Tonics and Supplements

While Dr. Andrew Weil’s familiar bearded face is close to iconic by now — let’s face it, he’s the Oprah Winfrey of healing — it’s sometimes difficult to distill his general health philosophy into an action plan for daily living. But a recent profile of the good doctor pulled two of his most practical to-do lists (essential tonics and supplements) from two of his most popular books, Healthy Aging and Spontaneous Healing. Here’s the scoop:

Fantastic Tonics (i.e. herbs, etc.)

Garlic (Allium sativum)

Anticancer agent. Eat it raw or lightly cooked.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Anticancer effect. Improves digestion and circulation, reduces inflammation, combats intestinal parasites.

Green tea (Camellia sinensis)

Protects against heart disease and cancer; antioxidant, lowers cholesterol.

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum)

Liver tonic. 

Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceous)

Anticancer agent. Supports immune function.

Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)

Protects against stress.

Ginseng (P. ginseng and P. quinquefolium)

Increases vitality.

Dong quai (Angelica sinensis)

General tonic for women.

Ho Shou Wu (Polygonum multiflorum)

Increased sexual energy.

Maitake (Grifola frondosa)

Immune enhancing, anticancer effect.

Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis)

Builds physical stamina.

Super Supplements

Vitamin C

Daily intake: 200 mg

Vitamin E

Daily intake: 400 IU (natural mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols)


Daily intake: 200 mcg (organic, yeast bound)

Mixed carotenoids

Daily intake: 10,000-15,000 IU

Calcium (citrate)

Daily intake: 1,200-1,500 mg

Omega-3 fish oil capsules (molecularly distilled)

Daily intake: 1,000-2,000 mg (if not eating oily fish at least twice weekly)

Turmeric capsules (standardized for 95% curcuminoids)

Daily intake: 100 mg three times daily

Ginger capsules (standardized for 8% zingiberene)

Daily intake: 100 mg three times daily

Coenzyme Q10

Daily intake; 60-100 mg in soft-gel form; take with largest meal of the day

Alpha lipoic acid

Daily intake: 100-400 mg (if prone to metabolic syndrome/pre-diabetes)

Multiple vitamin and mineral with at least 400 mcg folic acid and 1,000 IU vitamin D. (Avoid formulations with vitamin A retinol and iron.)

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