Everything that’s part of the tea drinking process, from assembling the fragrant herbs to finding a saucepan and water, can be an exercise in disconnecting from everyday worries.
Living through a pandemic can be the breeding ground for bouts of stress and anxiety, besides the stress and anxiety that people who suffer with regards to their mental health are prone to. In stressful and anxious times, tea can be a reason to disconnect for a few minutes and focus on the present moment. Drinking tea can be a meditative experience, centering and calming the mind. Everything that’s part of the tea drinking process, from assembling the fragrant herbs to finding a saucepan and water, can be an exercise in disconnecting from everyday worries.
Herbal teas are also called tisanes. Tisanes are infusions made with plants other than Camellia sinensis, which is the plant from which black tea, green tea, white tea and oolong is made. Tisanes are caffeine-free and date back to ancient China and Egypt, where they were drunk for both pleasure and health reasons. They may be made with the leaf, flower, bark, root, fruit or seed of a particular plant.
Five types of tisanes or herbal tea that may help calm anxiety are:
Made with dried chamomile flowers, chamomile is very popular for helping people relax. Some studies even suggest that it may prevent cancer. It may also help calm the stomach, reduce inflammation and menstrual pain, treat diabetes, aid sleep, relieve anxiety, and even reduce depression. Chamomile tea has a pale yellow color and a delicate floral fragrance and taste.
Ashwagandha, an Ayurvedic herb, has been used to treat anxiety, stress, and insomnia for a long time. It is classified as an adaptogen, which means that it targets the stress messaging that the nervous system receives from the external environment. Also known as winter cherry, ashwagandha roots and leaves are also used as herbal medication.
Turmeric is a popular ingredient in Indian and Persian cooking. It can be used efficiently when it is freshly sliced or in a dried, powdered form. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and immunity boosting properties. When coupled with honey, it is considered calming. Indian grandmothers have brewed turmeric in milk as a remedy for pain relief for the longest time.
Passionflower is believed to have properties that calm the mind. It helps prevent anxiety and insomnia. Passionflower tea is made by steeping the dried flower in hot water. It contains chrysin, a flavone also found in honey, which has been shown to be as effective at reducing anxiety as midazolam, a commonly prescribed anti-anxiety medication.
With a name as soothing as its properties, lemon balm tea helps reduce stress. Research has shown that lemon balm tea also alleviates anxiety. It is made by steeping lemon balm leaves in hot water. The resulting infusion is tart and invigorating. Both the flavour and aroma of the tea can boost mood.