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  • Writer's pictureTea Para Ti

A Guide to Adaptogen Teas: What is It, Benefits, & How to Brew

A white ceramic mug filled with adaptogen tea and flower petals, sitting atop an open book, flowers hanging over

In today's world — where stress and fatigue seem to be constant companions — finding convenient ways to restore balance and enhance overall well-being is the goal (if, we can ever find the time!). Luckily, there is a remarkable category of herbal teas that can help us achieve just that, and it's a little-known elixir in the form of adaptogen teas.

Adaptogen teas, infused with potent bio-active compounds, have gained widespread recognition for their ability to help the body adapt to stress, improve mental clarity, and promote a much-needed sense of balance. And, best of all, being a tea, it's easy to incorporate adaptogens into your diet without it having to take extra time out of your already busy day.

In this guide, we'll cover:

Let's learn what this unique tea type can do for you!

What Are Adaptogens?

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Before we dive into adaptogen tea, you might be wondering what an "adaptogen" is in the first place.

Adaptogens are a unique category of plants, herbs, and fungi that possess special properties to help the body adapt and respond to stressors. These natural substances are known for their ability to restore balance to the body and mind, while improving resilience and promoting overall wellbeing. Adaptogens work by modulating the body's stress response system, helping to regulate physiological functions and maintain homeostasis.

Sounds pretty neat, huh?

To break it down a little further, adaptogens are generally characterized by several key qualities:

  • Non-specific action: Adaptogens have a broad spectrum of action, meaning they can exert positive effects on multiple systems within the body rather than targeting a specific organ or function.

  • Stress response regulation: Adaptogens help regulate the body's stress response by modulating the production and activity of stress hormones, like cortisol. Because adaptogens can support the adrenal glands, they play a vital role in managing stress.

  • Balancing effect: A byproduct of managing stress levels is getting to that sense of balance we all crave. Adaptogens work their magic when they help bring various systems back into equilibrium.

  • Nontoxic and safe: Adaptogens are generally safe to use and have a low risk of adverse side effects when used as directed. They are well-tolerated by most individuals, but it's still important to follow recommended dosages and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any specific health concerns. We'll cover more on that later!

What Are Adaptogen Teas?

Tea being poured from a jade tea pot into a brown ceramic mug

The best way to ingest adaptogens is by brewing them into tea. When brewed into teas, you get a convenient — and, yummy! — way to access all the benefits of adaptogens.

Now that you know a little more about adaptogens and you're thinking to yourself, "I wonder what teas are considered adaptogenic teas?" let's find out! This will help you determine whether or not you have some adaptogen teas already at home in your cupboard, or if you'll need to add them to your shopping list.

Types of Adaptogen Teas

Because adaptogens refer to a broad range of herbs and plants that help with stress and balance, the list of adaptogen teas is likely quite a long one. But, here's a list of some common adaptogens that are used to make adaptogen teas:

  1. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): Known for its calming properties, ashwagandha tea helps reduce stress and promotes relaxation.

  2. Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum): Also called Tulsi, this tea is revered in Ayurvedic medicine for its adaptogenic and immune-boosting qualities.

  3. Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea): Rhodiola tea enhances mental and physical performance, reduces fatigue, and helps the body cope with stress.

  4. Ginseng (Panax ginseng, Panax quinquefolius): Renowned for its energizing effects, ginseng tea boosts vitality, supports cognitive function, and enhances overall well-being.

  5. Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus): Commonly known as Siberian ginseng, this tea is used to increase stamina, improve resilience to stress, and enhance mental clarity.

  6. Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis): Schisandra tea is prized for its adaptogenic properties that improve mental focus, combat fatigue, and support liver health.

  7. Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus): Astragalus tea boosts immune function, strengthens the body's resistance to stress, and supports overall vitality.

  8. Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra): Licorice root tea supports adrenal health, aids digestion, and has anti-inflammatory properties.

  9. Maca (Lepidium meyenii): Maca tea is known for its energizing effects, hormone balancing properties, and potential to enhance libido.

  10. Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum): Reishi tea is a potent immune modulator, promoting overall wellness and supporting stress reduction.

  11. Cordyceps mushroom (Cordyceps sinensis): Cordyceps tea is believed to enhance energy, improve athletic performance, and support respiratory health.

  12. Gotu kola (Centella asiatica): Gotu kola tea supports cognitive function, memory, and may help reduce anxiety and promote calmness.

Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below!

11 Benefits of Adaptogen Teas

A hand holding a tea mug with a tea bag, displayed on a table next to a vase and plant and plate with a cake

Alright, let's get to the good stuff! Adaptogen teas taste good and all, but most people who choose to consume them do so because of the way adaptogens help level out the mind and body. But, there are several more benefits of adaptogens that are worth checking out:

1. Adaptogen Teas for Stress and Overwhelm

Many teas are known to help us chill out, but adaptogen teas excel in their stress-reducing properties, helping to regulate the body's stress response system and foster a deep sense of calm. By reducing stress, these teas can enhance mental clarity, focus, and overall cognitive function, enabling us to navigate the demands of daily life with greater ease.

Adaptogens like ashwagandha and Holy Basil (Tulsi) are usually the go-to teas to combat stress.

2. Adaptogen Tea Gives You An Energy Boost

Many adaptogen teas possess an incredible ability to boost energy levels without the jitters or crashes associated with stimulants like caffeine. More specifically, adaptogens such as ginseng and Siberian ginseng (eleuthero) are renowned for their energizing properties. They work by supporting the adrenal glands, which — as we know — play a vital role in managing stress, but also work in energy production. Regular consumption of adaptogen teas can help combat fatigue while kicking the caffeine habit.

3. Adaptogen Tea for Physical Endurance and Performance

Speaking of energy boosts, whether you're an athlete or someone who just likes to work out every now and then, then consider swapping the energy drink for adaptogen tea. These teas do a great job of boosting your endurance and performance out on the field. More specifically, try adaptogen teas like eleuthero and Cordyceps, which are known to help increase oxygen uptake, improve aerobic capacity, and reduce fatigue, which may help up your game or your workout.

4. Adaptogen Tea Supports Immune Health

Another benefit of adaptogen teas is their ability to bolster our immune function, helping to fortify the body's natural defenses. By supporting a healthy immune system, these teas help keep our bodies strong against viruses and other illnesses, reducing the risk of infections.

Adaptogens like astragalus and Cordyceps are specifically known for their immune-boosting properties. They help strengthen the immune response, enhance immune cell activity, and provide antioxidant support. A good choice on a regular basis, but also worth keeping in the tea cabinet during flu season!

5. Adaptogen Tea Provides Hormonal Balance

Hormonal imbalances can disrupt our wellbeing, affecting everything from mood to our energy levels for sometimes days at a time.

The good news is that there are certain adaptogens found in teas that can help support hormonal balance in the body. They may alleviate symptoms associated with hormonal fluctuations, including hot flashes, mood swings, and PMS symptoms.

Adaptogens like licorice root and Rhodiola rosea support the endocrine system and do this job very well.

6. Adaptogen Tea for Anxiety

In addition to helping with stress and hormone imbalances, it's no wonder that adaptogen teas also contribute to improving symptoms from anxiety and depression.

St. John's Wort and ashwagandha have been used for this purpose, as they can help balance neurotransmitters and modulate stress hormones, promoting a more stable and positive mood. There is more research to be done, but for those who suffer from mild anxiety, these adaptogen tea benefits may offer some reprieve.

7. Adaptogen Tea Helps Your Digestive System

Digestive health plays a major role in our overall health, and certain adaptogen teas can contribute to a healthy digestive system, reducing inflammation and promoting gut health.

For these benefits, adaptogens like licorice root and ashwagandha have been traditionally used to soothe the digestive tract and give you regularity. They help calm inflammation in the gut, enhance nutrient absorption, and maintain a healthy microbial balance.

8. Adaptogen Tea Supports a Healthy Heart

In addition to digestive health, adaptogen teas also support the cardiovascular system by promoting healthy blood pressure, reducing oxidative stress, and supporting healthy cholesterol levels. Ginseng tea is a pro at this. A nice mug of, this adaptogen tea can help with blood flow, reducing arterial stiffness, and supporting strong blood vessels.

9. Adaptogen Tea Helps Joints and Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is associated with various health issues, including chronic pain and diseases such as arthritis. Many of these symptoms can also flare up from stress. It's no surprise then that there are adaptogen teas that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties.

Though they may be classified as "secondary adaptogens", turmeric tea and ginger tea are known for their potent anti-inflammatory effects. They contain bio-active compounds that inhibit inflammatory pathways in the body.

10. Adaptogen Tea for a Good Night's Rest

Many people look to incorporate tea into their bedtime routine to help trigger the Zzz's. Adaptogen teas are a good option if you're looking for that perfect tea to calm you down before bedtime. These teas can also help ward off insomnia.

And, there's a good chance you're drinking one of them before bedtime already! Adaptogens such as chamomile and Valerian root are well-known for their calming and sedative properties. They help relax the mind and body, alleviate anxiety, and promote restful sleep.

11. Adaptogen Tea for Function and Focus

Optimal cognitive function and focus are essential for productivity and mental performance. Certain adaptogen teas can help enhance cognitive abilities, sharpen your focus, and help keep your mind clear. So, if you need to be on the ball, an adaptogen tea like ginseng or Rhodiola rosea is a good choice if you're wanting to improve cognitive function and mental performance.

In addition to their other properties, these adaptogen teas help enhance memory, concentration, and your overall attention span.

No matter what benefits you're seeking from adaptogen teas, it's important to keep in mind that there is more research to be done on many of these. Like with anything, adaptogen teas are not a substitute for actual medical interventions. So, be sure to talk to your doctor if you have medical issues and want to know more about incorporating adaptogen teas into your diet.

Important Considerations for Adaptogen Teas

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Even if you don't have any major health concerns, it's important to keep a few considerations in mind if/when adding adaptogen teas to your diet. While adaptogen teas are generally safe in moderation and offer numerous potential benefits, here's what you need to know:

  • Quality and sourcing: If you plan on trying adaptogen teas, be sure to choose high-quality adaptogen teas from reputable sources. Look for teas made from organic herbs to minimize exposure to pesticides and ensure optimal quality. It's advisable to select teas that undergo rigorous testing for purity and potency.

  • Dosage and moderation: Follow the recommended dosage guidelines for the specific adaptogen tea you're consuming. It's important to remember that even natural substances can have an impact on the body, and exceeding recommended dosages may have unintended effects. Start with a lower dosage and gradually increase if needed, while monitoring how your body responds.

  • Individual sensitivities and allergies: Be aware of any known allergies or sensitivities you may have to specific herbs. Some individuals may experience allergic reactions or adverse effects to certain adaptogens. If you have known allergies or are unsure about potential sensitivities, consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating adaptogen teas into your routine.

  • Interactions with medications: If you're currently taking any medications or have an existing health condition, it's necessary that you consult with a healthcare professional before consuming adaptogen teas. Some herbs may interact with certain medications, impacting their efficacy or causing undesired effects. Your healthcare provider can provide personalized guidance based on your specific situation.

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Pregnant and breastfeeding individuals should exercise caution when consuming adaptogen teas. Some adaptogenic herbs may have contraindications during pregnancy and lactation. It's best to consult with a healthcare professional to determine which adaptogens are safe to consume during these stages.

  • Duration and cycling: Consider incorporating periodic breaks or cycling periods when consuming adaptogen teas. Some experts recommend taking breaks from adaptogens to prevent the body from developing tolerance. Discuss with a healthcare professional or herbalist to determine an appropriate cycle for your individual needs.

Everyone's body is unique, and individual responses to adaptogens may vary. Remember, adaptogen teas should be viewed as a complementary part of a healthy lifestyle and not as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. So, talk to a healthcare professional if need be.

And, pay attention to how your body reacts to adaptogen teas. If you experience any unusual symptoms or discomfort, discontinue use and reach out to your doctor.

How to Brew an Adaptogen Tea Recipe

A fancy ceramic teapot and mug on a saucer holding adaptogen teas

Alright — it's the moment you've been waiting for! This is how to brew a nice cup of adaptogen tea in order to get all those amazing benefits. And, no need to fret; making this tea is a fairly straightforward process, which may only differ slightly depending on the specific adaptogen tea recipe you want to make:

Step 1: Boil fresh, filtered water and allow it to cool slightly.

Step 2: Select your desired adaptogen tea based on what you're interested in trying or the specific benefits you're hoping to get.

Step 3: Measure the recommended amount of adaptogen herb or tea leaves and place them in a teapot or infuser. Some advice on this below!

Step 4: Pour the hot water over the herbs or tea leaves.

Step 5: Steep for the recommended time (varies depending on the adaptogen) and enjoy!

Here's a guide for various adaptogen tea options:

  • To make ashwagandha tea...steep 1 teaspoon of dried Aahwagandha root in hot water for 10 minutes.

  • To prepare tulsi tea...steep 1-2 teaspoons of dried Tulsi leaves in boiling water for 5 minutes.

  • To make Rhodiola rosea tea...steep 1 teaspoon of dried Rhodiola Rosea root in hot water for 15 minutes.

  • To prepare ginseng tea...simmer 1-2 teaspoons of sliced ginseng root in water for 20 minutes.

  • To prepare eleuthero tea...steep 1 teaspoon of dried eleuthero root in hot water for 10-15 minutes.

  • To prepare astragalus tea...steep 1-2 teaspoons of dried astragalus root in water for 15-20 minutes.

  • To prepare Cordyceps tea...steep 1 teaspoon of dried Cordyceps in hot water for 10-15 minutes.

Add Adaptogen Teas to Your Teabox!

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Adaptogen teas are nature's gift to those looking for a tea that can really balance out the mind and body. With their stress-reducing properties, energy-boosting effects, immune support, and ability to promote hormonal balance, these teas have rightfully earned their place in the realm of wellness. Have you tried adaptogen teas? Let us know your experience!

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