Staying Sober For the Holidays
If you’ve been struggling with a substance use disorder, the upcoming holidays may feel a little daunting rather than joyful. Not only is alcohol is in ready supply at many holiday parties, but the sheer stress of the season — whether loneliness, grief, family dynamics or financial problems — can drive just about anybody to reach for a drink. But if you’ve recently quit alcohol or another substance, the pull can be even stronger and lead to a more serious relapse.
The Move Toward Plant Medicine and Herbs
The good news is that now you have options. Botanicals such as kratom, ashwagandha and holy basil are all-natural alternatives with proven stress-relieving benefits. Interest in plant medicine has grown exponentially in the last decade, as people are discovering the health benefits of traditional herbs. As an added benefit, many have moved away from more dangerous substances such as alcohol.
Substance Use in the U.S.
- Approximately 19.7 million American adults (age 12 and older) struggled with a substance use disorder in 2017, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).
- Nearly 74% of adults with a substance use disorder in 2017 struggled with an alcohol use disorder.
- About 38% of adults in 2017 battled an illicit drug use disorder.
- That same year, 1 in 8 adults struggled with both alcohol and drug use disorders simultaneously.
- In 2017, 8.5 million American adults suffered from both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder, or co-occurring disorders.
- Drug abuse and addiction cost American society more than $740 billion annually in lost workplace productivity, healthcare expenses, and crime-related costs.
Statistics Source: American Addiction Centers
As obesity and chronic health conditions continue to rise in the U.S., many people are opting for a healthier way of living. Along with clean eating and exercise, many have chosen to give up alcohol and other substances that can either pack on the calories or make anyone feel like garbage the next day. But it’s no secret that it can be hard to give up that nightly drink or lifestyle. This is where kratom tea can fit nicely into the sober way of life. Whether you’re looking for something to help you wind down at the end of the day, or if you simply need a morning energy boost, there’s a tea for you.
For many people, the mood-boosting and stress-reducing effects of kratom are quite conducive to social interaction without all the messiness and regrets of alcohol. This comes as no surprise, as the rural folk in Southeast Asia have used kratom in social and religious gatherings for centuries.
Which Kratom Strain Should I Use?
First, decide what kind of effects you’re looking for and let it guide your choice of which kratom powder to use. Are you looking for energy or mental alertness? Relaxation? A mood boost? For most kratom drinkers, white vein gives a unique energy boost, green offers a feeling of mild euphoria and red vein is great for relaxing and is also used by some for its pain-killing attributes.
Mixing the veins is quite popular as well. So if you want a little euphoria and a little relaxation, combine green and red — or you can try yellow kratom which offers similar effects. Mix and match and decide on which type or combo works best for you.
White, Red, Green or Yellow?
The vein color is an indicator of the overall effects of the kratom tea, but even two batches of the same vein can differ in color. This is because it is organically processed and never artificially colored. As the plant matures, different levels of alkaloids build within the leaves which ultimately impacts the kratom’s overall effects. The particular harvesting and drying process can also affect the alkaloids. For example, sun exposure levels can impact the final color and alkaloid content.
- White vein kratom, often relatively pale or yellowish in color, is derived from young leaves and is typically linked to more stimulating and energizing effects. We offer White Bali, White Borneo, White Maeng Da, White Malay and White Thai.
- Green vein kratom, which tends to come in a more vibrant green color, is derived from middle-aged leaves and is associated with a more balanced, euphoric effect. We offer Green Bali, Green Borneo, Green Maeng Da, Green Malay and and Green Thai.
- Red vein kratom, a darker reddish-brown color, is made from the most mature leaves and is typically linked to more relaxing effects. We offer Red Bali, Red Borneo, Red Maeng Da, Red Malay and Red Thai.
- Yellow vein kratom is said to be the result of a unique drying process. The yellow hue is said to occur by drying red vein kratom for a longer period of time. It may also be made by blending white and green kratom outside rather than indoors. The effects are said to be similar to green kratom.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry, is an ancient Ayurvedic herb. It belongs to a class of medicinal herbs known as adaptogens and has been used for more than 3,000 years to help reduce stress, improve stamina and increase concentration levels. Many of ashwagandha’s health benefits are attributed to its high levels of withanolides, hormone precursors that can convert into human physiological hormones to help bring balance to the body. Studies have shown that ashwagandha can help improve sleep and reduce stress. In one review, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, ashwagandha was shown to outperform psychotherapy by reducing anxiety in a group of subjects by 56.5% compared to only 30.5% in the psychotherapy group.
Organic Holy Basil (Tulsi)
Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum), or Tulsi, is an aromatic perennial plant in the family Lamiaceae. It is native to the Indian subcontinent and widespread as a cultivated plant throughout the Southeast Asian tropics. Tulsi is cultivated for religious and traditional medicine purposes, and for its essential oil. It is widely used as an herbal tea, commonly used in Ayurveda, and has a place within the Vaishnava tradition of Hinduism, in which devotees perform worship involving holy basil plants or leaves. Many people consume holy basil as a stress reliever. Holy basil has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.
Hundreds of scientific studies in vitro, animal and human experiments have shown that tulsi exerts a unique combination of actions that include antimicrobial, anti-diarrheal, antioxidant, anticataract, anti-inflammatory, neuro-protective, cardio-protective, anti-diabetic, memory enhancement, anti-asthmatic, anti-arthritic, adaptogenic and anti-stress activities.