Ashwagandha, also known as winter cherry or Indian ginseng, is an adaptogenic herb used in the Ayurvedic tradition for centuries. Due to its incredible health benefits, ashwagandha and other adaptogenic herbs are experiencing a revival today. Learn all about the benefits of ashwagandha tea and find the brew that’s right for you!
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What Is Ashwagandha?
Origins of Ashwagandha
Native to India, Northern Africa, and parts of the Mediterranean, ashwagandha's lesser-known botanical name is Withania somnifera and it is part of the nightshade family. Other popular edible plants in the nightshade family include tomatoes, eggplant, goji berries, peppers, white potatoes, cayenne, and paprika.
There’s evidence that ashwagandha may even be older than tea, with its use in ancient medicine extending thousands of years back to before the Camellia sinensis plant was discovered.
The roots of ashwagandha are commonly used in herbal medicine as an adaptogenic and consumed as a supplement in a powder, capsule, or tincture form. For less concentrated but similar benefits, ashwagandha root can also be steeped in tea or found in many herbal tea blends. Adaptogenics are non-toxic, balancing herbs that primarily have a calming effect on your body and help you deal with stress.
Benefits of Ashwagandha Tea
However, it’s important to realize the benefits of ashwagandha can take time to manifest. If you’re drinking ashwagandha root tea for its health promoting benefits, you need to use it consistently over a long period of time - often several weeks to three months - to fully experience the positive effects.
If you stick with an ashwagandha routine, you can look forward to potentially reduced cortisol levels (resulting in less stress and anxiety), feeling more calm and balanced, enhanced sleep quality, increased vitality and energy, lowered blood sugar, anti-inflammation, and regulated hormones through its support of the endocrine system. Some reports even claim that ashwagandha is an herbal aphrodisiac. Plus, ashwagandha can be a great boost for your brain health, memory, and cognition!
Ashwagandha Tea Safety
Ashwagandha can help you get back on track and feel more balanced, but it’s not meant to be taken forever. Nutritionists suggest that once ashwagandha has helped balance and regulate your body (after 6 months to 1 year), you assess your body’s needs and pull back from using it consistently. This is simply because adaptogenic and other herbal remedies are not meant to be relied on forever once they have done their job. But don’t worry, these recommendations mainly apply to daily doses of ashwagandha powder or capsules where the effects are more concentrated, so sipping a cup of your favorite ashwagandha tea is still a healthy and beneficial practice.
Ashwagandha is a widely available, safe herbal supplement for most people. However, it is recommended that pregnant or breastfeeding women, people with some autoimmune diseases, and people with sensitivities to foods in the nightshade family should not take ashwagandha. Always talk with your doctor or health professional before taking a supplement to make sure it is right for you.
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Best Ashwagandha Teas
Though some other parts of the ashwagandha shrub are edible, only the root should be ground into a powder and used in supplements and teas for the best health benefits. To ensure you’re drinking the best quality possible, make sure the ashwagandha in your tea is made with 100% ashwagandha root. Also, purchasing organic ashwagandha is a great way to be certain your tea is free of all synthetic pesticides or toxic chemicals, though many high-quality non-organic teas will be free of these harmful trace ingredients as well.
Try out these adaptogenic tea blends for your next cozy cup.
How to Make Ashwagandha Tea Taste Better
Even though the ashwagandha plant is a leafy, evergreen shrub, its root is the part of the plant harvested in early fall and used in herbal medicine. The name “ashwagandha” is derived from Sanskrit and means “smell of the horse” which is a nod to it’s earthy, musky aroma and rejuvenating abilities of the root.
Though the natural taste might not be everyone’s cup of tea, ashwagandha tea is often blended with other delicious natural herbs, flowers, roots, and fruit to enhance the flavor profile and health benefits. Plus, swirling a bit of honey, agave, or other sweeteners in a cup of ashwagandha root tea will do wonders for softening any natural bitterness and earthy taste. Ashwagandha is also an essential ingredient in popular Moon Milk lattes which combine warmed milk, ashwagandha, honey, cinnamon, and other spices to promote sleep and boost the immune system.
Try out one of these delicious tea blends with ashwagandha.
How to Make a Moon Milk Tea Latte
Moon milk is an ancient Ayurvedic adaptogenic drink that has been used for centuries to promote sleep, reduce stress, and boost the immune system with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. This calming recipe takes all the elements of classic moon milk and turns it into an even more beneficial tea latte! As the moon rises in the night sky, make this delicious tea latte and sip it before bed to drift off into peaceful sleep and sweet dreams.
Moon Milk Tea Latte
Makes 1 serving // Total Time: 5-8 minutes
- Ashwagandha tea or powder. We recommend Rest by Clover Botanicals.
- 1 cup milk
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp raw honey
- Optional: Add 1 tsp lavender buds or ground turmeric for extra flavor.
Begin to simmer 1 ashwagandha tea bag or 1 tsp of loose ashwagandha tea in 1 cup of your favorite milk on medium-low heat. Alternatively, you can simply use your favorite herbal tea and mix in 1 serving of ashwagandha root powder.
Add cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, stirring until smooth. Optional: add a spoonful of lavender buds or 1 tsp ground turmeric for extra flavor and benefits.
After 5 minutes or until mixture is warmed, remove from heat and whisk in coconut oil and honey until frothy.
Strain your moon milk tea latte into your favorite mug and sip before bed for a peaceful nighttime ritual.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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