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Longevity Tonic for Martial Arts Practitioners

Martial arts practitioners often use Longevity Tonics, or training formulas and herbal tonics, that help replenish vital energies often over-taxed through hard training. These kinds of tonics aid the body in replenishing qi, blood and jing (essence). In turn, these basic energetic and physical substrates nourish the organs and brain, as well as sinews, bones and muscles.

The particular longevity tonic outlined here is attributed to General Yang Shen, a warlord from Sichuan province who lived to be 99 years old.
For centuries, martial art practitioners have used training formulas and herbal tonics to help replenish the vital energies which are often over-taxed through hard training. Although one should change one’s training regime in accordance with the seasons and with the “seasons” of one’s life, tonic formulas, or “Longevity Tonics”, can help prolong one’s ability to continue to train hard and prevent injury over the years.

Longevity tonics aid the body in replenishing qi, blood and jing (essence). In turn, these basic energetic and physical substrates nourish the organs and brain, as well as the sinews, bones and muscles.

Longevity tonics can be very helpful for martial arts practitioners as they age. While the internal styles are said to replenish qi, blood and jing, ultimately, when these substances are depleted, we die. Part of the aging experience is the waning of qi, blood, jing – thus tonics that support the qi and blood in order to replenish the jing are considered to be longevity tonics.

This particular longevity tonic is attributed to General Yang Shen, a warlord from Sichuan province who lived to be 99 years old. General Yang Shen practiced, compiled and even taught many Yang Sheng (Nourishing Life) practices. He had a long military career in China and Taiwan. Although he was a provincial warlord, he served President Chiang Kai Shek and the Chinese nationalist government. After the Kuomintang defeat in the Chinese Civil War, he left China for Taiwan. General Yang Shen was also known as a Daoist master and had numerous wives, concubines and children. [1]

The formula contains some warming yang activating herbs, such as deer antler; gecko; sea horse; and Korean red ginseng. These are balanced by the inclusion of a number of herbs that enrich and nourish the blood and yin: ass hide glue; deer antler glue; turtle shell glue; dang gui; privet fruit; and Zhi He Che, which nourishes essence.

Because the formula is warming, even when balanced by yin-enriching herbs, it should not be taken by healthy young people whose yang is strong and active. Even in the age-based dosages below, if you feel overheated and dry after taking the formula, it is not appropriate for you. This is why, until the age of 60, it is recommended that the formula be taken only during the most yin time of the year, ie during the three or four weeks around the winter solstice.

Longevity Tonic

5 Liang                      Lu Rong                     (Deer Antler)

5 Liang                      Lu Jiao Jiao              (Deer Antler Glue)

5 Liang                      Gui Jiao                     (Turtle Shell Glue)

5 Liang                      E Jiao                        (Ass Hide Glue)

2 Liang                      Dang Gui                  (Tang Kuei)

3 Liang                      Huang Qi                  (Astragalus)

7 qian                        Hong Shen                (Korean Red Ginseng) – Best Quality

7 qian                        Fu Pen Zi                  (Chinese Raspberry)

2 Liang                      Gou Qi Zi                  (Lycium Fruit; Chinese Wolfberry))

2 Liang                      Zi He Che                 (Human Placenta)

2 Liang                      Nu Zhen Zi               (Ligustrum; Privet Fruit)

2 Liang                      Suo Yang                  (Cynamorium)

1 Pair                         Ge Jie                       (Gecko)

2 pieces                     Hai Ma                      (Sea Horse)

Note: 1 Liang is approximately 30 grams

Add the above ingredients to 2.5 gallons of Rice Wine or vodka and let sit for 6 months minimum.
After 6 months, you can decant some out for immediate use and let the rest sit.

Store out of the sunlight in a cool, dark place – a basement is ideal.

Dosages:

After age 50:
Drink two tablespoons before bed each night for the 4 weeks around the winter solstice.

After age 60:
Can take as needed. Take half dosage in summer.

Warning! Internal Arts International does not advocate the making or taking of  the Chinese herb formulas posted on our website. You should make sure that a particular formula is appropriate for your constitution and situation before deciding to make and/or ingest it. Please keep in mind that Chinese Longevity formulas are not appropriate for everyone. Herb formulas are discussed and posted  for informational and historical purposes only.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yang_Sen_%281884%E2%80%931977%29

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