In case you didn’t already know, I am a huge fan of the adaptogen class of herbs. These specialized, powerful herbs bring something extremely important to our modern lives- and I think they’re one of the most crucial types of plant medicines to understand and work with. I’ve devoted my clinical practice to working with adaptogen herbs, and in this post I want to show you how you can incorporate adaptogen herbal teas into your wellness routine.
What Are Adaptogens?
I’m glad you asked!
Adaptogens are a class of herbs that all have something very special in common. These herbs help cultivate resistance to the negative effects of stress while at the same time helping the body, mind, and emotions become stronger, calmer, and more protected in the face of everyday and serious stresses. These herbs help soothe the natural stress response in our bodoes so that we aren’t running in high all the time and in constant threat of total burnout and exhaustion. They also help protect us from the endless effects of stress like fatigue, poor immune function, and disease.
Adaptogens & Wellness
Did you know that the top diseases in the USA that lead to early death are all either caused by stress or made much worse because of it? From heart disease and cancer to auto-immune illnesses, stress is the root cause of death in our country. The good news is that adaptogen herbal teas can help us become resilient and adaptable when stress strikes- whether it’s an occasional bad day or a long-term pattern of anxiety, worry, and tension.
How Adaptogens Work
I could spend hours talking about the amazing process adaptogen herbs take in the body, but for the sake of this post I’m going to keep it short and sweet.
Adaptogens essentially help regulate the body’s natural response to stress. They help that process become more efficient while also helping to ensure that it doesn’t over-react or get ‘stuck’ in the on position- a very common issue among stressed, burned out people in the modern world.
Adaptogen herbal teas deliver the healing properties of these herbs to the body so that they can offer support to the stress response system and calm everything down. They also offer support to the immune system, digestion and assimilation systems, and to the general well-being of the emotions and mind.
While most adaptogen herbs are mildly stimulant in nature, meaning that they give a boost of natural energy, some are also very calming and relaxing. I’ll share some of each with you below so that you can explore the ones that make the most sense for you as an individual.
For more detailed information about how adaptogens work, check out this article.
My Favorite Adaotogen Herbal Teas
Alright, so now you know why adaptogen herbs are so amazing, and chances are you may want to explore using them in your own wellness program. Here are a few of my absolute favorites…
I’m starting out this list with my personal favorite adaptogen, Ashwagandha. This beautiful herb hails from India’s Ayurvedic tradition where it’s loved as one of their most versatile and helpful plant medicinals.
Ashwagandha is a rarity among many adaptogens, because it doesn’t have the more energetic qualities that they usually carry. instead, this root is calming, relaxing, and balancing to the body and mind. It’s a wonderful choice for people who find that they are amped up, anxious, worrisome, and scattered- all leading to a sense of being bombarded by stress and its many negative side effects.
I often suggest Ashwgandha to people who deal with anxiety, panic, worry, restlessness, and other symptoms of hyper-sensitivity and nervousness. It can be very sedating to some people, so I suggest taking it in a balanced herbal tea at night before bed, or using it in a tincture form.
Blend a pinch of Ashwagandha Root into your favorite nighttime herbal tea formula, or simply mix with a bit of Licorice Root and Peppermint Leaf for a simple, sweet, nourishing evening adaptogen brew.
The special organic Ashwagandha Root I use can be found HERE.
For those people who feel burned out, frazzled, cloudy, and weak, Eleuthero Root may just be the best choice for an adaptogen ally. This plant, which used to be called Siberian Ginseng, brings a balanced amount of stimulating energy with an amazing array of adaptogen effects. For people who are so depleted by stress that they rely on stimluants like caffeine and sugar just to get through the day, Eleuthero may be a great herb to look into. It’s not the most stimulating adaptogen herb, but it’s got energy and balance which can help us move into healthier ways of adapting to stress and moving through it with grace and ease.
I love adding a pinch of Eleuthero Root to a nice green tea. Simple, delicious, and a wonderfully healthy alternative to artificial stimulants.
The organic Eleuthero I use can be found HERE.
Calling all athletes!
If there’s one serious frustration active people feel, it’s being so stressed and burned out that they can no longer perform or recover the way they want to. People who go big often work through stress and strain in unique ways, and when it gets in the way of them getting out there and running, climbing, cycling, lifting, or swimming they can really get down in the dumps.
Rhodiola Root is one of the most researched and respected of all the adaptogen class of herbs. This champion of Russia has been used by Olympic athletes for decades, and it’s a true powerhouse of energy for those who don’t want their stress to get in the way of their game.
Rhodiola Root is powerful but not too stimulating. It gives energy and endurance while helping with recovery and the healthy processing of stress in body and emotions.
I like adding Rhodiola Root to green tea, smoothies (as a powder), and to nourishing herbal tea blends like nettles, dandelion root, and oatstraw.
Get the same Rhodiola Root I use in my apothecary HERE.
American Ginseng Root
For those who are completely burned out, fatigued, weak, and without energy, American Ginseng is my usual go-to. Slightly less intense that it’s Chinese counterpart, American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) has an amazing way of pulling people out from the depths of burnout. When stress has been relentless and has beaten us out of our power, this revered root can be an amazing ally in getting us back to balanced.
American Ginseng is not a good choice for those who are very sensitive to stimulants or warmer-energy herbs. It’s best suited to fatigued people who need a boost they can feel, and it needs to be taken consistently over a long period of time to reap its many healing benefits.
American Ginseng is another adaptogen that I suggest adding to Green Tea for the sake of simplicity. You can also add it to any herbal tea blend you love, or powder it and add an appropriate amount to smoothies, juices, or cereals.
The ethically-cultivated organic variety I use can be found HERE.
Here’s to our wellness and peace…
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