Herbal tea has been used for centuries as a way to help naturally reduce stress and physical ailments such as stomach aches, headaches, high blood pressure and more. Even today, drinking tea is a go-to remedy for people who want to relieve their symptoms mother nature’s way.
Tea varies in types and strengths, as well as caffeine levels, and most teas that help soothe stress are caffeine-free and come from herbs rather than the tea plant itself (like black tea). Below are some of our top choices for teas that aid stress and anxiety. As always, please consult with your doctor before adding any new tea into your diet.
Typically light yellow in color, there are two types of chamomile tea: Roman Chamomile and German Chamomile. It’s believed that the terpenoids and flavonoids in Chamomile are what give this tea its medicine-like and relaxing properties, serving as a great natural alternative for stress relief. In a 2016 study on the effects of Chamomile tea on General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), researchers found that drinking the tea for an extended period of time significantly decreased moderate to severe anxiety symptoms. So next time you have a bad day or feel extra-stressed, include a cup of Chamomile tea in your bedtime routine to experience some calm.
Also known as Melissa Offincinalis, lemon balm is a plant belonging to the mint family. It has a lemon-like smell to it and is popularly used to treat mild insomnia, anxiety, depression and general feelings of restlessness. Lemon balm is a more natural way to calm the body and mind as it is known to enhance the GABA neurotransmitter in the brain, which is responsible for inhibiting certain signals to the brain and spinal cord. This produces a calming effect and can temporarily help melt away stress.
The very floral lavender tea is usually made by brewing the plant’s (Lavandula angustifolia) purple buds in hot water for at least 5 minutes. Some of the benefits of drinking tea with lavender include improving the quality of sleep and skin health, fighting fatigue and having an overall calming effect on the body. Although limited, some research out there does suggest that the properties of lavender impact signals to the central nervous system, leading us to feel more at ease, calm and having an overall better mood. Next time you’re at the grocery store, why not pick up some lavender tea, or better yet, grab a bunch of fresh lavender to brew yourself. Who knows, it might end up being your go-to relaxation drink!
Holy Basil or “Tulsi”
Belonging to the basil family, this tea traditionally goes by the name of Ocimum sanctum and is a popular choice to help combat stress and anxiety. The plant originated from India and Southeast Asia and today is grown around the world, including America. Among its stress-relieving properties, holy basil tea is high in vitamin K and helps to support heart, respiratory and bone health, among many other things. It’s considered an adaptogen herb, meaning it intrinsically helps your body fight stress and fatigue while boosting your mood. It is believed that the holy basil plant may influence the release of cortisol hormones in the blood and balance the adrenal glands so that too much cortisol is not produced (which would elevate feelings of stress).