If you are looking for the best tea for anxiety and stress, you have many options. From herbal teas to tea leaf blends, there is a tea for everyon.
Best Tea for Anxiety Overview
There is no longer any debate about the fact that gut health is related to mental health. So, the foods and drinks you put in your belly can naturally impact how you feel.
Using herbal tea can be particularly helpful as a stress buster if combined with a healthy diet. In fact, clinical research shows that several kinds of herbal teas reduce anxiety, and stress, and improve sleep quality as you will soon learn.
Let’s dig in a little deeper about the various kinds of herbal infusions as teas that help. As always, talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new herbal tea or remedy.
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Best Tea for Anxiety Overall: Kava Root Tea
When it comes to anti-stress tea, kava is among the best. Kava root tea has become popular these days and for good reason. A review of 11 clinical research studies concludes that kava root helps to reduce symptoms of anxiety.
Used traditionally for its relaxation benefits throughout the South Pacific, this tea is now widely available in the United States too.
As a somewhat acquired taste, kava root is usually combined with other beneficial herbs and spices to make the taste more delicious.
According to research, kava root is safe to use. However, make sure to use it in the comfort of your home and not before driving because it really is quite relaxing and sleep-promoting. While there is an element of caution needed because the leaves are toxic, the root is perfectly safe to consume.
Luckily, kava root teas are made from the root only.
Best Tea for Anxiety and Depression: Chamomile Tea
Another beneficial tea for anxiety is chamomile tea. Used for thousands of years for this purpose, research is now proving that it is indeed effective in helping calm the mind.
For example, one research study found that chamomile reduced anxiety more than placebo when they were given 1500 mg of it per day as capsules.
Additionally, chamomile supplements reduced symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder in people with moderate to severe anxiety symptoms in another research trial.
Because of this chamomile tea is one of the best relaxing teas. If you are a tea drinker, this is about 3 cups of chamomile beverage per day for best results.
Chamomile also helps decrease depression symptoms as well, according to a clinical study.
As a big perk, chamomile has almost immediate effects on reducing stress.
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Best Tea for Anxiety and Sleep: Valerian Root Tea
Valerian root tea is among the best herbal teas for relaxation.
For example, a large research study shows that it helps improve sleep quality without side effects.
Another study found that valerian root helps to reduce anxiety symptoms and demonstrated improvements in brain function based on EEG tests. However, not all research consistently shows a benefit of using valerian for anxiety.
Luckily, research shows that valerian root is safe for most people. But, if you are new to valerian tea, it is best to first try the tea before bedtime because of its relaxing effects.
How to make valerian tea: add 1 teaspoon of dried valerian root to a tea ball for about 10-15 minutes in a cup of boiling water. Add a little honey for taste if desired.
Another Great Tea for Anxiety: Lavender Tea
If you are looking for a good anti-anxiety tea, lavender is a nice option. This is because several studies have shown that lavender for anxiety is effective.
Long known for helping combat stress, lavender tea is a go-to for health-minded people.
Fascinatingly, research shows that lavender decreases the stress hormone called cortisol by 70 percent under stressful situations.
Because the flavor of lavender is strong, you will often find lavender teas blended with chamomile or other herbs.
Tulsi Tea: A Helpful Relaxing Tea
Tulsi (holy basil) is a medicinal herb that is related to sweet basil. It is a popular herb for cooking and in teas across the world.
It is also among the best herbal teas for anxiety.
Impressively, research shows that tulsi tea helps to manage stress. It also is helpful for reducing blood pressure, improving immunity, and reducing fatigue as well.
To make tulsi tea, add boiling water to a large cup along with tulsi tea bags or loose-leaf tea and steep for at least 5 minutes.
Tulsi is also available as a tulsi tincture and capsules.
Passionflower: A Calming Tea for Stress and Anxiety
Passionflower tea is made from a beautiful purple flower that has long been used for nervous conditions like anxiety, insomnia, and irritability.
Now research is showing its benefits for dampening stress too.
For example, one study found that passionflower decreases stress when used as an add-on treatment to conventional antidepressant medications.
Additionally, passionflower may help improve the amount of sleep time as well.
Passionflower is very safe but should be avoided if you are pregnant and should be avoided if you are taking sedative medications.
However, most people can help reduce the tension of the day by sipping on a warm cup of passionflower tea.
Lemon Balm Tea: Relaxing and Focusing
Another tea that helps with anxiety is called lemon balm tea. With its refreshing lemon flavor, lemon balm is a very appealing tea to drink as well.
Using lemon balm has clinically been shown to reduce anxiety symptoms while also increasing brain function. This is impressive because it is safer than conventional medications. And conventional medications for anxiety typically reduce memory and brain function.
Lemon balm positively affects GABA levels in the body which may be why it helps people feel better. A review study concluded that lemon balm helps with both symptoms of depression and anxiety, although more research is needed to confirm the results.
Mushroom Tea: A New Way to Dampen Stress
Medicinal mushrooms are well-known to help improve gut health and nerve health. In fact, one study found that in women with fibromyalgia, using Reishi mushrooms helped to increase feelings of happiness and reduce depression symptoms.
Not only that, Lion’s mane mushrooms may reduce anxiety according to some research.
Mushroom teas make a great tea for their calming effects on the mind and body. After all, the gut is the second brain. The gut is where a large amount of calming neurotransmitters are made such as serotonin.
And Reishi mushrooms work to improve serotonin metabolism according to an early animal study.
Mushroom teas can contain Reishi mushrooms, Chaga mushrooms, Lion’s mane mushrooms, ashwagandha, and other adaptogenic herbs.
Many people find that not only is mushroom tea relaxing, but it also helps improve energy and focus.
Green Tea for Focus and Mood
Green tea is well-known for its many health benefits and reducing anxiety is one of those benefits.
In fact, one review study that included 4 clinical studies concluded that green tea can reduce anxiety symptoms while improving memory.
For many people with anxiety, however, caffeine in tea can actually offset some of the benefits. Luckily, decaffeinated green tea also reduces stress according to research.
Because of this, the best bet for people who are sensitive to caffeine is to choose decaffeinated green tea.
Black Tea as a Stress Buster
Black tea is also a healthy drink because it is associated with a reduced risk of depression and anxiety symptoms. One of the healthy compounds in black tea is called theanine, which is well-known to help improve sleep and bust stress.
One study found that drinking 4 cups of black tea per day improved relaxation and reduced stress hormone levels.
However, like many people with stress, the best option for black tea is decaffeinated black tea. This is because caffeine can further reduce sleep quality in healthy adults. And sleep is critical for effective stress management.
Sleepy Tea Blends for Anxiety
Sleepy tea blends are a good place to start if you are looking to decrease your stress levels.
There is a tea for anyone’s taste preferences too: sleepytime teas serve double duty because they are also very calming teas.
A perk of using calming sleepy blends of teas is that you benefit from multiple types of herbs. Many herbal blend teas for sleep contain various herbs like lemon balm, valerian, lavender, chamomile, rose, hips, jasmine flowers, rooibos, skullcap, licorice root, and kava root.
One good example of a sleepy tea blend that is good for anxiety is called De-stress tea. De-Stress tea blend contains theanine with valerian and chamomile. Theanine usually comes from green tea and black tea, but this blend has the benefits of green tea without caffeine.
Serve your herbal blend tea hot or iced with a little honey or your favorite nut milk to give it some more flavor.
Peppermint Tea for Anxiety
Last but not least is peppermint tea, which is a pleasant-tasting tea that may help combat stress.
In fact, people who drink peppermint tea daily have less anxiety and stress according to a research study conducted in students.
The aroma of peppermint alone is thought to help alleviate anxiety as shown in a study of patients undergoing stressful surgical procedures.
Heidi Moretti, MS, RD is The Healthy RD. A registered dietitian for 23 years as well as a book author of the new book Gut Fix and The Whole Body Guide to Gut Health, Heidi has a passion for functional nutrition and natural medicine. She has researched supplements and natural medicine throughout her career. One of her biggest loves is helping people gain function and vitality by tackling the root causes of illness.