Depression is a common mood disorder that can negatively affect how you feel, think and act, often causing a general loss of interest in things and a persistent feeling of sadness.
Many people feel that they can lift their mood with herbal teas. This might work for you, too, but understand that depression is a serious medical illness. If depression is interfering with your daily life, talk with your doctor.
There are studies that suggest drinking tea could be helpful in the treatment of depression.
A 2015 meta-analysis of 11 studies and 13 reports concluded that there is a correlation between tea consumption and a decreased risk of depression.
It also showed some reduction in anxiety relapses during the five-year study period, though researchers said it was not statistically significant.
It is not clear whether or not St. John’s wort is helpful for people with depression. An older 2008 review of 29 international studies concluded that St. John’s wort was as effective for depression as prescription antidepressants. But a 2011 study concluded that St. John’s wort showed no clinically or statistically significant benefit.
The Mayo Clinic points out that although some studies support the use of St. John’s wort for depression, it causes many drug interactions which should be considered prior to using.
According to a 2014 research article, two small studies, in which participants drank iced-tea with lemon balm or ate yogurt with lemon balm, showed positive effects on mood and anxiety level reduction.
Although there is no clinical research to back up the claims, advocates of alternative medicine suggest the following teas might have a beneficial effect for people experiencing depression:
Too much stress can affect depression and anxiety. Some people find relaxation in the ritual of filling the kettle, bringing it to a boil, watching the tea steep, and then sitting quietly while sipping warm tea.
Beyond how your body reacts to the ingredients of the tea, sometimes the process of relaxing over a cup of tea can be a stress reliever on its own.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, at some time in their lives, about 1 in 6 people will experience depression.
You might find that drinking tea helps, but don’t attempt to treat depression on your own. Without effective, professional guidance, depression can become severe.
Discuss your consumption of herbal tea with your doctor as, among other considerations, some herbs can interact with medications you have been prescribed and negatively affect your health.