A few years ago, I gave up caffeine. Not because I didn’t love the taste and the ritual, but because I started to notice the affects it had on my body and mind. From restless nights, to 3pm slumps, to a brain that couldn’t focus on one thing without jumping immediately to another, I knew it was time to explore a caffeine-free life. The transition definitely came with some painful headaches and a longing for that smooth, rich taste that only coffee can give you, but it wasn’t long before my reliance on caffeine was replaced with a much deeper affinity for herbal teas.
The shift originally began with a few cups of ginger tea per day to soothe my digestion, but eventually lead to discovering blends for every kind of ailment, at any time of day. A tea for sleeplessness? Done. A tea for calming the mind? Found it. A tea for soothing a sore throat? It exists. After taste-testing what felt like every herbal variety on the market, I started to tinker with my own concoctions, a few of which I thought I’d share with you today.
Though I’m always exploring new varieties (homemade or store-bought), there are 3 blends that have become my go-to’s for morning, afternoon and night. One to jumpstart my digestion, one to destress mid-day, and one to unwind before bed. Even if you’re a caffeine fiend with no plans of giving it up, I like to think there’s a little something here to benefit everyone.
The Sunrise Blend
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon fennel powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
Add 10-12 oz. of hot water, and stir thoroughly.
Drink first thing upon waking up in the morning, right before stretching or meditation.
The 3pm Blend
1 bunch fresh mint
Wash and dry mint leaves thoroughly and place a handful into the bottom of a mug. Pour 10-12 oz. of hot water over the top and let steep for 3-5 minutes.
Drink mid-afternoon to relieve stress and anxiety.
The Before Bed Blend
1 teaspoon dried hops flowers
1 teaspoon dried chamomile flowers
1 teaspoon dried skullcap
1 teaspoon dried spearmint
1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers
Combine ingredients in a tea bag and pour 10-12 oz. of hot water over it. Let it steep for approximately 3 minutes.
Drink 15-20 minutes before bed for a calming, restful night of sleep.
For those wanting to jump off the caffeine train, I’ve included my three favorite herbal varieties to start you off below: