According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America - Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. It affects 18% of the adult population. Anxiety is in our homes, workplaces, and communities. The demand for mental health services is rising, and prescription medications are not always accessible to those who need them most. Additionally, a report found in the Journal of Canadian Psychiatry discovered that taking anti-anxiety drugs increased the risk of mortality by 36%. This unfortunate reality has resulted in a higher demand for more natural, holistic approaches to mental health that are inclusive to individuals from all socio-economic status’.
Several factors contribute to why anxiety occurs. Some of the most common causes are:
- Drugs and Alcohol: Abusing substances can result in long-term effects on one’s neurochemistry that is irreversible. Anxiety, depressions, and bipolar disorder often co-occur with chronic substance abuse.
- Traumatic Events: Victims of childhood abuse or neglect can induce anxiety, sleeplessness, and paranoia.
- Stress-induced by illnesses: The human body cannot handle being under stress for prolonged periods. Chronic stress can result in mental disorders and physical diseases.
- Genetics: Anxiety disorders can also be hereditary.
Today we are going to explore several teas that have been used as natural remedies to treat anxiety. The best part is that they don’t carry the same side effects as several prescription medications.
Before beginning, it is essential to note that all teas are high in water content.
Studies have shown that simply increasing your water intake can be incredibly beneficial to decreasing the risk of anxiety and depression.
Turmeric Tea (Curcuma Longa)
Turmeric Tea is rich in - Curcumin - a bioactive compound with anti-inflammatory properties known to have anti-anxiety and anti-depressant effects. Studies have even suggested that Curcumin may be just as effective as Prozac - a commonly prescribed anti-depressant. Turmeric tea is decaffeinated, making it an excellent option throughout the day. However, drinking this tea before bed may be more beneficial due to its soothing properties that help you fall asleep more quickly.
Chamomile Tea (Matricaria Chamomilla)
Chamomile Tea is an excellent herbal blend that is full of antioxidants called Apigenin. Apigenin binds to specific receptors in the brain that aid sleep and decrease anxiety. It also reduces your risk for diseases such as cancer and heart disease. A 2016 study revealed that consuming chamomile tea over the long term can relieve severe symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) significantly. Chamomile tea should is best consumed at night time due to its sedative effects.
Peppermint Tea (Mentha Piperita)
Peppermint Tea has been a herbal remedy for thousands of years in Europe and Asia. The flavonoids present within this tea help fight oxidative stress that induces anxiety. Flavonoids also work to repair cell damage making the body more resilient. Peppermint Tea is recommended for morning consumption due to its ability to promote regularity and relieve tension within the body.
Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis)
Green Tea has been consumed in China since the 14th century and is considered the most beneficial tea one can drink. Green Tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine. L-theanine increases the activity of GABA - a neurotransmitter known for anti-anxiety properties. It also can produce alpha waves in the brain and increase dopamine. Dopamine can lead to feelings of bliss, concentration, and joy, which can improve anxiety symptoms. Due to its caffeine content, Green Tea is best consumed in the morning and is an excellent alternative to coffee.
Rose Tea (Rosa Spp.)
Rose Tea is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols. Polyphenols are proven to prevent anxiety and depression. These antioxidants also repair cellular damage within the body, making it more resilient. Rose Tea is also rich in Vitamin C. One study revealed that vitamin C could reduce anxiety levels. Drink Rose Tea day or night to see the impressive effects of natural antioxidants.
Lemon Balm Tea (Melissa Officinalis)
Lemon Balm Tea helps anxiety by boosting GABA - a neurotransmitter that soothes stress and induces feelings of calmness. Studies have shown that the Lemon Balm Extract within the tea helps anxiety and insomnia. Restful sleep is essential to maintaining excellent mental health. Drink Lemon Balm Tea at night to unwind more quickly after a long day.
Lavender Tea (Lavandula Officinalis)
Lavender Tea is high in Magnesium. Magnesium has been a natural treatment for anxiety for thousands of years. Magnesium binds to calming receptors (GABA) that induce a relaxed state. Magnesium also regulates the release of stress hormones such as cortisol. Studies have shown that consuming lavender tea can reduce anxiety and depression. This Tea is an affordable way to reduce the severity of anxiety symptoms. Lavender Tea recommended for nighttime consumption due to its sedative effects and ability to affect motor skills.
Catnip Tea (Nepeta Cataria)
Catnip Tea contains high amounts of - Nepetalactone - a compound that can boost mood and reduce anxiety symptoms. Its relaxing properties can also promote restful sleep - which is essential for maintaining good mental health. Consume this tea at night to reap the benefits of restful sleep.
Valerian (Valeriana Officinalis)
Valerenic acid within Valerian tea inhibits the breakdown of GABA - a neurotransmitter that reduces stress and induces calmness in the brain. It may take a few weeks of consistent consumption to notice the effects of this tea. Remember to consume Valerian tea at the end of the day due to its sedative properties and its ability to impair motor skills. It is best to start with a moderate amount of Valerian tea before increasing your dosage. Please note that high consumption of Valerian tea can induce sleepiness to the point of having a “hangover effect” the following day.
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica)
Gotu Kola has held a reputation for being the herb of longevity. Asian cultures have consumed Gotu Kola tea for thousands of years. Due to its versatility in addressing health issues. This 2013 study revealed that Gotu Kola has acute anti-anxiety properties. This tea is best taken at night as it does promote relaxation and can sometimes cause severe drowsiness.
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