An Approach to the Concept of Tonic: Suggested Definitions and Historical Aspects
Forschende Komplementarmedizin, 2014, 21(6): 413-417.
In traditional medicine, especially CAM, the concept of (herbal) tonics has a long history in the different medical systems (TEN - Traditional European Naturopathy; TCM - Traditional Chinese Medicine). Nevertheless, the ideas concerning the function of a tonic differ, e. g., stimulation of body functions, strengthening of organ function, enhancement of adaption, and well-being. Although no exact pharmacodynamic or pharmacokinetic properties of tonics can be given, the following general definition, even in the transcultural comparison between European and Chinese concepts, seems meaningful: A tonic is an agent that has the capability to restore and/or maintain the physiological functioning of an organ system, leading to the subjective feeling of well-being of the patient treated with it.
CAM; Herbal medicine; Herbal drug; Phytotherapy; Tonic