The one tincture to keep in your bag for immediate natural bursts of energy


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A head-on collision with the afternoon slump would make anyone wish for an energizing miracle potion. And as it turns out, the sage minds who study Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) have been well aware of one for for centuries. Midday coffee guzzlers, meet gui pi wan (say that three times fast), a tincture (AKA, herbal remedy) that Jill Blakeway, DACM, acupuncturist, herbalist, energy healer, and Well+Good Council member credits for providing revitalization in times of need. “It’s a formula for people who are tired and wired, which I think is all of us,” Blakeway tells a packed crowd at the Well+Good Council anniversary event in New York City.

Inside a bottle of the tincture, which translates to “Restore the Spleen Formula” in English, you’ll find a blend of ingredients, like ginseng (ren shen) and astragalus (huang qi), and they work together to increase your energy by improving your digestion, according to TCM. “By strengthening the digestive system, we have an enhanced ability to gain energy from the food that we consume,” explains Irina Logman, an herbalist at New York City’s Advanced Holistic Center. “This formula also strengthens the heart, which in turn, strengthens one’s spirit.”

“If I need a boost, I take it because it gives me energy, but it doesn’t make me speedy, or tight, or pressure cooker-y.” — Jill Blakeway, DACM, Well+Good Council member

When both the heart and digestive tract are aligned, Logman explains that you may experience a calmer mind, lower anxiety, and even better sleep. “Herbalists have exactly the same problem psychologists have: If we take the edge off anxiety, we make you a little more tired. And if we pep you up, you get a little anxious,” explains Blakeway, who adds she keeps this equalizing blend in her purse at all times to combat moments of fatigue. “If I need a boost, I take [gui pi wan] because it gives me energy, but it doesn’t make me speedy, or tight, or pressure cooker-y,” she says.

While almost anyone might benefit from this herbal tonic, Logman says that if you’re experiencing menopausal hot flashes, a cold, a cough, or an infection, you can go ahead and save this tincture for another time—which there will undoubtedly be. After all, when are you not down for a TCM-endorsed boost?

Is protein really the best source of energy? Here’s your answer. Plus, how to deal with people who might be making you tired—AKA “energy vampires.” 

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