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Tonics are all the rage in L.A.: Here's where to start

Tonics are all the rage in L.A.: Here's where to start
An array of Simples tonics. (Simples)

Tonics are all the rage in L.A. these days. Look around and you'll find someone selling an elixir said to bolster or cleanse specific organs, or improve mental clarity, digestion, reproductive health and more.

Critics may question their effectiveness, but proponents swear by them. Translation: Discussing ailments and dietary changes with your doctor is always a good thing.

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Here are three L.A.-area shops offering up a variety of tonics to try:

Simples

Traci Donat named her shop Simples because each tonic uses a single organic medicinal plant, rich in vitamins and minerals. Nettle is a bestseller because it "is so amazingly nourishing, and the effects can be felt so quickly that once people try it they tend to crave it and come back again and again," Donat said. One popular choice: "Linden," she said, for calming, and as a sleep aid.

Don't miss: You can taste a tonic before buying it. Employees are well versed and able to provide recommendations.

Info: Simples, 2724 Main St., Santa Monica. simplestonics.com

Founder Traci Donat in Simples store on Main Street in Santa Monica.
Founder Traci Donat in Simples store on Main Street in Santa Monica. (Simples)

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Four Sigmatic

Chief Executive Tero Isokauppila launched his line of tonics to promote the health benefits of adaptogenic mushrooms. (He began foraging for mushrooms as a kid in Finland.) "Famous adaptogens include ginseng and maca. Essentially, adaptogens are just as they sound: They help the body adapt to the sometimes stressful world around it," he told us via e-mail. Four Sigmatic's four core mushrooms are reishi (for relaxation), cordyceps (for energy), chaga (for immunity) and lion's mane (for brain health and, proponents say, to help fight Alzheimer's).

Don't miss: Imagine sampling a mushroom coffee in a shop that resembles a tree. That's what a visit to the Shroom Room in Venice is like. You can try Four Sigmatic tonics there too. They're also sold online and at stores including Erewhon.

Info: Shroom Room, 1629 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice. us.foursigmatic.com

Four Sigmatic Lions Mane and Chaga mushroom mix.
Four Sigmatic Lions Mane and Chaga mushroom mix. (Four Sigmatic)

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The Tonic Bar at Erewhon

The Tonic Bar at Erewhon has been whipping up tonics since 2006 at Erewhon's original store on Beverly Boulevard. Store director and vice president Jason Widener said that tonics with ingredients such as reishi, chaga and lion's mane aren't just buzzwords but supplements long used for their medicinal properties.

Don't miss: The Tonic Bar focuses on how customers are feeling in the moment — sluggish? stressed? — and makes a recommendation.

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Info: Erewhon stores in Calabasas, Los Angeles, Venice and Santa Monica

The Tonic Bar at Erewhon in Santa Monica
The Tonic Bar at Erewhon in Santa Monica (Erewhon)
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