The fruit of the Amla tree (amalaki) contains the highest amount of vitamin C than any other known source. There is approximately 750 mg of vitamin C in 10g of fresh fruit. Visually, it looks like a large white grape when fresh. If a person found an amla tree and bit into the fruit, they would experience an extremely sour taste, but the flavor soon turns sweet. (After amla has been cooked and processed in medicinal form, it will no longer have an extremely sour taste- it will be just mildly sour.)
Even though Amalaki is sour, it has a cooling effect on the body- making it especially useful for pacifying the pitta dosha. Normally the sour taste is contraindicated for individuals with high pitta in their bodies. However, amla has a prabhava, or special quality of cooling, and is an exception to this rule.
Like many ayurvedic herbs, Amalaki works on many systems in the body. For example, it can increase reproductive fluids and sexual potency- so is considered an aphrodisiac. It has an affinity toward the rakta dhatu, or blood tissue. Due to this, it purifies the blood, is a heart tonic, and can heal bleeding disorders. It can also lower cholesterol and help rectify arterial damage.
Digestively speaking, Amla is especially useful in inflammatory disorders- such as ulcers, colitis, gastritis, and bleeding conditions. In small doses, it can be constipating, but in large doses it can be a laxative. It extracts toxins from the liver. It has the rare quality of increasing agni, or digestive fire, without aggravating the pitta dosha.
Amla can increase energy- so it is a great immune system tonic and builder. It is a main ingredient in Cyanaprasa- the superb and ancient Ayurvedic rejuvenative tonic. It can be used to strengthen a person if they are weak or experiencing debility. In addition to being rejuvenating, this herb has been called an adaptogen and has been indicated in slowing the aging process. It increases virility, vitality, and is an immune-restorative.
Amalaki pacifies vitiated sadhak pitta, which is a sub-dosha of pitta that deals with the way information is digested in the mind. In other words, if a person is feeling mentally “on fire” or aggravated, amla can help relieve this. It has been known to impart a peaceful state of mind and quality of wellbeing on a person’s psyche.
Amla is also very nourishing for the hair. You will find it in ayurvedic hair products or in henna hair powders as a conditioner and nourishing ingredient. It alleviates hair loss and early greyness as well.
Ashwagandha Lattes for Abundant Energy and Peaceful Sleep
Ashwagandha for both abundant energy and peaceful sleep? How is that possible? I’m here to answer that question and to provide you with two delicious ashwagandha latte recipes that will harness these dualistic properties of ashwagandha, so you can kick off your day with healthy energy and relax into restful night’s sleep.
An adaptogen, ashwagandha is useful in all conditions that are caused by stress. Read the full article on Ashwagandha here.
Ashwagandha maximizes the body’s ability to resist and respond to stress in a healthy way, while also calming the nerves and sustaining vital energy throughout the day. It helps reduce excess heat, relaxes the muscles, and calms the nervous system so you can let go of the day, both physically and mentally, and can then drift off to sleep.
Ashwagandha has multiple benefits as a nighttime beverage. In fact, its botanical name, Withania somnifera, tells us something about its connection to sleep. Somnifera translates to “sleep-inducing,” reflecting its relaxing and calming properties that bring us energy by supporting deeper rest.
Welcome ashwagandha into your day with these warm ashwagandha drink recipes. The morning latte will give you an energized yet calm and balanced kickstart to your day, and the second recipe will help your mind and body relax and wind down for sound sleep. This is only a taste of what ashwagandha can do for you!
Good Morning Ashwagandha Matcha Latte
Ashwagandha’s powers are accentuated by matcha in this recipe. Matcha, a powdered green tea, is made from the whole tea leaf and is loaded with natural antioxidants, providing a sense of calm while also promoting awareness. Matcha also contains high levels of an amino acid called L-theanine, which calms muscles. Plus, matcha contains moderate amounts of caffeine for a gentle energy lift. Blend this superfood with the goodness of ashwagandha and you will be ready to take on the day.
1 cup whole grass-fed milk (or substitute, see below for suggestions)
Maple syrup to taste
1 pinch of cinnamon powder
Directions: Add matcha and ashwagandha to a large mug. Pour in water (heated to approximately 180 degrees), and mix vigorously with a whisk until completely dissolved. Stir in heated milk, sweeten with maple syrup to taste, and top with a pinch of cinnamon.
Good Night Ashwagandha Chamomile Latte
Ashwagandha’s ability to help the body relax into a restful night’s sleep is strengthened in this recipe with the aid of other popular herbs. Well-known as a sleep aid, chamomile (both European and Egyptian) has been consumed for centuries for its calming and relaxing effect on the nervous system. The floral flavors work well in this recipe with the earthy ashwagandha.
Turmeric works its magic while you are sleeping, easing excess heat, boosting the immune system, and supporting healthy intestinal flora. The ginger and cardamom aid the digestive process, while the cinnamon can help to support healthy blood sugar. Nutmeg crowns this golden latte, calming the mind, while also adding its warming and fragrant nature.
1 cup grass-fed milk (or milk substitute, see below suggestions)
Maple syrup to taste
1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (powdered is also fine)
In a small pot bring water to a boil. Add chamomile, ashwagandha, turmeric, ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon. Lower heat to a simmer and cover for 5 minutes. Strain the herbs from the concentrated liquid and pour into a mug. While the herbs are simmering, bring the milk to a gentle boil. Remove from heat.
Once the herbs have finished simmering, pour the liquid into a mug while straining out the herbs. Pour milk over the tea. Sweeten to taste with the maple syrup. Add a pinch of nutmeg to finish. Sip on this delightful drink a half hour to an hour before bed, before you begin your bedtime routine.
Please feel free to use a milk substitute for either of these recipes. A creamier type is recommended, such as coconut, or even macadamia. You can also use other nut milks as substitutes. I encourage to you choose a substitute that is appropriate for your dosha, be it vata, pitta, or kapha, and to make your own nut milk rather than store bought. It will not contain stabilizers or preservatives and generally be healthier for you. And yummier too!
Raw almond butter can be tedious to make, but it is worth the patience, especially when you know the health of your adrenals is on the line. Having this adaptogenic version of almond butter on hand is as useful as it is delicious. You can use it as an ingredient in other dishes or add it as a topping on things like toast with honey and cinnamon.
Using a food processor or heavy duty blender, add almonds and begin blending on a low to medium-low speed. Blend until a smooth butter forms. This could take anywhere from 10–30 minutes. Add the ashwagandha powder towards the end. You may need to stop to scrape the sides of the blender. A small amount of oil such as ghee or coconut oil can help if the almonds seem dry or aren’t blending. Refrigerate in an airtight container.
Energy Balancing Truffles Nothing says comfort food like a sweet dessert. After you push your dinner plate to the side, you can pull out these truffles made with ashwagandha and ojas-building dates. They’re sure to make you and your adrenals smile.
Ingredients: 10 dates, dried and pitted 2 teaspoons ashwagandha powder ½ cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 teaspoon coconut oil, refined Sea salt and sesame seeds for topping
Directions: Using a blender or food processor, blend the dates and ashwagandha into a paste. Roll into small balls.
If too sticky to shape, and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small pan over medium heat. Stir frequently. Dunk the date balls into the chocolate to coat, and rescue with a spoon.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with sea salt and sesame seeds. Refrigerate or freeze to set chocolate. Eat while slightly chilled to avoid melting.
After a yoga session or a workout, we love having a little something to treat ourselves to. These healthy, adaptogenic, ayurvedic, and protein packed morsels will get you very excited and nourished!
¾ C Almonds ¼ C Pumpkin Seeds ¼ C Sunflower Seeds ¼ C Honey (Kapha) Maple (Pitta) Date Syrup (Vata) 2 T Tahini 2 T Ghee or Coconut Oil 2 T Ashwagandha Powder 1 T Cacao Powder 1 tsp Cinnamon 1 tsp Ginger Powder ¼ tsp Cardamom
Directions: In a food processor, combine nuts & seeds and grind down. Add the sweetner, tahini, spices, and ghee or coconut oil and continue to blend in the processor until it’s a rough paste. Use a large spoon and with each scoop, roll into a ball and place on parchment paper. *Optional to roll in shredded coconut. *Store in fridge or freezer, eat slightly chilled to avoid melting.