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Summary (TL;DR): In the interest of brevity, I abbreviate 'herbal tea' as tisane.
Is there any evidence that tisanes can energize? If so, which ones?
Please exclude teas with caffeine (eg black and green teas) or artifices (eg pepper, sugar).


Google offered the following links, which assert that these tisanes will energize, but without proof. I merely list them as examples; please criticise them and/or recommend other tisanes:

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    Have you considered looking into why you need something to energize you? If you are looking to avoid caffeine addiction how would that be any different then energy drink addiction? – Joe W Apr 12 '15 at 16:38
  • @JoeW I agree that energy drink addiction harms. Personally, I was asking the above for sufferers of Seasonal affective disorder who'd benefit from a sap of energy during rainy, grey days. Does this help? – Greek - Area 51 Proposal Apr 12 '15 at 16:43
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    Overall I find the question confusing, there is no real reason listed as why to avoid caffeine and it sounds like you are asking for personal reasons not as a general question to help others. – Joe W Apr 12 '15 at 16:52
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The most clearly effective stimulating (energizing) herbs have run into legal restrictions, at least in the United States. The most notorious is the leaf of the E. coca tree, which contains cocaine. Another stimulating herb more recently banned is Catha edulis (Khat) which contains cathinone. The chemically similar stimulant ephedrine is the active constituent of Ephedra sinica (Mormon Tea), which has had sales restricted in recent years. Ephedra is used instead of black tea (Camellia sinensis) by Mormons because of their restriction against consuming caffeine. Psychedelics like mecsaline found in the common San Pedro cactus (Trichocereus pachanoi), or ibogaine in Tabernanthe iboga, tend to be stimulating at doses below the psychedelic dose but are technically illegal to make tea from.

Stimulating herbs which have been legally ignored tend to have unwanted side effects, at least in comparison with caffeine. The bark of Pausinystalia yohimbe contains the adrenergic stimulant yohimbine, commonly marketed as a sex enhancer. Herbs like Nux vomica, which contains the convulsive stimulant strychnine, is certainly available, especially as rat poison. Species containing ketones like camphor (Cinnamomum camphora) and thujone (Artemisia absinthium - the key ingredient wormwood used in absinthe) are said to be toxic but stimulating.

Many other herbs have been promoted as stimulating, sedating, etc., without there being clear proof that they are more than placebos. I believe I have tried all the herbs in your list of suggestions but didn't notice any stimulating or other effects from them. Ginseng is commonly claimed to be stimulating but I haven't noticed any effect.

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    Another fine example which is used extensively in some of African / middle east countries is the 'Khat' which has legal controversy's in different countries around the world. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khat – Idan Oct 6 '15 at 16:30
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    Khat is the common name for Catha edulis, described above. – Chris Jenks Oct 6 '15 at 16:32
  • Sorry, yet good to know – Idan Oct 6 '15 at 16:34
  • I agree, I should have mentioned the common name. Let me see if I can edit from this phone app... – Chris Jenks Oct 6 '15 at 16:40
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    This is a good answer, but is in need of sources. – Dave Liu Feb 6 '16 at 23:01
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According to this paper by Moss et al. (2016) 1 peppermint tea has energizing properties. The molecular mechanism by which this effect is exerted is summarized in its discussion part:

Active compounds identified in Peppermint include menthol, menthone, 1,8 – cineole and rosmarinic acid, the latter two of which have been shown to possess cholinergic agonist properties via the inhibition of acetylcholine esterase activity (Perryet al., 2003; Orhan et al., 2008). Such a mechanism could underpin the cognitive effects observed here and elsewhere as acetylcholine is the fundamental memory neurotransmitter, whilst the dopaminergic influence of menthol and menthone might be independently reflected in the subjective ratings of alertness.

protected by Community May 30 '17 at 14:19

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