Image Credit: Andrea Gilpin

For a few years now, Functional Tea has been my favourite way of overcoming anxiety. For me, tea is a great tool for reducing anxiety symptoms because you get to ingest and breathe in the benefits. It’s aromatherapy and functionality, all in one.

I have found different herbs and ingredients to be good for different types of anxiety. Some teas I’ll drink first thing in the morning, because they are calming but also energising. Others, I will drink in the evening, because they also help me sleep.

So here are some of my favourite ingredients which, individually and combined, have helped me with anxiety symptoms, and I will also explain how they work best for different types of anxiety.

The Herbal Digest

Camomile

This classic is a really nice base for any anti-anxiety brew, because of its light flavour and mild taste. Plus there have been studies to show that people with anxiety who took Camomile had a significant decrease in anxiety symptoms (such as THIS one by the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center). Personally, Camomile makes me feel instantly calmer, and it’s easy to drink, so I can have it all day long.

Lavender

I hear you — Lavender tastes funny and reminds you of your grandma. I use Lavender sparingly, because it’s a potent ingredient, in terms of taste and because it works so well! Mixed with other ingredients, as seen below, a little in amount can add a lot in effect though. So be more like your grandma. Learn to love lavender.

Lemon Balm

I’m a big fan of Lemon Balm at the moment. Most anxiety ingredients (and meds) sedate you and make you feel like your brain’s in a fog. Lemon Balm is great because it makes me feel calmer and more alert. Like a Zen monk. This is reflected in studies, such as THIS one, which showed that Lemon Balm increases calmness and alertness, as well as improving your overall mood.

Lemon Verbena

Lemon Verbena is a really light and refreshing drink, so I like to have it in hot weather over ice. In my experience, it works for anxiety in a similar way to Lemon Balm — it’s soothing but also uplifting, with a lovely citrusy taste. It’s a great alternative to caffeine in terms of energising your mind, as caffeine can aggravate some people’s anxiety symptoms.

Rose

For me, Rose is the plant equivalent of a gentle hug. If you have ever tried Loving Kindness meditation — Rose is basically like ingesting that. I often drink it straight, because it reminds me of Turkish Delight, which I personally find to be delicious.

Cacao

Cacao is a magic bean. It not only tastes delicious, but contains all sorts of things that are good for you and make you happy. Like anti-oxidants and magnesium (a deficiency in this often leads to anxiety and poor sleep, among other things). It also contains something called alkaloids, which are said to help keep your neurotransmitters happy. And Tryptophan, which helps you produce more Serotonin a.k.a. the happiness chemical.

Cinnamon

A wonderful woman that I met in India told me about Cinnamon and it’s happiness-inducing qualities. She drank it every morning with hot water. Personally, I don’t tend to drink Cinnamon on its own, but I like to combine it with other ingredients, for its gentle and heart-lifting properties.

The Recipes

I find that these herbs and ingredients work best when their strengths are combined. Each one brings something slightly different into the mix, so I like to use them together for the best results. Plus, each combination can be used to deal with the symptoms of a different type of anxiety, or anxiety which arises at a particular time of day.

So here are a few of my favourite combinations:

Lemon Balm + Lemon Verbena

This combination is good for grounding anxiety. It’s like meditation, but without the effort. When you feel a bit up in the air, brain-foggy and all over the place as a result of your anxiety, this is a good place to start. I like to drink this combination in the morning and throughout the day, to make the most of the mental energy that I get from Lemon Balm and Lemon Verbena’s uplifting qualities. At NUDITEA, we use these ingredients in our Zen Blend.

Lavender + Camomile + Rose

Lavender is calming, Rose is a great heart opener and Camomile is grounding. Altogether, it’s a great all-rounder for when you feel like anxiety is laying into you from every corner. I included this combo in our Bedtime Blend, but also added in Passionflower, which is a great herb for switching off your mind, and getting you ready to sleep, without making you groggy the next day.

Rose + Cacao + Cinnamon

This is great if your anxiety is tinged with sadness. So for those days when you feel like your anxiety could tip into the blues, or already has, this is the combination that I’d go for. At NUDITEA, this combination is in our Happy Blend, which I drink throughout the day, whenever I am feeling sad or anxious. It’s also a great blend for dealing with the symptoms of PMS.

Conclusion

Herbal tea is one of the best natural solutions that I have found to anxiety. By combining different ingredients, herbal tea can empower you to deal with your own particular type of anxiety, without the effects of caffeine which can often aggravate anxiety symptoms.

I hope this has been helpful for you. If you have any questions, feel free to message me below.