Ahhh ... a nice cup of coffee can make you brand new. But having coffee all the time gets a little boring. Moreover, opinions about how healthy all that coffee actually is for you differ. So enjoy, but maybe it's good to set the black gold aside every now and then. Yet sometimes you just really need a boost. But don’t worry: there are plenty of nice alternative drinks that you can try instead of the old cuppa. For example, try one of these five natural remedies from our shop.
This plant, known by indigenous hunters in the Amazon as "the watchman," helps you stay energetic. Reportedly, the hunters can stay up all night on this stuff. Simply make a cup of tea by adding the leaves to boiling water (in a tea infuser for example) and enjoy the invigorating effect. The leaves can also induce lucid dreams. Another nice feature: because the caffeine in Ilex guayusa is released evenly, you won’t be a hopped bouncing ball.
Colanut gives a fiercer boost. This is a strong stimulant that makes you stay awake, thanks to the presence of a lot of caffeine and theobromine (the beneficial substance that is also found in chocolate). Stirring one or two teaspoons of into a drink can also help you concentrate better and feel less hungry – therefore it is sometimes used as a slimming aid. You can also experience a euphoric high and a light aphrodisiac feeling. Ooh la, la. Do not use it too late in the day, because then you might be up all night watching bad tv. Unless that’s what you want, of course. Then go ahead.
Long ago, before the existence of tea and coffee, there was Yerba Maté. This is a tea that is made from leaves and twigs of a tree that grows in South America. An Azarius Test Team -of a whopping 55 Azalysts- concluded that a dose of 14 grams of Yerba Maté leads to heightened alertness and increased energy, but in a comfortable and relaxing way. The testers noted feelings of euphoria and calmness. In South America, people also drink it because the drink supposedly boosts health in many ways: they use it as a detoxifying agent, to strengthen the nervous system, and to combat ageing and fatigue. Very beneficial!
Another exquisite tea that people in South America have been drinking for ages, is the famous coca tea or ‘Mate de Coca’. Coca leaves have the same stimulating effect as coffee, but without the caffeine. Coca also contains a high concentration of vitamins, which act as antioxidants. The tea consists of pure finely ground coca leaves and has a herby and refreshing taste. Coca is used to stay alert, but also against altitude sickness. Therefore you shouldn’t be surprise if you see people casually chewing a mouthful of coca leaves in the Peruvian Mountains. But soaking a little bag in hot water is slightly easier (and looks more appealing).
Chinese herbalism also has a lot to offer us. For example, the root of the ginseng plant has a vitalizing effect. Ginseng works very well against fatigue, and moreover it keeps you young – according to the Chinese. A nice bonus is that ginseng also increases your physical defence and supports the adrenals. You can use the powder of this root in different ways. You can cook it in water, chew it, or if you're feeling especially creative you can brew a liquor with it. Also, ginseng combines well with other invigorating herbs – such as gingko biloba and guarana- to accomplish a slightly different effect. It works, because of herbs!
Author: Sara de Waal