Preparing your favorite tea blend and sitting down to enjoy it is a calming ritual in itself. But did you know that the humble cup of tea can have a range of incredible mental health benefits? The type of tea you choose to brew can reduce anxiety, relieve stress, and help balance your mood. All of that, on top of giving your taste buds a treat!
This article will explore why tea consumption can help with stress relief and it will explore some of the best tea varieties you can try to promote relaxation. Also included are helpful guidelines on shopping for teas for stress and tips on preparing the perfect cup to reduce stress.
Why Drinking Tea Can Reduce Stress
When you make a cup of tea, you slow down and take a few minutes to indulge in something refreshing and calming. This ritual relaxation is only one of many benefits of drinking tea. Most teas contain various healthy ingredients with a range of beneficial properties.
Research suggests that tea drinking can lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can seriously affect health, impair cognitive function, and even lead to heart disease. Some teas contain the amino acid L-theanine, which helps balance mood. Although most herbal teas don't include this amino acid, they have other ingredients with various health benefits, and we'll explore some of these below.
The Mood-Altering Magic of Herbal Tea
When it comes to taste, tea drinkers all have their favorite blends. But what about changing your mood and energy levels with a hot cup of freshly brewed tea? Some teas have an energizing effect, while others relieve stress and give you a better night's sleep. There are also various teas for varying stress levels. Here are some of the relaxing tea varieties you can consider:
Chamomile is a plant with pretty daisy-like flowers. Tea makers use the plant's dried flowers to make chamomile tea. It's one of the most popular options you can explore, and for a good reason! Chamomile teas have several incredible health claims.
In a randomized controlled trial, scientists concluded that regular consumption might help reduce the risk of heart disease. Chamomile extract helps increase melatonin and serotonin in your body and leaves you feeling relaxed without feeling drowsy. Studies have shown that it can help those developing depression or struggling with high blood pressure.
Why we think chamomile tea is great:
Chamomile teas are naturally caffeine-free.
It is so relaxing, and it can help ease muscle aches.
Chamomile tea's delicate fragrance and beautiful yellow color make it a sensory delight.
It that can lift mood and gently calm without causing drowsiness.
Peppermint tea is delicious and refreshing whether you enjoy it hot or cold. It can calm both your mind and body and may help strengthen the immune system. Peppermint tea is also excellent for treating IBS and the digestive system; digestive health and mental health are intrinsically linked.
Even the scent of peppermint essence can calm the nervous system. In a randomized clinical trial, researchers revealed that peppermint essential oils could help alleviate pain. This study showed that peppermint could ease menstrual cramps.
Why we think peppermint tea is great:
A hot cup of peppermint tea can give you a natural energy boost.
Although it's energizing, this refreshing tea relaxes the mind and body.
It has a delicious and refreshing taste.
Valerian Root Tea
Also known as "nature's valium," valerian root has been used as a natural sedative for thousands of years. Various studies have shown valerian tea can help ease depression, promote relaxation, ease stress levels, and improve sleep quality.
Researchers have also extensively studied this root for its mental health benefits, especially for those struggling with obsessive-compulsive disorder and those who are hyperactive or have concentration problems. However, talking to your healthcare professional before using valerian root or other herbs for these conditions is essential. Even if the valerian root may help ease symptoms of mental illness, it is not a cure and may interact with other medications.
Why we think valerian root tea is great:
Valerian root tea helps with insomnia because it has a strong relaxing effect.
You can make it as weak or strong as you like.
You can combine valerian root with lavender teas and other herbs for potent stress relief.
It has been extensively studied for stress relief and has proven its worth.
Lemon Verbena and Lemon Balm Tea
Lemon balm and lemon verbena teas are some of the best teas for relieving stress and anxiety, but they're not the same. Lemon balm grows in Southern Europe and Northern Africa, and lemon verbena comes from South America. Both are excellent wellness teas and have citrusy flavors. Lemon verbena has a more intense lemon scent and flavor, while the lemon balm is milder but still emits a zesty lemon scent and taste.
Studies show that you can safely use lemon balm tea to help lower stress, ease anxiety, and improve sleep and digestion. Lemon verbena has excellent antioxidant properties. Lemon verbena leaf extract has been studied as a complementary therapy in cancer treatment.
Why we think lemon verbena and lemon balm teas are great:
Lemon verbena and lemon balm tea both have a moon-enhancing lemony scent.
Both teas are delicious, refreshing, and healthy.
Lemon balm tea is light and delicate, while lemon verbena's flavor is more intense.
Lavender Herbal Tea
Like lavender oil, lavender teas are excellent for calming the nervous system and easing tension while helping with muscle pain and headaches. Besides being one of the most wonderful teas for stress, drinking lavender tea can also help with the digestive system and is a potent natural anti-inflammatory.
Why we think lavender tea is great:
Lavender tea has a pretty lilac color and a delicate floral taste.
Like chamomile teas, lavender tea infusions will calm you down without making you drowsy.
Lavender tea can help promote peaceful sleep.
Green tea is widely known as the best tea for its health benefits. From physical health to mental health, this potent beverage packs a powerful punch. It is rich in polyphenols, which reduce inflammation and can help fight cancer. It's also rich in antioxidants, including a flavonoid called epicatechin, which helps improve stress levels and helps improve memory.
Like black tea, green tea contains L-theanine, a natural mood enhancer. Both teas also contain caffeine but give you a more sustained caffeine release, so you'll avoid the jitters that too much caffeine can give you!
Why we think green tea is great:
It's one of the best teas to drink when feeling anxious.
Green tea has a clean, distinctive taste.
You can have it as a hot tea or enjoy it cold.
Green tea is an excellent alternative to coffee.
If you think rose petals are pretty, you should see the passionflower! This gorgeous flower has a mild floral flavor, making it an excellent option if you enjoy calming floral, herbal teas for stress.
Passionflower petals are packed with healthy compounds like alkaloids and phytochemicals, which help reduce stress and leave you feeling calmer and more composed. It can also help you achieve better sleep quality and reduce inflammation.
Why we think passionflower tea is great:
You can use passionflower on your skin for mild burns.
It helps calm down both your mind and body.
Passionflower tea can help you fall asleep and have a more restful night's sleep.
This popular herbal tea blend is super healthy! It is loaded with phytonutrients, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory agents. It also contains vitamin C, which can boost your immunity and has anti-aging effects! Not to be confused with rose petals, rosehips are the seed pod from the rose plant.
Why we think rosehip tea is great:
Both rosehips and rose petals are from the rose plant, and both are super healthy and have a mild and sweet floral flavor.
It has a pretty pinkish-red color that makes your drink look beautiful.
How to Shop For Tea With a Calming Effect
When you're in the tea-drinking group that wants to enjoy the drink and reap the health benefits, shopping for premium quality teas is essential. The quality will affect taste and effectiveness. Here are some tips:
Loose or Bagged?
Although some high-quality bagged teas are available, loose tea generally has the most benefits. There's also something to be said for the ritual of preparing loose-leaf tea; it can be super calming! But, if you prefer the convenience of bags, ensure they're from a reputable brand.
Organic vs. Non-Organic
You don't absolutely have to buy organic tea, but the quality and purity can be better. If you usually choose organic products, you'll probably prefer to drink tea that's organic or at least contains primarily organic ingredients.
Caring about mother earth is essential. If you are shopping for your favorite hot drink, consider whether the company uses sustainable packaging and products, we do!
How to Brew The Perfect Cup of Calming Tea
Once you've bought your tea, it's time to prepare it in the best possible way for maximum flavor and effect. Steeping times and techniques vary significantly from tea to tea and brand to brand. There's also the matter of personal taste. Some people prefer strong tea with a deep and robust taste, and others enjoy a more delicate flavor and aroma.
Generally, a lighter taste requires a shorter brewing period or less tea if you're using loose-leaf tea. For a more robust flavor, simply do the opposite. For most teas, it's best to follow the package directions and experiment by adjusting the steeping time until you find the best result for your preference.
What Are Your Favorite Calming Herbal Teas?
If you need to relax and unwind and love the idea of a comforting, hot cup of tea to help you, there are many different teas to choose from. Some blends contain added ingredients like oat straw, fennel, pumpkin spice, turmeric, or even chili pepper! It all depends on what you feel like having.
Some people like brewing a cup with black tea and rose petals or simply adding ginger slices to hot water for a zesty drink with a healthy kick. Others prefer making a cup of tea with one of the many delicious premade blends. The best tea for stress is always the one you enjoy the most. Take a look at the Firebelly tea blends specially formulated to help you kick back and relax. Or, take our quiz to find your perfect herbal tea blend.