Updated: Sep 11, 2020
This article is taken from www.healthline.com .
We’ve all been there — feeling like there’s just some pep missing in our step. Thankfully, there’s a natural (and tasty!) solution in your pantry.
So instead of reaching for that third cup of coffee for an energy boost or a nightcap to de-stress, we rounded up seven natural tonics filled with everyday ingredients that are known as powerful remedies for fighting fatigue, anxiety, and stress. Think apple cider vinegar, matcha, ginger, and turmeric to name a few. Keep reading to discover your new favourite flavourful drink.
Drink ginger to sharpen your brain and beat stress
Ginger has benefits beyond flavouring your favourite stir-fry recipe or easing an upset stomach. This powerhouse plant contains 14 unique bioactive compounds and antioxidant properties. These compounds have been found to sharpen cognitive functionTrusted Source in middle-aged women and may even protect the brain, per a study in ratsTrusted Source, against oxidative stress-related damage.
improved brain function
treatment for stress
Try it: Brew this healthy ginger tonic (hot or cold) for a dose of powerful antioxidants. Fresh ginger is the way to go, but if you’re planning on supplementing, recommended doses vary.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: Ginger doesn’t have many serious side effects. Just make sure you’re not overdosing (more than 4 grams) as it could irritate your stomach.
Brew maca to balance your hormones
Maca root is increasingly popular lately — and for good reason. This native Peruvian plant has been shown to increase sexual desire in menTrusted Source (and possibly sexual functionTrusted Source, too). It’s also shown promising resultsTrusted Source for boosting exercise performance in male cyclists.
This hormone balancer is also a strong supporter against stress. Maca’s plant compounds (called flavonoids) may promote a positive mood and reduce blood pressure and depressionTrusted Source (as shown in postmenopausal women).
reduced blood pressure and depression
Try it: Simply mix maca powder into your daily smoothie, a cup of coffee, or hot cocoa (here’s a tasty recipe!). You can also try this Good Energy Drink featuring the root. To truly see an effect, you may need to drink about 3.3 gramsTrusted Source every day for 8 to 14 weeks.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: Maca is generally safe for most people unless you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a thyroid problem.
Need a new pick-me-up? Switch to matcha
Sip matcha for a clean, jitter-free buzz. Matcha contains flavonoids and L-theanine, which is historically known forTrusted Source its relaxing effects. L-theanine increases the brain’s alpha frequency band, relaxing the mindTrusted Source without causing drowsiness.
Combined with caffeine, L-theanine may have positive effects on moodTrusted Source and cognition. Considering matcha is also packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients, it can be a powerful tonic for beating fatigue and boosting your overall health.
positive effects on mood
provides sustained energy
Try it: Brew a cup of matcha tea with convenient tea bags or whip up this Magic Matcha Tonic using matcha powder. The caffeine in matcha is fairly strong! You may be able to feel the effects within the hour.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: Just as you can be over-caffeinated on coffee, it’s possible to drink too much matcha. While it may be healthier, stick to just one or two cups a day.
Try reishi for natural anxiety relief
Reishi mushrooms, nicknamed “nature’s Xanax,” are a great natural way to de-stress. This mushroom contains the compound triterpene, which is known for its calming properties. It also possesses anticancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and antidepressant qualities.
This magic mushroom may also promote better sleep (as shown in studies on ratsTrusted Source), leaving you more rested and focused throughout your day.
promotes more restful sleep
has antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties
possesses powerful calming agents
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: While research around the benefits of reishi’s is still lacking, what’s available shows that they may be associated with liver damage. Other than that, the side effects are minor (such as an upset stomach). Talk to your doctor if you’re considering supplementing with these mushrooms as people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, those with a blood problem or anyone needing surgery should avoid it.
Reach for apple cider vinegar to boost energy
Apple cider vinegar has uses beyond that tasty vinaigrette. This vinegar can have a direct impact on your blood sugar levelsTrusted Source, helping you maintain even energy and preventing fatigue. Apple cider vinegar also contains essential mineralsTrusted Source like potassium, which has a direct correlation on our energy levels.
Apple cider vinegar benefits:
controls blood sugar
maintains even energy levels
may help promote overall health
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: Large doses of apple cider vinegar may cause some side effects, including digestive issues, damaged tooth enamel, and throat burns. It may also interact with your medications, so talk to your doctor if you’re planning to drink it regularly.
Try turmeric for overall mental health
Turmeric lattes are all over the internet, but are they backed by science or just trendy? We’re happy to report that turmeric stands up to its popularity — especially in terms of mental health.
Curcumin, the bioactive compound found in turmeric, has been linked to treating anxietyTrusted Source, depressionTrusted Source, and more — possibly due to it boosting serotonin and dopamine levels. Research has suggestedTrusted Source that it may actually be just as effective as Prozac with far fewer side effects.
boosts serotonin levels
can help relieve anxiety and depression
may be just as effective as antidepressants
Try it: Try this refreshing anti-inflammatory Turmeric Tonic for something a little different. The results may not be immediate, but if you drink it 1000 milligramsTrusted Source daily for six weeks, you may start feeling a difference then. POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: For the most part, turmeric is safe to eat. But you may want to avoid too much of it and make sure you’re getting it from a trusted source. High doses of turmeric may cause kidney stones, and untrustworthy sources tend to have fillers.
Ashwagandha: Your new go-to adaptogen
If you’re not familiar with this adaptogen, it’s a good time to learn. Adaptogens are naturally occurring substances that help our bodies deal with and adapt to stress. Ashwagandha, in particular, is a stress-fighting superstar. This adaptogen has been shown to aid in anxiety reliefTrusted Source, fight fatigue, and reduce cortisol levelsTrusted Source.
reduces the body’s stress hormone
prevents stress-related fatigue
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: There aren’t enough studies to say exactly what the side effects of this herb are, but those who are pregnant will want to avoid it, as it can cause early delivery. Another risk of taking ashwagandha is the source.
Untrustworthy sources tend to have harmful additives. As always, check-in with your doctor first before adding anything to your everyday routine. While most of these herbs, spices, and teas are safe to consume, drinking too much in a day may be harmful.
Tiffany La Forge is a professional chef, recipe developer, and food writer who runs the blog Parsnips and Pastries. Her blog focuses on real food for a balanced life, seasonal recipes, and approachable health advice. When she’s not in the kitchen, Tiffany enjoys yoga, hiking, traveling, organic gardening, and hanging out with her corgi, Cocoa. Visit her at her blog or on Instagram.
Last medically reviewed on June 11, 2018