A cup of tea has long been associated with moments of peace and calm. Herbal teas are used to help aid sleep and holistic wellness, but how much do you know about the actual ingredients? How can the herbs in herbal tea be helpful in managing mental health?
We drink tea for a number of reasons, but one of the main reasons for many of us is that a cup of tea helps us destress. The ritual of boiling water, pouring it over the tea, watching the steam rise as the tea brews, and taking that first sip is the most calming part of the day. But what is the science behind the benefits of teas for managing stress? We looked into the scientific reasons that black and green teas can be beneficial, and broke down the specific ingredients in our new herbal tea collection that we picked to help you manage anxiety and stress.
Black and green teas, from the camellia sinensis plant, contain “catechins,” or antioxidants. Some of these antioxidants have been shown to help us feel calmer and improve memory and attention. Black and green teas also contain caffeine, which helps us feel more alert. In combination, the catechins and caffeine from black and green teas can have an overall effect of improving our mood. There are studies pointing to the potential stress-relieving effects of teas as well: some studies show that tea can help reduce levels of the cortisol, the “stress hormone.”
We wanted to take things a step further. Black and green teas are calming and our tea shop has a variety of both (try our Kashmiri Kahwa green tea for a tasty treat) but we also wanted to create brews that specifically target various areas of our health. We turned to Ayurveda to help us create herbal teas for wellness. A foundational system for Indian medicine, Ayurveda is a holistic approach to health. It gives us the tools to align our body, mind, and spirit, including but not limited to herbs and diet, meditation, and breathing exercises.
Our R&D team took a deep dive into Ayurveda and tea to understand how we could create teas that can help reduce stress, promote a peaceful and calmer mind, and help improve mental health. Here are the ways the ingredients in our herbal teas can help you manage your stress:
The Power of Ashwagandha in Tea
Ashwagandha is one of the most important ingredients in Ayurvedic medicine. It’s an adaptogen, which is an herb that helps the body fight stress. Studies have shown ashwagandha to be helpful in protecting the mind and body from stress by reducing cortisol levels, improving brain function, boosting immunity, and protecting cells from damage. It’s easy to see why this small shrub is actually a mighty herbal booster!
Typically ashwagandha comes in the form of a powder taken from the root of the plant, which is found in India and North Africa. We have incorporated the herb into two of our herbal teas: Calm and Clarity. Brew a cup of our Calm Tea when you are feeling stressed, anxious, or in need of a break. Our Clarity Tea is perfect for those times when you are trying to achieve mental focus.
Camomile for Stress Relief
Is there any flower more popular or well known than camomile to help relieve stress? Not only is its scent and taste delicate and floral in a way that makes us feel automatically calm, but it’s also scientifically shown to promote health. Camomile has been used in medicine and home remedies for such a long time that it is taken for granted! Camomile tea is one of the most popular herbal teas and studies have shown it can help alleviate anxiety and depression and improve quality of sleep, which in turn can help reduce stress levels.
Try a cup of our Sleep Tea for a warm and soothing blend of Camomile with passionflower and Valerian root – two herbs that are also known to help reduce stress. Our Calm Tea is perhaps an Ayurvedic superhero, combining camomile and ashwagandha to help you fight stress and anxiety and brighten your day.
Valerian root is an ancient herb that has been used for ages to help promote sleep and deep relaxation. Chronic stress, anxiety, and poor sleep have been linked by several studies to low levels of GABA, a brain chemical that regulates the nervous system. Valerenic acid, one of the primary compounds in valerian root, can slow the breakdown of GABA, leading to higher levels of the chemical, which in turn may promote calmness and reduce anxiety.
In other words, if you need to stay calm under mounting pressure and stress, try brewing a cup of tea with valerian root. Studies have also shown that the herb can help improve the quality of your sleep and help you fall asleep faster. Our herbal Sleep Tea is a delicious blend of camomile, valerian root, peppermint, lemon balm, rose petals, and passionflower. Drink a cup of this before bed for and you will drift off into sweet dreams.
Passionflower, like the above herbs, has been shown to help reduce anxiety and insomnia. It can help relax the body and mind, in turn alleviating stress and promoting a better quality of sleep. Some studies show that passionflower can also help soothe the tummy. All around super herb, we knew we needed to add it to our herbal teas! One of the main ingredients in our Sleep Tea is passionflower, and we’ve included it in our Calm Tea as well!
Read our guide to better sleep for more ideas on how you can use herbal tea, chai, yoga, and breathing exercises to improve your quality of sleep.
Add Herbal Teas in Your Daily Routine
What’s your tea ritual? Do you wake up and brew a mug of chai? Do you sip on green tea in the afternoon? However you enjoy your tea, try adding herbals to your routine. Brew a cup of Clarity Tea in the morning to help find the mental focus for a long day of work. Sip on our Calm Tea when you feel overwhelmed or anxious. After dinner, have a cup of Digest Tea to help soothe the tummy. A daily cup of Protect Tea has herbs known to be anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting. And finally, finishing your busy day with Sleep Tea can help you unwind as you get ready for bed.