Tonics are split into subsegments: Qi or energy tonics, Yang or sympathetic adrenal tonics, Yin or parasympathetic adrenal tonics and blood tonics.

In Korea, the use of tonic herbs would be preceded by a period of detoxification, working on the principle of making weak before strong.

Overuse of tonic herbs can lead to gastrointestinal fullness, chest pains and headaches. It is important to use them in small amounts according to the individuals. It is working with seasonal requirements and possibly adding a preliminary detox, plus using them in combination with herbs such as ginger, citrus and cardamom to help ‘move’ them around the body preventing problems.