Herbal teas help soothe pain, ease stress and even treat disease — often more economically and with fewer side effects than drugs. They also can boost your energy.

To find out about one of the best herbal teas to combat fatigue, our editors turned to Brigitte Mars, adjunct professor of herbal medicine at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. She is a member of the American Herbalists Guild and author of Healing Herbal Teas (www.BrigitteMars.com).

Her recommendation: Ginseng tea, which eases low energy and low libido.

How it works: It boosts the immune system… increases the body’s resistance to stress… and contains phytosterols (steroid-like plant chemicals) that may promote proper hormone function.

For convenience: Use tea bags. For potency: Use loose organic herbs (sold in health-food stores).

Instructions: Boil eight ounces of water. Remove from heat. Stir in one heaping tablespoon of dried herbs or three level tablespoons of fresh herbs. Steep 10 minutes. Remove tea bag or strain off loose herbs. Drink hot or iced. Have two to three cups daily on low energy days… then one cup every few days to maintain energy.

Keep in mind: For best effect, drink between meals. Discontinue two weeks before any surgery. Do not use if you take blood-thinning or diabetes medication… have a history of breast cancer… or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Some herbs can interact with drugs or cause allergic reactions. Always consult your doctor before using some herbal teas, especially if you have heart disease, diabetes, ulcers, gallbladder problems, a bleeding or seizure disorder, or a kidney or liver disorder.