Sometimes we all need a bit of extra help to wind down from a stressful day. That’s where a nice cup of calming tea can soothe anxiety and help get us ready for a good night’s rest.
With that in mind, below we will explore the following calming tea choices:
- Chamomile Tea
- Valerian Tea
- Lemon and Ginger Tea
- Passionflower Tea
- Peppermint Tea
- Lavender Tea
- Rose Tea
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It’s important to note that just because herbal teas are considered natural products, this does not mean they are safe for everyone as they may interact with medications or can have unintended effects if you have underlying health conditions or allergies.
If you are taking any medicines or are awaiting surgery it is vital you consult your doctor or pharmacist before using herbal teas. People who are pregnant and those who are taking blood thinners should avoid herbal teas unless told otherwise by a medical professional.
As calming tea varieties go, chamomile is among the most well-known. Chamomile has a mild sedative effect and is traditionally used to help with a variety of conditions including depression, inflammation problems and gastrointestinal problems.
One study with young Japanese people who identify as male found that, when compared to a placebo, a serving of chamomile tea reduced feelings of depression and lowered the drinker’s heart rate, something that can be key to relaxing.
Another study found that among young adults given chamomile tea, there was a measurable improvement in their feelings of calmness.
Most people tolerate chamomile well, though those who know they have an allergy to any of the flowers from the daisy family, including ragweed, may wish to stay clear as a severe allergic reaction is possible for some people.
Chamomile isn’t for everyone as it has a more earthy flavour instead of being sweet, but many drinkers report this soothing brew can help them relax throughout the day and at night time.
Passionflower is a vine that grows in the Americas. It has a long history of medicinal uses among Native Americans, Indigenous people, and First Nations people. It is now found throughout Europe where it is used, among other things, as a herbal supplement. Passionflower contains ingredients like ethyl maltol that appear to ease anxiety. A small body of evidence exists that supports passionflower’s soothing properties, though more research is needed.
While research has not looked specifically at passionflower tea, people often report that a cup or two of this mild drink can help lower anxieties and help restfulness.
Passionflower is generally considered safe for most healthy people to use as a tea or herbal supplement so long as it is not taken in large doses.
3. Lavender Tea
Lavender is among the most well-known and widely praised aromatherapy scents for its ability to soothe our minds and allow us to drift off to sleep. Scientists have not done much research into lavender tea, so we don’t have concrete evidence to support its calming effects. However, we do know that lavender extracts possess linalool, a substance which studies show may soothe anxiety in animals.
If you have positive associations with lavender, for example, a favourite grandparent who used to wear lavender-scented oils, smelling this scent while you drink a soothing lavender tea before bed might help to clear your mind and put you in a restful state ready for sleep.
Allergic reactions to lavender are relatively uncommon. It is best to be cautious of lavender if you are pregnant. People with an underlying heart condition should also speak to their doctor before trying any lavender products.
For those who find the idea of drinking lavender tea a bit daunting, many companies offer a fusion of chamomile and lavender to help round out the flavour.
4. Rose Petal Tea
Used in Chinese herbal and traditional medicine practices, rose petals and rose flowers are used to help soothe a variety of ailments, including the easing of menstrual pain. Researchers have found rose petals can be a good choice for preparing a caffeine-free tea that is rich in health-promoting antioxidants. Other research has shown rose tea has meaningful benefits for reducing menstrual cramp pains and overall anxiety.
Unsurprisingly, rose petal tea has a floral taste that, for some drinkers, might take a bit of getting used to. However, rose tea blends well with other flavours like lavender and passion fruit.
Rose tea is generally well-tolerated, but if you have a rose allergy, it may be best to stay away from rose-derived products.
5. Peppermint Tea
One of the more popular herbal teas for its minty flavour and tummy-friendly twang, peppermint tea is also a great calming tea. While there isn’t currently any clinical trial data, limited human studies have shown that peppermint tea may have benefits for relaxing our muscles. It can also help soothe the digestive system.
Peppermint tea is generally well tolerated by most people, though those with underlying kidney problems may wish to stay clear. Certain drug interactions are also possible, so check with your pharmacist or doctor if this is a concern.
6. Lemon and Ginger Tea
Lemon and ginger tea might not sound like a top contender for a calming tea blend. After all, lemon is known for its sharp flavour and is a common ingredient in many morning teas. However, ginger’s belly-warming soft flavour is a perfect complement to lemon’s zing, and together they can help to make this tea a comforting but flavorful drink.
There is some research to support ginger’s ability to calm our stomachs, while lemon is a good source of vitamin C. Together, this soothing blend may help to comfort our bellies, particularly if we’ve overindulged through the day, and let us get a good night’s rest.
Ginger can have some side-effects, including potentially thinning our blood. While tolerated well, some people report ginger giving them stomach cramps, so it might be best to try a small amount before committing to a full cup.
Valerian is another popular choice of calming tea. Valerian has a long history of use as a supplement and medicinal treatment, dating all the way back to Ancient Rome and Greece. There are a few studies that show valerian root and valerian extracts may help people sleep, however other studies have found no effect.
As a result, the U.S. National Institutes of Health and other health bodies consider studies into valerian’s effects as a sleep aid “inconclusive”. Still, while the evidence isn’t there yet, valerian remains a popular choice among the public.
Valerian extract can cause some side-effects, for example, headaches and nausea. People who are on medications for anxiety or depression should check with their doctor before using herbal teas and supplements that contain valerian.
In terms of taste, valerian has an earthy quality and a sour smell, so a tea made purely of valerian might not suit everyone. A nice blended tea which contains valerian with lavender and other calming ingredients might be a good alternative.
Herbal teas can be a wonderful part of any nighttime routine and can help us to drift off into a restful sleep.
The great thing about teas is that what makes a calming tea for one person might not suit another. While this can be frustrating, it also offers the opportunity for discovering your own favourite blends.
So what are your go-to blends for a calming tea? Please let us know in the comments below.