Hibiscus Adaptogen Latte is a warm comforting drink to sip all winter long. Cozy up to a mug of calming, stress-reducing, sleep-promoting goodness.
This gorgeous beverage starts with tart health-promoting hibiscus flowers paired with calming chamomile and a touch of adaptogenic power from Ashwagandha.
The last few days have been very much about surviving the polar vortex. Temperatures dropped to double digits below zero here in NYC. Here's the thing, New Yorkers don't stop moving. Never. Ever. Not in any weather. I still traveled to and from work, walked my dog three times a day, and ventured out to the grocery store (on foot) to grab essentials.
My clothing layering game is on point, I know how to survive wickedly cold temperatures, but more than that I make it a priority to have a variety of warm and cozy winter beverages always on hand.
My recent obsession?
It all started with an accidentally large order of dried hibiscus flowers. An accident that quickly turned into an obsession.
I began making warm hibiscus tea in every variation you can imagine. Then on one particularly stressful day, I added a tablespoon of ashwagandha to my hibiscus and the rest is history.
I am sure you are thinking:
What the heck is ashwagandha and what the heck is an adaptogen, oh and Abra while you are at it how about telling me a little bit about hibiscus?
Let's start here:
What is an adaptogen?
Adaptogens are a really cool class of herbal medicine that essentially help the body handle stress more efficiently, or help your body adapt.
Adaptogens normalize or regulate the adrenal response system and improve our reserve or resilience. This class of herbs is able to respond to your internal environment and help to balance what is needed.
I taught several workshops on adaptogens last month and loved sharing how potent and powerful these herbs can be to help you better handle everyday stress. I have a very long, comprehensive deep dive post planned for how to use adaptogens in your life, stay tuned. For now, let's just make this functional latte!
More Healthy Warm Beverages You Will LOVE!
What is Ashwagandha?
Ashwagandha is a medicinal herb that has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine. It has been long prescribed as an herb to help treat both physical and mental exhaustion.
I use ashwagandha regularly in my practice, it is a very safe intervention for overwork, stress, and exhaustion, i.e. every New Yorker should be taking it.
I use it in powder form, for a mild everyday dose and higher dose pill form for therapeutic interventions with clients. You can find it easily on Amazon, this is the brand I am currently using.
How to Make a Hibiscus Adaptogen Latte:
Start with equal parts dried hibiscus and dried chamomile, steep in boiling water for 5 minutes. Whisk in 1 tsp of Ashwagandha powder. Pour into a beautiful mug (how gorgeous is this mug? It was my winter gift to myself from this Etsy store) stir in honey or maple syrup to taste, top with steamed oat milk and crush some hibiscus flowers on top.
Put on soothing music, curl up under a blanket, and sip.
Benefits of Hibiscus Tea:
A quick pub-med search revealed over 60 studies using Hibiscus. Here is a brief summary of a few interesting studies plus some basic nutrient content information about hibiscus tea.
- Anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties. Hibiscus tea is rich in Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that supports healthy immune function. Additionally, the anthocyanin pigment in hibiscus could be responsible for its potent anti-viral properties. One study found that hibiscus tea killed the deadly avian flu virus. It looks as if I will now have to add hibiscus tea to my arsenal of natural cold and flu remedies!
- Good source of iron. The sources differ but some claim that an 8-ounce cup of brewed hibiscus tea contains 20 milligrams of iron, which is essentially your daily recommended value. I am skeptical that a brewed cup would contain quite that much and would recommend crushing or blending leaves to get the maximum amount of iron. The synergistic combination of iron and vitamin C does make the non-heme source of iron more bio-available. If you are someone that sufferers from anemia adding hibiscus tea to your routine may be a good idea.
- Potent hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects – One study found that drinking 2 cups of hibiscus tea daily for 2 months significantly improved the lipid profile of participants with diabetes. They saw a positive increase in HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol which helps to reduce inflammation and improve cardiac function)
- Lowers blood pressure – One very promising well-designed study from The Journal of Nutrition looked at the effects of consuming 3 cups of hibiscus tea per day in participants who had hypertension (high blood pressure), they found a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure after 6 weeks. If you are on blood pressure medication and begin drinking multiple cups of hibiscus tea daily I would recommend testing your blood pressure regularly and consulting with your doctor.
That is just the shortlist of benefits on hibiscus tea, but I think convincing enough to add some hibiscus tea to your arsenal of wellness tools! Combined with the potent benefit of adaptogens and my favorite herb of all, chamomile, this tea is a major winner!
Winter is long, and we can either embrace it with beautiful adaptogen lattes in mugs that us smile, or fight it. I am choosing the former.
Hibiscus Adaptogen Latte
- Place hibiscus and chamomile flowers in a tea pot, cover with boiling water and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Whisk in ashwagandha powder.
- Strain tea into a mug and stir in maple syrup or honey to taste. Top with a bit of steamed oat milk (or almond or coconut milk) and crushed hibiscus flowers. Drink warm.
- I purchase organic dried hibiscus and chamomile flowers in bulk.
Can I Help You Meal Plan?
Enter your email below to download my free - one week - real food (mostly plants) meal plan. Grocery list, recipes, prep schedule, it's all there for you 🙂