Feeling stressed? Sip on one of these stress-reducing teas to relieve anxiety and calm your nerves:
Lavender is most well-known for it’s relaxing qualities and ability to help you sleep. So, this is best taken before bed.
Several animal and human studies suggest lavender exhibits anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing), mood stabilizing, sedative (promoting calm or sleep-inducing), analgesic (pain-relieving), and neuroprotective properties. (1)
In a small study that included 80 postnatal women who reported poor sleep quality, those who were instructed to sip 1 cup of lavender tea a day for 2 weeks reported less fatigue and less depression compared to the control group, who didn’t consume the tea. (2)
Like lavender, chamomile has traditionally been used for its calming effects and ability to promote sleep, so is another tea to try before bedtime if your mind is racing or you have trouble sleeping.
Studies have shown that chamomile exhibits mild sedative effects, calms nerves and reduces anxiety. It has been used to treat hysteria, nightmares, insomnia and other sleep problems, as well. (3)
In a double-blind randomized control trial, researchers found that consuming 1500 mg of chamomile extract daily significantly reduced moderate-to-severe generalized anxiety disorder symptoms. Participants were broken into two groups. All of them consumed chamomile extract daily for 12 weeks. Those that had achieved a clinically significant reduction in anxiety symptoms went on to part two. During part two, half of them continued with the chamomile for 26 weeks, while the other half was given a placebo. Of those in the placebo group, 25% of participants experienced a relapse of anxiety symptoms, within an average of 6-10 weeks of stopping the chamomile. Of those who continued to consume the chamomile,15% of participants experienced a relapse of symptoms, in an average time of 11-20 weeks. (4) This suggests chamomile can be an effective natural remedy to reduce symptoms of anxiety, however, it does not prevent relapse.
Valerian is an herb most commonly used for treating sleep disorders and anxiety, so is another tea that’s best before bed time.
Research suggests it can suppress both physical and psychological stress responses. It has also been shown to exhibit protective effects agains neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. (5)
Lemon balm is an excellent choice for anyone feeling frazzled or anxious during the day. What’s unique about it compared to many of the other herbs on this list, is that it has the ability to calm you without making you feel sleepy. It can reduce anxiety symptoms while at the same boosting your mood and improving your cognitive performance. (6)
So, this is a tea you could sip on during the day. It also exhibits anti-viral properties against influenza, (7) so may be especially beneficial during cold and flu season in order to prevent or shorten the length or severity of colds and flu. Or, it may be helpful when taken on a regular basis for anyone dealing with any common recurring viruses, such as HSV or HPV, both of which are inhibited by lemon balm. (8, 9)
Try it: Organic Lemon Balm Tea
Passion flower is a beautiful flowering vine, which is known to relieve anxiety and support sleep.
Research suggests that passionflower works by increasing a naturally occurring amino acid in the brain called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).GABA reduces activity in the central nervous system which results in relaxation, a better mood, better sleep, and pain relief. (10)
Try it: Organic Nighty Night Tea (this is a blend with valerian, passionflower, lemon balm, and peppermint)
Green tea is the only caffeine-containing tea on this list, but unlike most caffeine-containing beverages which can increase anxiousness and make you jittery, green tea actually calms you down and eases anxiety.
That’s thanks to L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea which exhibits anti-anxiety effects by increasing dopamine levels in the brain, and also appears to decrease blood pressure. One study found that the relaxing – but non-drowsy – effects of drinking green tea could be felt just 40 minutes after ingestion. (11)
Green tea gives you a sense of calm awareness and focus, making it an excellent beverage to sip on during the day at work.
Peppermint tea is one of the most popular herbal teas, and with good reason. It’s refreshing and invigorating, and at the same time comes with a host of health benefits: It exhibits antioxidant and antimicrobial properties (12), aids digestion and can relieve gas, bloating, and indigestion (13), and acts as a muscle relaxant and pain reliever, so may help reduce tension headaches. (14)
Some research suggests that simply the aroma of peppermint may reduce feelings of frustration, anxiety, and fatigue. (15) It also boost mental alertness, so this is another great daytime tea option.
Try it: Organic Peppermint Tea
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic Ayurvedic herb. Adaptogens have the unique ability to bring your body back in to balance and reduce stress.
In a double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled trial, chronically stressed adults who took ashwagandha had greater reductions in cortisol compared to those in the control group. Those taking the highest dose -250 mg twice a day – experienced a 30% drop on average. Those taking a smaller amount – 125 mg once a day or twice a day- still experienced a significant average drop of cortisol of either 15% or 24%, respectively. (16)
Try it: Ashwagandha Tea
Tulsi, or holy basil, is another adaptogenic, stress-busting Ayurvedic herb.
Many of the physiological benefits of tulsi are often attributed to its high content of phenolic compounds and anti-oxidant properties. Various studies have shown its ability to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. (17)
Try it: Tulsi Tea
What are your favorite stress-reducing teas? Share your experience in the comments below.