Do Calming Teas Really Work?

If your doctor ever tells you to drink calming tea to deal with stress or help you fall asleep, he or she is a genius. First, let’s talk science. Then I’ll tell you about my personal experiences (spoiler alert: some herbs are AMAZING).

Scientists have discovered that many types of herbal tea are effective at reducing anxiety. Plenty of studies prove it. For example, green tea leaves lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. This benefit comes from special plant nutrients called catechins, tiny stress fighters. They’re like your own personal Secret Service, keeping anxiety far away from you.

Cup of tea

Valerian Root Tea at Night

First, I tried a cup of valerian root tea in the evening. I wanted something to help me unwind after a particularly stressful day trying to get my kids to apologize to each other over a broken toy.

I took a few sips and … the effects were unbelievable. I’ve never felt so genuinely relaxed and sleepy in my life. It was like that feeling you get from curling up in front of a warm fire. I slept like a baby all night long. In the morning, I woke up feeling completely refreshed.

Woman having tea in bed

Green Tea at Breakfast

Next, I decided to try drinking some green tea during the day. I’ve read studies saying that green tea helps you stay alert but also less stressed at work. For breakfast, I made myself whole-grain toast with plain cream cheese and a few sliced strawberries. As I read the news, I sipped on my green tea.

How did my work-from-home day go? First, I felt WAY less stress than normal. I even felt energized enough to throw a load of clothes in the washer while I was working. Usually, thinking of everything I have to do stresses me out in the morning, but green tea changed that. It empowered me, like I was checking things off my list one by one. My attitude and outlook were more positive, as if the whole world was brighter.

Turmeric Tea for Avoiding a Meltdown

I love my sisters, I really do. But family members know exactly which buttons to push sometimes. Long story short, we had a smallish argument (we smoothed everything out later on Zoom and now we’re best friends again). I was crying and angry and … well, you know the drill.

That’s when I decided to try brewing an exotic turmeric tea I’d read about. It uses fresh turmeric, ginger, honey, cinnamon and peppercorns, together with some coconut milk and coconut oil. The whole kitchen smelled heavenly, and the tea tasted spicy, creamy and delicious.

It turns out that turmeric has the ability to release “happy hormones” in your brain: dopamine and serotonin. They help to fight sadness and alleviate stress. As I sat there, sipping my turmeric and honey tea, smelling the spices and feeling the warmth of the mug, my heart started beating more slowly. I felt … much better.

Turmeric Tea

Other Great Herbs and Spices for Fighting Stress

Calming herbs can help you get rid of anxiety and feel happier. They’re an amazing way of treating yourself to a moment for relaxation.

Herbal teas

Now it’s your turn. What calming teas work best for you? Are you a believer in lavender, chamomile, ashwagandha root, passionflower, lemon balm or another popular soothing variety? Share your experiences below!

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