Herb Notes: The Benefits of Coffee

As one of the most popular beverages in the world, coffee is regularly enjoyed as a daily ritual that offers people a boost of energy. Coffee, though, is more than just a ubiquitous beverage: this complex herb offers many healing gifts, and when used in excess it can also present challenges for many coffee drinkers.

When talking about the complexity of coffee as an herb, it’s also important to acknowledge the complex and violent history of the coffee production industry, which continues to widely utilize unjust labor practices and contribute to deforestation. If you are a coffee lover, consider buying Fair Trade coffee and learning more about the history of the coffee industry.

So, let’s dive into 3 benefits of coffee…

1. Coffee for Digestive Support

As a bitter herb, coffee beans can stimulate the release of secretions throughout the digestive tract. This helps contribute to more easeful digestion. As Rosalee de la Forêt notes in her Coffee Plant Profile on HerbMentor, coffee also increases peristalsis (the movement of the colon), which helps promote more regular bowel movements. By stimulating the digestive system, coffee can bring particular relief to constipation.

2. Coffee for Temporary Headache Relief

For some headaches, coffee can also provide relief. This is due to the caffeine content in coffee: some headaches cause blood vessels in the brain to dilate, and the caffeine can temporarily narrow the vessels. By narrowing the dilated vessels, the caffeine can help bring temporary relief to the headache pain.1

Caffeine has been one of the most effective remedies for the headaches that I often get. While I tend to opt for a milder form of caffeine, like green tea, I have also reached for a few sips of coffee in a pinch, and the caffeine in coffee has certainly helped address my headache pain.

3. Coffee as a Stimulant

Most people drink coffee for its energy-boosting effects, so it probably doesn’t shock you to see this property listed under coffee’s benefits. As Rosalee writes, “Coffee acts by affecting the central nervous system. Coffee suppresses the parasympathetic ‘rest and relax’ nervous system and bolsters the sympathetic ‘fight or flight’ nervous system.”2 By stimulating the nervous system, coffee offers a temporary energy boost that can also increase alertness and increase short-term memory abilities.

Want to Learn More About The Benefits of Coffee?

Now that you’ve learned a little bit about the health benefits of coffee, you might be wondering how you can learn more about the medicinal properties of this powerful plant.

Well, here’s the easy way to get more info about coffee: download a FREE deck of our top 12 Herb Notes here. You’ll learn all about the medicinal properties of coffee plus 11 other common herbs like echinacea, dandelion, and more.

PS… And before I go, I couldn’t help but answer a few frequently asked questions about coffee…


Discover Coffee with our
Free Herb Notes Flashcards



Is Coffee Healthy or Unhealthy?

It’s also important to note that coffee’s stimulating effects on the sympathetic nervous system can also tax the body over time. For example, this stimulation from regular coffee consumption could exacerbate stress, anxiety, and any sleeping issues that someone may already have. This is not to say that coffee is “good” or “bad” for the body, but rather that — like so many things in life! — coffee is complex.

What Does Coffee Do to The Body?

Coffee is a stimulant: it stimulates the nervous system, circulation, digestion, and urination in the body.

herb notes coffee

Show 2 footnotes

  1. Ko, E., & Glazier, E. M. (n.d.). The caffeine connection between coffee and headaches. UCLA Health. https://www.uclahealth.org/news/caffeine-connection-between-coffee-and-headaches
  2. de la Forêt, Rosalee “Coffee Monograph.” HerbMentor. Accessed December 27th, 2023. https://herbmentor.learningherbs.com/herb/coffee/

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