A simple cup of tea may not make that annoying coworker or cancellation of your favorite show any less painful. But herbal brews have been in use for centuries for all types of medicinal purposes worldwide. Several studies within the modern science world have been presenting evidence for the benefits drinking tea provides. Tea is especially great for helping with mental health issues, such as stress and depression! Drinking tea has helped with lowering cortisol, the stress hormone, as well as lowering your chances of developing depression, dementia, and anxiety. Given the countless mental health benefits of drinking tea, let’s go over 4 best teas for stress and depression.
Valerian Root Tea for Stress
Also called “All-heal” and “Garden Heliotrope”, Valerian root tea is great for helping with stress and anxiety. Valerian has soothing properties, and is awesome for assisting with general uneasiness.
While native to Europe and China, Valerian also grows in North and South America. It comes from the plant Valeriana officinalis. According to the National Center for Contemporary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), Valerian was used for medical purposes. Its uses date back to the ancient Roman and Greek empires. Valerian root was used to treat heart palpitations, trembling, anxiety, and headaches. Today it has proved to be one of the best teas for stress and depression because of its ability to ease nervous tension. It also treats other problems, such as insomnia and menopausal symptoms.
In terms of taste, Valerian has a distinct earthy or woodsy flavor. This is due to the plant flourishing best in moist, grassy environments. Valerian comes in multiple forms, such as a pill/capsule, a teabag, and loose-leaf tea. Valerian tea should be prepared the same as any traditional tea. If you prefer your tea to have a lighter flavor, only steep Valerian tea for about two minutes. If you prefer your tea to have a stronger taste, a 3-5-minute steep will get the job done.
Also, note that it may not be safe to mix Valerian with other medications used to treat psychiatric disorders. Do not mix Valerian with alcohol or medications that promote sleep either. Be sure to seek the advice of your doctor should you experience any negative side.
Lavender Tea for Stress and Depression
Lavender is known for its floral scent and purple hue. It is widely used for aromatherapy, cosmetics, and body products across the globe. Its immense set of calming effects makes it one of the best teas for stress and depression as well.
Native to the Mediterrian, Lavender comes from the plant Lavandula angustifolia. Lavender has been in use for upwards of 2,500 years. It dates as far back as ancient Egypt. Historically, it played a part in perfumes, burial rituals, cooking, and bathing. Today, according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, lavender remedies stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, migraines, and even cancer symptoms. Its ability to quickly relax the body of all tension promotes tranquility and peace.
In terms of taste, Lavender tea has a wide range of flavors. Some blends are more floral and sweeter while others can be more smokey and woodsy. Regardless, Lavender tea tends to have hints of rosemary, mint, and/or rose. For consumption, Lavender tea can either come in tea bags already or loose-leaf buds (dried or fresh). For brewing purposes, Lavender tea should steep for 8-10 minutes.
Lavender tea can possibly cause allergic reactions and hormonal imbalances in the body. Be sure to contact your doctor should you experience either of these symptoms.
St. John’s Wort Tea for Depression
Referred to as “Klamath Weed” and “Goat Weed”, experts widely suggest St. John’s Wort tea to be a part of treatment for depression. It treats other mental health conditions due to its healing properties.
St. John’s Wort tea comes from a beautiful yellow plant called Hypericum perforatum. Its uses originated in the ancient Greek empire. Native to Eurasia, St. John’s Wort can flourish in just about any type of soil, including sand, clay, and loam. It can also grow in soils with acidic or slightly alkaline pH levels. St. John’s Wort tea gets its unique name from sprouting near the St. John the Baptist feast in late June. Historically, the herb was used for a variety of ailments, including lung and kidney complications, insomnia, depression, and wound healing. Today, St. John’s Wort tea is used to treat a vast array of mental health disorders. This includes depression, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). According to the NCCIH, St. John’s Wort has been proven to be more effective than placebo antidepressants in several studies.
St. John’s Wort tea has a slightly bitter, earthy taste with a sweet and/or lemony aftertaste. This caffeine-free tea is best when steeped for four minutes, but should steep for longer for a stronger flavor. When brewed, St. John’s Wort tea is fluorescent red.
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Rhodiola Tea for Stress and Depression
Called “Arctic Root”, “Golden Root”, “Rose Root”, and “King’s Crown”, Rhodiola tea is another amazing tea for stress and depression.
Rhodiola tea is native to the cold and mountainous regions of Europe and Asia as well as the high altitude of the Arctic. Rhodiola was historically used by people of the Northern regions to assist with anxiety, fatigue, infections, headache, depression, and stress. It also improved endurance, work performance, and high-altitude related sickness. Today, several studies prove that Rhodiola tea is a great stimulant for physical and mental health. It is also great for performance, stress-induced fatigue, mild symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) as well as depression.
Rhodiola tea has a rosy and slightly tart flavor with a rosy-red color after brewing. This tea should steep for roughly twelve minutes.
When using St. John’s Wort and Rhodiola teas, be sure to keep in mind that depression is a serious mental illness that should be treated under a doctor’s discretion.
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