Being and staying well is on everyone’s mind right now considering the crazy times we live in with the global pandemic situation. In a nutshell, wellness is best defined as a state of being healthy in body and mind. Incorporating herbal teas for wellness goals in your everyday life is a great way to reduce stress, and get potential health benefits. Wellness teas are usually made from herbs, flowers, bark, or mushrooms and are quite easy to include in your daily routine.
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What is Wellness?
Defined as ‘the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.’ by Oxford Languages or as ‘the active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health’ by the Global Wellness Institute.
It is not a static state, it’s more of a pursuit where we constantly work toward an optimal state of health and wellbeing that extends beyond physical health, including emotional, mental, spiritual, environmental, and social too.
Instead of reacting to an illness, the pursuit of wellness will involve prevention, health improvement, quality of life enhancement, and maximizing vitality. In other words, wellness is proactive, preventive, and driven by self-responsibility.
Tea vs. Herbal Infusions
A lot of times, we use the word ‘tea’ to refer to any type of infusion, but technically, tea only comes from the plant Camellia Sinensis. There are 6 different types of tea: Black, Pu-erh, Oolong, Yellow, Green and White. Anything that’s not from this plant will be a herbal infusion or often called herbal tea or tisane.
Tea is the 2nd most consumed beverage in the world, only after water, and it’s frequently marketed in a misleading way as a weight loss aid, detox, and other non-proven health claims as selling points. Truth is, that most people drink and should drink tea because they love how it tastes and not because of health benefits. That being said, some tea types more than others, have some health benefits due to their high levels of catechins, flavonoids, l-theanine, etc.
Matcha is a type of green tea that is powdered, made from the actual green tea leaves which are finely ground, so consuming it translates to ‘eating’ the leaf instead of infusing it. This means that its benefits are much much higher than drinking a regular cup of tea, where the leaves are infused in water. Matcha has high levels of antioxidants and provides an increase in energy in the form of ‘calm alertness’, among other benefits, and it is often called upon when talking about wellness teas (Learn more about it).
Herbal Infusions can be made from herbs, flowers, bark, fruits, roots, mushrooms, etc. They don’t contain caffeine and each has a unique and different health benefit. They play a huge role in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine and they are often used for prevention and wellness purposes.If you want to learn more about herbs, the Herbal Academy’s Herbarium is an amazing resource with tons of in-depth information and recommended dosages, etc. on many herbs and fungi, and also has other resources like articles, videos, and podcasts. I can’t live without it! If you would like to take an introductory course on herbalism, I recommend their Introductory Herbal Course.
In the past few years, there has been a growing trend of a group of herbs, roots, and mushrooms called Adaptogens.
What Are Adaptogens?
They are a select group of herbs and fungi that support the body’s natural ability to deal with stress. They are non-specific, meaning that they have the unique ability to adapt their function according to the specific needs of the body. Adaptogens are filled with complex compounds that interact with your cellular systems to help your body adapt to specific physical or psychological stress, and can possess opposing qualities like being a relaxant or a stimulant depending on the body’s specific needs.
They are often sought for their ability to promote relaxation and relieve stress, boost immunity, energize, among other benefits.
Not only do adaptogens excel at balancing stress, many of them also directly influence our immune response, helping bring overactive and underactive immunity alike back into the optimal range.
Some herbs and mushrooms that are considered adaptogens are Ashwagandha, Astragalus, Chaga, Cordyceps, Eleuthero, Ginseng, Holy Basil (Tulsi), Reishi, Rhodiola, Schisandra, to name a few.
How Effective are Herbs and Mushrooms?
Herbalism is becoming an increasing form of alternative therapy in the United States. It is important to note that most herbal products in the USA are considered dietary supplements and are not regulated as medicines so they’re not required to meet the standards for drugs specified in the FDA. Some herbs carry risks, especially when combined with some medications, so I always recommend asking a health practitioner in a case-by-case situation.
“Generalizations about the efficacy of herbal medicines are clearly not possible. Each herb has to be judged on its own merits; some have been demonstrated to be efficacious for certain indications, while others may not be so efficacious and by far most of them have not been submitted to extensive clinical testing.” – Edzard Ernst.
In general, research into herbal medicines is much less active than research into conventional drugs, but what I can say based on personal experience is that I’ve definitely seen visible and concrete effects with certain herbs. Also, given that herbalism is a millenary practice and a base for Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, is another reason that supports it.
Another aspect of herbs that’s important to know is the time which they might take to become efficient. Some herbs work slowly to heal and build the body to a healthy level, while other herbs work quickly to give you the quick results you desire, such as more energy or digestion aid. For many herbs, it takes consistent consumption in mild to moderate doses to ‘get in your system’ and see any effects. Such is the case for many herbs and mushrooms that support sleep, ease anxiety, etc.
RELATED: DIY Sleep Time Herbal Tea Blend
Getting to The Point… 7 Herbal Teas for Wellness That You NEED to Try NOW!
I’ve been drinking all of these and absolutely recommend them. The most sought out categories this past year have been immune support, stress, and sleep aid. For that same reason, my recommended herbal teas to try are the following:
1- Rasa – Elderberry Boost (for Immunity Support)
It is quite well known that elderberry is one of the most sought out ‘supplements’ for immunity boosting. There are lots of alternatives to consume elderberries, like gummies, syrups, tea, etc. but my favorite by far is Rasa’s Elderberry Boost ‘tonic’ because it not only contains a good amount of elderberry extract as an ingredient but it’s also packed with other adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms. It makes an AMAZING latte (my favorite way to drink it!), just like the other rasa blends.
I’ve been drinking Rasa in most of its varieties for a while now and love it. I’d recommend you to try several of their blends by getting their sampler pack to see which one you like best (unfortunately, elderberry boost is not part of this sampler, but it’s so worth getting it!).
2- Teeccino – Lion’s Mane and Rhodiola (for Energy & Focus)
I recently tried Teeccino and was blown away! Their products are 100% caffeine-free and are perfect for people who want to replace coffee but still get some energy. Their ‘herbal coffees’ are bold, robust and filling, non-acidic, and super healthy! They don’t contain coffee and can be brewed just like loose leaf tea, or you can get them in tea bags format.
It was hard to pick and recommend just one blend so I encourage you to try their wellness sampler where you can try several of their mushroom adaptogen blends and decide what to get in a larger size (plus it includes free shipping!).
The combination of Lion’s Mane and Rhodiola is adaptogenic, so it helps reduce stress throughout the body and it’s great for energy/focus-boosting. Lion’s Mane is a mushroom renowned for being a nerve and brain protector and it’s often used to enhance focus and concentration. Rhodiola has performance-enhancing properties, often used by athletes to improve energy, capacity, and speed recovery. It can provide a quick energy boost before a long drive, a race, or enhanced concentration before a test, but it must be used on a longer-term basis to provide benefits for chronic conditions like fatigue, etc.
3- Your Super – Golden Mellow (for Immunity Support and Anti-inflammatory Properties)
Turmeric is my go-to herb when I feel like I’m starting to get a cold. I usually get a sore throat so I drink a few cups of turmeric lattes or golden milk for immune support. It’s by far one of the most popular wellness teas that we see now-a-days.
I really like this specific golden milk blend because it has the basics, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and pepper plus Ashwagandha, which adds adaptogenic properties, and lucuma for a delicious flavor!
4- Harney & Sons – Chaga Chai (for Immunity and Overall Wellness)
This Chaga Chai comes in powdered form, so it’s very practical and easy to prepare: add 1 tbsp of powder to 8oz of hot water and add frothed milk if desired. Its ingredients are Chaga mushroom, ginger, cinnamon, coconut pieces, cardamom, and nutmeg.
Chaga is rich in anti-oxidants, a potent anti-inflammatory, and is also rich in fiber and essential nutrients, including vitamin D, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and calcium.
5- MUD/WTR (for Energy & Overall Wellness)
Another “coffee alternative” that brings lots of interesting elements together. The founder created this drink for himself based on the health benefits of mushrooms, his love for masala chai, and the need of replacing coffee but still getting the energy. He was basically looking for something that induced alertness, improved mental capacity and function, stamina and performance, immunity, and overall health so he came up with MUD/WTR.
I personally love it because of its amazing ingredients, the Masala Chai base flavor, and also love to add dairy-free milk (I use Mooala Almond milk which froths AMAZING) to it and make it a latte.
6- Organic India – Tulsi Herbal Tea (for Stress Relief)
This is one of my absolute favorite herbs. I drink it daily before going to bed.
Holy Basil or Tulsi is considered an adaptogen and helps normalize the stress response in the body so that over time, the body is more stable, peaceful, and calm. Ayurveda suggests that tulsi is a tonic for the body, mind, and spirit that offers solutions to many modern-day health problems. I read that one person named it “liquid yoga”, because regular consumption of tulsi in the form of tea may be compared with the regular practice of yoga, which is nurturing and nourishing the body, mind, and spirit while fostering a sense of relaxation and wellbeing. There is also scientific research into tulsi that demonstrates the many psychological and physiological benefits.
7- Crooked Crows – Happy Pill Tea (for Stress Relief)
A blend that has an amazing list of ingredients including Holy Basil, Rose petals, Ashwagandha, California Poppy and Linden, among others. The Holy Basil and Ashwagandha in this blend are adaptogens, which can influence adrenal glands and can work towards lowering elevated Cortisol levels, among other benefits. Lemon Balm, California Poppy, and Linden are nervines, which help support a healthy response to stress and relief and nourish the nervous system.
This blend contains Earl Grey (which is black tea flavored with bergamot oils) in a small proportion, meaning that the resulting blend is not completely caffeine-free. Earl Grey is the last ingredient in the list and the company claims that the brewed tea contains less than 1 mg of caffeine per serving, which is extremely low (a cup of coffee has on average 95 mg).
BONUS – Sips By Wellness tea collection
This curated collection from Sips By (my favorite tea subscription box, btw) offers 4 wellness boxes with a total of teas good enough for over 60 cups. Each box has a different focus, like immunity-boosting, energy-boosting, sleep, and mood-boosting, and each contains different teas, from different brands.
You’ll get a combination of teas and herbal teas for wellness within this collection, and the beauty of it is that you can try many different types and flavors before committing to buy larger sizes. It makes the PERFECT gift too, who wouldn’t love this?
RELATED: Best Tea Subscription Box Guide
I hope you got a good idea about herbal teas for wellness and some recommended alternatives to try. I’d love to hear your thoughts about them and comments if you’ve tried some of these, or different ones, and your experience with wellness teas and herbals.
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