Nothing beats the soothing comfort of a warm beverage to sip when we're feeling anxious and run-down. In those stressful times, it's best to steer away from caffeinated drinks and toward herbal teas that contain ingredients to help further calm and soothe you - here are the best calming herbs for stress and anxiety to try!
If there is one thing that the numbers show, most of us love drinking tea. Tea's annual sales are equal to all other beverages combined, including coffee, soft drinks, and alcohol.
While black tea gives a decent dose of caffeine and some other health benefits, sometimes, we need something without the kick.
Caffeine is a natural chemical that stimulates our bodily systems and can physically agitate and intensify any feelings of stress and anxiety we're experiencing. While most anxiety starts in our brain and creates a physical reaction, drinking caffeine starts in the body, and can head to the brain to throw us deeper into an anxious thought pattern.
What tea is good for anxiety?
If you're feeling anxious and looking to unwind, the ultimate solution is an herbal tea - it's still delightfully warm and contains some calming ingredients, without the caffeine.
The next time you're feeling overwhelmed, try a hot cup of one of the herb teas for anxiety below.
Best Tea for Anxiety and Stress: The Ultimate Guide
Chamomile is the classic floral tea for natural anxiety relief, with most of us familiar with the name. Steep this herb's pale yellow blossoms dried or fresh, making a beautiful pot with a strong, floral taste.
The craziest part about chamomile is how incredibly useful this relaxing tea is at calming us. Chamomile tea binds to GABA receptors in the brain, which are the same receptors that Xanax and other anti-anxiety medications target - it's literally a natural medicine. Drinking chamomile tea for anxiety is helpful, but it has a few other benefits, too. Chamomile contains apigenin, which helps calm the stomach and supports healthy sleeping patterns.
To Brew: Steep 1 tsp of dried, 2 tsp of fresh, for 5-10 mins.
Mint tea has a refreshing, zingy taste compared to other herbal teas, and is a complete mood-booster and makes the perfect, after-dinner hot drink.
Using peppermint tea for anxiety is pretty useful, as it helps us relax physically. Peppermint helps to relax your muscles, which can get ridiculously tight when you're holding mental tension, and helps to soothe the stomach, aiding digestion, which anxiety can also throw out of whack.
Smelling and drinking calming teas like mint will both give you a natural energy boost, but in a much calmer version than caffeine, so it won't add to anxiety or make it difficult to fall asleep.
To Brew: Steep 1 tsp of dried or 2 tsp of fresh for 3-5 mins.
#3: Valerian Root
The valerian root is another herb that has a fascinating effect on our body and brains and makes an excellent tea that reduces anxiety. This herb, also called 'nature's Valium,' has hypnotic and sedative effects, changing how our brain reacts to negative emotions like stress, anxiety, and fear.
Valerian root can help combat mild and moderate cases of insomnia and relaxes our muscles, as well as our minds. The earthy, woody taste can take some getting used to, but the effects are well worth drinking it daily, an hour before bed!
To Brew: Steep 1 tsp of dried root for 10-12 mins.
This beautiful, delicate-tasting bloom is much more than just a pretty face. This flower contains many of the same helpful compounds as Valerian root, making passionflower tea for anxiety beneficial. The taste of passionflower tea is light and floral, easily pairing with other useful herbs to increase each hot cup's benefits.
Passionflower provides natural stress relief as it binds to the brain's GABA receptors to calm the mind while reducing inflammation and promoting a better night's sleep. The flavone chrysin is an effective anxiety reducer, rivaling the effects of some anti-anxiety medications.
To Brew: Steep 1 tsp dried for 10-12 mins.
While we know the calming effects of lavender oil made famous in aromatherapy, let this handy herb for anxiety work double-time to calm you by drinking it, too. Lavender tea for anxiety helps promote our brains' production of dopamine, the 'happy' chemical, while reducing the stress hormone cortisol that tends to build up when we feel constant stress.
Lavender tea benefits go beyond destressing - this herb makes a great bedtime tea that helps you sleep by promoting deep sleep and high energy upon waking.
To Brew: Steep 2 tsp dried for 10 mins.
Rosehip tea tastes exactly how you'd expect it to - like roses. This soft, floral, and slightly-sweet tea to reduce anxiety contains flavonoids that reduce cortisol production and reduce stress. These same flavonoids can even act as a mild pain reliever as they reduce inflammation in the body.
When we drink this stress-relief tea, we may fall asleep faster and enter deep sleep for a longer time every night, leaving us feeling more energized for the day ahead.
To Brew: Steep 1 Tbsp for 5-8 mins.
Green tea goes against the general rule of thumb that caffeine will negatively impact your anxiety. There always has to be an exception to every rule, doesn't there.
While this is technically a caffeinated drink, you can use green tea for anxiety-relief. Green tea is one of the best anti-anxiety teas as it contains an amino acid, L-theanine, which affects the alpha waves in the brain to increase calm and sleepiness.
To Brew: Steep 1 tsp for 1-3 min in water below boiling.
Final Notes: Best Tea for Sleep and Anxiety
With these wellness tips, choose one of the powerful herbs for anxiety above and create a daily tea-drinking ritual to add a bit of calm into even the most stormy days.
Making a calming tea for anxiety is about not only the beneficial, calming ingredients but about taking the time to slow down, sip, and stay in the present moment. It's only in the present that we can appreciate the ebb and flow of a life filled with positive and negative, stress-inducing events.
Enjoy sipping a piping-hot cup of your favourite tea and feel your anxiety melt away!