The fulvic factor
According to Torii Labs co-founder Giles Hayward, fulvic acid is the key that unlocks other ingredients’ latent potential. In the case of Awake Tonic, the company’s first product (available online and at forward-thinking wellness spots, like New York City’s The Alchemist Kitchen or LA’s Alfred’s Tea Room), he says it causes a more profound and immediate pick-me-up effect than would be possible without it.
“We use a proven combination of adaptogenic herbs to boost vitality, mental focus, and stamina,” explains Hayward, who also co-created fulvic acid-focused haircare company Phylia de M. “The fulvic acid increases the potency of each herb by ensuring that the body is able to absorb all the goodness in the tonic.”
In the all-natural coffee substitute’s case, that means an energizing mix of adaptogens (rhodiola rosea, eleuthero, schisandra) and superfoods including nutrient-dense goji berry, digestion-enhancing ginger, and circulation-boosting cayenne pepper.
Aside from the absorption element, Hayward adds that fulvic acid is a potent detoxifying agent—but that not all types of it are created equal. For that reason, Torii uses a proprietary kind called fulphyl, which is a byproduct of fruit and vegetable fermentation. “Fulphyl is produced on an organic farm, which eliminates any possibility of contamination with fossil fuels or heavy metals,” he says.
Sounds too good to be true—is it really legit? Studies have shown it to be a powerful player in everything from boosting immunity to treating Alzheimer’s disease. Anecdotally, Torii’s founders swear that fulvic acid has changed their health for the better—both Hayward and his business partner, Lulu Luchaire, claim they haven’t been sick since they started taking fulvic acid daily. As for me, I felt significantly more peppy after gulping down an Awake tonic at the end of a long day, in a way that I never do when taking adaptogens on their own—watch out, Wonder Woman.