Tea for Anxiety

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Is it true that you can ease anxiety by relaxing with a soothing cup of tea?

Green Tea most promising

Research on the effects of green tea have shown that the drink is associated with a number of health benefits, one of which may be relaxation. In particular, there have been a few research studies on anxiety and L-theanine, an amino acid found in tea plants. L-theanine is what gives green tea its characteristic taste, and its presence in green tea seems to work against the stimulating effects of caffeine on the nervous system. Some of the study findings indicate that L-theanine has calming effects, but more research is needed to determine whether these effects are truly significant in humans. In addition, the L-theanine in the studies is usually taken in supplement form, not as a cup of green tea.

Other teas that are often recommended for anxiety are passionflower, valerian, and chamomile. Valerian is often used as a sedative, sometimes as an alternative to benzodiazepines, but many studies have found it to be no more effective than a placebo. A study on chamomile found it effective in reducing anxiety among people with GAD, although the participants consumed chamomile capsules rather than tea.

Research teas before trying

If you're considering trying tea for anxiety, it is important to be knowledgeable about what type you choose. Some teas recommended for anxiety are very strong and should be used with caution. Others may contain significant amounts of caffeine, which can worsen anxiety symptoms. Green and chamomile teas are widely available, known to be safe in most situations, and may help relieve some anxiety symptoms.

photo of flowering teas by Nyboer Creative

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