Do you feel nervous or suffer from an anxiety disorder? Finding ways to unwind and distress in today's digital world can be difficult. Fortunately, having a cup of tea can be an easy and delicious way to relax and focus on the important things in life.
Not all teas are created equal. Some offer better relaxing properties than others. We've gathered a list of the best types of tea you can drink to help relieve some of the symptoms of anxiety.
Whether you like herbal teas or true teas, you're sure to find something you love on this list that can help you lower your stress levels. Looking to grab some of these teas today? Check out our collection of the best teas for anxiety right here.
Chamomile tea is a sweet and tasty beverage that is renowned for its calming effects. The tea is made by infusing chamomile flowers in hot water. It can be brewed using fresh or dried blossoms.
Studies show that chamomile tea can bind to GABA receptors in the brain, helping to induce relaxation (1). This herbal tea targets the same nervous system receptors that medications such as Xanax do. The tea has long been used to help induce sleep and is one of the most famous bedtime teas.
Use a teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers or two tablespoons of fresh flowers. Bring water to a rapid boil, add the flowers, and steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Drink before bed to help improve sleep or drink during the day if you feel nervous or anxious.
Green tea is famous for its health benefits. Studies show it may help improve everything from weight loss to blood pressure. Green tea is packed with antioxidants and tea polyphenols that help to boost health. Green tea can also work as an anti-anxiety remedy by helping to calm nerves. That's because green tea contains an amino acid known as L-theanine.
Studies show that L-theanine has direct effects on the brain, which have been demonstrated through the use of electroencephalograph tests. L-theanine increases alpha wave activity in the brain, indicating an ability to increase relaxation without drowsiness (2).
Start your day with a cup of green tea. You can choose Japanese green teas which are steamed and notable for their slightly sweet and grassy flavors or opt instead for roasted Chinese green teas. Which offer toasty and earthy flavor. Green tea should not be brewed with boiling water as the high temperature can cause the brew to taste bitter. Instead, brew green tea with water between 150 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Steep for 1 to 3 minutes.
Passionflower tea is made from flowers of hundreds of species in the Passiflora family. Passionflower tea offers a delicate flavor profile with sweet notes. It has a mild flavor so it can easily be mixed with other herbs such as lemongrass and chamomile.
Passionflower tea has long been used in Europe as a natural remedy for anxiety. Research shows that flavonoids in passionflower tea have modulating effects on GABA receptors. This herbal tea also contains the flavone chrysin, which was shown to be as effective at reducing anxiety as midazolam—a commonly prescribed anxiety medication (3).
Use one teaspoon of dried passionflower petals for every eight ounces of water. Steep the blossoms in boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes. Drink before bed to help unwind after a difficult day or sip throughout the day to lower stress levels.
Lemon balm tea is made by infusing lemon balm leaves in hot water. It offers a tart flavor that is lively and invigorating. The flavor and aroma of the tea can boost mood and offer stress relief.
A study published in Nutrients found that lemon balm tea helps to reduce stress without the adverse side effects of prescription medications. Researchers found that drinking lemon balm tea resulted in significant decreases in anxiety both one hour and three hours after consumption. The tea helped to increase feelings of fatigue, without compromising mental faculties or decreasing cognition (4).
Use one tablespoon of dried leaves or two tablespoons of fresh leaves for every cup of boiling water. Steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Lemon balm tea is a good daytime tea since it can help to boost relaxation, without causing drowsiness or decreasing memory recall. Drink throughout the day as needed to calm jittery nerves and soothe symptoms that lead to panic attacks.
Rose tea is an herbal tisane made from rose petals. It offers a delicate floral flavor that is mildly sweet.
Studies show that rose tea has neuropharmacological effects. Researchers in Iran found that damask rose tea offers hypnotic and analgesic effects. The tea increased deep sleep and reduced the amount of time it took to fall asleep. Scientists also found that the tea directly affects benzodiazepine receptors—the same way that prescription medications such as Xanax and Clonazepam do (5).
Most researchers attribute these benefits to the flavonoids present in rose tea. These flavonoids directly target the production of the stress hormone cortisol and help to decrease inflammation, which alleviates pain.
Use one large tablespoon of dried rose petals for every eight ounces of water. Add to a pot of boiling water and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes. Strain the rose petals using a fine mesh strainer and serve in teacups. Sweeten with agave or honey as desired.
Peppermint tea is an invigorating tea that helps to boost mood through its refreshing aroma and tingling flavor. This herb is used by Yogis and traditional medicine practitioners as a way to increase relaxation and improve mood.
Animal studies have shown that peppermint tea may help modulate activities in the central and peripheral nervous system. The uplifting effects of this tea have been attributed to phenolic constituents including rosmarinic acid as well as menthol (6).
Use 1 teaspoon of dried peppermint leaves or 2 teaspoons of fresh leaves for every cup of water. You can also use other plants in the Mint family including chocolate mint and Nana mint—the type of mint used in Moroccan mint tea. To reap these benefits, use fresh or dried leaves rather than tea bags, which can contain filers and broken leaves without all the healthy compounds.
Add the leaves to boiling water and steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Drink in the morning to add an energizing boost to your mood or throughout the day to uplift your spirits as needed.
Valerian root is one of the most calming herbs you can use to brew tea. Difficulty sleeping is one of the leading effects of anxiety and depression. Drinking this tea can help to calm nerves and make it easier to fall asleep and achieve restful sleep.
One meta-analysis showed that valerian root has hypnotic and sedative effects. Researchers found that valerian root seemed to work best on mild to moderate insomnia (7). Valerian root also has natural muscle relaxant properties that can help to reduce tension and stress.
Bring water to a rapid boil and add a teaspoon of dried valerian root. Steep the tea for 10 to 12 minutes depending on the desired flavor. The longer the tea steeps, the stronger the flavor will be. Drink the tea an hour before bedtime to help improve sleep.
Lavender essential oil is renowned for its calming properties and one of the most popular herbal remedies for anxiety and stress. The plant also makes one of the best calming teas.
A study of 31 individuals indicated that the scent of lavender may increase deep sleep. It can also elevate energy levels when you wake up. During the study, lavender aroma increased slow-wave sleep and REM sleep (8). Lavender tea may also promote the production of dopamine—the brain’s happy chemical. At the same time, it decreases the stress hormone cortisol.
Use two teaspoons of lavender flowers for every eight ounces of water. Steep in hot water for 10 minutes. Drink an hour before bedtime to help improve sleep. You can also drink throughout the day to help lower stress levels.
If you're like millions of Americans and suffer from anxiety symptoms, drinking tea can help calm your nerves and prevent full-blown episodes of panic attacks. Certain teas directly target the nervous system to decrease stress hormones and boost mood. Others offer calming effects that can help you distress after a tough day.
Drinking tea can help lower your heart rate and improve relaxation. Taking time to sip a delicious cup of tea encourages you to take a few minutes out of your day to focus on you. Settle into a comfy position and breathe in the delightful aroma of your tea. Focus on your breathing and enjoy the present moment.