Ah coffee. How much do we love you? I can’t scroll Instagram without seeing at least one coffee related meme. Things like, “Life without coffee is like me without sleep. Neither are recommended.” Or “I know how to cure my coffee withdrawal, more coffee.” I was and still am a lover of coffee. I didn’t start drinking coffee until I graduated college and got my first full time job. At the time I am sure I used it to help me wake up in the morning. Adjusting to an early work schedule wasn’t easy. As life progressed I just did it as a morning ritual and I have grown to love the taste. So why am I now drinking Homemade Herbal Coffee? Great question!
A few months ago I ran a full hormone panel on myself, something that I do with my female clients often. The results showed that my cortisol levels were pretty low all day long. A sign of HPA Axis Disregulation, or adrenal fatigue. There can be numerous causes including stress, inflammation, blood sugar issues, over-exercising, and infections. It is usually a progression of things that happen over time.
Caffeine can over-stimulate the adrenals, which can lead to further fatiguing when the caffeine wears off. If you are experiencing low energy levels, you might find yourself getting through the day by kicking your adrenals with coffee or beverages containing caffeine (or even with sweets or chocolate). This can make you feel better temporarily but in the long run you are at risk for exhausting your adrenals even more, leading them down a even worse path. Even if you don’t have an adrenal or caffeine issue I usually recommend taking occasional breaks from coffee to give your body time off.
Switching to decaffeinated coffee isn’t the solution either, since decaf coffee still contains some and even still significant amounts of caffeine. You may want to slowly wean yourself off caffeine especially if you consider yourself extremely dependent. In the end I switched to decaf but then decided I really needed to quit all together to allow my body to heal. This may sound impossible to some but in the end your body with thank you! In an effort to satisfy my morning cup of Joe I tried numerous brands of herbal coffees. Some were better than others. Two of my favorites if you don’t want to make it yourself are…Dandy Blend and Teechino Dandelion Dark Roast or Dandelion Caramel Nut.
But the best herbal coffee I have had was a blend made by a local business. I set out to create a version that I could make myself at home. This Homemade Herbal Coffee is great iced or hot. When I drink it cold I add a splash of full fat coconut milk. Enjoying it hot, I make a latte by adding a scoop of collagen peptides, a drizzle of raw honey, some almond milk and mix it in my blender to create a foamy drink.
Coffee does have some studies supporting its health benefits but when you have adrenal issues or your body doesn’t tolerate caffeine for some other reason, these benefits go out the window. Herbs and spices can have just as many (if not more) health supportive benefits.
Chicory| It can stimulate the liver, cleanse the spleen, gallbladders, and kidneys. It is often used as a substitute or ingredient in coffee but it has no caffeine.
Dandelion Root| It can remove pesticides, pollutants, contaminants, wastes, and toxins that collect in your joints.
Milk Thistle| This is a valuable herb to strengthen your liver. A health liver can boost your resistance to disease and help you recover from illnesses more quickly. It is your big detoxifying organ and secretes bile to stimulate digestive juices that breakdown nutrients from food so that we can absorb them.
Chaga| A mushroom that has an abundance of Beta-D-Glucans which help balance the response of the body’s immune system (source). This means that chaga helps boosts the immune system when necessary, but slows it down when it’s overactive.
Cinnamon| A popular spice that can support health blood sugar levels, support a healthy inflammatory response (source), and also can act like an antioxidant.
Cardamom| One of my favorite spices, it possesses many known health benefits including supporting the gastrointestinal tract (source).
I still crave the taste off coffee and hope to introduce it back into my live one day but for now herbal coffee is my morning comfort and I hope you can find some joy in it too!
- Mix all of the herbs and spices together.
- Store in an airtight container.
- To make herbal add 1 tablespoon of the dry mix to every 8 ounces of hot water and let steep for 10 minutes (I use a coffee press). You can use tea or just strain out the mix with a strainer.
- Hot Latte: 1 scoop collagen peptides, ¼ cup almond milk, 1 teaspoon raw honey, hot herbal coffee and blend in a blender. Serve.
- Iced Herbal Coffee: After steeping and straining the coffee put it in a glass jar and stick it in the fridge to cool overnight. Serve as desired.