“Tea is liquid wisdom.” ~ Unknown
Does your tea “get” you? Does it nod understandingly when you say that some days you feel like a cross between a ninja and Mary Poppins, and some days you show up to the park with a spoon in your pocket and no idea how it got there? If not, I’d like to introduce you to my tea. It’s made with adaptogens, which are herbs that help the body adapt to stress. Not by encouraging a specific response exactly, but more by nudging your body toward balance in whatever way it needs. Because it gets you.
As I explained here, if caffeine is like a map with instructions from point A (sleepy) to point B (alert), adaptogens are more like a GPS system that figures out where you are and helps you get where you need to go (balanced). It has a grounding, centering effect that I’ve found really helpful on busy days.
Since adaptogenic herbs work together synergistically, I’ve incorporated several that are considered beneficial for all personality types. (Yep, you totally have to play matchmaker with adaptogens. Some, like Panax ginseng, tend to be too intense for Type A personalities, but some are generally considered compatible with children, older adults, and everyone in between.)
Teas vs. Tinctures – What’s the difference?
Teas extract the nutrients found in herbs using water, while tinctures extract them using alcohol. While this may seem at first just based on preference, there’s more to it than that.
While teas can draw out many of the nutrients found in herbs – flavonoids, vitamins, and minerals, for example – there are some that are left behind. Alcohol extracts the “hard to get” compounds such as alkaloids, which are often considered to have therapeutic value. In fact, they’ve been the subject of pharmaceutical research in the development of medicines. (source)
Of course, teas are ready almost immediately, and tinctures take about six weeks to brew. So although tinctures may be preferred in some cases, teas are a deeply nourishing and quick option. This delicious recipe uses the decoction method to maximize the amount of nutrients extracted, which is especially important when roots and berries are used. (If you’re interested in trying both methods, you can find my Adapt + Thrive Adrenal Support Tincture Recipe here)
Is this blend safe for pregnant and nursing mamas?
A few herbs in this blend – holy basil, ashwagandha, and licorice root – are not recommended for pregnant mamas. However, according to The Botanical Safety Handbook, there are no known contraindications for nursing mamas. (I’m nursing and this is one of my favorite teas!)
What else do I need to know?
Some adaptogens, like eleuthero, can be taken for long periods of time. However, many herbalists recommend rotating the adaptogens used every couple of months. This blend contains licorice root, which according to The Botanical Safety Handbook can be taken for up to six weeks before a rest is needed. I recommend rotating this tea with another adaptogen blend at that point, or just omitting the licorice. (If you’d like me to share more blend recipes, please let me know in the comments!)
Happy Adrenal Blend (Adrenal Support Tea)
Yield 12 cups
This blend makes approximately 12 total cups of tea. Following the instructions below will result in approximately 1 1/2 cups prepared at a single time, which will serve two people. If you plan to drink both servings, you can store one in a jar overnight to drink the next day.
- 1/4 cup plus two teaspoons eleuthero root (where to buy eleuthero, benefits of eleuthero root)
- 1/4 cup plus two teaspoons schisandra berry (where to buy schisandra)
- 1/4 cup plus two teaspoons holy basil leaves (where to buy holy basil)
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon ashwagandha root (where to buy ashwagandha, benefits of ashwagandha)
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon lemon balm (where to buy lemon balm)
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon licorice root (where to buy licorice root, benefits of licorice root)
- Place 1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons adrenal support tea in a small pot. Pour in two cups of cold water and cover the pot. Slowly bring the mixture to a low simmer – continue simmering for about 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the tea to infuse for at least 30 minutes (it can be longer – up to overnight), then strain and serve. It is somewhat naturally sweet due to the addition of licorice root, but more sweetener may be added if desired.