Ashwagandha is a very powerful adaptogen. We owe this knowledge to India and the Middle East– where it has been used for centuries to treat stress.
There was a time two years ago when I had moved home to take care of a sick family member. I was with this person around the clock for almost 6 months. The way everything was set up was the perfect storm. Everyone in my family was away for longer periods of time and it really came down to ME to be there for this person. I was grateful to do so, but it truly took one hell of a toll on me.
My anxiety level was through the roof. There were periods of times when I genuinely believed I was going crazy. I couldn’t sleep. My emotions were severely out of whack. I could not handle one more single thing thrown at me.
I did a lot to reclaim myself. (Actionable items you can see here— skip to the bottom.) But one thing I did was I started incorporating ashwagandha into my diet daily.
I was easily able to make this a habit because I started drinking it with my afternoon coffee. (I am a coffee snob- I love good coffee.) Every day I just knew to dump one scoop of ashwagandha into my afternoon coffee and to not give up.
Do you know what an adaptogen is?
Adaptogens are considered herbal medicine. Tonics. Powders. Typically from an ayurvedic herb or root. It is a natural substance that is said to help the body cope with stress. It also helps the body normalize and balance out natural bodily functions. Many even believe it to help balance out hormones.
Here’s the thing with adaptogens: They don’t work overnight. You need to take them for weeks or months to really feel a difference. And once you feel back in balance, it’s good to back off until you feel you need it again. Bodies are always in ebb and flow– listen to your body!
My experience with ashwagandha: After a few weeks, I noticed I did feel mentally stronger. More able to power through the day. I was able to pause and look and things logically instead of reacting to every single thing in an emotional manner. Does it make you super-human? No. A different person? No. But it does help balance you out. It helped calm my stress.
Today, I incorporate ashwagandha on and off. On for a month, off for a month. OR– whenever I feel like I am out of whack.
Ashwagandha doesn’t taste amazing (they do have it in capsule form) but I think the powder form absorbs into the body easier. I always mix mine with something super flavorful. That’s why I love mixing it with coffee!
I’m a partner of Cuvee Coffee– so of course, I am going to share my recipe using their beans. Typically I drink normal coffee, but as I am healing my adrenals, I am drinking decaf. Wah-wah… not as great! But the beans still taste DELICIOUS.
I kid you not– Cuvee coffee is some of the BEST TASTING COFFEE I have ever tried. It’s a staple coffee shop here in Austin. Even Whole Foods carries it! Zee Bull loves it. My boyfriend loves it. My friends love it. You should really give them a try! They ship nationwide.
This recipe is SO EASY, healthy, and delicious! I love it because we often need a pick me up in the afternoon, but with the added Ashwagandha, you get way fewer jitters and more strong focus. LOVE IT.
Healthy Ashwagandha Coffee
What you need:
1. Brewed coffee (Cuvee!! 😉 )
2. A splash of plant milk
3. 1 scoop of ashwagandha (I love the one by MoodBelly)
4. 1/4 a teaspoon of cinnamon
5. 1/2 a teaspoon of cacao
6. A blender
1. Brew coffee
2. Pour coffee into the blender
3. Pour plant milk into the blender
4. Add all dry ingredients– ashwagandha, cinnamon, cacao
5. Blend and enjoy!
Lastly… I would love to leave you with these Ashwagandha studies. 🙂 Just because!! Research is so important.
- A study published in the U.S National Libary of Medicine states that ashwagandha CAN help stress levels and to lower cortisol levels. There were 64 people in this study- all who had a history of chronic stress. On Day 60- those who had taken ashwagandha (as opposed to the placebo group) had reduced levels of cortisol and also self-assessed themselves as having a significant reduction of stress in their lives.
- Ashwagandha can help improve cognitive function. This study focused on 20 healthy males. For fourteen days they were given Ashwagandha and in the end, all of them were tested on their cognitive abilities. (They tested them when given the root, three hours after, and 14 days later.) All of them took computerized tests and the results? “Significant improvements were observed in reaction times with simple reaction, choice discrimination, digit symbol substitution, digit vigilance, and card sorting tests.” See this study HERE.
- Ashwagandha can help improve sleep quality. Bayan Botanicals did a study with 218 participants- all taking ashwagandha root. ~67% reported improved sleep after taking ashwagandha for one month.
Let me know if you ever try ashwagandha or Cuvee coffee!