Adaptogens are herbs + mushrooms that boost our overall well-being, vitality, and resilience. Dr. Aviva Romm says, “adaptogens help your body to cope more effectively with the demands of everyday life. They provide a sustained sense of calm, and while they increase energy, […] they are non-stimulating. In addition to their effects on stress adaptation, adaptogens have profound antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that protect your cells from damage from a variety of chemical exposures.”
Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), also commonly called holy basil, is a powerful adaptogen. It is a revitalizing herb that helps ease fatigue, boost energy, and improve resilience + longevity. It is calming and uplifts mood. Some find it helpful for reliving mild depression (Romm).
Marc Cohen, author of “Tulsi — Ocimum Sanctum: A Herb for All Reasons” an article published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, calls tulsi “liquid yoga.” He says “Like yoga, tulsi has a calming effect that leads to clarity of thought, along with a more relaxed and calm disposition.”
Tulsi has long been cherished by traditional cultures. In Ayurveda, tulsi is known as the “Queen of Herbs.” In Hinduism the plant is considered sacred and worshipped as a goddess (Cohen).
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is another wonderful adaptogenic herb. It is calming and helps to ease anxiety. It is anti-inflammatory and works to reduce damage in the body due to inflammation (oxidative stress). It boosts memory, improves libido, aids learning, helps prevent pre-mature aging, and promotes restful sleep. It is also supportive of the immune system and fertility (Romm).
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum & G. lingzhi) is an adaptogenic mushroom that is well-loved in Chinese medicine for its ability to nourish and support the adrenals — glands which help to moderate the body’s response to stress. It boosts immune function, reduces inflammation, and works to detoxify the body. It is also calming to the nervous system and promotes deep, restful sleep (Romm).
This elixir combines tulsi, ashwagandha, and reishi to make a potent adaptogenic blend that can be used daily for improved mood, energy, and resilience to life’s stressors. This tincture is excellent for busy moms, but is truly well-suited for anyone living in the modern world.
- 60 ml (2 oz) tulsi tincture, made with 100 proof vodka — 50% alcohol
- 4 tsp ashwagandha root powder
- 2 tsp reishi powder
- 1 1/2 Tbsp raw honey
Makes 100 ml of elixir.
Mix honey and powders in a glass measuring cup. Pour in the tulsi tincture and stir everything together until well combined. I find a fork works nicely for this. Then, pour the finished elixir into a dropper bottle, or two.
Dosage: per recommendations from Dr. Aviva Romm — 2-3 ml (40-60 drops) of elixir in a glass of water, up to 3 times daily.
Note: It is best to avoid regular use of adaptogens during pregnancy, however these herbs are considered safe during breastfeeding and can be incredibly supportive for new moms.
Cohen, Marc Maurice. “Tulsi — Ocimum Sanctum: A Herb for All Reasons.” Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, vol. 5, no. 4, 2014, p. 251., https://doi.org/10.4103/0975-9476.146554.
Romm, Aviva. “Adaptogens: Ancient Medicine for 21st Century Stress.”