From active ingredients to the simple mindful act of taking a moment to brew, prep, and pour – for centuries tea has been seen as a comforting hug for those weighed down by worry. These days it’s become totally normal to feel tense, anxious, or to have your nervous system in a flutter. Times are hard and the fallout can make us feel worn thin emotionally, physically, and mentally too. There are lots of natural techniques out there to help ease anxious feelings, from yoga to meditation, deep breathing, talk therapy, and of course – tea!
Tea can be an amazing stress buster as many herbal remedies bring deep healing, gentle aromas, and can support your system so you don’t feel overloaded and can get a good night’s sleep. From calming chamomile to rich and earthy rosemary, these are some of our favorite kinds of tea for anxiety…
How Tea Reduces Anxiety
Herbal tea is made from herbs, flowers, or spices seeped in hot water. These kinds of teas tend to be caffeine free and can help with a whole range of health conditions. From soothing stomachs to encouraging sleep, different herbal teas can help.
There are tons of benefits to turning to herbal tea as a way to help reduce your anxiety. Of course, this won’t happen overnight but by upping your herbal tea intake, the tisane can get to work on helping to balance your mood and may even reduce the physical imprint of stress on the body.
Adaptogens for Stress
Adaptogens are plants and herbs that help the body to resist stressors. They have been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine practice. While each one will bring different properties, they all aim to help your body handle stress and bring us back to the balanced middle. They impact our fight and flight response, they encourage our cells to release neuropeptide Y which helps regulate mood, and they make sure our cortisol levels don’t tip over the edge.
Plants can help our bodies to better handle stress as they interact with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathoadrenal system which are involved in our bodies reaction to stress. They may also help our hormonal response to stress too. To keep it short and simple, adaptogens adapt to what you need.
Some of the more common adaptogen’s are...
Tulsi Basil – Also known as Holy Basil, this fragrant herb is known for easing stress and anxiety and helping us to sit comfortably in whatever changing circumstance we are facing.
Ashwagandha - Helps to protect the body against the physical imprint of stress and anxiety.
Licorice – Improves endurance and overall energy, helping us move out of freeze mode.
Maca – Improves mood and energy.
Chamomile – Calms the nervous system
Lemon Balm – Soothes digestive upsets and lowers blood sugar
How Tea Reduces Anxiety
A calming cup of tea has always been the go-to solution when people feel stressed. Not only is a warm drink a comforting choice but the very act of making a cup and the herbs that are chosen can all help your parasympathetic nervous system to settle down. As we mentioned above, many herbs that make tinctures are also adaptogens and they help your system to adapt to whatever is happening around you. Even the classic black tea can help cut down on anxiety and stress as the camellia sinensis plant brims with healing properties and compounds that can chill you out. Take a look at these ways in which a cup of tea can ease anxious feelings.
Reduces Anxiety & Depression with Theaflavins
Black tea contains theaflavins which encourages dopamine turnover in the brain, boosts memory, and helps to reduce depression. Herbal teas like chamomile can also work to raise serotonin and melatonin levels in the body which work to reduce stress factors in the body physically and mentally. As herbal teas can also help you sleep better, your body and mind are more rested which also helps reduce anxious feelings.
Prevents Blood Pressure Issues
Black tea and green tea have both been found to have a positive impact on high blood pressure. Both contain compounds that reduce inflammation including inflammation in the arteries and blood vessels too. Chamomile and other herbal teas like dandelion tea are also full of flavones and potassium which reduce blood pressure levels and help to lower cholesterol. When we are less stressed in general our blood pressure is in better condition as high levels of cortisol in the body can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Lowers the Risk of Cardiac Arrest
Easing anxiety, lowering blood pressure, reducing cholesterol, and cutting down on risks of heart disease, black tea and herbal teas are awesome at keeping you in good cardiovascular shape. Studies have shown that stress and anxiety can contribute to heart disease and cardiac arrest as even a small amount of stress can trigger poor blood flow to the heart. Tea has a positive effect on stress levels, blood vessels, and arterial disease – all which lessen your risk of cardiac arrest and keep you beating.
7 Best Tea for Anxiety
While the beautiful routine of making a cup of tea is a magical mindful experience, some teas are better equipped than others at effectively lending a hand when it comes to stress relief. Not only are these comforting herbs lovingly delicious when turned into a tisane, but they also have a noticeable and science backed impact on helping reduce high levels of anxiety. For those who want to create their own inner oasis, these seven heavenly teas are here to lower your stress factor and make you feel cool, collected, and totally comforted.
Soft and floral, this pretty little daisy can be found scattered in your own backyard and is a wonder at helping ease anxiety. Chamomile contains many relaxing properties and for centuries has been considered one of the most important adaptogen herbs that helps to lower your cortisol levels and bring flailing moods into balance. Even the grassy scent of Chamomile can help you to sleep soundly and the fact that its caffeine free makes it an awesome bedtime tea.
An all round awesome health booster, green tea packs quite the punch when it comes to those endless bodily benefits. Yet, this superfood is also a sweet talker when it comes to keeping you in anti-anxiety territory. Thanks to the L-theanines found in green tea, this cool amino acid compound is known for directly effecting the brain and increasing alpha wave activity. This invites you to sink into a state of calm. As L-theanine also ups your focus level, your brain can get busy and active without getting side-tracked by anxious thinking.
Is there anything more relaxing than the sweet scent of lavender fields swaying beneath the sunshine? Now you can capture that mood in a mug and let it completely soothe your soul. Lavender has long been a favorite in the world of aromatherapy thanks to its potent calming benefits. There’s so much goodness in a cup of lavender tea. Not only can it help stress to melt away but it also cuts out headaches, soothes digestive upsets, and acts as an anti-inflammatory for muscle tension too. Lavender is also a good herb for nudging dopamine to flow from your brain and increases slow-wave and REM sleep. Talk about soothing.
The earthy sweet scent of rosemary is one to fall in love with. This wild herb is rich with healing properties and can do everything from boosting brain health to improving mood and memory and keeping you from feeling on edge. Studies have shown that even just a whiff of rosemary can improve your mood, help your memory, and improve sleep quality.
As pretty as a picture, the passionflower has been used for centuries by ancient civilizations like the Aztecs and the Incas thanks to its deep healing properties. There is a lot to love about passionflower tea and one of the most important aspects in helping the fight against anxiety is the fact that this tea can increase the GABA levels in your body and can reduce cortisol levels. It’s also an excellent gentle leaf for helping to encourage sweet sleep as animal studies have proved. This floral beauty is also excellent at helping you not to veer into overthinking territory.
Another ancient remedy that seems to come from the pages of fairytales, Valerian root is one of the most healing herbs out there. This root is ripe with natural muscle relaxant properties and has natural sedative properties which studies show can work on helping to ease the symptoms of mild or moderate insomnia. Valerian root tea is nicknamed natures valium for good reason. This root has compounds that helps the brain to have a softer reaction to stressful situations. Valerian has a slightly woody flavor so you can add a splash of citrus to brighten it.
There’s a reason this soothing calm down herbal remedy is given to cats. Catnip comes from the mint family and is brimming with natural sedative properties. While there certainly needs to be more research on catnip and its calming effects on humans, it is a common herb to find in stress taming tisane blends. This is because catnip contains nepetalactone which is similar to compounds found in valerian (AKA nature’s sedative). Before you know it you will be stretched out in some sunny spot without a single care in the world.
How To Brew DIY Tea for Anxiety
The next time you feel your heart rate start to rise or when your stomach feels all a flutter, you can turn to this homemade recipe to brew up a beautiful cup of DIY tea for anxiety. Of course, you can turn to your tisane of choice, whether that’s a calming cup of chamomile or the lullaby of lavender, but this blend is also guaranteed to be a true soul soother…
- 1 teaspoon of chamomile (dried or a tea drop)
- 1 teaspoon of dried lemon balm
- 1 teaspoon of holy basil
- ½ teaspoon of dried lavender
1. Put all the ingredients into a cup or jar (you can also use a tea strainer if you have one).
2. Top up your cup or jar with hot water.
3. Place a lid or a plate on top of the jar so those essential oils stay put and don’t escape with the steam.
4. Let it all infuse for up to 20 minutes.
5. Add a little honey or even healing cinnamon if you want it sweeter.
6. Strain the tea and sip to destress.
Anxiety and stress is sure to show up, life is tough and its only natural that your body and mind will have a reaction to the uncertainty and the challenges that show up. Our survival instinct is strong and when we feel overwhelmed or threatened, our nervous system can go into instant overdrive causing anxiety and stress to flare up. These teas and tisanes target the nervous system, reduce a soaring heart rate, and can help you slow down, sleep well, and take a mindful minute. The next time you feel on the brink, brew up a cup of tea and settle down into a softer mental space.
What are your thoughts on tea on anxiety? Do you have any favorite teas you turn to when life feels tough? Share with us in the comments.
Medical Disclaimer: While we have delved into the research available on the health benefits of these teas, this is for informative purposes only and shouldn’t be taken as medical advice. Those who have any health-related queries should reach out to a medical professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.