When we are having a day we often reach for tea for anxiety or stress. A cup of tea can offer a lot of benefits, not the least of which is just the act of sipping on something warm and comforting.
So many teas taste great, but which ones actually make a noticeable difference on stress?
Can Teas Provide REAL Relief for Stress and Conditions Like Anxiety?
There are definitely teas that are excellent at helping you cope with stress, feelings of anxiousness or times when you are feeling down.
Getting into a routine will amplify the benefits of the herbs. You need to know that in order for them to work consistently, you have to take them. This isn’t because they aren’t strong enough or potent. Think of teas like you do exercise. If you want the benefits of exercise, you have to do it.
Some teas can be used occasionally to take the edge off of an occasional stress.
Other teas are suitable for prolonged use and may be complimentary to other lifestyle enhancements or treatments you are using to keep stress, anxiety and depression at bay.
Teas are very popular and can be an enjoyable way to support your health. Some people find tea gives them instant relief from anxiety! Taking tea involves simple methods you can follow from home. No wonder teas have been so popular throughout human history!
Of note is that although most teas are generally considered safe, some may not be suitable for you if you have certain health conditions or take certain medications. Always check with your health care team before making a change to your lifestyle or treatment plan, including if you are just adding a tea. Not all teas work for everyone.
Read on to learn about the soothing and supportive benefits of teas. I have tried all of these and will tell you how they made me feel. I have tried dozens of herbal teas and decoctions over the years and these are the ones that consistently make a noticeable difference for me.
This tea is for when you just need the strength to endure.
It works to fight against stress by balancing your qi (chi) energy flow, harmonizing your thoughts and protecting your mind as you age. It does this by calming the central nervous system to help you unwind.
Gynostemma is also an adaptogen, which means it helps your body adapt to better resist stress. This herb gives the body what it needs, when it needs it. While it can help you relax, it can also provide the energy to wake you up in the morning!
Gynostemma is delicious on its own. I find shorter steep times preserve more of the sweet compounds while longer steeps preserve more of the bitter ones.
I often enjoy mixing gynostemma with earl grey tea leaves as bergamot is a very complimentary flavour. Gynostemma tea is also delicious iced with a twist of lemon.
Take damiana tea when you feel exhausted and your stamina and vigor has been weakened by stress or anxious or depressive states.
Damiana has been consumed for thousands of years. It was traditionally taken as tonic by the Mayans and the Aztecs. It has been used to promote overall health, vigor and as an aphrodisiac.
There is a herbal component of damiana called thymol, which has stimulative and restorative properties. For this reason, herbalists have been recommending it for centuries for people suffering from conditions related to long-term stress.
Amplify Any Tea for Anxiety with Reishi Mushroom Spores
When you feel like you have been burning the candle at both ends and your flame has been extinguished, reishi spores are powerful for stress relief.
Reishi Mushroom spores are not a tea, but they can be added to any tea to provide deeply nutritive stress relief.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, reishi mushrooms are considered one of the most valuable foods on the planet. We couldn’t agree more. Every member of the Neuro Growth team has experienced life-changing benefits from reishi.
Reishi Spores dissolve easily in teas and are the most potent adaptogenic part of the reishi mushroom. They help provide spiritual clarity and promote a deeply satisfying sense of calm.
Another great way to make a reishi tea is to brew reishi mushroom slices like we did in this video. This can be enjoyed as-is or as a liquid base for cold or hot drinks like this elixir for stress relief.
Red Jujube Date Tea
Brew yourself some tea from red jujube dates when stress or anxiety is interfering with your ability to sleep.
Tear open a few red jujube dates, remove the pits, then simmer for 30-60 minutes. Strain for a tea that will help you get better rest and be more energized as a result!
Tea made from red jujube dates is best taken at night to recover from the day. This is because these dates are hypnotic sedatives!
Make a tea for anxiety from Rhodiola rosea root if you are feeling like the season is having a negative impact on your mood. It’s also effective if you are in a funk and need uplifting.
Rhodiola rosea is one of my favourite herbs! This is the Arctic rose root and in fact it does taste and smell like roses and kind of like a warm pastry at the same time. It’s a very comforting smell, no matter how your nose interprets it.
Neuro Growth loves it so much we made a video on it!
When you drink this adaptogenic tea your energy increases and your mood improves. It keeps you in your “rest and restore mode” even when you are faced with a lot of stress.
Rhodiola increases blood flow to the brain, which stimulates healing, detoxification of the brain and improves overall brain health. Taken with ginkgo biloba, ginseng, or other brain-healthy herbs or mushrooms, rhodiola will help drive their medicinal properties into your brain.
Holy Basil (Tulsi) Tea
Brew up some holy basil tea to feel more social and less anxious.
Holy basil is an ayurvedic herb that is said to calm the mind, body and spirit. This is a well-studied herb that has been shown in human research to help the mind cope with many types of stress.
Studies have revealed it to have antidepressant and antianxiety properties comparable to diazepam when used in extract form.
Holy basil’s flavour is subtley peppery/lemony. I like it on its own but it also pairs well with chai spices like ginger, cardamom and cinnamon or with mint or lemon.
Consider kava tea when your mind is racing and you are struggling with decision-making. Some people use kava as a sleep aid.
Kava (or kava kava) is a ritual tea from the Pacific Islands. Originally it was used in Micronesia, Polynesia and Melanesia. Outside of its uses as a sacred, ceremonial tea, kava is widely taken as tea for anxiety and stress. Like the teas above, it has also been used for thousands of years.
When I drink kava tea I feel relaxed and more chill. Sometimes I feel slightly euphoric, but still have a clear head. It’s a nice feeling.
More research is needed but it is believed that kava stimulates the GABA receptors in the brain. GABA works as a neurotransmitter that can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve sleep, among other functions. It produces brain wave chances similar to drugs like diazepam (eg. Valium). Kava’s effectiveness may decrease with prolonged use.
Kava isn’t for people under the age of 18 and it can cause drowsiness and numbness/tingling sensations in the mouth. It is also mildly psychoactive. It has an earthy flavour to it and my opinion is it doesn’t taste great. But it is relaxing. This isn’t a tea I would want to use often, mostly because it isn’t super pleasant to the tastebuds.
Kava should never be taken while consuming alcohol or while taking antidepressants.
Non-Medicinal Benefits of Tea That Boost Your Health
Herbal tea, regardless of the kind you choose to drink, provides 3 benefits that are always for anxiety and stress:
1. Helps with staying hydrated
Teas contribute to your hydration levels. Anxiety can lead us to neglect aspects of our physical health, including drinking enough water.
2. It’s calming
Drinking tea is an activity that allows you to slow down and relax.
3. It can be part of an enjoyable routine
Some of the most soothing routines are accompanied by a cup of tea. Whether it’s a phone call with a friend or something you enjoy while reading or watching a movie, tea can be a great companion.
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Other Helpful Resources
If you liked this article about tea for anxiety you may also appreciate these articles which focus on herbs and mushrooms for a healthy mind.