Spiritual Development"
HERBS FOR SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT is the story of Ganga’s apprenticeship under Master Daoist Herbalist Ron Teeguarden. It is an intimate chronicle of what it was like living with a Master Herbalist and his family and diving deep into the wonderful world of Chinese Tonic Herbs. When Ganga met Ron Teeguarden he invited Ganga to move into his home and proceeded to teach him about the benefits of the Tonic Herbs that Daoist and Buddhist sages have used for thousands of years to promote health, longevity, and enlightenment. This is a book unlike any other book on Chinese Herbs. It takes you on a fascinating journey and reveals profound principles of an ancient time-tested holistic system of preventive medicine. Far from a dry academic book, this is a personal story, complete with an account of an expedition to the legendary Changbai Mountain in China to bring back the King of all Herbs, the highest quality Reishi Mushrooms available on Earth.
HERBS FOR SPlRITUAL DEVELOPMENT captures the inner experience of the life of a Master Daoist Herbalist and his disciple.
Informative subjects covered include the Three Treasures Philosophy, Tonic Herbalism, Adaptogenic Herbs, Rejuvenation, Longevity, and much more. Also included is an eighty-four-page catalog of twenty-two Tonic Herbs, including the most powerful supertonic herbs and the primary herbs nourishing Jing, Chi, and Shen, complete with color photos and descriptions of benefits.
"This essential, in-depth book on Tonic Herbs is aligned with the purpose of accelerating one’s spiritual evolutionary development. Based on Ganga and Tara’s dedicated practice of the teachings from the wisdom lineage of their teachers on tonic herbalism, its sacred offerings are as applicable in our postmodern times as they were 5000 years ago. I highly recommend this healing and nourishing book.
~ Michael Bernard Beckwith
Author of Spiritual Liberation and Life Visioning
"Herbs for Spiritual Development is a gentle and eloquent narrative about the power of Tonic Herbs for healing, radiant health, and spiritual evolution. It is wonderful that Ganga and Tara have established the deepest goal of using Tonic Herbs to enhance spiritual attainment.This is, as they stated, the point of longevity. These Tonic Herbs also help us harmonize back to the natural and cosmic laws that our world society has abandoned. Another major teaching they share is that one cannot “herbalize” their way to enlightenment and we also need to do energizing movement, breath, and meditation as part of a full holistic liberation approach. The use of these Tonic Herbs with live-foods (perhaps what the Taoist masters lived on before going to only Tonic Herbs) is my suggested optimal diet for spiritual nutrition and the way I’ve been living for years. The journey shared in this book is their living of the Three Treasures in a gentle and joyous way. I highly recommend this book, not only for beginners in Tonic Herbalism, but also as a reminder to all about the larger meaning of the use of Tonic Herbs."
~ Gabriel Cousens, M.D., Yogi in the Siddha Lineage
"To become what the Daoist masters call a Flying Immortal, it is important to work on one’s spiritual, mental, as well as nutritional intake. The tonic herbs lovingly described here have been used for centuries by those aspirants wishing to perfect their human vehicles for higher attainment."
~ Peter Mt. Shasta,
Author of Apprenticed to the Masters, Book II
"Herbs for Spiritual Development by Ganga and Tara is a delightful guide, full of important information for those of us who want to enjoy Tonic Herbs and spiritual growth. Ron Teeguarden is a teacher and a dear friend of mine who I like to call the “American Lao Tzu.” He has the energy of a very old ginseng root to help people live a healthy and happy life through natural herbs and Taoist teaching. I became a monk at the Shaolin Temple in China when I was eight years old and underwent intensive training in martial arts there for eleven years. The Chinese Tonic Herbs have been used at the Shaolin Temple for centuries to improve health, enhance athletic performance and promote spiritual development."
~ Wang Bo,
Shaolin 34th Generation Warrior Monk and Founder of Hungrymonk Yoga
Herbs for Spiritual Development
In this video Ganga explains how he and Tara came to write their book "Herbs for Spiritual Development."