Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

Adaptogenic Root / Medicinal Herb

This adaptogenic root has been used for thousands of years to promote balanced responses to stress. Traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine as a rejuvenating tonic, ashwagandha is known for both its energizing and calming effects. Our resident herbalist explains that “ashwagandha helps you to tap into the circadian rhythm of life, providing energy during the day and helping you to sleep at night”. 

Studies show that it helps reduce stress and anxiety. And, as an immunomodulator, ashwagandha behaves differently depending on what our immune system needs; it not only stimulates weak immune systems but also reduces immune reactions in hyperactive immune systems (think autoimmune disorders, allergies, eczema).

We found more than 1200 studies on Ashwagandha. Research suggests it may:

  • Reduce our levels of cortisol, the stress hormone
  • Help us sleep
  • Improve energy levels
  • Help slow, prevent, and treat neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • Serve as an adrenal tonic and nervine tonic, “inducing immunity and longevity”* 
  • Improve our thyroid function
  • Have anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects
  • Improve memory and overall cognitive function

 You’ll find 300mg of Ashwagandha in our Chill bars.

 

 

Astragalus (Astragalus propinquus / Astragalus Membranaceus))

Adaptogenic Root / Medicinal Herb

Astragalus is a member of the pea family, native to parts of China, Mongolia, and Korea. Its roots have been used for immune support in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Considered both tonifying and protective, astragalus helps strengthen the immune system over time and is a strong ally when it comes to preventing illness. 

Astragulus has a long history of being used together with reishi. The root and mushroom amplify each others’ immune-boosting effects, which is why you’ll find both in our Protect bars.

In addition to being medicinal herbs, astragalus and reishi are adaptogens; they help us respond to stress and promote homeostasis in our bodies.

We found more than 12,800 studies on Astragalus. Research suggests it may...

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Strengthen and regulate the immune system
  • Help fight viral infections and common colds
  • Help treat chronic fatigue and seasonal allergies allergies
  • Increase production of white blood cells (which in turn help prevent illness)
  • Help treat heart conditions, type 2 diabetes, and kidney disease
  • Have anticancer effects 
  • Help reduce side effects of chemotherapy, like nausea and vomiting
  • Have anti-aging effects and prolong life 

You’ll find 400mg of Astragalus in our Protect bars.

 

 

Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri)

Adaptogenic Herb

Bacopa is a flowering creeping herb native to wetlands around the world, including in Southern and Eastern India. Its leaves and stems have been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine.

Considered a Raysana herb, it is believed to enhance the health of your entire body, improve longevity, and ward off disease. That in itself is enough to make us say “yes please” but it’s the herb’s calming, grounding, and focusing effects that led our herbalist to choose it for our Chill bar. Bacopa is so powerful in this respect that it is commonly used in (herbal) ADD and ADHD formulas.

Bacopa is also known as “Brahmi”, named for the creator god in Hinduism, Brahmi, the Supreme Intellect of the Universe. It is believed to have intellect-enhancing properties and Vedics used it to improve cognitive function, bless babies with intelligence, and treat anxiety.

We found 813 studies on Bacopa monnieri. Research suggests it may:

  • Prevent and reduce anxiety, stress, and depression
  • Improve your mood
  • Reduce levels of cortisol (the stress hormone)
  • Reduce ADHD symptoms like restlessness
  • Improve memory and attention
  • Treat epilepsy
  • Improve brain function
  • Have antioxidant effects on the brain (thanks to the bacosides it contains)
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Have anti-cancer effects

Our Chill bars contain 200mg of Bacopa.

 

 

Cacao (Theobroma cacao)

Superfood / Medicinal Herb

Ah, cacao; the Mayan Food of the Gods, most commonly known today as the key ingredient in chocolate (or at least good chocolate). Our herbalist calls this a crossover food herb; it has medicinal effects on the body but is also a regular and delicious part of our food world. Whether you choose to call it a superfood or a medicinal herb, the benefits are the same*. This tasty stimulant packs lots of antioxidants and polyphenols which have been linked to anti-inflammatory effects, improved brain function, reduced depression, and a range of health benefits.

While all of that is (quite literally) super, the main reason we chose cacao for our Energy Boost bar is that it contains theobromine, caffeine’s sister chemical, which releases feel-good hormones and increases energy. And, of course, because it tastes like chocolate, and we can’t say no to a chocolatey treat that’s free of added sugars.

We found over 5300 studies on cacao. Research suggests it may:

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Increase endorphins in the body
  • Reduce stress levels
  • Improve mood and symptoms of depression
  • Promote calmness, relaxation, and contentment
  • Improve brain function and mental performance
  • Support neuron production
  • Reduce risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • Improve blood circulation, including blood flow to your brain
  • Reduce high blood pressure
  • Improve cholesterol
  • Reduce risk of heart attack, heart failure, and stroke
  • Have a blood thinning effect
  • Help protect your skin from sun damage
  • Improve your skin’s hydration
  • Help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels
  • Help with weight control
  • Have anti-cancer properties
  • Be beneficial for people with asthma

You’ll find 200mg of cacao in our Energize bars.

*Note: cacao and cocoa are often used interchangeably when it comes to the powdered form. This is the source of much confusion. Generally speaking, as long as it's not Dutch-processed (alkalized), you can expect your cacao or cocoa to pack the benefits you're looking for.

 

 

Cordyceps (Ophiocordyceps sinensis)

Adaptogenic Mushroom

Cordyceps are adaptogenic mushrooms commonly used to increase vitality, stamina, and endurance. Known to increase lung capacity and improve the body’s ability to utilize oxygen, they are a favorite amongst runners and Olympians. In Chinese medicine, cordyceps have been used for centuries to fight illnesses, treat fatigue and improve sex drive. Our herbalist loves that they provide a caffeine-free energy boost, feed adrenal glands, and help protect our immune systems.

 Fun fact: wild cordyceps grow on insects in high-altitude regions of China and Tibet! For the sake of keeping our bars vegan, we use cordyceps that are cultivated in labs, sans insects.

We found 2941 studies on cordyceps. Research suggests they may: 

  • Reduce fatigue
  • Improve exercise performance in adults
  • Aid in muscle recovery
  • Improve the body’s ability to use oxygen
  • Increase the body’s ability to deliver energy to muscles (by increasing the production of molecule adenosine triphosphate).*
  • Have anti-aging properties
  • Inhibit the growth of cancer cells (specifically colon, lung, liver and skin cancers)
  • Slow the growth of tumors
  • Help treat and/or manage Type 2 Diabetes
  • Treat kidney disease
  • “Benefit heart health by helping prevent arrhythmias and lowering levels of triglycerides and “bad” LDL cholesterol.”

You’ll find 1000mg of cordyceps in our Energize bar.

 

 

Elderberry (Sambucus)

Superfruit & Medicinal Herb

This antioxidant-rich superberry is a medicinal herb that can be used to both prevent illnesses and aid in recovery. Its stimulating effects on the immune system and its antiviral properties made this a must-include ingredient for our Protect bars.

As our resident herbalist explains, “Viruses need cells to travel into in order to survive. Elderberry stops the virus’ ability to enter cells and, as a result, stops it from replicating. It also calls for your white blood cells to trap the virus and move it into the lymphatic system, where it’s swept away.”

It also contains high levels of vitamin C, dietary fiber and antioxidants (phenolic acids, flavonols and anthocyanins).

We found 3808 studies on elderberries. Research suggests it may: 

  • Support the immune system
  • Improve cold and flu symptoms
  • Reduce the length and intensity of influenza
  • Be good for heart health
  • Have anti-cancer effects
  • Have anti-inflammatory effects
  • Have anti-diabetes effects
  • Help decrease harmful bacteria
  • Support heart health
  • Have some antidepressant properties

You’ll find 300 mg. of elderberries in our Protect Bar.

 

 

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)

Medicinal herb 

Ginkgo biloba, aka maidenhair, is a prehistoric tree that is native to China. Some consider it to be a “living fossil” because it’s the sole survivor of an ancient order of plants(!). In traditional Chinese medicine it was used to “open channels of energy to different organ systems”, including the brain. Today, its antioxidant-rich leaves are a key ingredient in our Think bars.

We use this medicinal herb for enhancing mental performance and focus. Our resident herbalist explained that Ginkgo biloba improves cerebral circulation and has a rare ability to “move, disperse and deliver other herbs” throughout your body. This contributes to the synergistic effects it has with the other herbs we’ve blended it with; lion’s mane, bacopa, and rhodiola rosea. 

Though it only grows wild in Eastern China, you can find Ginkgo biloba trees lining the streets of New York and other temperate cities. Before harvesting some, please note: the leaves are toxic when they are green. If you want to make a DIY tincture, wait until they’ve turned yellow and have fallen to the ground – that is when you’ll be able to reap the benefits without any risk. 

We found 8298 studies on Ginkgo Biloba. Research suggests it may: 

  • Improve brain function and increase mental performance
  • Have a protective effect on brain health
  • Improve circulation and increase blood flow to various parts of the body, including the brain
  • Help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Help treat headaches and migraines caused by stress or reduced blood flow
  • Help reduce inflammation, specifically in people with conditions like arthritis, IBD, cancer, and heart disease
  • Help prevent strokes
  • Improve heart health

You can find 200 mg of Ginkgo biloba in our Think bars.

 

 

Goji Berry (Lycium barbarum)

Medicinal herb & Superfood; Berry

Goji Berries are lysine-rich superfruits with antiviral properties and a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Originally from Tibet, Nepal and China, goji berries have been used for centuries to increase immunity and protect against illnesses. Referred to as the  “Beauty Berry” and the “Happy Berry”, goji is used as an anti-aging tonic and is believed to promote both longevity and overall wellbeing.

Gojis are rich in antioxidants and loaded with fiber, iron, vitamin C, and vitamin A, all of which support immune function. These tiny red berries are also delicious enough to eat on their own. 

We found 3022 studies on Goji Berries. Research suggests they may: 

  • Improve immune function
  • Increase antioxidant levels
  • Have antiviral properties
  • Promote well-being and longevity
  • Reduce oxidative stress
  • Have anti-aging properties and slow signs of aging
  • Improve the health of your lungs, kidneys, and liver
  • Improve and protect eye health

You’ll find 300mg of goji berries in our Protect bar.

 

 

Guayusa (Ilex guayusa)

Stimulating Herb

Native to the Ecuadorian Amazon, Guayusa is a holly plant with stimulating properties. Its leaves contain both caffeine and theobromine, which, combined, can help increase your energy, boost your alertness, improve your mood, and help you concentrate.

Indigenous communities in Ecuador have been consuming Guayusa for over a thousand years. It is considered a sacred plant in Kichwa culture and plays a key part in both spiritual and festive ceremonies. It also has a history of being used to heal people from sicknesses, detoxify the body, increase libido, boost happiness, and enhance fertility.

We found 28 studies on guayusa. Research suggests it may:

  • Have stimulating effects and boost alertness
  • Improve mood
  • Improve concentration
  • Improve short-term brain function
  • Protect against inflammation
  • Lower and stabilize blood sugar
  • Aid weight loss
  • Boost metabolism

You can find 200 mg of guayusa in our Energize bars.

 

 

Hawthorn (Crataegus)

Super Berry / Medicinal herb 

Hawthorn berries are small tangy fruits with calming, relaxing effects.  They are also thought to promote healthy digestion and heart health.

A key herb in traditional Chinese medicine, these berries have been used to lower blood pressure for thousands of years. But that’s a bit of over-simplification. As our resident herbalist explained, hawthorn is an amphoteric herb, which means its effects adjust based on what your body needs; if you have high blood pressure, hawthorn helps bring it down and if you have low blood pressure, hawthorn helps pick it up. (If you want to go down a how-are-plants-this-cool-and-smart wormhole, google “amphoteric herbs”).

Hawthorn is also classified as a “shen tonic,” which is a term used in traditional Chinese medicine for herbs that have direct and positive effects on the nervous system and “spiritual heart."

We found 1724 studies on Hawthorn. Research suggests it may:

  • Have a mild sedative effect
  • Help reduce anxiety levels
  • Have anti-inflammatory properties
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve heart function
  • Decrease symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, and heart palpitations in people with heart failure
  • Lower the risk of some cancers, heart problems, premature skin aging, asthma, type 2 diabetes and more
  • Improve (decrease) blood fat levels
  • Feed the healthy bacteria in your gut
  • Aid digestion, alleviate indigestion, relieve constipation
  • Have protective anti-ulcer effects on the stomach
  • Promote healthy hair growth
  • Prevent hair loss

You can find 300 mg of hawthorn in our Chill bars.

 

 

Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus)

Adaptogenic Mushroom / Medicinal Herb

Lion's Mane is considered The Mushroom for the brain. It is also one of the most beautiful adaptogenic mushrooms adaptogens we’ve seen; it looks like a cross between a fluffy white lion’s mane and a waterfall.

It was selected for our Think bar because it is known to enhance mental clarity, focus, and memory. Our resident herbalist explained that, due to its molecular weight, Lion’s Mane has the rare ability to cross the blood brain barrier and affect it directly. These mushrooms may also inhibit the build up of amyloids and, by extension, help reduce the risk of Alzheimers.

In addition to clearing brain fog and keeping us sharp, it also helps us respond to both mental and physical stress. And while it is most hyped for its brain-benefits, Lion’s Mane has a beneficial effect on the health of the whole body.

We found 539 studies on Lion’s Mane. Research suggests it may:

  • Stimulate the growth of brain cells
  • Enhance mental clarity
  • Enhance memory
  • Reduce brain fog
  • Improve your ability to focus
  • Help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia
  • Reduce symptoms of memory loss
  • Boost the immune system
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Reduce oxidative stress
  • Help relieve anxiety and depression
  • Reduce feelings of irritation
  • Help fight cancer by killing cancer cells, slowing the spread of cancer, and slowing the growth of tumors.
  • Repair nerve cell damage
  • Stimulate the growth of nerve cells
  • Accelerate the recovery from nervous system injuries
  • Protect the stomach lining from damage
  • Help protect against the development of stomach ulcers
  • Reduce heart disease risk
  • Lower blood sugars
  • Help manage diabetes symptoms

You can find 1000 mg of Lion’s Mane in our Think bars.

 

 

Reishi (Ganoderma lingzhi)

Adaptogenic Mushroom

Reishi is an adaptogenic mushroom that balances our immune systems and helps ward off illnesses. It also helps us relax, calm down, and center ourselves. That’s why it’s used in both our Protect and Chill Bars.

As for it’s immune-related effects: Reishi is considered both preventative and protective. Our resident herbalist explained that it is amphoteric, meaning it has a different effect on your immune system depending on what your body needs. So, if you have a weak immune system, it would help stimulate and strengthen it. But if you have a hyperactive immune system (autoimmune issues, allergies, eczema, etc.) it would help lower the reaction.

On the Calm-Down front, Reishi is known to promote a peaceful demeanor. Our herbalist said it makes her feel like “she has meditated for a lifetime and is able to tap into a deep well of peace”. She also pointed out that Reishi is considered a “shen tonic” in Traditional Chinese Medicine; the shen is the spirit believed to reside in the heart – the “radical seed of consciousness”. Some people consume this mushroom to help restore shen and drop down to their heart space.

We found 748 studies on Reishi. Research suggests it may:

  • Boost the immune system
  • Reduce fatigue, depression, and anxiety
  • Help fight and perhaps prevent cancer
  • Improve well-being and quality of life
  • Increase activity in white blood cells, including in “natural killer cells”, which fight cancer and infections
  • Improve lymphocyte function, which also helps fight cancer and infections
  • Decrease the size and number of tumors
  • Improve heart health

You can find 1000 mg of reishi in our Protect bars and Chill bars.

 

 

Rhodiola Rosea

Adaptogenic Herb / Medicinal Herb

Rhodiola Rosea is a flowering plant that grows wild in Arctic regions of Europe and Asia.
Some believe its ability to grow in rocks and withstand incredible stress in Zone 1 climates is what makes it so powerful as an adaptogen. We use its roots to help our minds and bodies respond to stress.

Rhodiola Rosea is sometimes referred to as Rose Root because it has a pinkish color and smells slightly like a rose. Our resident herbalist chose this root for our Think Bars because it is known to pack a caffeine-free boost of energy, reduce mental fatigue, and improve mental performance.

We found 1663 studies on Rhodiola Rosea. Research suggests it may:

  • Reduce stress
  • Increase resistance to stress
  • Increase mental performance
  • Improve concentration
  • Reduce mental fatigue and alleviate exhaustion
  • Have a slightly stimulating effect
  • Improve symptoms of burnout
  • Balance the neurotransmitters in your brain
  • Reduce anxiety and symptoms of depression
  • Improve emotional stability
  • Improve mood
  • Improve insomnia
  • Improve exercise performance
  • Improve endurance
  • Lower blood sugar levels
  • Help control diabetes
  • Have anti-cancer properties

You can find 200 mg of rhodiola rosea in our Think bars.

 

 

Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis)

Adaptogenic Berry / Medicinal Herb

Schisandra is an adaptogenic berry that provides an uplifting energy boost, sans caffeine. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is used to invigorate your vital energy or life force (qi).

Known as the Five Flavor Fruit, schisandra is bitter, sweet, pungent, salty and sour all at once. Despite being an edible berry, it is rarely eaten as food and is more commonly consumed as a medicinal herb.

Native to China and parts of Russia, schisandra is also referred to as the “Beauty Berry” because it is used in skincare products to help improve complexion. As an adaptogen, it also helps your body respond to stress and promotes homeostasis.

We found 1,989 studies on Schisandra. Research suggests it may:

  • Help your body resist and relieve stress and anxiety
  • Fight inflammation
  • Have antidepressant effects
  • Have anti-cancer effects, thanks to its lignan content
  • Help protect your brain
  • Have a positive effect on Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s
  • Strengthen the body’s defenses against diseases
  • Alleviate symptoms of menopause
  • Help treat liver damage in people with hepatitis
  • Support heart, lung, and kidney health

You can find 300 mg of schisandra in our Energize bars.

 

 

Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum)

Adaptogenic Herb / Medicinal Herb

Commonly referred to as “holy basil”, tulsi is an adaptogenic herb that helps us respond to both physical and mental  stress. In Ayurveda, tulsi is renowned for both medicinal and spiritual properties; it is called “The Queen of Herbs,” “Mother Medicine of Nature,” and “The Incomparable One."

Our resident herbalist calls it “the Dispeller of Grief,” as it is used to help move grief out of the chest and lungs, and “The Sighing Herb,” as it helps you release stress from your body.

Beyond its calming and grief-dispelling effects, Tulsi is believed to help prevent disease, detoxify the body, have beautifying effects, and foster overall well-being.

We found 1945 studies on tulsi. Research suggests it may:

  • Reduce stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Help you cope with emotional, physical, chemical, and infectious stress
  • Promote relaxation
  • Improve mental clarity and overall sense of wellbeing
  • Fight inflammation
  • Improve your complexion
  • Have antimicrobial effects (antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal)
  • Help people to feel more socially-inclined
  • Help detox your body
  • Help protect against toxic chemicals
  • Reduce the growth of cancer cells
  • Protect against infections and aid in recovery
  • Help heal and protect wounds
  • Protect your stomach
  • Help reduce peptic ulcers
  • Lower your blood sugar levels
  • Help prevent symptoms of diabetes
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Reduce joint pain
  • Boost metabolism
  • Alleviate sleep problems
  • Reduce exhaustion
  • Reduce  forgetfulness
  • Reduce sexual problems

You can find 300 mg of tulsi in our Chill bars.