5 Stress-Busting Herbal Teas
I talk a lot about stress. I talk a lot about how poorly managed stress can take a huge toll on our mental and physical health and well being (because it’s all connected!).
While we all experience stress in some way throughout our lives, we all have the opportunity to manage how that stress affects us. Keep in mind that stress comes in many different forms. Too much exercise can cause stress. Loss of a loved one causes stress. Work deadlines can cause stress. Being bothered or frustrated by people around you causes stress.
It’s important that we schedule time throughout our days and weeks to do stress-relieving activities that make us feel calm, nourished, and taken care of.
One of my favourite stress-relieving activities is that of drinking a cup of tea. The act of preparing a cup of tea and taking 15 minutes to enjoy it can be a fantastic, simple, stress-relieving activity. Even better than the act of drinking tea, is the fact that many herbal teas can have their own stress-reducing effects on the body. Combine the ritual of preparing a cup of tea with the powerful effects of some of these amazing herbs and you have yourself a perfect way to wind down!
A tip for when preparing herbal tea: always use freshly boiled water and cover your mug with a lid or small plate while steeping. Steep for at least 10 minutes then enjoy!
Holy Basil (also known as Tulsi): This caffeine-free tea is an adaptogen, meaning it can help your body adapt to stress. This tea is known to be calming and stress reducing while improving mental clarity. It helps lower cortisol, our primary stress hormone, which can have a huge number of positive health effects. Its power to increase focus and mood makes it a good tea for both mornings and afternoons.
Chamomile: This calming herb makes an excellent tea for before bed, thanks to its mild sedative effect. It can also help soothe the stomach and is therefore a great post-dinner drink. Combine it with lavender (see below) for the ultimate bed-time relaxer.
Lavender: Lavender flowers are known for their relaxing effects and are beneficial for insomnia, without having a sedative effect. Add this fragrant herb to a cup of tea anytime you need to unwind.
Skullcap: This herb is well known for its calming effects on the nervous system. Enjoy a cup of this tea to help relieve stress and calm anxiety. It can be especially beneficial for those who have trouble falling asleep due to anxious thoughts or an overactive mind.
Passionflower: This mellow and pleasantly flavoured tea can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality. Drink it alone or blend it with Skullcap for extra relaxation effects.
Whichever herbs you choose, create a ritual out of your tea experience – appreciate the warmth of your cup in your hands; notice the aroma of the tea and the feeling of the steam on your face. Sip it slowly and focus on the heat and flavour of the tea in your mouth. Turning ever day experiences into meditative practices is a great way to manage stress and live a healthier life!
By: Ali MacBoudreau
Ali is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant. Her mission is to help you discover just how vibrant and amazing you can feel, by giving you the tools you need to make lasting changes. (Hint, it involves delicious food!) To learn more about Ali and holistic nutrition please visit her website https://www.holisticali.com/about