Three-Component Herbal Tea Alleviates Prolonged Fatigue and Improves Sleep Quality: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study

Explore (NY). 2018 Nov;14(6):420-423. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2018.05.001. Epub 2018 Aug 2.


Introduction: Prolonged fatigue is common among adults, yet only a small percentage of affected individuals seek medical attention. Following findings that complementary and alternative medicine can be effective strategies for improving fatigue, we evaluated the effect of an herbal tea regimen on prolonged fatigue.

Methods: In this pilot randomized controlled trial, participants with prolonged fatigue were randomly allocated to either a tea (n = 20) or control (n = 20) group. The tea group consumed herbal tea consisting of Astragali Radix, Angelicae gigantis Radix, and Zizyphi Fructus twice daily for 4 weeks, whereas the control group received no intervention. Outcomes were assessed at baseline and 4 and 8 weeks. The primary outcome was fatigue severity, measured using the Chalder Fatigue Scale. Secondary outcomes included sleep quality, depression symptoms, and quality of life.

Results: Among the 40 individuals screened, 35 completed the study. Fatigue severity was significantly lower in the tea group than the control group at 4 weeks, and within the tea group, fatigue severity and sleep quality improved at the 4- and 8-week follow-ups vs. baseline in the tea group. Depression also significantly improved in the tea group at 8 weeks. There were no changes within the control group on any measure.

Conclusion: The findings suggest that our herbal tea formulation reduces fatigue severity and improves sleep quality in adults with prolonged fatigue.

Keywords: Herbal tea; Prolonged fatigue; Randomized controlled trial.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angelica
  • Astragalus Plant
  • Depression / complications
  • Depression / prevention & control
  • Fatigue / complications
  • Fatigue / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnoliopsida*
  • Male
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Quality of Life
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep / drug effects*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Ziziphus


  • Plant Extracts