While I rarely rely on teas to heal my body—the herbs simply aren't concentrated enough to be that potent—I do like to use them to support myself and, perhaps more importantly, to add variety and excitement to my daily hydration practices. In essence, if I'm already going to drink a ton of water every day (and you definitely should), it might as well offer mild health and flavor benefits.
As someone who avoids caffeine, I've become an herbal tea connoisseur. I've used them to crush my anxiety and eliminate my allergies: And now I've found a hormone-balancing blend that I can't stop drinking.
Pukka's Womankind blend mixes chamomile, shatavari, licorice root, hibiscus, marigold, beetroot, orange peel, orange essential oil, rose, cranberry, and vanilla for "a loving cup of nourishment to restore your vitality and balance," according to Sebastian Pole, Pukka's Master Herbsmith.
Let's break that down. I'm on board with chamomile, which has been shown in a number of studies to help reduce stress, which would balance cortisol levels, counteracting the frenetic energy that makes up much of the modern woman's life. The flowers feel a touch on the nose to my skeptical side (women like flowers!) but also offer noted health benefits—rose is calming, and hibiscus is anti-inflammatory and acts as an antidepressant. It also lends the tea a lovely bright-pink color (which again, is a bit on the nose, but what the heck, it's pretty).
Vanilla is an oft-overlooked superfood. In an interview with Dave Asprey (famed biohacker and founder of the Bulletproof diet and empire), he said that it's his go-to recommendation for people who don't drink coffee but still want to benefit from its noted health effects. Like coconut and cinnamon, vanilla is also one of those flavors that fools the brain and tongue into thinking a consumable is sweet, even without sugar, and in this tea, it adds that treatlike note.
The herb that interested me most in the blend was shatavari, which, to be frank, I'd never heard of. Says Pole, "Shatavari is traditionally used as a female reproductive system tonic, supporting fertility, the menstrual cycle, and hormonal changes."
Will Cole, D.C., is a fan of its benefits. "Shatavari is definitely a go-to tool I use in my practice. I am a super fan of adaptogens, and there is compelling evidence to show shatavari is an adaptogenic powerhouse. Studies show its immune-supporting and hormone-balancing impact on the body, two qualities of a great adaptogen."
Do my hormones feel more balanced? It's hard to say—again, the amount of herbs you're consuming in tea is much lower than in an extract or tincture, and I didn't get a full blood-panel work-up done before and after drinking the tea (although that'd be a fun, if stressfully needle-filled, experiment!). But it makes hydrating myself infinitely more pleasurable, and there is something about connecting with the idea of nourishing myself as a woman on a daily basis. I pour hot water over the bag and breathe in the floral, fruity, vanilla-tinged aroma, and I feel calmer, more in control, and ready to tackle whatever the day may bring. A tea that's another weapon in any power woman's tool kit for success? I'll drink to that.