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Drinking a warm cup of tea, snuggling under a blanket, and diving into a new book is an event that brings great pleasure to many, especially the introverts among us. All of the senses are covered; tasting the flavors of the tea, breathing in the comforting scents, seeing the print on the page, feeling the warmth of the blanket, and hopefully hearing peace and quiet can help calm your nerves. However, if that scenario isn’t your style, or it’s unattainable at the moment, you can still likely sneak in a cup of tea or two throughout the day. Luckily, the best teas for anxiety are readily available from Amazon and local retailers.
True Tea vs. Herbal
Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world, according to Statista. Water (being the essence of life) is the first. From Japanese tea ceremonies, chai wallahs in India, or the Brits pouring a cup of Earl Grey to wake up in the morning, cultures throughout the world enjoy this warm refreshment.
While oolong, black, green, white, and pu’er are true teas, herbal infusions, like chamomile and passionfruit aren’t technically tea. For all intents and purposes, we’ll call these hot, delicious, comforting beverages here on out, “tea.” Steeping herbs, leaves, and spices together, tea can be the center of a ritual, relieve stomach aches, and calm anxieties.
Help Ease Your Anxie(teas)
Different seasons and even different times of day may call for different types of tea. In this season of uncertainty, teas to help with anxiety are needed more than ever. Would a beer ease the tension in your shoulders for a short while? Maybe. Would that glass of red help you momentarily forget your troubles? Possibly.
In the long run, though, alcohol can make anxiety worse. Alcohol can also lead to the development of several other health problems, including but not limited to liver disease, heart disease, and high blood pressure. However, many teas have health benefits, both physical and mental. Plus you may wake up feeling refreshed and rested, sans hangover.
Herbal and fruity, chamomile is a crucial ingredient in the combination of herbs and spices for Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime tea. Caffeine-free, chamomile tea is derived from a daisy-like flower, with a yellow center and delicate white petals. A study found that chamomile extract was beneficial in reducing mild to moderate anxiety symptoms. Long term studies need to be conducted to examine the short and long term safety and efficacy in general anxiety disorder.
With a myriad of other benefits, like reducing inflammation and treating cold symptoms, sipping a cup of chamomile tea before bed may help ease the stress of the day. Thereby, possibly improving sleep duration and quality.
Originating in China during the reign of the Tang Dynasty, green tea can leave even the most devoted tea drinker a bit dissatisfied if not brewed properly. Floral, nutty, with the potential to taste bittersweet, green tea has nevertheless stood the test of time. Finding good quali-tea, and brewing it correctly, will help you perfect this cuppa. Lemon slices will cut the bitterness if brewed for too long, or you can add raw sugar or honey to sweeten the taste. Long-term studies need to be conducted, but a recent study found that amino acids in green tea helped reduce anxiety when people were faced with stressful conditions.
Although studies are limited, there is evidence that lavender oil has the properties of an anxiolytic agent. While lavender oil isn’t for consumption, lavender buds, steeped for tea, have a sweet fragrance with lemon or citrus notes. A warm cup of lavender tea may be just what you need to ease your anxieties and assist you in falling fast asleep. To sweeten your lavender tea, try honey, date syrup, or agave syrup.
General anxiety can be exacerbated by health problems like digestive issues, headaches and migraines, and insomnia. However, anxiety can also cause these issues, making it a real chicken and egg situation. Ginger has many great properties. Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and antimicrobial, ginger can help alleviate many health issues. Brew your own lemon ginger tea at home, and hopefully, your physical and emotional health will improve.
Filled with antioxidants (and caffeine) matcha is unmistakable for its bright green hue and creamy texture. Being that matcha is concentrated green tea, the health benefits are numerous. Studies have found that matcha can enhance mood, has a calming effect, and reduces anxiety. Drinking matcha tea or matcha latte is a perfect way to calm and relax from everyday anxieties caused by stress.
Another herbal concoction, rooibos is a South African tea that is aromatic, red in color, with a slightly citrus flavor. Caffeine-free, with very little tannins, rooibos is claimed to increase appetite, cure insomnia, and alleviate allergies. Adding a bit of local honey to your mug of rooibos will only add to the nutritional benefits in this cup.
Mildly flavored, passionflower has been the subject of many trials and studies as an add-on treatment for general anxiety disorder. Beautiful and unique, with purple spindly petals, passionflower is a climbing vine native to the southeast United States, Central, and South America. Sipping this tea could help with insomnia, treat stomach problems, and help with anxiety. Pregnant women should avoid drinking this tea, however, as it can cause contractions.
Lemongrass is not related to the lemon tree, but they have a similar scent and flavor. Lemongrass tea is a refreshing, caffeine-free, calming tea for all of the citrus lovers out there. The aroma of lemongrass has been found to reduce tension and help with recovering from stressful situations.
Kava has been the center of some controversy, although it has never been taken off the market in the US. While there are documented benefits, problems with the liver have been noted, although rare. Kava tea when combined with spices like cinnamon, sarsaparilla root, and carob pod, supports tranquillity and promotes relaxation.