Details about all the plants we work with that you'll recognize from our ingredient list!  Many botanicals are found in multiple Tonics because they're just that good! While we extract specifically for use on plants, we wanted to provide a broad overview of each botanical including the main active constituents, history and the plants cultural, medicinal and culinary uses.  I believe it is by no mistake we find many of the plants that are good for humans are also good for plants!

Aloe vera barbadensis

Fresh whole leaf cold extract is in ALL our Botanical Tonics.

Did you know that all of Tonics are infused with FRESH Aloe vera? Aloe is something we’ve always felt is beneficial in small amounts in every feed or spray, so it was a no-brainer when we decided to include it in everything! A nutrient accumulating plant high in hormones, enzymes, minerals, saponins and more that is incredibly beneficial to plant health, in many ways aloe is beneficial to plant ‘skin’ cells the same way it is for human skin cells! One way to look at the reasoning and benefit of knowing Aloe is there every time you feed your plants with our Tonics.
In relation to plant & human health Aloe Vera contains 75 potentially active constituents: vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars, lignin, saponins, salicylic acids and amino acids. Key constituents of Aloe Vera: 
Hormones: Auxins, such as IAA, IBA (rooting/growth hormones), gibberellins that help in wound healing and have anti-inflammatory action, salicylic acid that possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties & as a plant hormone plays a large role in plant growth/development, photosynthesis, transpiration, in uptake/transport and a unique attribute to SA in plants, it increases a plants natural pest resistance (SAR)!
Enzymes: Aloe contains 8 notable enzymes, aliiase, phosphatase (breaks down phosphorus thus making it available to plants), amylase, bradykinase, carboxypeptidase, catalase, cellulase, lipase, and peroxidase. Bradykinase helps to reduce excessive inflammation when applied to the skin topically, while others help in the breakdown of sugars and fats.
Vitamins: It contains vitamins A (beta-carotene), C and E, which are antioxidants. It also contains vitamin B12, folic acid, and choline. 
Minerals: It provides calcium, chromium, copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc. They are essential for the proper functioning of various enzyme systems in different metabolic pathways and few are antioxidants.

Aloe vera has been used for medicinal purposes in several cultures for millennia: Greece, Egypt, India, Mexico, Japan and China. Egyptian queens Nefertiti and Cleopatra used it as part of their regular beauty regimes. In the early 1800's, Aloe was mainly used as a laxative in the U.S. but in the mid-1930s, a turning point occurred when it was successfully used to treat chronic and severe radiation dermatitis. Lignin, an inert substance, when included in topical preparations, enhances penetrative effect of the other ingredients into the skin. Saponins that are the soapy substances form about 3% of the gel and have cleansing and antiseptic properties & has many functions to plant health & pest deterrent/prevention.

Live Sprouts - Fenugreek, Crimson Clover, Red Clover, Alfalfa

Freshly germinated live sprout extracts in ALL our Botanical Tonics.

Why Sprouts?
Because they are AMAZING! So much nutrition in such a little package and we set out to concentrate & preserve these compounds to be utilized by YOUR plants to grow healthier, happier, vigorous, nutrient rich plants with brighter blossoms, bigger yields & more vibrant foliage!  So let us discuss a minute the germination process and what makes them so amazing!

     The germination process is incredibly fascinating. The awakening of life from a dormant state by way of one of the greatest bursts of energy that naturally occurs on Earth!  The initial germination stage begins when, under the right conditions, the seed coat is able to imbibe (absorb) water which then triggers a genetic signal to start creating the building blocks of life which is largely an enzymatic driven process as the seed embryo pumps out great amounts of various enzymes (amylase, protease, urease, chitinase, phosphatase to name a few) in order to break down larger molecules into base elements thus arranging them into new ones with new purposes!  

     As the root tip (radicle) emerges the rapidly growing sprout switches to hormone production (auxins/IAA, cytokinins, ABA, SA, ET, Gibberellins, brassinosteroids etc) and is pumping out high levels of these phytohormones (aka PGR Plant Growth Regulators) that the plant will never experience again in its life.  Hormones play a huge role in many different aspects of plant growth, including pest resistance and a number of signaling pathways, and at this young stage the plant needs these excessive levels of hormones to start differentiating itself at the molecular level (creating roots, stems, leaves, above/below ground parts etc), protecting its tender young flesh from pest/disease and then storing these compounds in different parts of the plant to later be called upon as and when needed for various functions such as apical growth, flower to fruit to seed, and even senescence. 
     From here the seedling is prepared to emerge its first leaf or pair of leaves that it came equipped with in the seed embryo itself, the cotyledon(s)! While hormone activity is dominating the root tip the seedling is now transferring nutrient reserves into the cotyledon(s), concentrating these nutrients to aid in above ground development making for an incredibly nutrient dense sprout!
     As a concentrated extract we are able to naturally provide plants these hormones & nutrients at levels they can otherwise no longer create on their own as an adult plant.  Whether via soil root uptake or foliar stomatal uptake the plant can accept these compounds, as needed/wanted, to enhance various aspects of growth, flower development, bud set, yield, stem/leaf cell strengthening and increasing the plants natural pest resistance including how effective/quick it is at responding to pest/disease attack. 
     It is this combination of high levels of plant hormones and nutrients/minerals that make our Botanical Tonics such an incredible supplement for young growing plants, mature plants and flowering plants of all types from heavy feeding agricultural crops, herbs, flowers, houseplants & even succulents!

Medicago sativa - Alfalfa 

Whole plant (leaf) cold extract found in: Plant Tonic, Leaf Tonic, Leaf Tonic Plus, Special Sauce, Sacred Leaf Tonic, Soil Tonic, Sacred Soil Tonic, Ian's Special Sauce

Alfalfa is a nutrient accumulating plant that has a deep penetrating tap root that reaches depths of 30-50 feet. Some sources say that taproots have been found reaching down 68 feet into the soil! Alfalfa is also a nitrogen fixing plant, making it great for use as cover crop and mulch aka "green manure." 

Alfalfa is, of course, a well known feed plant for livestock, with a rich tradition as a healing herb as well. It is used in traditional Chinese medicine, making its first appearance around 200 AD during the Han Dynasty, for digestive system support and to stimulate the appetite. Alfalfa is revered for its soothing and strengthening properties. It became available around the 1850's to the Native Americans who adopted it into their healing system and referred to it as 'Buffalo grass'. They would grind up the seed into flour and put it into gruels and bread. In traditional medicine of Europe and the U.S., alfalfa has been used as a diuretic, to stimulate appetite, and to support urinary and bowel function. Due to alfalfa's nutrient density, it has been utilized for providing easy to assimilate nutrients during convalescence. Key constituents include: saponins, sterols, alcohols, (including Triacontanol, a powerful growth stimulant) flavones and isoflavones (including phytoestrogens such as genistein and daidzein) coumarin derivatives, alkaloids, plant acids (including malic and oxalic acid) vitamins A, B1, B6, B12, C, E, K1, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, folic acid, amino acids (including valine, lysine, arginine, tryptophan) sugars, plant pigments such as chlorophyll, protein, minerals, and trace elements such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper.

Sapindus mukorossi - Soapnut Berry

Whole plant cold extract found in: Leaf Tonic, Leaf Tonic Plus, Special Sauce, Sacred Leaf Tonic, Soil Tonic, Sacred Soil Tonic, Ian's Special Sauce

Did you know that Soapnut contains over 35 different types of saponins? This diverse group of compounds is what makes our Soil Tonic & Leaf Tonic a superior emulsifying agent and is what allows Leaf Tonic Plus to have oils such as Neem Oil "pre-emulsified" so you don't need to use silly dish soap in your garden! Saponins are also known to have various biological properties. They affect feed intake, growth and reproduction in pests, and they can be used as fungicides, molluscicides (snail bait) and pesticides, as well as against some bacteria and viruses.  Saponins also trigger a plants natural pest resistant or SAR (Systemic acquired resistance). Important to note as well, the part of the soapnut seed used is the skin/husk (not the seed or ‘nut’ itself) meaning our concentrate is loaded with minerals to also act as a feed/fertilizer for your plants/soil! 

Equisetum arvense - Horsetail

Whole plant cold extract found in: Plant Tonic, Leaf Tonic, Leaf Tonic Plus, Special Sauce, Sacred Leaf Tonic, Soil Tonic, Sacred Soil Tonic, Ian's Special Sauce

Horsetail, an ancient plant, nutrient accumulating and contains a natural source of silica commonly used for human health. In plants this means stronger cell walls which leads to bigger stems, thicker leaves and a stronger resistance to pests and pathogens. It contains large amounts of silicic acid and silicates, (about 15%), minerals (potassium, manganese, magnesium, calcium, chromium, iron, phosphorus, and selenium), saponins, flavonoids, phenolic acids, alkaloids, sterols, phytosterols, and tannins.

Achillea millefolium - Yarrow

Whole plant cold extract found in: Plant Tonic, Leaf Tonic, Leaf Tonic Plus, Special Sauce, Sacred Leaf Tonic, Soil Tonic, Sacred Soil Tonic, Ian's Special Sauce

A nutrient accumulating plant, with its roots delving deep providing for its mineral rich leaves & a great companion plant in the garden as it will repel pests while attracting beneficials. It is native to temperate regions of Asia, Europe & North America. If it grows abundantly in your area it is an excellent mulch and addition to compost. Other main components are Alpha & Beta Pinene, Borneol, Camphene, Cineole, Camphor, Chamazulene, Proazulene, Limonene, Gamma Terpinene, saponins, salicylic acid, asparagin, flavonoids & coumarins. For thousands of years humans have utilized Yarrow as a food (young shoots in salads and soups) & medicine source. Yarrow is the first thing I grab for cuts or scrapes to stop the flow of blood, simply make a poultice and press against the wound often cauterizing the cut immediately. In Native American herbal medicine it is used for toothaches, earaches, analgesic, pain relief, fever, burns & sleep aid. In many cultures yarrow has traditionally been used as an anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, expectorant, hypotensive, stomachic & of course a tonic!

Ascophyllum Nodosum - Kelp

Whole plant cold extract found in: Plant Tonic, Leaf Tonic, Leaf Tonic Plus, Special Sauce, Sacred Leaf Tonic, Soil Tonic, Sacred Soil Tonic, Ian's Special Sauce

 One of the most beneficial and widely used plants in agriculture, Ascophyllum Nodosum is a large, common brown alga (Phaeophyceae) in the family Fucaceae, being the only species in the genus Ascophyllum. It is a seaweed of the northern Atlantic Ocean, also known as rockweed, Norwegian kelp, knotted kelp, knotted wrack or egg wrack. This amazing under-water plant is loaded with both macronutrients, and micronutrients. It also contains high levels of plant hormones (cytokinins, auxins, auxin-like gibberellins) betaines, mannitol, organic acids, polysaccharides, amino acids, and proteins, all very beneficial in enhancing plant growth & health!

Azadirachta indica - Neem 

Whole plant (leaf, bark & seed) cold extract found in: Soil Tonic, Leaf Tonic Plus, Ian's Neem, Sacred Soil Tonic, Sacred Leaf Tonic

     The Neem tree is a nutrient accumulating plant loaded with nutrients/minerals as well as a long list of unique sulphuric compounds. The importance of sulphur to plant growth is well documented including its role in increasing a plants flavor and aroma. In aromatic plants the aroma comes from the medicinal compounds including ‘terpenes’ all categorized as Plant Secondary Metabolites.

     Believe it or not, the Neem tree is part of the Mahogany family!  Neem thrives in the deserts and can be beneficial in areas of high heat and low rainfall by providing shade to the Earth and important green biomass needed to bring rainfall back and reverse the desertification of many areas of the globe. Neem improves soil fertility and the roots have a unique ability to mine Calcium. Organic matter in the soil increases where Neem grows along with water holding capacity & erosion control. Mycorrhizal fungi increase where the neem tree grows along with other microflora and earthworm populations.  

     So we have a tree that can heal the deserts, while at the same time providing an export (jobs for those in low income desert dwelling regions of the world) that will act as a natural pesticide for agriculture and a fertilizer for improving soils across the globe, improving the quality of our food and harboring, increasing the beneficial insects and microbes both above and below the soil. Providing beneficial shade in the desert, cooling the ground, and a home for bees to build their hives, feeding from the sweet nectar and rich pollen of the Neem flower. Have you ever had Neem honey? It is delicious….

     Our Neem extract is made with seed, leaf and bark extract which contain the same range of hundreds of different active compounds in varying amounts making for a “complete” Neem extract that is 100% water soluble and the only one of its kind!  Neem is a well known, natural alternative to synthetic pesticides. It is high in nutrients, particularly Sulfur.  One of the active ingredients in Neem is azadirachtin. Rather than acting as a poison, which is the case with many other pesticides, azadirachtin is processed by insects much like a natural hormone and introduces antifeedant, repellent and growth inhibiting behavior. Neem is also proving to be an effective fungicide for the prevention and control of many plant diseases such as powdery mildew, black spot, down mildew, rust, leaf spot and botrytis. 

     When it comes to Neem so much is left out of the conversation, the least of which are the 14 other types of Azadirachtin that are not in single compound isolates like Azamax.  The Neem tree contains hundreds of active compounds, mostly triterpenoids, that are responsible for its pesticidal properties. Meliantriol, Salannin, Nimbin, Nimbidin, Ochinolide, Azadirachtol, Azadirachnol, Azadiradione are a few that all have antifeedant properties all in their own right. Hundreds of other compounds like these, plus flavonoids/coumarins, phenols etc are all found, in varying quantities, throughout the Neem tree.  Other Key constituents include: Alkaloids and liminoids, including azadirachitin, gedunin, nimbinene desacetylnimbinase, nimbandial, nimbolide and quercentin.

Urtica dioica - Stinging Nettle

Whole plant cold extract found in: Plant Tonic, Leaf Tonic, Leaf Tonic Plus, Special Sauce, Sacred Leaf Tonic, Soil Tonic, Sacred Soil Tonic, Ian's Special Sauce

a key herb we extract for its high mineral content, notably silica, to help strengthen your plants! A nutrient accumulating plant, nettle has been used worldwide for centuries in a variety of countries and cultures. Besides the plant's many medicinal uses - including remedies for gout, rheumatism, anemia, exhaustion, menstrual difficulties, skin problems and hay fever, to mention a few - nettle can also be cooked and eaten, brewed as beer, infused as tea, tincture, and more! It was also once considered one of the most important plants used in the manufacture of cloth, and many judged nettle fabric to be finer than cotton or linen. 5 out of the 6 varieties common in North America have a powerful sting (I think it feels good 😬😅) that is caused by trichomes (hairs) made of silica that inject neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, histamine, 5HTP, moroidin, and leukotrienes into the skin. Some of the key constituents of nettle include: calcium, iron, protein, potassium, formic acid, sulfur, beta-carotene, vitamin k, and flavonoids.

Mentha piperita- Peppermint 

Whole plant (leaf) cold extract found in: Leaf Tonic, Leaf Tonic Plus, Special Sauce, Sacred Leaf Tonic

Essential Oil found in: Leaf Tonic Plus

Peppermint contains powerful pest-repelling constituents including: menthol, menthone, menthyl esters, several monoterpene derivatives, (pulegone, piperitone, menthofurane). Traces of jasmone give the oil its characteristically "minty" scent. Peppermint has been used in cooking and herbal medicine since about 1500 BC. and is actually believed to be a naturally occurring hybrid of spearmint and water mint. Until 1696, peppermint was not classified as its own subspecies but most historians believe it is reasonable to assume that the mint mentioned in many historical texts is peppermint. In the western world it is a common ingredient for candies, toothpastes, ice creams, pies and other desserts. The peppermint leaf itself is muddled and added to cocktails, and is a popular ingredient in herbal teas when dried. In cuisine of the Middle East, peppermint is noted for its contribution to savory dishes. It is added to spice rubs which are used to flavor lamb and other meats. It is also blended with yogurts, beans, and cheese. Medicinally, peppermint leaf has approved for supporting the gastrointestinal tract as well as the gallbladder and bile ducts. It is specifically used to support healthy bowel function. Peppermint oil may be used for aromatherapy, helping to support the upper respiratory system for brief periods during times of need.

Cymbopogon citratus - Lemongrass

Whole plant (leaf) cold extract found in: Leaf Tonic, Leaf Tonic Plus, Special Sauce, Sacred Leaf Tonic

Essential Oil found in: Leaf Tonic Plus

Lemongrass is an aromatic powerhouse of phytonutrients providing a wide array of health benefits. The main component of lemongrass is citral.  Citral is an aroma compound comprised from the two terpenoids geranial and neral, which has anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties and is a well known pesticide. It is a source of essential vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, folate and vitamin C. It also provides essential minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, manganese, copper, zinc and iron. Lemongrass contains antioxidants, flavonoids and phenolic compounds such as luteolin, glycosides, quercetin, kaempferol, elimicin, catecol, chlorogenic acid, and caffeic acid. Other key constituents include: myrcene, nerol, limonene, linalool and beta-caryophyllene, all of which help in providing an impressive range of medicinal aids. 

Illicium verum - Star Anise

Whole plant (seed pod/seed) cold extract found in: Leaf Tonic, Leaf Tonic Plus, Special Sauce, Sacred Leaf Tonic

 Star Anise is native to southwest China and Vietnam and is mainly distributed in the tropical and subtropical areas of Asia. Star anise extract has carminative, stomachic, stimulant, and diuretic properties, and It has also been proven to possess significant antibacterial, antifungal, and insecticidal properties (see constituents below) . Shikimic acid extracted from I. verum is a main ingredient in antiviral drugs used to fight avian influenza. This brings us to the Shikimic Acid pathway -  a biosynthetic route to the aromatic amino acids phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan found only in microorganisms and plants. Plants use these amino acids not only as the building blocks for protein but also as precursors for a large number of secondary plant metabolites, among them pigments, compounds to defend against insects and other herbivores, UV light protectants and most importantly, lignin. Under normal growth conditions, 20% of the carbon fixed by plants flows through the shikimic acid pathway, most which is used for the synthesis of the various secondary metabolites. Other key constituents of star anise include: anethole, cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid, beta-caryophyllene, citronellol, eugenol, methyl ether, myrcene, terpinen, kaempferol, caffeic acid, coumaric acid, and cineol. It also contains neurotropic sesquiterpenoids, veranisatins A, B and C, phenylpropanoids & lignans.

Citrus x limon - Lemon

Whole plant (peel) cold extract found in: Leaf Tonic, Leaf Tonic Plus, Special Sauce, Sacred Leaf Tonic

Key constituents include: Limonene, (a well known and powerful pesticide) at least 45 other antioxidant flavonoids, pectin, and vitamin C.  Lemon peel is the familiar yellow outer layer of the lemon. Although orange peel is more commonly prescribed in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, lemon peel also stimulates the appetite by encouraging the release of gastric juices to digest food, and helps provide vitamin C. As with orange peel, there are substantially more volatile oils, enzymes, flavonoids, nutrients, and terpenes in the peel of the lemon rather than the fruit which is made up of mostly sugar and water. Lemon peel is added to many herbal teas and herbal formulas for aroma and taste enhancement. 

Citrus x paradisi - Grapefruit

Whole plant (peel) cold extract found in: Leaf Tonic, Leaf Tonic Plus, Special Sauce, Sacred Leaf Tonic

Still considered one of the seven wonders of Barbados, Grapefruit is thought to be a cross between a Pomelo and Sweet orange. As with all citrus, there are substantially more enzymes, flavonoids, nutrients, and secondary plant metabolites in the peel rather than the fruit. Grapefruit oil which is produced and stored in the peel can contain up to 95% of the terpene limonene, a well known and powerful pesticide. Grapefruit peel is loaded with vitamins & minerals, flavonoids, terpenes and other beneficial phytochemicals.

Citrus aurantium - Bitter Orange

Whole plant (peel) cold extract found in: Leaf Tonic, Leaf Tonic Plus, Special Sauce, Sacred Leaf Tonic

Bitter orange peel contains a volatile oil with about 90% limonene (a well known and potent pesticide), over 60 known flavonoids, coumarins, terpenes, vitamins & minerals, carotene, and pectin. The flavonoids also have several useful properties, being anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal