3 Root Tea–Is It The Perfect Tonic Tea?
3 Root Tea– what is it?
Wellness fads are nothing new in our culture and it’s not uncommon for clients to ask about a new ‘amazing’ herb or food. Last week was a little interesting though, with a half a dozen clients asked about the 3 Root Tea they’d seen on Dr. Oz. I know a lot of different roots and teas but what three roots were we talking about?
Oh–it’s ashwagandha, rhodiola and schisandra–three very strong adaptogens. Got it–all very familiar, all commonly used as individual herbs and in combinations.
What’s an adaptogen?
Russian pharmacologist N.V. Lazarev is credited with coining the term ‘adaptogen’–which are substances that do just that–they help the body adapt. They have little to no toxicity or side effects, and increase the body’s immune systems to ward off disease, decrease stress and increase tolerance to toxins.
As a Chinese medicine practitioner I always look at the energetics of the herbs. Do they heat, do they cool, do they sedate? What is their post-metabolic phenomenon once they are ingested? How do they work together? And of course–do they match the client’s particular needs? Would it work for the frail, anxiety prone client and the athlete or the diabetic? As these were all very different clients with different patterns the likelihood that the tea was right for them all was slim. Especially as they are strong herbs.
Let’s look at the energetics of 3 root tea.
Schisandra has a long history and use in Chinese medicine.
Schisandra, is warm and sour. It enters the Lungs, Heart, Kidney and Liver. Huh? What? I’ll break it down. Schisandra ’stabilizes and binds’ or astringes tightening up leaking and oozing patterns such as chronic diarrhea, urinary incontinence. It helps with chronic cough that is rooted in Lung and Kidney patterns. Heart and Kidney imbalances that cause palpitation, insomnia, forgetfulness and restless sleep are benefited by schisandra’s nature. It is an adaptogen meaning it helps to regulate the body’s hormones, enlivens the immune system and helps keep the mental, physical and spiritual faculties strong. From modern western research we know that Schisandra contains a potent enzyme which fights free radicals and toxins in liver cells and promotes the creation of bile.
Contraindications for schisandra: Avoid in exterior disharmonies, or those with interior heat patterns.
One of my favorite herbs. Rhodiola Rosea, also called roseroot and goldenroot, is a member of the member of the Crassulaceae family and a powerful adaptogen. It’s a tenacious herb, growing on rough, craggy slopes from thrives from on rocky slopes from 11,000-16,000 feet and is found from the Arctic to central Asia, the Rockies and the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Carpathian Mountains to Ireland and Iceland–tough stuff.
Used for thousands of years in Russia and Europe as a tonic and to treat bronchial symptoms, rhodiola is still relatively unknown in the west. However, since 1960 more than 200 studies have been done on rhodiola rosea and it has been deemed safe (in the western sense) for humans and animals.
Rhodiola also has this amazing ability to protect the brain. By stabilizing hormone release it prevents the enzymatic decline of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. It also regulates white blood cells, blood sugar and enhances thyroid, adrenal and ovary functioning.
Called ‘hongjingtian’, rhodiola cools heat, detoxifies and circulates the blood. It enters the Lung, Kidney , Spleen, Heart and Liver. It builds qi, tonifies and strengthens the immune system. To date, there are no know contraindication, however it is recommend that if you have anxiety or jitters, take only in the morning or avoid use.
Contraindications for rhodiola: None noted to date, yet research suggests it is best avoided in anxious, hyper states and may interfere with sleep. Take in the morning or avoid if you become jittery.
Withania somnifera or Indian ginseng is the third ingredient. A star in Ayurvedic medicine which is considered one the oldest forms in the world. Ashwagandha is used much as rhodiola, schisandra, it strengthens the body overall, restores energy and promotes mental well being.Like the others, it helps the body in enhancing physical strength, promoting mental health, restoring energy and increasing lifespan.
A favorite among athletes, it increases endurance and performance, including lifting libido and increasing fertility. It guards against illness and boast anti inflammatory qualities making it useful in arthritis and pain conditions.
With herbs like these, it’s hard to go wrong. So who should be careful with 3 root tea?
- Do not take when treating an acute exterior pattern. General rule is, when fighting an exterior pathogen, put down your tonic herbs and supplements and treat the disharmony specifically. Tonics and adaptogens strengthen the body in its current state. If you are sick, you may boost the pattern.
- Use with caution in interior heat patterns which can include: Jitters, anxiety, palpitations, rapid heart beat, insomnia, nose bleeds, high blood pressure, high pitched ringing in the ears, frequent scanty urination, bitter taste in the mouth, hot flashes and menopause. Discontinue if these patterns increase.
- This is a strongly building combination, if you are weak or ‘sensitive’ start slowly.
That’s a pretty short list when it comes to caution in the use of herbs. All of the adaptogens in 3 Root Tea have very low toxicity and contraindications.
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