Are you feeling stressed, overwhelmed, anxious?
It can be a challenge in an overly connected world to find ways to unplug and decompress. Rituals, such as brewing and drinking tea, can be enough to pull you out of your normal daily grind and push you into a moment of relaxation and pure bliss. If this doesn't sound heavenly enough, now there are herbal tea blends that contain adaptogens to help even more with stress and anxiety.
What Are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens are herbs known to contain properties that enhance your resistance to stress. If you haven't heard of them before, these plant-based herbs must meet 3 criteria, as stated in the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
1. Must be non-specific and assist the body in resisting a wide range of adverse conditions, such as physical, chemical, or biological stress. These stressors may include environmental pollution, climate change, radiation, infectious diseases, and interpersonal disharmony.
2. Adaptogens must maintain homeostasis in the human body, that is, they must offset or resist physical disorders caused by external stress.
3. Adaptogens must not harm the normal functions of the human body1.
Adaptogens are natural bio-regulators that increase the body's ability to adapt to environmental factors and avoid the damage caused by those factors. In fact, adaptogens minimize the bodily response to stress, reducing the negative reactions during the alarm phase and eliminate, or at least decrease, the onset of the exhaustion phase that is part of the so-called general adaptation syndrome .
While the term 'adaptogen' is newer, the herbs have been around for thousands of years. So the next time you are going to relax and enjoy a cup of tea, try an herbal blend that is made with stress-busting and anxiety-reducing properties.
Our Favorite Adaptogens for Tea
Teas provide another way to incorporate herbs into your diet. These herbs can come in the form of tinctures, teas, and supplements, to name a few. The following list details five of our favorite adaptogenic herbs and their properties. While all of these herbs have adaptogenic properties, each one has their own amazing benefits! Always check with your health and wellness professional to see what vitamins and supplements you need. If you have questions ask a professional or specialist.
Ashwagandha: This plant carries the scientific name of Withania Somnifera. It's more commonly known as 'Indian Ginseng' or 'Winter cherry'. This wonder herb has anti-anxiety effects, improves energy levels, and improves mitochondrial health. It is an anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic agent and found beneficial in clinical cases of Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis3.
Eleuthero Root: or Siberian Ginseng is commonly found in multivitamins and tonics aimed at boosting immune function, increasing energy levels, and promoting vitality. According to Medical News Today, other potential health benefits include: repairing nerve damage, stabilizing blood sugar, managing menopause, and potentially reducing osteoporosis.
Licorice Root: Licorice root has been widely used as herbal medicine dating back to 500 BC to treat inflammation and to soothe respiratory and GI symptoms.
Shatavari: This adaptogenic herb is a member of the asparagus family. According to a 2006 study, Shatavari may also have anti-ulcer and antioxidant properties. To learn more about the health benefits of Shatavari, we recommend this article from Healthline.
Reishi: One of three 'medicinal mushroom' varieties. Reishi has been the top-rated medicinal herb in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years.
This mushroom contains over 200 active ingredients and unique compounds that are the most biologically active obtainable from any plant source. Its dynamic antioxidant action and immune-stimulating effects are why reishi is so highly valued as a longevity herb and called the long life herb.
Our Favorite Herbal Tea Blends from Nutritionist + Herbal Coach Megan Grover
Stress Tea Blend: This blend is full of adaptogens beneficial for supporting your body during a stressor and helping it adapt to and deal with stress more effectively. This stress blend contains: ashwagandha + eleuthero + reishi + oat straw + licorice.
Love Tea Blend: This tea is a blend of calming herbs which help support your heart during grief, sadness, and anxiety. It contains rose + lavender + licorice root.
Women's Hormonal Tea Blend: The women's hormonal blend supports overall female hormonal balance and libido. It contains: Shatavari + damiana + red clover + licorice root.
We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products or supplements, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
*Disclaimer: This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For educational purposes only.
2. Mendes FR. Tonic, fortifier and aphrodisiac: adaptogens in the Brazilian folk medicine. Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia. 2011;21(4):754–763. doi: 10.1590/S0102-695X2011005000097. [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
Bhatnagar M, et al. (2005). Antiulcer and antioxidant activity of Asparagus racemosus Willd and Withania somnifera Dunal in rats. DOI: Link
Saljoughian M. (2009) Adaptogenic or Medicinal Mushrooms. Link