Our last post featuring the Anti-inflammatory Chai brought up a lot of questions about adaptogens and what exactly they are and how they work. The release of our August tea box included another functional tea from the maker of Anti-inflammatory Chai and offers up the perfect chance to talk more about adaptogenic herbs.
So, have you started introducing adaptogenic herbs to your day? ‘Adaptogen’ is becoming a common word (I certainly talk about them a lot!), but many of us don’t truly understand what an adaptogen does beyond helping us cope with stress. Here’s the best way I can explain it that covers the what, the how and the why (with a little help from my herbal mentors cited at the end).
Adaptogens help your body cope with external stressors so that those stressors don’t result in internal illness. Stress manifests in different ways for different people – poor sleep, fatigue, anger, anxiety, susceptibility to colds and flu, poor mental clarity and focus... and many more. When you’re in a stressful situation, your body releases stress hormones that cause that “stressed out” feeling – however that feels for you. Adaptogens modulate the release of those stress hormones allowing you to face stressful situations like a boss :)
The wonderful thing about adaptogens is that they fit perfectly into a herbal world of prevention. You don’t have to be experiencing the effects of stress to benefit from their work on the body. They’re especially good to begin taking if you know a potentially stressful situation is approaching – exam time, Christmas, new job, whatever it is for you.
A piece of advice... I’ve learned firsthand that you can’t just rely on adaptogens to fix the stress effects on your body. Ultimately, you’re in control here – find your stress management techniques (meditating, yoga, jogging, exercise, reading...) and DO them. Daily. Actually do them. I learned about the power of reframing stress from my naturopath and reading Verywell.com. Try reframing your stress - can you instead see them as challenges instead of threats? Are your negative thoughts around a situation accurate? Think only of the facts and that may help you have positive thoughts around the situation instead. Reframing stress can make a big impact on how you experience stressful situations.
So anyway... that lengthy intro is for this beautiful herbal tea we’ve just started stocking. ‘Daily Balance’ was featured in our August Monthly Tea Box, where we highlight artisan tea makers from around North Amica. Daily Balance is now available in our online shop. It features adaptogens Ashwaganda, Astragalus and Codonopsis.
Here’s the full ingredient list of organic herbs: Sarsaparilla root, Hibiscus blossom, Spearmint leaf, Rose petal, Ashwagandha root, Codonopsis root, Astragalus root, Sage leaf.
Daily Balance is floral, creamy and sweet with bright citrus notes and seriously delicious hot or iced. To extract the most benefits from the herbs, you want to a long steep of 15 + minutes or a simmer on the stove for 15 minutes or so. If you want to have this iced, just use less water when you steep and then pour it over ice when it’s ready.
This tea comes from us from NIUKA Tea and this is what they have to say about the health benefits: Daily Balance is formulated to benefit over all balance and healthy functioning for your body's vital systems including adrenal, sexual/reproductive, digestive, respiratory, circulatory, immune and cognitive) as well as pleasure your palate so you can enjoy your healthy daily ritual any time; day or night.
The stress hormone regulatory effects of the adaptogenic herbs (Ashwagandha, Astragalus, Codonopsis) have been clinically proven to help maintain relaxed vitality in the midst of stressful conditions, as well as normal conditions.
This tea is a good one to have in your adaptogenic arsenal. It’s a good idea to change up the herbs you’re having every 3 weeks or take a week break.
How do you incorporate adaptogens in your day to day?
David Hoffman, "Holistic Herbal"
Dr. Marisa Marciano & Dr. Nikita A. Vizniak, "Botanical Medicine"