Please excuse the long answer, I like to give both sides so you can make choice that feels best for you & your baby!
The official FDA-sanctioned answer is that there is not enough information about several of the herbs in Rasa to determine safety for either pregnancy or breastfeeding.
HOWEVER, the FDA is simply not as familiar with some of our herbs as Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda—the traditions that these herbs hail from—are. These traditions have investigated these herbs in practical daily life application for hundreds, even thousands of years.
I actually co-created Rasa when I was breastfeeding my first son at 5 months old. I wanted something that would help me cope with the stressors of motherhood, and provide more sustainable energy than coffee could.
The Rasa formula was expertly crafted by an herbalist, & I've since had it run by over a dozen herbalists, Chinese medicine doctors, & Ayurvedic practitioners, all with decades in their fields. They all saw no major contraindications, including pregnancy or breastfeeding.
In fact, the two primary Ayurvedic herbs in our formula, ashwagandha & shatavari, are frequently *prescribed* during pregnancy and to help support healthy lactation.
Here’s a fun & illustrative contradiction, though: the FDA says ashwagandha is NOT safe for pregnancy or breastfeeding, while Ayurveda practitioners will often *prescribe* it during these times! There was a study indicating that ashwagandha can cause abortion...at EXTREMELY high doses in rats. You won’t get even close to that even drinking large quantities of Rasa! At normal therapeutic doses, Ayurveda actually recommends ashwagandha to help prevent miscarriage.
Anecdotally, I nursed my now 4-year old for 2 years while drinking Rasa regularly, drunk it most days during my recent pregnancy, & still drink it while nursing my 1-year old. That babe is probably 30% Rasa. 😄 Both babes are ludicrously healthy!
That said: ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR BODY AND YOUR BABY.
For me, I personally felt almost repulsed by Rasa in my first trimester, so I didn’t drink it! From second trimester on, I craved it and drank it plentifully.
If you have a complicated pregnancy, maybe best to wait. If your baby has a very sensitive digestive system, maybe best to wait. If you feel unsure...maybe best to wait!
And if the fact that the FDA has not determined safety is sufficient information for you to make your decision, we wholeheartedly support you in that choice! Rasa will be here with open arms when you're ready. 🤗
I’m giving you all perspectives that I know so you can make the right decision for you, with your own (& your healthcare practitioner's) wisdom.
💛, Lopa (Founder of Rasa)
This is one of those personal mama-judgment questions! The Rasa formula is a gentle, nourishing blend, designed to be balanced and safe for most people, most of the time. Because these are whole-herbs and not potentized extracts (such as a 10:1 extract), it should be fine for children. But nothing is a one-size-fits-all! You know your children best. If you choose to share Rasa with your children, keep the dosage small and age appropriate. Sometimes I’ll serve my 3 year old a splash of Rasa with a bunch more almond milk. He loves it! If he’s taking a sip from my cup, he usually only has one or two sips, and that seems totally fine for him.
Keep an eye on your little(s) and if you notice anything unusual, maybe it’s not a good fit for them at this time. The main two symptoms I’d be on the lookout for is possible hyperactivity (there are a couple of stimulating herbs in Rasa) or loose stools (several of the herbs are detoxifying). Little bodies are more sensitive so they may notice these herbs more than our bodies do! But they may also be *just fine.* It’s your call, mama!
Heck yes! At the Rasa Casa (yes, we are total dweebs and we actually call it that 😃), we are often known to drink 2-4 cups a day. Because Rasa is a well-balanced and gentle formula (i.e. not a 10:1 extract of a single herb), there's little risk of drinking too much!
But of course, always always always listen to your body! Every body is different. If it feels like too much Rasa….it probably is!
We did have the formula run by numerous herbalists, and literally asked the question, “What if people drink 20 cups a day?” The herbalists all felt that the biggest risk was loose stools, because several of the herbs in Rasa are gently detoxifying.
But again: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! The body knows, and it speaks! 💛
Some herbs do interact with certain medications. If you are taking medication, please contact your healthcare provider before trying Rasa.
Original Rasa is dark, rich, and roasty, earthy, nutty, and slightly bitter. It's robust flavor softens and sweetens dramatically when you add something creamy! It does NOT taste exactly like coffee!Cacao Rasa tastes sort of like savoring the subtle notes of a dark chocolate bar. One customer said "opening the bag is like getting smacked in the face with a bar of chocolate," so if kinky chocolate face-slaps are your thing, you'll love Cacao Rasa!Dirty Rasa tastes just like coffee! It's our herbal formula blended with coffee. The coffee we chose is medium roast, smooth, balanced, sweet, & with a chocolatey note. The herbs make the flavor of Dirty Rasa more complex than normal coffee.
Original Rasa is dark, rich, & roasty. Some people say it tastes just like coffee, many others think it has a flavor of its own (I tend to agree!) But it stands up to milk like coffee does, and it has a complex flavor. It has a little bitter, like coffee, and an earthiness (it is made with 9 roots, after all!) with a little bit of nuttiness and just a hint of cinnamon.
Like coffee, most people prefer Rasa with something creamy—myself included! It’s also delicious Bulletproof-style, ie blended with healthy fats (we call it the Phatty Rasa :)
Cacao Rasa tastes dark and rich like Rasa, but with a deep cacao flavor from French-roasted criollo cacao beans.
Dirty Rasa has a smooth, balanced, slightly sweet coffee taste. Most people can’t tell that it’s any different than normal coffee, even though it’s packed with herbs that are amazing for you!
While we are not Certified Gluten-Free, Rasa contains no grains (like many other coffee alternative products) or gluten-containing ingredients, and is produced in a 100% gluten-free facility.
Each of the herbs we use are individually certified kosher, and Rasa is produced in a kosher facility. However, because of the financial and administrative overhead to obtain certifications, and our teeny company size, we are currently focusing all the bandwidth we have for certifications on Organic certification. We would be HAPPY to send you proof of the individual kosher certifications for each of our 12 herbs if you would like to see them!
Yes! Rasa is Certified USDA Organic by CCOF.
Original Rasa is naturally caffeine free. The gentle stimulation you might feel comes from two of our adaptogenic herbs, eleuthero and rhodiola.
Cacao Rasa has just a teensy bit of caffeine (< 5 mg). Fun fact: the FDA says if a product has 5 mg or less, you can technically call it caffeine free! So there are many cacao products that say caffeine free that aren't quite—so if you are avoiding 100% of caffeine, you will want to stay away from cacao products!
Dirty Rasa has actual coffee & 35 mg of caffeine, about 1/5 a standard cup of coffee. If you brew Dirty Rasa double-strong, an 8 oz cup will have 70 mg of caffeine.
Magic! OK, well, actually, not quite. Two of the herbs in Rasa are classic endurance and energizing herbs: rhodiola and eleuthero. Rhodiola is often used by athletes to support peak performance, and eleuthero is often used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a remedy to support adrenal health. Interestingly, eleuthero still energizes through the adrenals, but much differently than coffee does. Coffee activates a cortisol release, which makes you feel awesome but also puts your body into a “fight or flight” state. Eleuthero tonifies and strengthens the adrenals, so the energy actually comes more from within and from your body getting stronger, as opposed to via a stress response.
Because many of the herbs in Rasa are adaptogens, they’ll affect everyone a little differently! We get some customers who *only* drink Rasa at night, while others find it too stimulating to drink after dark. We recommend you try it in the daytime first, and then in the afternoon, and then see! We do find that many people say Rasa improves the quality of their sleep (gotta love that ashwagandha!)—we hope it supports you in that way, too!
When it comes to our herbs, we believe in relationships. Relationships with our growers and wildcrafters, with the regions and cultures our plants call home, and most importantly, with the medicines themselves. Because of this we buy herbs differently than most, resulting in potent, pure, and sustainable product offerings.
We’re committed to staying 100% organic, continuously improving our sustainability and testing, sourcing directly from traditional growing regions, and promoting quality herbal education.
Our Chinese Herbs come from one of the most respected organic herb suppliers in China. Several of our Chinese herbs come from the largest nature preserve in China, the famed Changbai Mountain, and are highly regulated for both environmental sustainability and purity.
Our Ayurvedic herbs come from small organic farm cooperatives in India. Our chicory is from a family farm & roaster in France (they’ve been roasting chicory since the 1800s!), and our mushrooms are sustainably cultivated in California (we use only chaga mycelium instead of wildcrafted chaga for sustainability reasons.)
All of our herbs are certified organic by CCOF and are tested for heavy metals and other possible contaminants.
Rasa makes GREAT espresso, you’re in for a treat! Just be sure to use only 1 tbsp of Rasa in the portafilter, DO NOT TAMP, and then brew a DOUBLE-double (yep, that’s two double shots!) The herbs in Rasa brew differently than coffee does so it needs this extra little bit of attention! We do find that it can take a time or two to find the exact right process for your tastes and your machine, so if it’s not perfect the first time, please give it another try!
Rasa can be brewed in a Keurig using reusable K-cups. Just be sure to use no more than 1 tbsp of Rasa in the cup, and then brew it on the strongest setting. We do find that it can take a time or two to find the exact right process for your tastes and your machine, so if it’s not perfect the first time, please give it another try! We have many happy folks for whom Keurig is their primary way of making Rasa!
Heck yes! Either form of Rasa can be rebrewed for better value! Just add a little more fresh dry Rasa to the used herbs and brew for longer the second time. We recommend using ¼ of the original amount of Rasa you used (so if you brewed a full French press with 4 tbsp, add 1 tbsp fresh dry Rasa to the spent herbs).
And be sure to compost the Rasa grounds afterward! Plants love them. 🌿😍
Unfortunately, we do not recommend these methods for brewing Rasa. The roots and mushrooms in Rasa need some solid time in hot water to extract the good stuff (heh, like most of us 😏), and these methods just don’t do them justice! We want you to get the most benefit possible out of your Rasa!
Rasa brews like coffee in a:
French press (10-15 mins) Espresso machine, Aeropress, Keurig (with reusable K-cups) Moka pot Percolator, Tea infuser or disposable tea bag (Just be sure to cover the mug while it brews so the water stays as hot as possible!)
Don’t have any of those? Whole Rasa might be a good choice for you!
And, either form of Rasa can be rebrewed for better value! Just add another tbsp fresh dry Rasa to the used herbs and brew a longer second time.
We do not recommend cold-brewing Rasa. The roots and mushrooms in Rasa need some solid time in hot water to extract the good stuff (heh, like most of us 😏), and these methods just don’t do them justice! We want you to get the most benefit possible out of your Rasa!
If you want cold Rasa, that’s easy, just takes a little forethought. You have 3 options: choose your own adventure!
1. Brew as you normally do and refrigerate until cool. Store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to a week for easy cold Rasa all week long.
2. Make Rasa cubes & pour hot Rasa over your Rasa cubes.
3. Brew double-strong (2 tbsp Rasa per 8 oz water) and pour over ice.