Adaptogenic Chai Recipe


| 12/21/2016 12:00:00 AM


We all go through a certain amount of daily stress, whether it’s a missed deadline, a flat tire, or a hair-pulling conversation. Fortunately for us, our bodies are remarkably talented at overcoming this stress and marching onward. Over time, however, this consistent low-grade stress builds up, causing depression, anxiety, insomnia, inflammation, and more.

 holding a cup of chai tea

A class of medicinal herbs called “adaptogens” were discovered in the mid-1940s as being able to help our bodies “adapt” to stress. This relatively safe and nontoxic class of herbs are defined not by their plant family but by their actions, which support the production of stress-related neurotransmitters and hormones to strengthen and tone our nervous system and organs.  Many of the plants that are considered adaptogens are also well known in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for increasing energy, brain function, and overall vitality. Adaptogens are sometimes called “modulating” because they increase or decrease the function of a particular body system or hormone based on what the body needs (Groves, 2016).  For this reason, I picture this smart class of herbs acting as little soldiers that travel though the body assessing the state of things and forming a gentle plan of action that’s specific to each individual.

Adaptogenic chai ingredients

Clockwise from center top: Ashwaganda, rhodiola, fennel, ginger, cloves, allspice, dried orange peel, cinnamon sticks, licorice, eleuthero (center).



It may be time to integrate adaptogens into your daily herbal routine when stress leaves you feeling burnt out and tired for an extended amount of time. For me, this happens after a stressful deadline when I feel a certain amount of mental fog and overall weariness.



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