Can Tonics And Elixirs Boost Wellness?

PITTSBURGH (CBS) – The notion of drinking tonics or elixirs for what ails you might sound old world, but these days it’s part of a new trend to get and stay healthy.

“It’s a tonic, just like grandma used to make,” Brandi Spiller said.

Spiller is drinking to good health.

“At the first signs of cold or flu it will kick it right to the curb,” she said.

It’s part of a new beverage boom — drinks infused with wellness ingredients that claim to be the body-balancing way to good health.

“You get minerals and vitamins that even the freshest local produce can’t offer,” Madeleine Murphy said.

At ‘The End’ coffee and juice bar in Brooklyn, New York, Murphy offers bottled health boosters, and mixes them up on the spot.

“Some of these can be pretty potent, but you can get acclimated to them,” author and nutrition expert Amie Valpone said.

She said there are key ingredients you should be looking for on labels for optimum health benefits.

“You’ve got maca powder to help balance hormones, you’ve got turmeric to help fight inflammation, you’ve got apple cider vinegar for digestion, and you’ve got these occurring probiotics to help with your gut health,” she explained.

The ingredients are recognized as age old remedies.

“It’s really putting a lot of these powerful ingredients together so all you need is a little shot,” she said.

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Valpone also said to look for adaptogens — ingredients that help the body deal with stress — and ashwaganda, an herb well known for restorative benefits.

But Dr. James Heskett cautioned that users should know what they’re taking, and what they’re treating.

“You have to be careful where you’re getting it from. You have to understand why you’re taking it, because I don’t think they’re as regulated as some other things,” he said.

The beverages are available in health food and specialty stores. They cost between $3 and $6 depending on the brand.

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