There’s nothing like having a hot cup of tea. It’s the most consoling and homely feeling for me, especially on those harder or more stressful days. My personal favorite is builder’s tea, which is essentially a strong English breakfast tea with sugar and milk. On my hardest days with grief, I had endless cups of this to console myself. Tea can really be that addition that helps you immensely.
Sometimes caffeine can add to our stress, so a non-caffeinated tea specifically designed to enable a sense of calm can be a better option.
Calming teas can be drunk at any time of the day, whether that be giving you relaxation to undertake work tasks, or just before bed to wind you down for a deep sleep. In fact, if you do struggle to fall asleep, drinking a calming tea can become a staple part of your nightly routine to help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep.
Here, let’s look into the different types of tea that can help calm you down just when you need it.
Chamomile tea has been found to have a number of benefits – lowering blood sugars, easing menstrual pain, reducing inflammation, slowing down osteoporosis, and treatment for colds and mild skin conditions. The one thing chamomile tea is commonly known and used for is to help with anxiety and sleep due to its calming effect.
Chamomile tea is an anti-inflammatory anxiolytic, effective in reducing anxiety.
Various studies throughout the years have proven that chamomile tea helps put people to sleep. In fact, many studies have shown that this tea has similar effects to prescription drug benzodiazepines with some of this research implying that chamomile actually binds to benzodiazepine receptors.
You can also opt for chamomile tea that also contains lavender in it too. The scent of lavender reduces stress which then optimizes your sleep and is therefore additionally used in sleep sprays or aromatherapy sprays.
The scientific reasoning for peppermint tea’s calming effect is down to its anti-inflammatory properties which decrease blood pressure, as well as the natural sedatives in the tea. These components enable a calming sensation.
With a menthol flavor, peppermint tea is liked for its taste and overall aroma the tea creates, similar to that of essential oils being diffused into the air. The relaxing properties in combination with the scent have made peppermint tea a very popular form of aromatherapy. And it is this aromatherapy that assists with boosting mental clarity through rejuvenation.
Additional health benefits of peppermint tea are that it soothes the stomach, improves digestion and nausea, and reduces cold and flu symptoms. This is done through the muscle relaxants in the tea which open airways to fight congestion. The ingredient of menthol has been proven to halt fevers by cooling the body down.
Lemon and Ginger Tea
Lemon and ginger tea is ideal for when you are feeling under the weather. In fact, lemon and ginger with added honey are scientifically proven to help cold and flu symptoms. The Vitamin C in the lemon aids with boosting immunity to push you on a faster road to recovery. While ginger consists of anti-inflammatory properties which support circulation, settles the stomach, clears congestion, and soothes a sore throat.
The calming sensation of lemon and ginger tea is triggered by the invigorating sensation it gives to the mind and senses without the side effects of caffeine. Caffeine can often exasperate anxiety and stress, and therefore, a great alternative is lemon and ginger tea.
Originating in Asia, ginger was initially added to tea as a flavor. Lemon and ginger tea is now not only drunk for the taste but for the invigorating feeling, it gives when we are stressed or sick.
Lemon Balm Tea
Lemon balm tea directly relaxes you by increasing the GABA activity through the brain’s GABA receptors, which are essentially the calming neurotransmitters. For this reason, lemon balm tea isn’t only used to calm people down when they are stressed but as a tool to enable a deep sleep and is especially helpful to those who struggle with insomnia.
With today’s fast-paced society and the improvement of technology and research, there have been many “sleepy teas” introduced to the market. These teas combine various herbs and plants for optimal effects on your sleep. Common sleepy tea ingredients include the main ingredient of chamomile plus additional ingredients of valerian, passionflower, tilia flowers, lemon balm, lavender, blackberry bark, and magnolia bark.
You will often find sleepy teas are more expensive than general calming teas.
Green tea has significant health benefits, even said to be the healthiest drink you can have! As green tea isn’t processed a large amount before it reaches your cup, it is rich in catechins, which are essentially antioxidants that fight cell damage.
Research studies discovered that green tea improves blood flow, lowers cholesterol, decreases chances of heart illnesses, and boasts brain benefits such as improving working memory.
Green tea is calming due to the natural chemical theanine. Theanine reduces excitatory chemicals in the brain which induce anxiety and stress. On the contrary, those brain chemicals that induce a state of calm are increased. Research has additionally shown that stress-related blood pressure and heart rate can be lowered by consuming green tea.
While it is calming, green tea is often praised as it also boosts energy with small amounts of caffeine. In one 250ml cup of green tea, there is 30-50mg of caffeine, in comparison to 94.8mg of caffeine in a cup of coffee. It’s recommended not to exceed caffeine consumption by 400mg a day.
Either one of these teas will help to calm you down in stress-inducing situations and increase your chances of a good night sleep. Calming teas are also good to have on hand for an afternoon pick-me-up to get through your workload, without triggering stress receptors with the overconsumption of caffeine.
Choosing the calming tea for you can be determined by the specific health benefits of each tea. The upside is that each calming tea has its very own taste, so if you are fussy in this area, there are options for you to test out.
Olivia Fairhurst is a Business Owner of Loving Local NZ, a platform she co-founded at the beginning of Covid to help local businesses survive amidst lockdowns. Olivia promotes food, products, and services through her Loving Local Instagram and is also a Content Manager for a range of clients, such as Franklin Engineering.