Stress is just a fact of life. Even the things we enjoy doing can cause stress, like planning a vacation, preparing for a new baby’s arrival or getting a promotion and pay raise at work. Stress management is critical to keeping your body and mind healthy. Sometimes it is difficult to get in a workout or eat healthy but it is very easy to sip away stress.
Herbs That Make Great Stress Reducing Teas
There are three herbs in particular that have a long and well-documented history of being healthy stress reducers. Ingesting them in the form of a tea can help with your stress management plan and they are all safe and easy to find.
This potent herb was first used in the 17th Century by Spanish Jesuits in Peru and is now consumed all over the world. There are over 500 different species of Passilora, as it is also known, but the most common variety is Passionflower incarnate, which is native to the Midwest and Southeastern United States.
Passionflower has been used for centuries as an effective sedative, pain reliever, digestive aid, and anxiety reducer. Studies in Western medicine have shown it to be an effective way to treat ulcers, boost the brain’s levels of feel-good hormones and help you relax and fall asleep.
The herb comes in capsules, powders or tinctures, but the best way is to drink it as a tea. Soaking the dried leaves in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes will make you a brew strong enough to enjoy the health benefits.
Chamomile has a long and well documented history of use as a soothing and healing herb. It is from a flowering plant in the daisy family and you can use the dried blossoms to make a wonderfully fragrant and slightly sweet tasting tea that has many health benefits, namely stress management.
Chamomile tea can help soothe an upset stomach, relieve tension by inducing muscles to relax and even help you fall asleep. It has been shown to be effective in relieving stomach cramps, due to its chamazulene content, a kind of oil in the flowers of the plant. It is believed that this ingredient is what helps relieve muscle spasms. Those with irritable bowel syndrome may find it especially helpful in relieving spasms in the bowel to ease constipation or diarrhea.
Named for its lemony scent, this herb is native to Europe and the Mediterranean and is a member of the mint family. It has earned a reputation around the globe as a stress-busting herb and makes a great tea to help you sip away your stressful day.
One of the best benefits of drinking lemon balm tea is that it helps boost mental alertness. It is often recommended for the elderly to help stave off dementia by sharpening memory and enhancing problem solving cognitive function. In a Chinese study, eugenol, a compound in the herb was thought to be responsible for boosting memory. A similar study found that lemon balm suppresses the brain chemical acetlycholinesterase, which breaks down the chemical acetylcholine, which is responsible for memory and mood.
Lemon balm is also a powerful antioxidant to help your cells start to regenerate after a long hard day in your daily life. It can also help you stabilize your blood sugar and that will keep your mood balanced instead of wildly fluctuating with sugar highs and lows.
All of these herbs are considered generally safe. Always check with your doctor if you take prescription medication and your pediatrician before you offer any herbs or supplements to your children, though.
Try this tea recipe at home to help manage your stress:
Ingredients and Preparation:
- 2 teaspoons dried chamomile flowers
- 1 teaspoon dried lemon balm leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried passionflower leaves
- 1½ cups boiling water
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- Steep tea leaves in water for 10-15 minutes.
- Add in honey and lemon.
- Sip while warm.
- Serves 1.
These herbal teas are also delicious iced and topped off with slices of fruit.