Herbal Superfood Lattes and Matcha Drinks, A Naturopath’s Adaptations

BOOK AN APPOINTMENT
matcha-lattes-and-superfood-drinks

22 Oct Herbal Superfood Lattes and Matcha Drinks, A Naturopath’s Adaptations

Superfood drinks, including the infamous turmeric lattes and matcha drinks, are popping up all over social media and I’m a big fan! Everyday I get countless questions on adaptogenic herbs in drinks – how to add them, what brands to buy, etc., etc.) and so I’ve finally decided to write a blog post that will hopefully provide you with a complete naturopathic physician’s guide to maximizing the health benefits of superfood lattes and matcha drinks. These drinks are going to give your winter days that little extra cozy something. So let’s get started!

matcha-lattes-and-superfood-drinks

From a physician’s perspective, there is vast clinical evidence and monographs on the value of adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandha, rhodiola, ginseng, and medicinal mushrooms. Concocting them into palatable drinks can be a very powerful way of using food as a vehicle to get medicines into our bodies. It’s also very hard to be a discerning consumer of health-related information, and as great as it is to have nutrition bloggers out there encouraging health and wellness, it’s equally important that consumers’ health choices are rooted in fact vs fiction (or marketing hype).

Powdered botanical medicines are available over the counter at natural food stores, but there’s wide difference in their quality and efficacy. ‘Physician grade’ (a.k.a medicinal grade) and food grade are not the same. Physician grade formulas are generally higher in therapeutic value, free of excipients and fillers, and have third party testing for potency and consistency. They also cost more. Generally these formulas are only available to physicians and are not available at retail stores, however specific compounding pharmacies that specialize in quality care will carry physician grade herbs and supplements.

When should you choose physician grade or food grade?

Medicinal mushrooms: choose physician grade. Since the extraction method is extremely important for medicinal mushrooms (they must be steam extracted for their potency to be retained), physician grade is very important. The most potent medicinal mushroom blends include a combination of reishi, cordeceps, coriolus, maitake, shitake and chaga.

If you need standardized extracts: choose physician grade. You’ll reap the best therapeutic benefit from herbal compounds that have been standardized to their active constituents because that is where the herb’s medicinal component is concentrated.  If you have health challenges such as chronic fatigue, hormonal imbalance, anxiety, etc., it’s best to use herbs with their standardized extracts, anything less potent is unlikely to make a therapeutic impact that’s measurable. For those among you who are symptom-free and in good health, physician grade isn’t necessary. Simply opt for quality over-the-counter brands that have a good reputation (and customer service) such as: Organic Traditions, Navitas, and Prana.

*Note: All herbs work best in synergy and stacking at least 3 herbs in your concoctions is advisable for the best effect. If you are using food-grade products, you’ll be limited to 1/2 tsp of each herb because of sheer volume. The compromise is a less therapeutic bang of any one herb – essentially like a “multi-vitamin” vs a full performing herbal complex. For example, each herb in 1 capsule of the adaptogenic Adrenal Forte supplement has 4-fold the strength of 1 tsp herbal serving of a retail brand.

Matcha powders: food grade, either ceremonial or culinary. Choose organic over non-organic, the best quality is sourced from Japan. If you’re mixing your matcha with water, try and use the highest quality ceremonial grade if possible. If you’re blending your matcha drinks with adaptogen herbs and plant/nut milks, the less expensive culinary grade is fine. If you’re new to matcha drinks, I suggest not investing a lot of money on your first matcha experience until your taste buds change and become more refined. Choose from reputable brands such as: DoMatcha, Mizuba, House of Matcha, Ippodo, and Ninja (for cold brews).

Herbal coffee and tea blends: food grade. Herbal coffees are simply a glorious mix of herbs and spices (among other things) that have a deep, roasted aroma slightly resembling the taste of coffee. Faux coffee have been a thing forever and there are many examples of herbs and grains that have been roasted, brewed and enjoyed as actual coffee. All brands are different. Some will suggest stirring 1 tsp into your cup of hot water and the herbal coffee or tea grounds will dissolve itself. Other brands will leave tea/herbal coffee grounds. My go-to herbal coffee brand is Teeccino and JagaSilk’s Masala Rooibos Chai is my current favorite for tea lattes.

What about collagen?

Collagen powder is popularly espoused as helping with leaky gut and bloggers love it for the creamy consistency it gives their drink potions. The creaminess part is accurate, the leaky gut repairing effect is not. Glutamine on the other hand has a plethora of peer-reviewed studies confirming it as a vital amino acid for repairing dysbiosis (leaky gut). Collagen is a by-product of glutamine. So if you have digestive issues, adding glutamine to your drinks will be beneficial but collagen powder will not. * Note: If you want a big boost of glutamine therapy, GI Renew contains a therapeutic amount of 5 grams of glutamine per serving! Here’s my blog post about TruMarine Collagen.

What about adding probiotics?

If you’re having a cold brew, feel free to add a probiotic. Otherwise, skip it because the heat will denature them. Are you new to probiotics and curious to learn more? This blog post on probiotics and the microbiome will bring you up to speed.

Herbal benefits and effects

Want to learn more about the supplements and herbs listed? Try the links below, they’ll direct you to my blog posts:

Adaptogenic herbs

Adrenal Forte

GI Renew and medicinal mushrooms

GI Repair and glutamine 

Cortisol Reducer

PMS Blend

MenoBalance

*Note: All the above supplements are formulated by Dr Adatya and available at Pure Pharmacy’s Oak St location only (at W 22nd & Oak St in Vancouver, BC).

Supplement Substitutions

If you’re not using the supplements, the following are herbs you can substitute them with. These aren’t equivalent replacements because the exact substitutions aren’t found in powder form and their strength equivalence would yield too much powder for your drinks:) 

GI Renew up to 1 1/2 tsp total of following: cordyceps, reishi, shitake, maitaki, shaga, coriolus

Adrenal Forte up to 3 tsp total of the following: ashwagandha, siberian ginseng, schisandra, wild yam, rhodiola

PMS Blend up to 3 tsp total of the following: passion flower, bupleurum, cramp bark, dong quai, chaste tree berry

MenoBalance up to 3 tsp total of the following: sage, maca, dong quai, motherwort, rehmannia

Cortisol Reducer up to 4 tsp total of the following: astragalus, rhodiola, magnesium glycinate

Helpful Tips

Tip 1: When adding herbs to your matcha, mix them together to form a paste before adding the rest of your liquid.

Tip 2: Using a blender is important (plus it gives the best froth). If you are traveling, a matcha whisk is indispensable, but a battery powered whisk is also effective.

Tip 3: You’ll need a saucepan or kettle, measuring spoon, tea bowl, and high-speed blender. Hand-made ceramic mugs and tea bowls will raise your matcha drinks and superfood lattes to a whole other level of self-care!

Tip 4: Adding MCT oil (aka Brain Octane) is optional, but gives the brain a great boost of energy by charging the cell’s mitochondria. Start small at 1/2 tsp and work up to 1 tsp. Avoid adding MCT oil to your nighttime drinks and please avoid if you have high cholesterol and triglycerides in particular. My blog post summaries the bottom line about coconut oil.  

Tip 5: Plant and Nut Milks: Cashew milk gives the best creaminess. I usually make my own or will buy from either of these two brands: 1) Silk (unsweetened vanilla) or 2) Nuez Milk.

And finally….The Drinks!

MATCHA DRINKS (Caffeinated)

Matcha Americano

Serves 1

matcha-americano-picture

3/4 teaspoon ceremonial grade matcha
4 to 6 ounces of hot water

1.) Add 3/4 tsp of matcha powder into your tea bowl.

2.) Add a very small splash of hot water (160°-175°) to the tea bowl with matcha. Using your whisk, make a smooth paste making sure to break up all matcha clumps.

3.) Add an additional 4-6 ounces of hot water to your tea bowl. Whisk in an ‘M’ or ‘W’ motion very quickly until frothy. Drink immediately.

Daily Matcha Potion

Serves 1

1 cup hot water + 1 cup cashew (or any other kind of plant/nut) milk
2 tsp GI Renew (plant protein and medicinal mushrooms)

1 tsp GI Repair (glutamine)
1 1/2 teaspoons matcha
1/2 to 1 tsp MCT oil (only if you want an added kick – I don’t add this everyday)

1 cap Adrenal Forte
[Note: If you prefer a sweeter flavor, add 1 teaspoon raw honey or 1 teaspoon mesquite powder]

1.) Heat milk in a saucepan on the stove. Let cool a bit (160°-175°) before pouring into a high-speed blender. Add all other ingredients to the blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes. Pour into tea bowl and enjoy!

Hormone-Balancing Matcha Potion

Serves 1

1 cup hot water and 1 cup cashew (or any other kind of plant/nut) milk

1 tsp GI repair
1 vanilla bean, insides scrapped out
1 1/2 teaspoons matcha
1 capsule PMS Blend or 1 capsule MenoBlend
1/4 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon

1.) Heat water and milk in a saucepan. Let cool a bit (160°-175°) before pouring into a high-speed blender. Add all other ingredients to the blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes. Pour into tea bowl and enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Matcha Potion

pumpkin-spice-matcha-latte-picture

1 cup hot water + 1 cup cashew (or any other kind) milk
2 tsp GI Renew
1 1/2 Tablespoons pumpkin purée
1 1/2 teaspoons matcha
1/2 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of pink salt
Optional: 1 tsp GI Repair and/or 1 teaspoon raw honey or mesquite powder

1.) Heat water and milk in a saucepan . Let cool a bit (160°-175°) before pouring into a high-speed blender. Add all other ingredients to the blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes. Pour into tea bowl and enjoy!

SUPERFOOD HERBAL LATTES (Caffeine-Free)

Herbal Coffee Latte

Serving 1

herbal-coffee-latte-picture
1/2 cup strong herbal coffee (brewed according to instructions on package)
1/2 cup plant or nut based milk

Note: If you are into sweetening your coffee, feel free. I personally think the milk & herbal coffee gets it sweet enough.

  1. Brew your herbal coffee. This can be done with a Chemex, in a tea pot, in a pot on the stove or whatever you have on hand. Even in a ’regular’ coffee maker. If using a pot or tea pot you simple our the coffee through a strainer after 10 minutes.
    2. Pour 1/2 cup of coffee into your favorite cup (save any leftover coffee in the fridge for later use). Compost or discard the herbal ’coffee grounds’
    3. Heat up your milk in a saucepan. Add spices / superfoods towards the end. Let cool slightly before pouring into a high-speed blender, blend for 1-2 minutes on high. Pour into a fantastic mug and enjoy!

4 versions that boost the base

Cinnamon / Cardamom
Add 1/4 tsp each of cinnamon and cardamom when heating your milk

Pumpkin Spice
Add 2 tbsp of pumpkin puree, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice ( or 1/2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/8 tsp cardamon, 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg)

Chocolate Vanilla
Add 1/2 tsp raw chocolate, 1/2 tsp maca and a pinch pure ground vanilla bean when heating your milk

Mushroom Medicine
Add 2 tsp GI Renew or 1/4 tsp each of reishi, cordyceps, chaga, coriolus, mataike, shitake powder when heating your milk

Evening Relaxation Beetroot Latte

beetroot-powder-latte-picture

1 cup cashew (or any other kind) milk
1 tsp beetroot powder
1 capsule Cortisol Reducer
1/2 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves, optional: few drops of rose water

1.) Heat water and milk in a saucepan . Let cool a bit (160°-175°) before pouring into a high-speed blender. Add all other ingredients to the blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes. Pour into tea bowl and enjoy!

Evening Relaxation Turmeric Latte 

turmeric-latte-picture

1 cup hot water + 1 cup cashew (or any other kind) milk
1 capsule Cortisol Reducer
1/2 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
Pinch of ground black pepper
1/4 tsp of ghee

1.) Heat water and milk in a saucepan . Let cool a bit (160°-175°) before pouring into a high-speed blender. Sauté spices with ghee in a separate pan. Add all ingredients to the blender and blend on high for 1-2 minutes. Pour into tea bowl and enjoy!

So are you ready to try one of these potions? I hope you’ll wrap your hands around a super boosted drink, take a deep breath and sink into the NOW.

To your good health!

Dr. Tasnim Adatya

Licensed Naturopathic Physician, Menopause Clinician, Acupuncturist, Author, and Health Educator



© Dr.Tasnim Adatya | Site designed by Dawson Beggs