Coffee, you’ll always be our number one beverage of choice. But sometimes, it seems like chugging a cup (or two, or three) a day actually seems to make us feel more tired, rather than energetic and revitalized.
That fatigued feeling isn’t all in your head … well, technically, it is. Coffee and caffeine stimulate neurons in the brain that kickstart the production of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. In moderation, under the appropriate conditions, the release of these hormones isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But if elevated levels of cortisol and adrenaline are coursing through your veins on a regular basis, you’re setting yourself up for something as basic as exhaustion or as complex as full-on adrenal fatigue.
If you’ve noticed that coffee seems to make you feel more run down, it might be time to press pause on the coffee maker for a while. But don’t worry, we’ve got a healthy alternative that’ll help distract you from your self-imposed latte exile—herbal infusions.
We first learned about infusions while perusing @DahlHouseNutrition‘s feed in the ‘gram. Kristin Dahl is a Los Angeles-based nutritionist, chef, and co-author of the book, “The Art of Wellness.” We were first struck by how different Dahl’s Instagram feed is compared to most nutritionists on social media—no images of collagen-laced smoothie bowls or “protein pancakes” here. Because much of Dahl’s practice is influenced by her background in herbalism, you’ll find her feed littered with flower petal and herb-infused liquids. It’s gorgeous and refreshing, and her approach to nutrition is so unique compared to so many other healthy eating experts who simply focus on calories, portions, and food.
These herbal infusions are Dahl’s specialty, and she loves making them because they’re so potent:
Infusions are made up of a variety of herbs steeped for a much longer period of time than tea to create a nutritive, deeply nourishing, and healing brew. Herbal infusions are a potent source of vitamins, minerals, and plant constituents that help to rebuild our cells, while simultaneously boosting immunity and reducing inflammation.
After studying herbalism, “I learned that most modern medicines are plant-derived and that natural, herbal medicines are often times more powerful & effective than pharmaceuticals. Regular use of herbs is a potent preventative measure to support long-term health. Smaller doses are helpful for treating slight imbalances before they turn into bigger issues, and higher doses can support a therapeutic, whole body healing response.” says Dahl.
We were lucky enough to grab some of her favorite herbal infusion tips. Keep scrolling for Dahl’s signature infusion recipe, how to buy the right herbs, and the top six herbs to stock your pantry with!
Use any combination you like. Dahl recommends trying one of the following blends:
Restoring: Raspberry leaf, Spring Dragon, Goji
Beautifying: Goji, Nettle, Raspberry Leaf
Digestive: Ginger, Peppermint, Dandelion
Calming: Lemon Balm, Calendula, Rose Petals
Balancing: Tulsi, Rose Hips, Goji
*Infusions are most potent for 48 hours in the refrigerator.