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Herbal teas have been used for centuries, both for their health benefits and for pleasure. Some people claim that certain herbal teas have properties that can help reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and other mental health concerns.
It’s important to remember that what works for one person may not work for you. Finding the right herbal tea or herbal tea blend can take time.
Although herbal teas are technically different from supplementary capsules, oils, tinctures, and other medications you might use to manage anxiety, interactions are still possible. Always talk with a doctor or other healthcare professional before adding herbal tea to your routine.
Some herbal teas may help take the edge off occasional stress and anxiety, while others may be better used as a routine complementary therapy for an underlying condition.
Other potential benefits of drinking various herbal teas can include:
- improving sleep and insomnia conditions
- soothing upset stomach and digestive issues
- improving menstrual cramps
- improving nausea and morning sickness
- improving blood pressure levels
Read on to learn which teas may help soothe and support your overall sense of well-being.
- Best used for: Peppermint tea is helpful for combating stress-inducing feelings such as anxiety. Peppermint tea may also be helpful if you’re feeling fatigued.
This daisy-like flower is synonymous with calm, making it among the most well-known stress-soothing teas.
- Best used for: Along with the relaxing and sedative properties of chamomile, it can also be used to help with upset stomach as well as easing pain and inflammation.
Researchers in one
- Best used for: Lavender can be beneficial for lowering anxiety and helping heal skin care conditions like acne and burns as well as aches and pains in the body.
One 2018 review suggests that kava extract pills may be mildly effective in treating GAD, but more research is needed.
It’s also important to keep in mind that kava use has been linked to serious medical conditions, such as liver problems.
- Best used for: Kava is most widely used to help ease symptoms of GAD.
- Best used for: Valerian may help improve insomnia and other health issues such as headaches and heart palpitations.
Gotu kola is used as a traditional medicine and tonic in many Asian cultures. It’s often used to ease feelings of fatigue, anxiety, and depression.
One 2012 study on mice found that gotu kola extract may be an effective treatment for acute and chronic anxiety. However, more research is needed to fully understand its effects.
- Best used for: Gotu kola may help relieve anxiety, depression, stress, insomnia, and might even help ease symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers in a 2018 study found that a lemon balm supplement reduced symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress, and insomnia in people with a heart condition called angina.
- Best used for: Lemon balm is used to help combat insomnia, depression, and anxiety.
Researchers in one
- Best used for: Passionflower may help improve insomnia and anxiety, and has been linked to improving other health issues such as stomach problems.
One 2017 study found that students who drank green tea experienced consistently lower levels of stress than students in the placebo group.
Green tea is also known to help improve focus, since the combined L-theanine and caffeine in the drink help with this, according to a
- Best used for: Green tea may help lower anxiety and stress in people who regularly drink it.
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb said to help combat stress and fatigue.
A 2014 review of studies also concluded that Ashwagandha extract helped alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety, but more research is needed to confirm these effects.
Also called tulsi, holy basil is related to European and Thai basils.
Research on its effects on anxiety or stress are limited. One
- Best used for: Holy basil may be used for both physical and mental benefits, including anxiety, stomach pain, cough, and arthritis pain. However, studies on how effective holy basil is are limited.
Turmeric is the spice that gives the yellowish tint to some of your favorite dishes. It’s also an herb that’s been used for its healing properties in some Asian countries for centuries.
- Best used for: Turmeric is rich in antioxidants and may help with symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Fennel is a tall herb that sprouts yellow flowers. It’s native to the Mediterranean.
Fennel tea has traditionally been used to calm anxiety.
Although more research is needed, one
- Best used for: Fennel is best used for digestive problems, which are common anxiety symptoms. It may also help relieve menstrual irregularities and coughing, and can be used as a diuretic.
The smell of roses has long been associated with relaxation, and at least one study supports this.
- Best used for: Rose tea may help lift mood and help with relaxation. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and may help with wound healing.
Ginseng is sometimes looked at as the “holy grail” of herbs. Some claim it can cure erectile dysfunction, anxiety, and depression.
Ginseng may not be a universal cure, but research does support certain benefits.
- Best used for: Ginseng tea is best used to aid in combating stress and fatigue.
You can taste bitter hops in certain beverages, but hops are nothing to be bitter about.
A 2017 study found that taking a hops supplement can reduce mild symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress.
And when combined with valerian, hops supplements may also improve sleep quality.
- Best used for: Hops is best used for treating some mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, and stress, and it can also be used for sleep.
A popular herbal ingredient in colds and flu teas, licorice root has also become a widespread sweetener and candy.
People also take licorice to reduce stress and fatigue, but research is limited.
One 2011 study on mice suggests that licorice extract may reduce stress.
Researchers in a
- Best used for: Though research is very limited, licorice may be helpful for reducing stress and anxiety.
Although catnip is a stimulant for cats, it can be used to create a soothing drink for humans.
Catnip has been traditionally used to relieve anxiety. It contains compounds similar to those found in valerian, but it’s unclear whether they offer the same benefits.
- Best used for: Catnip
contains nepetalactone, which is similar to the valepotriates found in valerian. These compounds may help ease anxiety and help with sleeping troubles as well.
The herb may interact with certain medications or result in other adverse side effects, so talk with a doctor or pharmacist before use.
- Best used for: St. John’s wort may help reduce stress and stress-inducing hormones. It may also help relieve symptoms of depression or anxiety.
Rhodiola is often used to manage stress, anxiety, and certain mood disorders.
- Best used for: Rhodiola may help reduce stress, fight fatigue, and decrease symptoms of depression.
Traditional Medicinals Cup of Calm
This tea uses chamomile, catnip, lavender, and passionflower herbs to offer a host of sleep-enhancing and stress-relieving benefits.
Chamomile and lavender are better known for helping anxiety. Although catnip and passionflower are primarily used to improve sleep quality, they may also aid in anxiety relief.
The Republic of Tea Get Relaxed
Along with its principal ingredient rooibos, Get Relaxed includes rose petals, lavender, passionflower, and chamomile.
These selections may help smooth over mild anxiety and stress. You may also benefit from the overall health properties of rooibos tea.
Yogi Stress Relief
Yogi offers two Stress Relief options: a tea containing kava kava and a tea containing lavender.
Kava kava may have more marked effects on anxiety, but the herb has been tied to mild side effects.
Lavender typically offers more subtle benefits and is less likely to cause side effects.
Numi Organic Bamboo
Organic lavender is a key ingredient in Numi Organic Bamboo. Lavender may offer a mild soothing effect and help relieve minor anxiety.
Lipton Stress Therapy
Lipton Stress Therapy contains cinnamon, chamomile, and lavender. All are notable stress-relieving herbs, though chamomile and lavender boast the most scientific support.
Although some herbal teas may have a calming effect, more research is needed to fully assess their potential benefits. Herbal teas or supplements should never be used in place of a prescribed treatment.
Some herbal teas can cause uncomfortable side effects, especially when consumed in large amounts. Others can result in dangerous interactions with over-the-counter and prescription medication. Many herbal teas aren’t safe to drink during pregnancy.
You should always check with a doctor or other healthcare professional before drinking herbal teas or taking herbal supplements.