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6 Herbal Beverages to Reduce Stress
Our ancient ancestors relied on the "fight or flight" response as a way to survive. In today’s world it seems like everything from a stressful job, traffic, waiting in line at the grocery store or even browsing social media can bring on the "fight or flight" response.
These days most of us aren't attacking or running from wild animals yet, we still get increased blood pressure, rapid breathing, slowing of digestion, reduction of immune responses (and more) when we are exposed to stress.
When exposed to long term stress, we start to see a weakened immune system, increased blood pressure leading to heart attacks and strokes, sleep deprivation and more. With so many side effects, stress reduction should be a top priority to our health.
There are many things you can do to help reduce stress (life changes, simplification, etc) but herbal medicine has been used for thousands of years for this very reason- to help reduce stress.
We put together a list of some of our favorite drinks that add an herbal boost of calm. They are a great alternative to an evening cocktail or great beverages to enjoy throughout the day. We hope you enjoy!
1. Adaptogen Cocoa
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): Great for those who want to avoid burnout. Used in chronic fatigue syndrome, depression and stress.
Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus): Long term tonic for environmental stressors. Use to increase stamina.
Maca (Lepidium meyenii): It has been used to help the body manage stress, stamina and help enhance libido.
Cacao Nibs (Theobroma cacao): Contains high amounts of magnesium, reducing anxiety and stress.
2 teaspoons powdered Cacao
½ teaspoon powdered Eleuthero
1 teaspoon powdered Ashwagandha
1 teaspoon powdered Maca
Powder herbs if needed in coffee grinder or vitamix. Add powders into 8 oz of smoothie, milk (or non dairy milk) or coffee.
2. Nervine Relaxant Tea
Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora): Great for daily mild stress. It soothes nervous tension and helps calm the mind.
Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata): It has a depressive effect on the central nervous system which makes it good for anxiety and restless sleep.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): Linalool, a chemical in lavender may be responsible for the calming effect and the ability to reduce anxiety.
1 ½ teaspoon Skullcap
1 teaspoon Passion flower
½ teaspoon Lavender
Splash of honey
1 teaspoon rose water
- Infuse the herbs in 1 cup of water.
- Once strained add rose water.
3. Calm Down Chai
Kava kava (Piper methysticum): Great for anxiety attacks. Also, used as a muscle relaxant
1 cup of almond milk
1 tablespoon kava
2 teaspoons of rooibos chai
1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Add ingredients to a pan.
- Heat until very warm but not boiling.
- Remove from heat and strain with a fine strainer.
- Add to the blender along with maple syrup and blend on immersion until frothy.
4. No More Blues
Tulsi, Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum): An adaptogen that helps lower the stress-induced release of adrenal hormones.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis): Due to its gently sedative volatile oils it can be used as a mild anti-depressant and for anxiety.
6 ounces apple juice
2 ounces water
1 tablespoon Tulsi
1 tablespoon Lemon Balm
- Put all ingredients into a saucepan over medium heat.
- Heat to just before boiling.
- Remove from heat and cover with a lid.
- Let it infuse for 20-30 minutes.
- Strain the juice. Store juice in the refrigerator for up to five days.
5. Herbal Beer Alternative
Hops (Humulus lupulus): Valued for its relaxing effect on the nervous system.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria): A calming herb used for all manners of stress.
3 cups water
4 tablespoons Hops
1 tablespoon Catnip
3 cups unflavored sparkling water
- Make an infusion
- Let steep for 10 min.
- Strain with a cheese cloth add sparkling water.
Tip: if you want to boost the flavor you can add honey or a splash of herbal bitters or both.
6. Stress Less Fermented Soda
Lavender (Lavandula spp.): helps alleviate tension and stress.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis): due to its gently sedative volatile oils it can be used as a mild anti-depressant and for anxiety
Linden (Tilia spp.): to calm anxiety and high blood pressure.
7 cups distilled water
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon lemon vinegar
2 tablespoons lavender flowers
2 tablespoons Lemon Balm
2 tablespoons Linden
1 organic lemon, sliced 1/2-inch
- Combine water, honey, vinegar, herbs, and lemon in a half-gallon mason jar.
- Secure lid and shake well until honey has dissolved. Then set aside to ferment for 2 days.
- Strain out herbs and lemon with a cheesecloth. Transfer brew into glass bottles with tight-fitting lids with a 1/2 inch of headroom in each bottle.
- Set aside to brew for another 3 to 4 days or until fizzy then refrigerate.
Tip: Be sure to burp your ferment twice a day to avoid over carbonation and bursting.
We hope they offer a fun alternative to a medicinal tea and hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do! Enjoy.
Disclaimer: This information is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner. Reliance on any information provided by this article is solely at your own risk.