While it takes a multidisciplinary approach of medication, mindfulness, and therapy to treat my anxiety, herbs have also been an important part of my care plan. When I feel my nervous system ramping up, I reach for the nervines - herbs that calm down an overactive nervous system. Luckily, Plum Deluxe carries several blends that include some of my favorite herbs, so my calming cuppa can be a treat as well as a helping hand. If you ever wondered what tea is good for anxiety, I've got you.
What Tea is Good for Anxiety
Valerian is a root known for its ability to help you fall and stay asleep as well as relieve jittery anxiety. It is likely the most potent herb in the nervine family. Valerian works on both the central and peripheral nervous system, so it calms both your mind and body. While it can make some people restless, the usual effect of valerian root is a calm sleepiness.
Valerian is also well known for its distinct smell and taste, so I was incredibly excited when I tried Plum Deluxe’s newest addition to the herbal scene, Night Cap. The tea connoisseurs that create these teas really outdid themselves blending mint, chamomile, and other tasty herbs to make this blend a pleasurable experience.
Linden flower is a calming and uplifting sweet nervine that is good for the whole family. Kids can get anxious, too, so it’s good to have on hand some gentle, calming teas for kids. Slowly Unwind is a lightly fruity blend that shows off linden’s sweet flavor and soothing properties for everyday stress.
Another well-known herb that is helpful and safe for the whole family is chamomile. A sweet, apple-scented flower that contains tryptophan, chamomile is useful for anxiety, nervous stomach, and mild insomnia. Plum Deluxe carries several teas that contain this delightfully tasty herb, including Cuddletime, a blend of mint and chamomile; Calm Chamomile Bloom, which includes the soothing herbs of rose and lavender; and Tranquil Peach herbal tea. Hot or iced, chamomile is a sweet and delicious way to unwind.
St. John's Wort
St. John’s Wort is known as the “happy herb” and is used primarily to treat anxiety, seasonal affective disorder, and mild depression. This herb does have a downside: St. John’s Wort can interfere with how medication is processed in the liver, making it less effective. It can also increase sensitivity to sunlight.
If St. John’s Wort is a good fit for you, Plum Deluxe carries a mango blend including St. John’s Wort called Best Friend's Advice, which also contains uplifting lemon balm and rose. This would be a great blend to brew when your mood is low and you could use a little help getting back on your feet.
Lemon balm is one of my most favored herbs to grow in the garden. Its bright, sunny scent and flavor make a wonderful hot or iced tea. The cheery properties of lemon balm are useful for lifting anxiety, mental exhaustion, and low mood. A member of the mint family, this herb has a distinctly sweet lemony taste and smell that is uplifting. Calm Chamomile Bloom is a multi-nervine blend of chamomile, lemon balm, rose, and lavender that’s sure to sooth an anxious mind and body.
Also known as Holy Basil, tulsi is slightly spicy and earthy tasting. Another member of the mint family, tulsi is an adaptogen herb, meaning it calms and strengthens our adrenal glands, which in turn help lower and improve our body’s stress reaction. Daily Love herbal blend has a fruity flavor blended with holy basil and a punch of vitamin C from sea buckthorn berry.
The well-loved rose flower is a gentle herb for the heart. Sadness, mourning, over stimulation, insomnia, and anxiety can be soothed by the fragrant petals. A balm for the whole family, rose is cooling, soothing, and uplifting, and is best called for when life is tumultuous and a sense of ease is needed. This ruby flower is a beautiful addition to any tea that delights all the senses. Calm Chamomile Bloom, Evening in the Garden, and Decaf Reading Nook all contain rose petals.
Keep It Decaf
While it’s tempting to reach for a cup of black tea to help with the worn down and tired feeling that anxiety can leave you with, the caffeine is only going to ramp the jittery anxiousness up, causing more harm than good. If you are craving that black tea, Plum Deluxe has several decaf black tea options.
You can still get your helping herbs in with Wonder-Full Pomegranate decaf tea, which contains linden, and Decaf Reading Nook, which is a wistful blend of lavender, rose, and chamomile.
If caffeine is non-negotiable, reach for a green tea, which has less caffeine than your typical cup of black tea. Plus, some studies have been done on l-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, showing it reduces anxiety when compared to a placebo.
Keep It Mindful
Whatever blend of tea you choose, keep the ritual of tea making a mindful one. Mindfulness is the practice of being present in your current experience by taking in your emotions, surroundings, and senses. Stay present as you heat your water, choose your mug, pick your tea leaves, and steep your blend. Notice the scents, sounds, and sensations of each step. This act alone will help ground you in the moment, relieving some of the physical sensations of anxiety.
While herbs are useful in the moment, nervines and adaptogens are most beneficial when used regularly. Reach for that cup of healing tea before things get overwhelming to help keep anxiety levels down. Tea will also be there for you when things are hard. Now that you know what tea is good for anxiety, you have an easy method of soothing yourself when anxious feelings creep into your day.
I write as someone who grows and uses herbs with love; I am not a medical professional. Please consult your physician with any questions before trying a new herbal regimen.