I have a confession to make… I am a hardened coffee addict. Like bad. Like splitting headache/not functional tired if I don’t have two or three cups by noon BAD… It started by the time I was about 12 years old and has stuck with me ever since. Like I know what a ristretto is – love coffee that much kind of thing… So while the pleasures and few health benefits of coffee are hard to dismiss, the addiction and resulting effects of caffeine are a big glaring no-no in a proper wellness lifestyle. And it is for this reason, I have done my due diligence in research and decided that herbal coffee will be a new avenue for me to explore.
It seems as though I have been suffering from adrenal fatigue for a very long time. The subject of adrenal fatigue is quite broad, so I will not delve far into it here at this time. I have been working to reduce my stress load (or sense of it), eat a healthy diet and live an active lifestyle, but I had not yet tackled my coffee/caffeine addiction. That has been a huge boulder in my wellness road… After discovering herbal coffee, I decided that it was time to break up with the “joe” and try something different.
I wanted to develop a recipe that tasted similar to coffee, would keep the same morning ritual, would be healthful and, if at all possible, supply me with a boast of energy. A base comprised of roasted roots and some healthy flavor additions gave me the taste I was after. Some adaptogenic herbs and medicinal mushrooms then provided that little something extra that I so desperately needed.
The results? I am pleasantly, pleasantly surprised. I went “cold turkey” on the conventional coffee. The first day was awful – cranky, angry headache monster mom. But by the second day I was noticing more even energy levels and a greater sense of well being. If “cold turkey” is not your deal, try splitting the difference between conventional coffee and the herbal blend.
While the flavor isn’t an exact trade for coffee, it is coffee-like and extremely tasty in its own right. Enjoyable black (as I prefer) or with a little milk and honey (as the man of the house prefers), a cup of this herbal coffee at once comforting and invigorating. The herbs used can be purchased from well stocked health food stores, some can be foraged if your locality has the native flora, or purchased online (I have supplied a link to Mountain Rose Herbs for your convenience). The chicory, dandelion, burdock and carob should all be roasted for this recipe – so if you have or buy dried raw roots, I would suggest roasting them on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment in a 275 degree (F) oven for roughly two hours until the roots have browned and the carob become very fragrant. Your oven temp may vary so pay careful attention while roasting so that you herbs do not burn!
Chicory Root: Long used in the American South as an addition to or replacement for coffee, chicory as demonstrates liver protective and digestion supporting qualities.
Dandelion: The list of benefits is beyond numerous, though we should note that dandelion it detoxifying to the liver and kidney (as it is diuretic in nature) and can help to reduce high blood sugar.
Burdock: Blood purifying and digestion improving, burdock is also noted to have incredible anti oxidant properties
Carob: As a caffeine free substitute for chocolate, this naturally slightly sweet seed pod is also high in vitamins and minerals.
Cinnamon: In addition to being one of the favorite spices used n the world, cinnamon is also indicated in lowering blood sugar and seems to have numerous beneficial anti microbial effects.
Maca: As an adaptogenic herb rich in energy supporting B vitamins, maca can support the thyroid in proper hormone regulation.
Chaga: Deemed the strongest known adaptogen by Russian scientists, nutrient dense chaga is incredible anti oxidant and aids the body in fighting stress and disease.
Eleuthero: Sometimes referred to as Siberian Ginseng (although it does not belong to the proper ginseng family), eluethero is indicated to help relieve mild to moderate fatigue.
The health benefits are of these ingredients are far too numerous to mention within the context my herbal coffee post. I hope that you will embark on your own research, and find other healthy, energy and spirit lifting herbs to add or substitute to this blend. If you are pregnant or nursing, or taking prescription medication (especially those for blood sugar, blood pressure and anti-coagulants) please contact your primary health care practitioner before using these or herbs or any other herbal supplement.
Disclosure statement: I am a mother, a budding wildcrafter, and a student beginning my studies in herbalism and aromatherapy. I am not a medical doctor or a naturopath and cannot diagnose or treat your afflications. I can however, provide you with the research and experience that I have. Please contact your general practitioner for health issues.
- 4oz chicory Root
- 4oz dandelion root
- 2oz burdock root
- 1oz carob pieces
- 2 tablespoon cinnamon chips
- 2 tablespoons chaga
- 2 tablespoons maca powder
- 2 tablespoons eleuthero powder
- Preheat your oven to 275 degrees (F).
- Roast chicory, dandelion, burdock and carob on a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet, for about 2 hours or until the roots are evenly browned and the carob is fragrantly and “chocolate-y”.
- Using a spice grinder, mortar and pestle, or a high powered blender/food processor, grind the roasted roots, carob, cinnamon and chaga to a “coffee ground” like texture. Mix in maca and eluethero powder to combine.
- Transfer into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Brew as you normally would your coffee at the rate of one tablespoon herbal coffee blend to one cup of water.