Mmm…. Coffee. The aroma, taste… Unlike other holistic mavens, I love a good coffee in moderation. Of course, it has got to be ORGANIC; no more than once per day, and limit the amount to about 12 ounces. Seriously, try organic. You may not return to the other stuff. As long as no health conditions exist that would otherwise be aggravated, I see no harm in partaking for enjoyment. [I can just hear the other natural health people losing their minds right now.] Check out Organic Facts to find out some benefits of coffee: https://www.organicfacts.net/coffee.html
Always, always, ALWAYS make sure you are drinking PURE water daily: at least 8 cups. Ditch pop, soda, and sugary drinks—they are “sometime treats.” Coffee acts as a diuretic (all the peeing afterward!), therefore it is essential to replenish fluids.
Let’s say you love your coffee, but due to health conditions or other factors, you’ve had to give it up. Some herbs can be used to make a satisfying and healthy coffee alternative. Yes, it would make it more a tisane*/ decoction. But, really, isn’t that what coffee anyhow?
Dandelion root taraxacum officinale is that weed people spend time pulling and spraying. BUT it has many benefits from cleansing the liver/gallbladder (root) and acting as a replenishing diuretic (leaves) because it contains potassium. Also, it is a top nutritive herb. The root can be roasted, ground, and brewed like coffee. I’m a natural health safety nut so… It is contraindicated when gallstones are present, BUT also listed as support FOR gallstones. In folklore, the dandelion infusion aided intuitive or psychic abilities— I attribute this to the cleansing actions. This makes it easier to access your gut hunches and feelings.
Chicory Root (roasted) cichorium intybus is known as a coffee enhancer or substitute. Café Du Monde in New Orleans, LA is famous for coffee which is half chicory, resulting in a smooth beverage. Chicory is caffeine-free (reduces the caffeine in coffee blends). It can have similar cleansing stimulation effects as coffee. It acts as an alterative (fancy word for “blood cleanser” which really is dispelling toxins than cleaning blood), digestive, and hepatic (supports the liver).
Cacao nibs (roasted) theobroma cacao. Chocolate in its purest form. This does contain caffeine. Contains magnesium which is good for nerve and muscle function; boosts mood. May aid cardiovascular health. Avoid if contraindicated. Roasted nibs provide a depth of flavor to the coffee blend.
Here is the recipe made for an herbal tea workshop I taught:
1 part roasted dandelion root
1 part roasted chicory root
-optional “mocha”: 1 part roasted cocoa nibs, or more as desired
Example of “parts” is ½ teaspoon dandelion root and ½ teaspoon chicory. Increase accordingly to your needs.
I make mine in a fill-your-own tea bag, add the herbs, add the hot water, and steep 8 minutes. You can steep anywhere from 5-8 minutes. If using a coffee pot, brew according to the manufacturer’s directions and grind the herbs. I don’t measure or grind the herbs.
The beverage is rich and dark. It is the smoothest coffee you could want. There is an herbal element to the flavor. Also great with a bit of Bailey’s Irish Cream or homemade Irish cream (with organic ingredients and will floor you). Wait! Who said that?! Like I told the workshop attendees, “I’m the fun herbalist.”
Enjoy experimenting and having fun with it and adjusting the ingredients to your liking. A touch of cinnamon or drop of vanilla extract would be lovely. Serve iced, if you please.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please post them or contact me.
*Tisane is any herbal water preparation. This is your “herbal tea,” like peppermint, chamomile, and others.