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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.

Peppermint tea (Mentha piperita)

This classic garden plant can be used for more than just seasoning. Some research suggests that the aroma may reduce feelings of frustration, anxiety, and fatigue.

Separate research finds that inhaling the scent of peppermint oil may help soothe anxiety in people who were hospitalized for heart attack and childbirth.

  • 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.

 Chamomile tea (Matricaria chamomilla/Chamaemelum nobile)

This daisy-like flower is synonymous with calm, making it among the most well-known stress-soothing teas.

One 2016 study found that long-term use of chamomile extract significantly reduced moderate to severe symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). However, it didn’t prevent future symptoms from occurring.

  • 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.

Lavender tea (Lavandula officinalis)

Lavender is widely known for its mood-stabilizing and sedative effects. But did you know that it might be as effective as some medications at relieving anxiety?

Researchers in one 2010 study found that silexan, an oral lavender capsule preparation, was as effective as lorazepam in adults with GAD.

  • 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.

Valerian root is commonly used as an herbal remedy for insomnia and other sleep disorders. It may help relieve anxiety-related sleeplessness, but research has been mixed.

One 2015 study found that valerian extract reduced anxiety in women undergoing a medical procedure.

  • 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.

A mint relative with a lemony fragrance, lemon balm is a widely used treatment for sleeplessness, anxiety, and depression. It appears to work by boosting GABA, a neurotransmitter that soothes stress.

In one 2011 study, lemon balm extract was shown to help with mild to moderate anxiety and insomnia.

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.

Passionflower has long been used to improve sleep quality. It may also help ease symptoms of anxiety.

Researchers in one 2017 study found that a passionflower supplement worked as well as a mainstream medication for reducing anxiety in people having dental work.

  • Best used for: Passionflower may help improve insomnia and anxiety, and has been linked to improving other health issues such as stomach problems.

Green tea is high in L-theanine, an amino acid that might reduce anxiety.

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 2010 study.

  • 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.

One 2012 study found that taking the root extract significantly reduced stress levels over a 2-month span.

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.

  • Best used for: Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that may help manage anxiety. It’s also known for having anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, and antioxidant properties.

Also called tulsi, holy basil is related to European and Thai basils.

Research on its effects on anxiety or stress are limited. One 2008 study found that taking a holy basil extract decreased symptoms of GAD.

  • 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.

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 2018 study did find that fennel had anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects in postmenopausal people.

  • 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.

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 2013 study on mice found that licorice extract can increase the anti-anxiety effects of valerian and anxiety medications.

  • 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.

St. John’s wort is one of the most studied herbal remedies for depression. It may also help with symptoms of anxiety.

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.

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.

Other ingredients in the tea blend include elderflower, schisandra, blueberry leaf, lemongrass, spearmint, ginger, hawthorn, and bamboo.

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.

TeaCaffeine-free?Best for
peppermintyesstress-relief, fatigue
chamomileyesrelaxation, stomach upset
lavenderyesanxiety-relief
valerianyesinsomnia
gotu kolayesanxiety-relief, insomnia
lemon balmyesinsomnia, depression, anxiety
passionfloweryesinsomnia, anxiety
green teanoanxiety, stress
ashwagandhayesanxiety, combatting inflammation
holy basilyesanxiety, stomach issues, joint pain
fennelyesdigestion issues, period cramping
hopsnodepression, anxiety, insomnia, stress
licoriceyesstress, anxiety
catnipyesanxiety, sleep issues
St. John’s wortyesstress, anxiety, depression
Traditional Medicinals Cup of Calmyessleep, anxiety
The Republic of Tea Get Relaxedyesanxiety, stress
Yogi Stress Reliefyesanxiety, sleep
Numi Organic Bamboonoanxiety, relaxation
Lipton Stress Therapyyesstress-relief

If your anxiety is so bad that it’s interfering with day-to-day activities, it may be a good idea to consult a doctor.

Not sure whether that describes your situation? Here are some signs to watch for:

  • You’re constantly worrying about things.
  • You have physical symptoms like a racing heartbeat.
  • You can’t seem to relax.
  • You avoid things because they make you anxious.
  • You feel a weight on your shoulders or always feel on edge.

Can I get tea for anxiety at a coffee shop?

Yes. Many coffee shops that also offer tea will have several of these teas on hand. For example, herbal selections like chamomile are very common and readily available.

How does tea help with anxiety and sleep?

While certain ingredients may help as described above, the simple ritual of taking a moment to sip and drink tea may contribute to stress relief.

Is tea better than coffee for anxiety?

Because coffee contains caffeine, it may not work as well as caffeine-free teas for promoting relaxation and calm. Even compared with caffeinated tea, coffee has much higher caffeine levels, which can cause jitters and make it hard to fall asleep.

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 or breastfeeding.

You should always check with a doctor or other healthcare professional before drinking herbal teas or taking herbal supplements.