04 Feb Ashwagandha Sleep Tonic
Ash-WHAT? Ash-wa-gan-dha. Classified as an adaptogen; that helps the body manage stress. Ashwagandha has been used for over 3000 years to relieve stress, increase energy levels and improve concentration.
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp ashwagandha powder
- 2 pinches cloves
- 2 pinches nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla powder
- 1 pinch Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp honey, to taste
- Edible flowers, to decorate
- Blend all the ingredients together in a blender.
- Pour into a saucepan and heat up over high heat on the stove top until boiling and frothy.
- Pour into a cup and sprinkle with dried edible flowers or cinnamon.
*substitute the honey for agave, 1 Medjool date, maple syrup or granule sweetener of choice.
So what does science say about ashwagandha?
- Can reduce blood sugar levels; human studies found that ashwagandha successfully reduced blood sugar levels for both healthy people and people with diabetes (1,2,3,4) .
- Can reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels; (5,6) one study found that compared to the control group, adults who were chronically stressed and supplemented with ashwagandha had a reduction in cortisol from up to 30% (1).
- May reduce stress and anxiety; over a 60-day study with a group of 64 adults suffering with chronically stress, the group that supplemented with ashwagandha reported a 69% average reduction in anxiety and insomnia while only 11% average reduction was reported by placebo (not supplemented) group (5).
- May boost memory; even though ashwagandha was used for boosting memory in the traditional Ayurvedic practices, there aren’t enough studies done on humans to conclude this.
I’ve always struggled with dealing with stressful situations and initially started drinking ashwagandha with my matcha lattes during stressful time periods and it has helped calm me down to an extent. When I found out that I had PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and that stress worsens your symptoms, I started drinking ashwagandha once almost every day. After about 2-3 months most of my symptoms were gone and of course, it was NOT JUST because I was drinking ashwagandha but I suspect it had a part to play in managing my cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
Why did I choose to use almond milk specifically in this recipe? Almonds contain tryptophan; an essential amino acid that promotes good sleep.
Ashwagandha like any other adaptogens can be pricey but remember a little goes a long way. Since everyone reacts differently to adaptogens, start with a small amount and slowly increase dosage with time. The recommended dosage is ¼ teaspoon – 1 teaspoon daily. Drink about one hour before bedtime or enjoy as a calming drink any time of the day.
CAUTION: If you are pregnant please consult with your practitioner before taking any adaptogens. Even though it is herbal, one can never be too careful.