There’s a silent habit that keeps many of us trapped in the modern world. It’s so ingrained in our culture that many of us don’t give it a second thought each day. But the reality is that a lot of folks can’t do without their morning “pick-me-up.”
A commonly overlooked fact – coffee is a potent herb. You might not think of coffee as a medicinal plant, but it certainly is.
The stiffest sources of caffeine that we brew in the morning belong to a family of herbs known as nervines. They got this name because they contain substances that interact with your nervous system – and can help you or hurt you, depending on which and how much you use.
Most herbalists view coffee as a strong nervine medicine that can be beneficial if you use it sparingly (once a week or less). But leading herbalists like Rosemary Gladstar believe that coffee can throw your mental and emotional balance out of whack and cause a number of related health problems if you overuse it, as many people do.
The good news is that there are a number of caffeinated nervines that can be brewed together with calming herbs to give you a nourishing boost of long-lasting energy throughout the day. And they don’t cause stress, anxiety or jitters.
Years ago, I kicked my coffee addiction and replaced my cuppa Joe with drinking teas all day every day. While two of the recipes below do contain some caffeine, the herbs that do are also strong allies for your mind and nervous system. So instead of being a catch-22, you get to have your cake and eat it too.
Here are 3 amazing alternatives to coffee that increase your energy and have healing benefits.
1. Yerba Mate + Oatstraw + Nettle
Yerba Mate is a common central American tea that is becoming more and more popular in the U.S. It’s highly nutritious and packed with antioxidants.
It is an overall stimulant that boosts your memory and hones your attention, gets your digestive system ready for the day and strengthens your immune system.
Nettle and Oatstraw are a dynamic duo that strengthens your blood and calms your body by nourishing and repairing your nervous system.
The 3 ingredients in this tea create a boost of grounding energy that lasts all day long.
2. Lemon Balm + Green tea = Afternoon Pick Me Up
Drinking green tea throughout the day is an ancient practice that has a pharmacopeia of beneficial properties.
The National Cancer Institute has published that green tea actually prevents tumor growth!
It is a powerful remedy for the heart as well. It promotes better circulation, balances cholesterol levels and can help you lose weight. However, the primary focus of green tea in this blend is that it boosts your memory and protects against neurodegenerative disease.
Lemon Balm is the perfect companion ingredient for green tea. It is an effective remedy for stress and anxiety. It calms your nerves but boosts your concentration.
3. Adaptogen Night Time Brew (Setting yourself up for an amazing tomorrow.)
“Adaptogen” has been kind of a buzz word lately, so I want to clear up any confusion. Adaptogens are herbs that work with your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to normalize your body’s stress response.
Basically, these herbs help you differentiate between a hard day at work and a bear chasing you. This sounds really silly, but our bodies get so used to being anxious and high strung that it reads all stressors as a potential life or death situation.
Since their work is so deep, you really must take them for long periods of time. That’s why I suggest taking an adaptogen every night! As your thinking brain turns off and our body begins the process of healing, your adaptogenic ally can focus on bringing you back into a state of balance.
It is advised totake night-time adaptogen called Tulsi (aka Holy Basil), because it promotes proper flow of oxygen and chi. It’s also a pain killer and immunomodulator (works to balance out your immune function).
Pair up your Holy Basil with something delicious and calming like skullcap or lavender and your body will be revitalized and ready to take on tomorrow!