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My Favourite Herbal Teas That Help Reduce Stress

My Favourite Herbal Teas That Help Reduce Stress

After a long day it is very important to unwind and allow the stress of the day to be lifted. One of the best ways to do that is to make yourself a cup of herbal tea. Not only are herbal teas very flavorful and tasty, but there are many health benefits to drinking these tea mixtures as well.

I usually do tai chi and chi gong to help with stress relief after a long day. However I am finding that there are many other great natural remedies for stress relief, as well. One of my favorites that I’ve been enjoying quite a bit over the past few weeks is drinking a cup of herbal tea in the evenings before bed. I’ve found that this is very relaxing and it’s become one of my new evening rituals. Here are some great herbal teas that you should try too.

There are "weaker" teas that can be drank daily and are hard to overdose on such as Chamomile, Hibiscus, or Lemon Balm, and there are strong calming teas that are really just "in case" types.

Base teas with slight calming effect

CHAMOMILE TEA

One of my favorite herbal teas is chamomile tea. This has been found to be very relaxing and many people who are generally anxious or hyperactive really benefit from its calming properties. It has been found to stabilize mood and is known to combat insomnia. Drinking a cup before bed can really help you fall asleep quicker.

Prepare this tea by adding a heaping teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers or ready-to-use chamomile tea to a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes depending upon the strength of the flavor that you’re looking for. However, the longer it steeps, the more of the flavor and benefits you’ll receive.

HIBISCUS TEA

Hibiscus tea has several health benefits. Besides those, its calming effect is only a side effect, but I think everyone should have this at home because: it's a natural antioxidant; helps lower blood pressure; reduces digestive problems; and reduces bad cholesterol. It has also one of the highest Vitamin C content among teas.

It has a light sour taste and a fantastic colour, that makes your mood better simply by taking the cup in your hand.

Hibiscus tea is made from the dried flowers of the plant. You can choose to make a hot tea or a cold one. For the latter, you can soak the flowers into cold water and let them sit for a day to release their taste and benefits, but you can also boil 2-3 cups of water and pour onto 2-4 tbsp dried flowers. They need 10 minutes to steep, but you can make a lighter tea by draining them earlier.

LEMON BALM TEA

Lemon balm, or “Melissa officinalis,” is absolutely not the same as lemon grass. It's a herb belonging to the mint family that’s been used for centuries to treat anxiety, sleep disorders, indigestion, and wounds.

Drinking lemon balm tea can have a calming effect and help you fall asleep, and it's also helpful for improving the quality of sleeping.

Lemon balm has a high antioxidant content, and it's very effective against some kind of viruses and infections as there are a typical group of bacteria and viruses that are really sensitive for lemon balm. Besides, it's very effective against herpes.

For preparing lemon balm tea, steep 1/4 to 1 tsp. of dried herb in hot water. You can drink this tea up to four times daily. Lemon balm has a lighter taste than peppermint; it's not so strong and has a lemon hint.

There's one more benefit which is not widely known: you can use the tea for treating certain skin problems by steeping 2 to 4 tsp. of crushed lemon balm leaves in one cup of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes, then, apply the tea to your skin using cotton balls as a natural tonic.

My special arsenal against tress:

GINSENG TEA

This is a tea that is great for mental clarity. I'm sure that everyone has already experienced at least one night when it was impossible to fall asleep because our thoughts were just running and running in and out of our head endlessly...

In this case, this tea is the best solution. It quickly helps to reduce mental exhaustion so that it is easier to rest. Other health benefits include reduction of menstrual cramps; improvement of concentration; helps with low blood pressure and sexual dysfunction; aids in weight loss; and is known to help reduce the risk of cancer.

To prepare ginseng tea, you can choose between American and Korean ginseng. Korean ginseng is known to have a warming property and is probably best used in cooler months. American ginseng is known to have a cooling effect and may be best during warmer times of the year. Some advocate that American ginseng should be used if it is going to be consumed on a long-term basis because it is less stimulating than Korean ginseng.

Take a sharp knife or potato peeler and shave the ginseng root into the smallest shavings that you can. Take a tablespoon of the root shavings and put them in a tea ball, which you can purchase at most grocery stores. Bring a cup of water to a boil and then let the water cool for about two minutes. Pour the water into a cup and add the tea ball. Allow the mixture to steep for 5-10 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea. Remove the tea ball before drinking.

LEMONGRASS TEA

Lemongrass tea is primarily known for its medicinal properties. But besides its great health benefits it helps relieve stress. It has been shown to be a natural antioxidant that prevents damage to cells due to harmful toxins in the body and it slows down the growth of harmful bacteria in the body. It is even believed to prevent the growth of cancer cells.

So if you choose this one, you choose a 2-in-1 tea.

The best way to prepare lemongrass tea is by bending and tying two lemongrass stalks with twine, then placing them in a cup with boiling water. Let the mixture simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until the tea becomes golden brown in color. You can find the lemongrass sticks at specialty stores but you can also substitute ready-to-use lemongrass tea bags as well.

LAVENDER TEA

Despite Lavender being widely known as a part of aromatherapy, not many of us tried it as a tea. It's true that it has a really strong flavour which is very unique so I can imagine that for some of us, this is too much.

Lavender is knows for it benefits from ancient times and has been named as one of the most useful of the essences for the relief of anxiety and stress. It may slow nervous system activity, thus promoting relaxation. This can help with anxiety, insomnia, stress, and depression. By slowing the nervous activity it may help on migraine headache, but I think as migraine may cause fragrance sentitivity and even migraine itself can be caused by odours and fragrances, this is not for everyone. Give it a try. For some of us, this may help; if not, there are still lemon and peppermint to try.

It is especially beneficial to the respiratory tract particularly for coughs, colds, and influenza for it certainly eases breathing when lungs and sinuses are blocked with phlegm. Effective in defending system against airborne viruses. It's soothing in the stomach also. I think Lavender is a multifunctional herb.

To prepare lavender tea, put 1-2 tsp dried flowers in a teapot or tea egg along with hot (but not boiling) water and let them steep 4-5 minutes. Strain the tea to remove flower buds.

And at the end, the strongest two:

PASSIONFLOWER TEA

Passionflower has been shown to have some of the same anti-anxiety benefits that the pharmaceutical drug Xanax has. Not only have two studies shown that there is essentially no difference between the effectiveness of passion fruit and Xanax, but they have also shown that the herb may even cause less drowsiness than its pharmaceutical counterpart. So this is a strong one; please use it with consideration!

Prepare passionflower tea by mixing 1 tablespoon of the dried herb in 1 cup of boiling water. Let the mixture steep for about 10 minutes before consuming. Try drinking the tea near bedtime for a restful sleep.

VALERIAN TEA

Valerian plant is one of those plants that has the strongest calming effect. Valerian root is the base of most homeopatic or natural calming and stress-relieving pills. It's a real medicine, so please use it as required.

Valerian has strong sedative qualities and the ability to relax the central nervous system and the smooth muscle groups. It can be used as a sleeping aid especially when there is difficulty in falling asleep due to nervousness, and it reduces the time needed to fall asleep. It can be used as a mild tranquilizer for people experiencing emotional stress or have difiicult days for some reason. Since it doesn't affect driving or any other capabilities, it's compatible with a normail daily life.

Since valerian root can be bought in many forms from the fresh root to dried or powdered version, it needs to be prepared base on packaging instructions. The most important this is to know that all herb teas must be steeped in hot (but not boiling) water as high temperature destroys their benefits.

Mixes

Though these teas are already great natural alternatives for stress relief, you can make your own mixes to enhance their stress-relieving effect. It's important to note that when you prepare mixes, you need to choose a weaker base tea to pair it with one or two more calming teas; but you need to avoid overdosing!

I recommend to try these mixes according to your demand and taste, and use them with consideration.

Mixes include 2 unit base tea and 1 unit special tea,

or 1/2 + 1/2 special teas:

Chamomile + Lemongrass (+ Ginseng)

Lemon balm + Lavender

Hibiscus + Valerian (It's really important to pair Valerian with an almost-neutral base tea!)

Hibiscus + Passion flower (It's really important to pair Passion flower with an almost-neutral base tea!)

It is very important that you consult your physician first, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Although herbal teas are considered to be safe with virtually no side effects, pregnant women and women who are lactating should get the go signal from their doctor before taking in any therapeutic dose.

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