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Adaptogens for Optimal Health


My Favorite Adaptogens:

Tulsi/Holy Basil: grows pretty well where we live and just like many herbs, once it gets going, it explodes.  Tusli aka Holy Basil is probably my favorite herb along with cilantro and thyme.  I can use it in cooking sure, but where it really shines for me is as a daily tea. It has soothing and anti-stress properties and I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys tea and is looking for a new/caffeine free tea or just looking for an additional way to relax.  Tulsi tea is the way to go.  If it so happens that you don’t have time to grow and steep whole leaves on your own, this bagged tulsi tea is also excellent.  Side note: I also chill the tea for a refreshing facial mist and throw it in my bath for an elevated experience.

Panax Ginseng.  When I was a child, I remember accompanying my mother to the Korean market and would always see these impressive roots dried out and displayed as a natural medicine or steeped in golden tonics as an energizer.  It is also long believed to reduce stress, promote relaxation and be a testosterone booster, of all things.  Supplements are the easiest way to enjoy panax ginseng but you can also source them whole at health food stores or at Asian markets meant to be used in recipes like my Korean chicken and ginseng soup.

Schizandra Fruit: these are the red berries featured above and we often enjoyed it in our home as a tea.  It’s recently gained a lot of attention as a super fruit and possess the unique ability of containing 5 distinct flavors including salty, sweet, sour, spicy, and bitter hence its name, omija tea in Korea meaning 5 flavor magnolia berries.  I’ve only ever had this as a tea (make sure it’s whole and dried natural berries, not a powdered mix) but there are also supplements available.

Moringa: if you’ve been following me for awhile, you know that upon moving to St. Croix, I became an instant convert to moringa.  These almost arugula like leaves come from an entirely edible tree {I’ve even made moringa flower candies) that each possess their own powers.  I most often use the leaves in my daily green smoothie.  Even Nala enjoys it in her food.  It’s said to be an excellent anti inflammatory food, rich in antioxidants and packed with nutrients.  It’s also said to support sleep, fight fatigue and balance hormones, giving it its adaptogen qualities.  There is an abundance of moringa growing in our backyard but if you live in a climate where it’s not available, I found this freshly dried variety.

Maca: has been hailed for its ability to balance estrogen levels and enhance energy, mood and memory but I’ve long been using this low temperature dried maca for smoothie bowls and date balls for its great taste, generous micronutrients and antioxidants.

Other Adaptogens that I haven’t tried yet:

Ashwagandha/Indian Ginseng, Rhodiola, Lemon Balm, Reishi, Eleuthero, Astragalus root, and Licorice Root.  Have you tried any of these?  What was your experience like?



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