Calm is the need of the hour. Our lives are busier than ever and it demands that we pause and invest in managing our stress effectively. Mental health is one of the most neglected areas of public health. A study in 2018 showed that a staggering 3.8% of the global population, amounting to 284 Million people, were dealing with anxiety disorders. Evidently, the world is waking up to the importance of caring for mental health.
While there are clinical approaches to cope with the different ways in which anxiety manifests itself, a significant population turns to natural or holistic solutions to treating anxiety. One of these solutions comes from the delightful world of teas. Yes, there are teas for anxiety relief that can easily be incorporated into your daily regime.
Tea for Calm : The History
Since ancient times, tea has been used as a meditating drink across the globe. An interesting anecdote on Tea and meditation comes from China, the land where the first Tea plants originated. Bodhidharma, a 6th century Buddhist monk from India residing in China, once meditated for 7 years straight and the next two years, he fell asleep. When Bodhidharma woke up, he was frustrated on having fallen asleep and in a fit of frustration, he took off his eyelids and threw it away so as to never fall asleep again while meditating. Legend has it that these eyelids, where they fell off on the soil, it led to the growth of the first tea plants. Zen monks used the leaves of this plant to brew an elixir that would help them focus better and be awake and meditate for longer hours.
Of course, this story originates from myth, but there is truth to the fact the Zen monks were responsible for taking tea to different corners of China, to Japan and to other parts of the world. Hence, it’s safe to say that tea has since long been used to calm the mind, focus better, and promote a sense of calm.
Several studies have proven the phytochemistry and its calming effects on our brain. With such a wide array of calming teas to choose from, one can use them to alleviate anxiety, reduce symptoms of panic, promote calm, induce sleep or improve the quality of sleep which can help promote better mental health. So let’s take a look at the Top 5 calming teas that we can imbibe in our daily regime.
Chamomile, a well-known herb, looks like daisies, comes from the Asteraceae plant family. It has been consumed since centuries as a potent adaptogen, promoting calm and helping improve sleep.
Chamomile contains antioxidant apigenin that binds to neuroreceptors in our brain and promote sleep and help in reducing insomnia. Chamomile tea also helps in relieving fatigue, alleviate symptoms of anxiety, and improve the quality of sleep. The antioxidant Apigenin, is also know to have properties that help reduce the risk of certain types of cancers. Chamomile tea is one of the best teas for stress relief and have a range of other benefits like controlling blood sugar levels, improve heart health, and promote digestion.
- Lavender Tea
Lavender is known to calm nerves as it mood-stabilizing properties as it is an aromatherapy agent. Studies have shown that Lavender has compounds that improve mood and also decrease feelings of anxiety and depression. Combine it with Chamomile and with Green teas, which are rich in antioxidants, and you have a great tea that will help manage everyday stress. Chamomile Lavender tea is one of the best teas for anxiety relief.
- Hibiscus Tea
Hibiscus tea is one of the most popular beverages with a wide range of health benefits. It is a rich source of vitamin C, beneficial antioxidants, and essential minerals. Because of these nutrients and a class of flavonoids in Hibiscus tea ( the same ones found in wine), it helps in easing symptoms of depression and anxiety. All the nutrients combine to create a natural antidepressant, that can be beneficial for anyone who is struggling with restlessness, panic, insomnia.
This antioxidant-loaded flower also improves liver health. Vahdam’s Hibiscus Rose Herbal tea has a high antioxidant content that will help boost your immunity, enhance your heart and liver health, help reduce blood pressure, and also help you manage stress better.
White tea is one of the healthiest teas, with three times more beneficial antioxidants than in Green tea that help reduce oxidative stress. Moreover, White tea contains lesser caffeine, and hence is a great choice for winding down a long day. EGCG present in White tea helps in improving functions of the brain and help fight inflammation too. This Lavender Rose White Tea by Vahdam is a unique destressing blend that has the stress-relieving and calming properties of white tea, lavender and rose petals.
Courtesy : whiskaffair
One of the significant ingredients in a traditional Kahwa tea from Kashmir is saffron. Saffron, originating in Greece, is a flower packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that have a plethora of health benefits. Saffron contains two major chemicals - ‘crocin’ and ‘crocetin’, that are responsible for giving Saffron its red hue, but they also have antidepressant properties and also help in improving memory functions, reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. The Kashmiri Kahwa Chai is a healthful delicious blend that combines Himalayan green tea with rich spices like Saffron, cardamom, cinnamon, and exotic nuts as well. Adding green tea is a great solution for stress relief, as the theanine present in Green teas help in promote calm, induce sleep, promotes relaxation etc.
How to make a hot cup of any above-mentioned teas -
- Boil 200 ml of water at 80-90°C and switch off the heat.
- Add 1 teaspoon OR 2 grams of the Vahdam tea to the boiling water.
- Cover and let it steep for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add a sweetener of your choice.
Tips to Manage Stress Better
Managing stress should not seem or be a chore that puts you off, rather a mindful activity. Yes, having these teas daily will help you manage your stress efficiently, alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety, and will promote calm. But these teas need to be combined with a few other mindful habits that will help build a sleep and health hygiene, thereby helping your body realize the effects of these teas better.
Here are some mindful activities that will help manage and reduce stress :-
- Exercise : Get moving and the happy hormones will make you feel happy and relaxed.
- Deep Breathing : A few deep breaths helps calm down your nerves instantly and helps recalibrate your mind.
- Sleep : Get your sleep hygiene in order. Have these teas post meal and an hour before bed. Keep your devices away and avoid any blue screens before bed. Try going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.
- Counselling and Therapy : Therapy works wonders and you do not need to have a mental disorder to see a therapist. Speaking of your issues will help manage stress.
- Eat Properly : Try getting your meals in order. Eating proper meals and including a variety of veggies and fruits will help with various bodily functions like digestion, boost your immunity, and also work synergistically with these stress-relief teas.
Until Next Time,
Stay Well Steeped
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