Angelique Booyens shares her go-to recipe for reducing cortisol and enhancing rest. This evening tonic incorporates warming spices and Ashwagandha - an antioxidant rich adaptogen to help manage stress levels (coming from someone diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, for whom managing stress levels is crucial) we are taking notes!
Let's talk about Ashwagandha
AshWHAT? 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.
So what does science say about Ashwagandha?
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 levels up to 30% (1).
May reduce stress and anxiety: during a 60 day study with a group of 64 adults suffering with chronic 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).
I’ve always struggled 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 to 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 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 over time. Recommended dosage is 1/4 teaspoon – 1/2 teaspoon daily. Drink about one hour before bedtime or enjoy as a calming drink anytime of the day.
*If you are pregnant please consult with your practitioner before taking any adaptogens. Even though it is herbal, one can never be too careful.
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, or to taste *
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
**If you are pregnant please consult with your practitioner before taking any adaptogens.