Spicy Hot Chocolate Elixir
The special ingredient in this Spicy Hot Chocolate recipe is an adaptogen called Ashwagandha. Adaptogens are a type of herb that help the body adapt to stress by normalizing your physiological functions. I’ve talked before about the effects of chronically elevated cortisol on your health overall. If you’re going through a stressful time in your life it can be helpful to support your adrenal glands with an adaptogen.
There are different types of adaptogens that all have slightly different effects including; rhodiola, licorice root, maca, ginseng, holy basil, astragalus and ashwagandha. You want to understand the different effects of each adaptogen and if there are any contraindications before deciding on which one you want to use. For example, licorice root should not be used if you have high cortisol as it helps extend the half life of cortisol. It works best if you’re struggling with low cortisol levels. Licorice root can also raise blood pressure, so it’s not a good option if you already have high blood pressure.
Ashwagandha is part of the nightshade family along with peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes and goji berries to name a few. If you have a sensitivity to nightshades I would opt for a different adaptogen. Nightshades contain glycoalkaloids which can cause inflammation and pain in some people. Anyone with symptoms of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or other musculoskeletal pain disorders would benefit from eliminating nightshades from their diet to see if they could be contributing to their symptoms.
If you’re in the clear, then ashwagandha is a good option to help support your adrenals glands when you’re under stress and in the process help balance your hormones. It’s also beneficial in supporting your thyroid, balancing blood sugar, reducing anxiety and depression as well as supporting immunity.
- 1/4-1/2 c coconut milk
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp cacao powder
- 1/2-1 tsp ashwagandha root powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
- pinch of himalayan rock salt
- 1-1 1/2 c water
- 1 dropper of Stevia
- Vitamin D3 drops (optional)
- In a small pot add cacao powder, ashwagandha powder, cayenne, as much cinnamon as you want and salt.
- Add coconut milk and whisk until combined and smooth.
- Whisk in water to combine and add coconut oil.
- Place on medium heat to heat through and melt the coconut oil.
- Once hot pour into a blender (I’ve found the magic bullet works better than the Vitamix for this as it’s sealed, which prevents you from having an explosion.) and add stevia as well as vitamin D then blend to combine. This will make it nice and creamy and give you that tasty foam on top. If you live in the northern hemisphere you should be supplementing with vitamin D3 and this is a tasty way to get it in.
- Pour into a mug and enjoy the power of this stress reducing elixir.