With all of the stresses present in modern society, anxiety has become rather commonplace. Work, family and daily life are full of regular stresses that can take a significant mental toll over time. There are of course medications that are designed to combat regular anxiety and prevent panic attacks, however they are often not devoid of side effects and are required every day in order to have the desired effects. Herbal remedies, particularly herbal teas, provide relaxation and stress relief on multiple fronts. On one hand, unwinding with a hot cup of tea and taking in the aromatic sensations that one can provide can bring some soothing comfort after a long and hard day. In addition, some exciting chemical compounds found in many herbs present in nature can provide their own panic attack preventing effects as well. We compiled a list of the best picks in a tea for anxiety to help you take the edge off without having to use medications that might put you over the edge.
When most people think of chamomile they think of falling asleep, as the herb is nearly synonymous with peaceful slumber. However, the way that chamomile promotes peaceful sleep is by quelling anxiety, which is often what keeps people awake in the first place. How does chamomile keep nerves calm? This occurs because compounds present in the herb attach themselves to the same receptors in the brain that prescription medications like Valium do making chamomile an excellent tea for anxiety (and the bedtime benefits simply a perk).
2. Green Tea:
Green tea serves as a base for many herbal tea recipes, and this may be in part due to the fact that it brings about both relaxation and alertness at the same time. For those that are anxious and over stressed, green tea may provide the perfect combination of calm focus that can keep a panic attack from progressing and soothe an anxious and worried mind.
Their flavor is known positively in beer production but hops are actually known for a bitter taste when brewed in tea. This is why they pair nicely with chamomile and other flavorful sedative herbs so that their anxiety reducing benefits can be enjoyed in a delicious beverage. Oil found in the hops is thought to be where their sedative properties lie, and aside from inclusion in a tea for anxiety, hops can also be used in tincture, extract and aromatherapy applications.
Valerian root is one of the most commonly used natural sleep aids. Its effects have been so well observed that it has been approved for use as a sleep aid in Germany. Valerian’s sedative properties are well known, however some use it to relieve the symptoms of anxiety and promote relaxation. That relaxed state may translate into an early bed time, however, if using valerian root in a tea for anxiety.
5. Lemon Balm:
Lemon balm is popular in many herbal tea recipes because of its delightful flavor. However lemon balm brings a whole lot more to the table than simply delicious taste. The herb has been used for hundreds of years to reduce stress and anxiety. It demonstrated those positive effects in small studies conducted on participants versus placebos. While lemon balm’s use in a tea for anxiety can lead to less stress and a calm and relaxed state, overuse can actually lead to the opposite result. This is why using lemon balm in tea form is an excellent choice. Dosage is easily manageable and the relaxing act of tea drinking provides benefits on its own.
6. Passion Flower:
Another herb that Germany has green lighted for use in those with trouble sleeping is passion flower. While its ability to bring about a good night’s sleep is indeed a useful purpose (especially for those whose anxiety is keeping them awake at night) passion flower is also thought to reduce restlessness and stress. Passionflower should not be taken with any sedative medications or combined with other sedative herbs, due to its potency. But, on its own and perhaps with a bit of honey, passion flower makes an excellent tea for anxiety and is best used right before bed.
Lavender is probably best known for its pleasing and unique aroma. But, the plant is also very popular in tea form found in many herbal tea recipes. Its scent is used in aromatherapy to reduce stress and anxiety and bring about a relaxed state. However, when ingested via brewed tea, the same effects may be observed. In one study, the pill form of lavender showed the same level of anxiety reducing effectiveness that some prescription medications did, furthering the argument that lavender has a whole lot more to offer than a pleasing scent.
8. Kava Kava:
This herbs, gives the user a relaxed feeling without the side effects of prescription medications. It has been reported that some people need to take kava for six to eight weeks in supplement form before their body begins to show a positive response. Kava is said to elevate mood, well being, and contentment, and produce a feeling of relaxation.
There are many ways to combat the symptoms associated with high levels of anxiety and prevent panic attacks. Exercise, dietary changes and improved or more sleep are all very effective measures. For occasional moments when stress reaches a boiling point, a tea for anxiety may be a welcome and comforting addition. Remember to use herbal preparations cautiously and discuss them with a health care provider before use, particularly if you are already on medications for anxiety or sleep troubles. Herbal preparations can be just as powerful as some medications, hence both their ability to reduce anxiety and stress in most cases without the side effects of the medications they serve as an alternative for.
Gaia Herbs has a great article about giving yourself 10 minutes for self care. They go into deep breathing techniques and some calming yoga poses as well as some visualization exercises to help. Click HERE to read more.
"For educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. This product has been prepared in a kitchen not inspected by a regulatory agency”