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Anxiety. Most of us have experienced it. For some, it is a daily occurrence that dims joy and creates a host of health problems.
Stressful events such as moving, the birth of a baby, job interviews, public speaking, relationship issues and financial strain can create a heightened sense of nervousness that we call anxiety.
Check out the symptoms below. And then read on for 6 teas that soothe anxiety, naturally.
Symptoms of Anxiety
The following symptoms can indicate the presence of anxiety:
- restless sleep or insomnia
- muscle tension, especially in jaw, neck and scalp
- chronic indigestion and digestive disorders
- extreme nervousness before an event – “stage fright”
- worry and self-doubt
- excessive worry and fixating on a particular outcome
- obsessive compulsive disorder
- repetitive motions such as hair pulling, lip chewing, fingernail biting
- irrational fears
**for severe or chronic anxiety and accompanying depression, please see your doctor or mental health care professional.
Ways to destress and soothe minor anxiety include meditation, deep breathing, exercise, getting out into nature and drinking tea. The following teas are the best for calming the body and relieving the symptoms of anxiety.
6 Teas that Soothe Anxiety
Chamomile is well known for its soothing effects. Studies show that chamomile tea binds to GABA receptors in the brain, inducing relaxation. In fact, this herbal tea, made from the flowers of the chamomile plant, targets the nervous system receptors in the same way that medications such as Xanax do.
Brew tea by pouring boiling water into a cup containing 3 teaspoons of fresh or dried chamomile flowers. Cover and steep 15 minutes. Stain. Sweeten with honey if desired. Drink before bed or when feeling anxious.
Lemon Balm Tea
Lemon balm leaves have a lemony flavor and aroma. This powerful herb reduces stress without the side effects of medications. Researchers found that drinking lemon balm tea significantly reduces anxiety, for up to three hours after consumption.
Use 3 teaspoons of fresh or dried lemon balm in a cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Remove leaves. Sweeten with honey if desired. Drink lemon balm tea throughout the day, to soothe anxiety and restlessness and calm panic.
This mild and slightly sweet tea is made from rose petals. Rose tea has analgesic and relaxation properties. It increases deep sleep and reduces the amount of time that it takes to fall asleep. This tea affects the benzodiazepine receptors in the same way that prescription meds such as Xanax and Clonazepam do.
Flavonoids in the rose petals target the production of cortisol, a stress hormone. They also ease inflammation and relieve pain.
Add one heaping tablespoon of dried rose petals to a cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Strain. Sweeten with honey if desired.
Green tea is made from Camelia sinensis leaves and buds that have not undergone the oxidation process used to make oolong and black teas. It has many health benefits. It’s rich in the amino acid L-theanine and antioxidants and polyphenols that boost health and ease anxiety by calming nervousness.
L-theanine directly affects the brain by increasing alpha wave activity. It also increases relaxation without causing drowsiness.
Brew green tea by placing a tea bag in hot, but not boiling, water. Boiling water can make the tea taste bitter. Cover and steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove tea bag. Sweeten with honey if desired.
Lavender is famous for its calming properties and very useful for soothing anxiety and stress.
Studies show that inhaling the scent of lavender calms the body and improves deep sleep. It also elevates energy levels when awake. Lavender encourages the production of dopamine, the brain’s feel good chemical. Additionally, it lowers the stress hormone cortisol.
Add 2 teaspoons of dried lavender flowers to very hot water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain. Sweeten with honey if desired. Drink lavender tea an hour before bedtime, to improve sleep quality. Or drink this delicately flavored floral tea throughout the day to lower stress levels.
Passionflower tea is made from flowers from the Passiflora family. This mildly flavored tea has a slightly sweet floral taste and scent.
Flavonoids in passionflower tea affect the GABA receptors in the brain. This plant also contains the flavone chrysin, which effectively reduces anxiety.
Add one teaspoon of dried passionflower petals to a cup of very hot water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Stain. Sweeten with honey if desired. Drink before bedtime for a better night’s sleep or throughout the day to lower stress levels.
Take Time for Tea
The next time a long day creates stress or a situation threatens to overwhelm, pause and brew a cup of one of these 6 teas that soothe anxiety.
One of the best things about a cup of herbal tea, beyond the many health benefits, is that it inspires us to take a time out. That break helps us to relax and unwind and quite literally, catch our breath.
I love practicing afternoon tea time daily for that reason. For a few minutes I pause and savor a cup of hot tea. It’s a great way to bring my attention fully into the present moment and check in with my body to see how I’m doing. It is me time, delightfully so.
Do you have a favorite tea, that helps you to destress and relax?
Purchase dried herbs for tea below:
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