Between being a freelance writer, keeping my two children, my husband, and two huge dogs alive, and maintaining our 120-year-old house, I’m pretty much always stressed. I would say that my anxiety level falls somewhere between seven and nine out of 10 depending on the hour.
To chill out, some people rely on popping a pill or sipping on a cocktail. However, as someone with over 19 years of sobriety, that simply isn’t an option for me. Over the years, I’ve tried a variety of de-stressing methods, ranging from hot baths and sweaty workouts to taking melatonin for sleep, but finding a way to lower my stress during the day while being able to remain alert and focused hasn’t been easy. This is why I was open to trying Apothékary’s Chill the F* Out herbal blend, a plant-based powder supplement promising cortisol-reducing powers without draining your energy. To put it to the test, I took it every day for two weeks — keep reading to see what happened and my honest thoughts on how effective plants and adaptogens really are for battling stress.
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- Price: 12 servings for $23, 45 servings for $59, or 10 single-serving packets for $20
- Best for: Daytime stress relief
- Formula: Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, cruelty-free
- What we like: It calms you down the natural way
- What we don't like: The taste may be a turnoff for some
Apothékary Chill The F* Out
Apothékary considers itself “the world’s first plant-based farmacy.” The brand, founded by ex-Wall Streeter Shizu Okusa, is based on ideas in Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Japanese Kampo Medicine, all traditional eastern belief systems that she grew up practicing. The brand’s mission, then, is to use organic, ethically-sourced herbal food as medicine as an alternative to over-the-counter supplements. And, true to the idea of being a pharmacy of sorts, it offers plant-based solutions for all sorts of wellness woes, ranging from gut and skin health to better sleep.
Within its blend offerings, you’ll find ingredients like antioxidant-rich superfoods (think acai and beetroot), healing spices (like clove for digestive health), and mushrooms (chaga, for example, which is reputed to boost the immune system). Personally, I was looking for something to quell anxiety. Apothékary has a few blends for this, but I opted to try Chill The F* Out — a remedy the brand touts as a superfood-packed daytime “relaxant” that not only helps with boosting your mood, but increases focus as well. It can be purchased a la carte or sold as part of one of their most popular starter sets, Restore, which also comes with Do Not Disturb, a nighttime stress-reliever that also promotes sleep.
Since turning to herbal remedies might be a foreign concept for some, Apothékary offers 30-minute consults with one of their “Wellth Advisors,” who can explain how plant-based medicine works and offer personal recommendations. The $19 fee gets credited to your next order.
How Does Apothékary Chill The F* Out Work?
Like all the products offered by Apothékary, Chill The F* Out is powered by plants, but two stars within this particular formula are two science-backed, stress-relieving adaptogens: reishi and ashwagandha. Reishi, a medicinal mushroom, is a staple in eastern medicine that’s been used to treat things like depression and boost immunity. Ashwagandha, a stress-reducing adaptogen, is popular in Ayurvedic medicine as it’s known to contain calming chemicals that may also decrease swelling, lower blood pressure, and improve immunity, per the National Library of Medicine. Other ingredients in the blend include raw cacao (rich in flavonoids that can improve heart health), nutrient-dense peppermint, and fatty-acid-rich organic coconut.
Together, the plants work to reduce your cortisol levels, fight inflammation, and boost your digestion, all via the minty-chocolate-flavored powder you ingest.
How To Use
The blend comes in powder form, and the brand recommends one teaspoon as the service size. For best results, Apothékary suggests using it in a number of ways, from simply adding it to hot or cold water, blending it up in a smoothie, or even adding it to your favorite plant-based milk as a latte.
Chill The F* Out comes packaged in an organic-looking little glass apothecary-inspired bottle. The scent is very earthy, similar to a mushroom tea, with a hint of cacao. I opted to drink it like a tea, adding hot water and using the Farmacy Frother included in the Restore set to mix it up. While the product description likens the taste to “peppermint hot chocolate,” I found it to be just like how it smells: more mushroom-y. Though slightly grainy in texture even after blending it, I enjoyed sipping on the concoction — honestly, it just made me feel like I was doing something good for my body.
Though I was a little skeptical prior to trying it, I actually felt a little more relaxed shortly after drinking it — but without feeling like my energy was zapped.
I continued to try the product once a day for a week and I tried drinking it a few different ways. Personally, I really liked it added to steamed coconut milk as a latte. I also used it in a banana and cacao smoothie, which really masked the taste and might be a great option for those who lack an earthy palette. When I mixed it with cold water — without the frother, mind you — the powder clumped, so that’s not a recipe I’d recommend.
While the potion is by no means Xanax in a jar, it did help me, well, chill the f* out without any added lethargy. When I took a dose mid-morning, it calmed me down while also allowing me to stay focused on my work. I was pleasantly surprised.
Who Shouldn’t Use It
If you are pregnant, nursing, trying to conceive, or have a medical condition, Apothékary recommends speaking to your physician before using the product. Keep in mind that some of the ingredients may interact with medications you are taking. For example, because ashwagandha has blood sugar and blood pressure-lowering potential, the National Library of Medicine warns that it shouldn’t be used with anyone taking diabetes or high blood pressure medications.
Since Chill The F* Out is a blend of superfoods, you could probably reap similar benefits by taking the various ingredients in tea, liquid, or capsule form. Other supplement companies, like HUM Nutrition, offer ashwagandha blends in gummy form.
The concept of using food as medicine is by no means new. However, as the science supporting holistic medicine continues to evolve, more people (such as myself) are more open to dabbling in eastern-inspired remedies. For me, sipping on Apothékary’s Chill The F* Out blend was an overwhelmingly positive experience. While the plant-based potion doesn’t offer the intense and immediate sedation of a controlled substance or glass of vino, it brought things down a few notches, giving me some much-needed clarity and focus.
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