Herbal Tea for the Nervous System

Jun 12 , 2023

Herbal Tea for the Nervous System

Sometimes the stress of modern life can make you feel like you’re living in a pressure cooker. We’re all looking for a relief valve, and a calming cup of tea may be a good one.

A cup of tea is easy, affordable, enjoyable, and best of all, may soothe some of that stress.

Best tea for stress overall: Chamomile

Best to help you relax: Lemon balm

Best to calm a busy mind: Passionflower

Best calming fragrance: Lavender

Best for stress-free alertness: Green tea

Best for a calm, refreshing taste: Peppermint

These are some of the herbs that may help alleviate anxiety and stress:

Chamomille, a small flower in the daisy family, often called the Queen of Calm, this has been used for thousands of years to lower anxiety and stress. Research suggests that the world’s population consumes more than 1 million cups of chamomile tea every day. One of chamomile’s active ingredients is a flavonoid called apigenin. Apigenin has contributed to stress reversal, memory repair, and has an antidepressant effect in studies involving mice.

Lemon balm has been used since the 16th century for its mild sedative effect and pleasant lemony aroma. Even its name is calming. The word “balm” means soothing or restorative.  Lemon balm tea is often made on its own from the plant’s leaves or mixed in with other calming herbs like passionflower and chamomile.   It appears to work by boosting GABA, a neurotransmitter that soothes stress. The tea may help ease anxiety, stress, sleep disruption, and indigestion.  

''GABANUKA'' is rich in the free amino acid GABA. GABA is a main neurotransmitter in the human brain and is known to promote calm and relaxation. The Manuka tea has been tested and found to contain a variety of health-related properties such as antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and nutrients & GABA.  We have the Native Tea Farm Gabanuka (from the manuka tree) & Chamomile Tea in store.

Passionflower makes a calming tea that’s often brewed to slow a racing mind and get a good night’s sleep.  The Passiflora incarnata variety of passionflower is used to reduce anxiety, menopause symptoms, body aches & cough. It’s not recommended to try harvesting your own passionflower for tea because some varieties can be toxic.

Lavender has been used since medieval times for its calming effect, especially for sleep. A study in 2020 suggests that lavender herbal tea may reduce depression and anxiety scores in older adults. Its chief advantage is that it calms you down without a sedative effect. There are more than 40 species of lavender. The English and French varieties are the most common ones used to make tea. Just about 1/2 teaspoon per cup will do fine.

Green tea is high in a compound called L-theanine, which has anti-anxiety effects and may help raise your levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain associated with pleasure. This may help explain the seeming contradiction of green tea: It makes you alert, but it also cuts down on stress. Some people call it the tea of equanimity.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita): This classic garden plant can be used for more than just seasoning. Some research suggests that the aroma may reduce feelings of frustration, anxiety, and fatigue.

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that may help manage anxiety. It’s also known for having anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, and antioxidant properties.

Gotu kola is used as a traditional medicine and tonic in many Asian cultures. It’s often used to ease feelings of fatigue, anxiety, and depression as is St John's Wort which may also help reduce stress and stress-inducing hormones.  

Holy basil, native to India, holy basil is also known as tulsi, which means “the incomparable one.”  In Ayurvedic medicine, tulsi is classified as a rasayana, an herb that nourishes a person’s growth to perfect health and enlightenment and promotes long life. Many studies show that holy basil possesses antistress effects and reduces the damaging effects of stress. At the same time, it enhances physical performance, and is thus adaptogenic.  It may lower the stress-induced release of adrenal hormones and assists in the normalization of cortisol.

Tātarāmoa (Rubus cissoides) is an effective, calming rongoā rakau that works as a relaxant on our nervous system - Tātarāmoa can help us calm our minds when we're feeling anxious, and can enhance our sleep space.  Tātarāmoa is in the OKU Relax tea along with Passionflower, Chamomile, Lemon Balm & Kanuka.

Come in to see our selection of stress-relieving teas, we stock single herb options or a combination of herbs from a range of different brands which include Pukka, OKU, Organic India, Artemis, Planet, Native Tree Farm, Harney and Tea Total.

Remember herbs are medicine so please check with your healthcare team on the safety of taking any herbs during pregnancy & breastfeeding, or if you are taking any prescription medication.

Article composed with excerpts from: