Looking for a natural herbal remedy to ease mental problems? Find out what are the best teas for depression and calming the nerves.
Herbal teas have been used for centuries, both for their health benefits and for pleasure.
Science claims that certain teas can be mood-enhancing, and have properties that can help reduce symptoms of stress, depression and other mental difficulties.
Also, there are studies that suggest that drinking tea may be helpful for calming down.
It may take some time to find the right herb mix, but remember that it all comes down to which herb you choose to cook.
Although herbal teas are technically different from the supplements, capsules, oils, tinctures, and other medications you may use to treat anxiety, interactions are still possible.
But it is important to know that depression is a serious mental health condition. If depression and low nerves are interfering with your daily life, talk to your doctor before adding tea to your routine.
The benefits of calming tea
Herbal teas can help with occasional stress and anxiety, while others may be better used as a routine complementary therapy for an underlying condition.
Other potential benefits of drinking different herbal teas may include:
Read on to find out the best teas for calming nerves and depression, supporting your general sense of well-being.
The best teas for depression and nerves
1. Mint (Mentha piperita)
This classic garden plant does not have to be used only for spices. Some research suggests that the aroma of mint can help calm frustration, anxiety and nerves.
Separate research finds that inhaling the scent of peppermint oil can help calm anxiety in people hospitalized for heart attacks or childbirth.
Peppermint tea is best used to combat stressful feelings such as anxiety. Mint tea can also be helpful if you feel tired.
2. Lavender (Lavandula officinalis)
Lavender is widely known for its stabilizing and sedative effects. But did you know it could be just as effective as some anti-anxiety medications?
In one study, researchers found that silexan, an oral preparation in the form of lavender capsules, was as effective as lorazepam in adults with generalized anxiety disorder.
Lavender can be useful for calming nerves, and help treat skin conditions such as acne and burns, as well as body aches.
3. Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla/Chamaemelum nobile)
This daisy-like flower is synonymous with peace, which makes it one of the most famous teas for calming nerves and depression.
One study found that long-term use of chamomile extract significantly reduced moderate to severe symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). However, this did not prevent the occurrence of future symptoms.
In addition to the relaxing and sedative properties of chamomile, it is best used to treat stomach problems, as well as to relieve pain and inflammation.
4. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
A lemon-scented relative of spearmint, lemon balm is a widely used treatment for insomnia, depression, and calming the nerves. It appears to work by boosting GABA – a neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for relaxation and stress reduction.
In one study, lemon balm extract was shown to help with mild to moderate anxiety and insomnia.
Researchers found that a lemon balm supplement reduced symptoms of anxiety, depression, stress and insomnia in people with a heart condition called angina.
Lemon balm is best used in the fight against insomnia, depression and anxiety.
5. Kava kava (Piper methysticum)
A ritual tea in the Pacific Islands, kava is widely used as a remedy for anxiety and depression. It can work by targeting the GABA receptors in the brain that are responsible for feelings of anxiety.
One study suggests that coffee extract pills may be mildly effective in treating generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
It is also important to keep in mind that coffee use has been linked to serious medical conditions, such as liver problems.
Kava kava tea is most often used to relieve the symptoms of GAP.
6. Green tea (Camellia sinensis)
Green tea is rich in L-theanine, an amino acid that can reduce anxiety and alleviate depression.
One study showed that drinking green tea provides a consistently lower level of stress and eases the nerves.
Green tea is also known to help improve focus, as the combined L-theanine and caffeine in the drink help with this.
Green tea can help reduce anxiety and stress in people who drink it regularly.
7. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb said to help fight stress and fatigue.
One study found that taking root extract significantly reduced stress levels over a 2-month period.
Also, the research concluded that Ashwagandha extract helped alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety, but more research is needed to confirm these effects.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that is best used in the treatment of anxiety and weak nerves. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-stress and antioxidant properties.
8. Holy basil (Ocimum sanctum)
Also called tulsi, holy basil is related to European and Thai basils.
Research on its effects on anxiety or stress is limited. One study found that taking holy basil extract reduced GAP symptoms.
Holy basil is best used for physical and psychological benefits, including anxiety, stomach ache, cough, and arthritis pain. However, research on how effective holy basil is is limited.
9. Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Turmeric is a spice that gives a yellowish tinge to some of your favorite dishes. It is also a plant that has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties in some Asian countries.
Turmeric is rich in the anti-inflammatory compound curcumin, and research has shown that curcumin can have anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects.
Turmeric tea is rich in antioxidants and is best used to treat symptoms of anxiety and depression.
10. Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata)
Passionflower has long been used to improve sleep quality. It can also help relieve symptoms of anxiety.
The researchers found that the passionflower supplement worked as well as the usual medication to reduce anxiety.
Passionflower tea can help improve insomnia and anxiety, and has been linked to improving other health problems such as stomach problems.
11. Valeriana (Valeriana officinalis)
Valerian root is commonly used as an herbal remedy for insomnia and other sleep disorders, and may also help relieve anxiety-related insomnia.
One study found that valerian extract was effective in calming nerves and reducing anxiety in women undergoing medical procedures.
Valerian can help improve insomnia and other health problems such as headaches and palpitations.
12. Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
A popular herbal ingredient in cold and flu teas, licorice root has also become a widespread sweetener.
People also take licorice to calm nerves and reduce stress and fatigue.
Research has shown that licorice extract can enhance the effects of valerian and anti-anxiety and depression medications.
Although research is very limited, licorice may be helpful for reducing stress and anxiety.
13. Hops (Humulus lupulus)
You can taste bitter hops in certain drinks, but the hops are not bitter at all.
A study found that taking a hops supplement can reduce mild symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress.
And in combination with valerian, hop supplements can also improve sleep quality.
Hops are best used to treat some mental problems such as depression, anxiety and stress, and can also be used to calm the nerves and induce sleep.
Herbal tea can help calm nerves
Although some herbal teas may have calming effects on nerves and mental health, more research is needed to fully assess their potential benefits. Herbal teas or supplements should never be used in place of prescribed treatment.
Some herbal teas can cause unpleasant side effects, especially when consumed in large quantities. Others can lead to dangerous interactions with over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Many herbal teas are not safe to drink during pregnancy.
You should always consult a doctor or other health care professional before drinking herbal teas or taking herbal supplements.