We all have our share of bad days—days when anxiety and stress get the better of us. While many people run for a daily dose of caffeine to beat stress, anxiety, and the blues, perhaps consider sipping on a cup of nice, warm herbal tea to calm the frayed nerves, aid digestion, and get better sleep.
Herbal teas come with the dual benefit of being both energizing and calming. In addition to reducing anxiety and helping you get better sleep, tea can fight menstrual cramps, settle morning sickness, and even protect heart health! There is an herbal tea for every occasion.
This is a popular stress-busting herbal tea, in use for hundreds of years, which you can sip on every morning or at the end of a long day at work. Chamomile comes in two variants—German and English. The German variant is popularly used for medicinal purposes. It helps reduce inflammation, calms the nervous system, and heals skin disorders. A 2016 study also found that long-term use of chamomile helped reduce GAD or generalized anxiety disorder.
To make chamomile tea, you’ll need
- 2 C water
- 3–4 Tbsp. dried chamomile
- 1 tsp honey
- Place chamomile in a bowl or teapot.
- Add hot water, cover, and steep for 10 minutes. If you choose to use fresh chamomile, steep for four minutes.
Can everyone have chamomile tea?
It is usually safe for everyone, except people who are on anticoagulant medications, have asthma, are allergic to sunflowers, or are pregnant.
Brahmi, or pennywort, has been mentioned in the ancient Ayurveda texts for its numerous benefits for the mind and body, and is believed to be highly effective in supporting your nervous system, reducing anxiety and depression, improving memory and cognition. According to Ayurveda, there can be three mental states—inertia, agitation or aggression, and a state of balance and calm. Using Brahmi helps bring the mind to this balanced and calm state. According to Australian researchers, consuming 300 mg of the herb can help fight anxiety.
To make Brahmi tea, you’ll need
- 250 ml water
- 3–4 stalks of Brahmi leaves
- 2 tsp honey
- Place the leaves and honey in a teapot.
- Add boiling water and cover.
- Steep leaves for at least 10 minutes.
- Strain the tea before serving hot.
You can also give the leaves a nice squeeze to make some juice out of it.
This herb has a unique gift of energizing your body and mind while calming the nerves. It is a time-tested adaptogen, a substance that regulates the adrenal system in response to stress. And so it helps reduce stress-related fatigue, anxiety, and restlessness, as well as reduces cortisol (a stress hormone) secretion.
A study showed that patients with chronic stress who supplemented their diet with ashwagandha showed a 30 percent reduction in cortisol release. This is why Ashwagandha is widely used in tonics and other rejuvenating formulations. It is also known to be good for the heart, improving muscle strength, better memory, boosting depression, improving fertility, controlling inflammations, and slowing aging.
Here’s a really easy Ashwagandha tea you can try.
- ½ cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp. Ashwagandha powder
- 2 tsp. honey
- cardamon power to taste (optional)
- Pour milk, water and ashwagandha powder into a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
- Let it simmer until it is reduced to half
- Allow it to cool down.
- Add cardamom powder for taste.
- Strain the mix in a cup.
You can have it twice a day to beat the stress and anxiety.
Holy basil or Tulsi Tea
A potent adaptogen, Tulsi—or holy basil—is an herb that has been in use for its medicinal and calming properties for thousands of years. The herb has the ability to reduce anxiety and mood swings. The rosmarinic acid found in Tulsi is a powerful anxiolytic that is it minimizes anxiety. It soothes the mind, improves the quality of your sleep, and promotes general well-being.
In addition to being an effective antidepressant, Tulsi also helps in improving cognitive function, slows aging due to the presence of antioxidants, strengthens and benefits the central nervous system, and improves concentration and multi-tasking abilities.
Here’s how you can make a rejuvenating Tulsi tea. Do note, if you are using dry Tulsi leaves, half the amount is enough.
- 1 tsp (or 1/2 tsp dried) Tulsi leaves
- 1 1/2 C water
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. honey
- Bring water to a boil.
- Add the leaves to the water and steep for 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let it cool off.
- Strain the water.
- Add lemon juice and honey and mix it well.
- Pour into a cup and enjoy.
- If you want to sleep better, you can simply add chamomile to this blend.
- If you are looking for a stronger flavor along with a caffeine kick, have it with black tea.
- Adding a dash of turmeric can be good for your brain and overall immunity.
- Blending in peppermint can help relieve bloating and gas.
- You can turn it into a nice tulsi tea latte, by adding some milk to it!
This Mediterranean herb is a cooling and soothing choice for a balmy start to your day, and it can also help you sleep better.
A study from 2018 showed that fennel helped reduce anxiety and depression in postmenopausal women. It can also serve people with digestive issues, bloating and acid reflux, or cough.
Fennel is also antioxidant-rich, which means it empowers your system to fight rogue radicals and helps you stay young and fresh. And a big reason why I personally enjoy fennel tea is the way it freshens up your breath.
Fennel tea has a beautiful aroma and a very subtle taste. Here’s a quick fennel tea blend you can try.
- 1/2 tsp. Honey
- 1 Tbsp. crushed fennel seeds
- 1 1/2 C water
- 3 mint leaves
- 1/4 inch ginger, crushed
- Bring water to a boil.
- Add the crushed fennel seeds and the ginger in the water.
- Let the blend sit on medium flame until it reduces to about a cup.
- Remove from the heat and strain into a cup.
- Add honey and garnish with mint leaves.
- Serve it warm!
Try either or all of the recipes above and let us know which one’s a stress-relieving winner for you!