Banish the Winter Blues with Herbal Teas
By Chelsea Fox
Winter embraces introspection, hibernation and a quieting of the world with cold short days and long nights. Working inside during precious hours of daylight can sap our serotonin production resulting in low energy and feelings of depression and sadness. Herbs can be lovely and reliable friends providing us relief from a variety of winter ailments.
Winter is a perfect time to embrace the idea of slowing down. The more we can be in rhythm with the natural world around us the better we will feel. For times we cannot adopt a slower pace because of work or family obligations, our herbal allies can help us through the season.
Recipes to try:
Bye Bye Blues Hot Cocoa
This healthier hot chocolate is a great pick-me-up for emotional heaviness and includes St. John’s wort for mood upliftment and ashwagandha for stress management. Enjoy it at night for better sleep and recovery from the daily grind.
¼ tsp St. John’s wort powder
¼ tsp ashwagandha powder
¼ tsp cinnamon powder
½ package hot cocoa powder mix
4 oz milk or milk alternative heated to170-180°
Add all ingredients to the mug and blend into heated milk of choice. Use a hand-held frother for coffeehouse-inspired foam. Finish with whipped cream or dairy-free topping and a dash of cinnamon if desired.
Daily Upliftment Herbal Tea
Decreased energy during the cold months can exacerbate sluggishness and increase cravings for surgery foods. This tea can help rev up some energy and inspire follow-through for 2024 health goals. Yerba mate, a Brazilian shrub, provides 30-50mg of caffeine per serving but is gentler on the system than a coffee fix. Gymnema helps to balance higher levels of blood sugar and curbs cravings while red raspberry leaves and fennel aid in healthier digestion that is essential in counteracting systemic heaviness.
1 tsp yerba mate
1 tsp red raspberry leaves
1 tsp gymnema
1 tsp fennel
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add herbs to a tea pot or brewing steeper for 3-5 minutes with water temperature at 190°. Add honey if desired.
Find our herbs, nourishing recipes and herbal blog at IndigoVibesApothecary.com. See our locations tab for local West Michigan shops that carry a variety of Indigo Vibes teas.
Chelsea is an herbalist and 200-hour certified yoga instructor with a Bachelor of Science degree in fitness management with an emphasis on exercise science. She looks forward to broader connections and educating others about herbs native to Michigan and other parts of the world.
References 1. Castleman, Michael. The New Healing Herbs. Rodale Inc., 1991