Calming Tea – 4 Natural Tea’s To Ease The Mind
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A cup of tea is like a hug in a mug – for many people around the world, tea has a universal comforting feel-good factor that helps both the mind and body to relax.
Nowadays tea comes in so many different varieties from herbal, caffeinated and decaffeinated, with milk and sugar, hot or cold – the options are endless.
It’s also scientifically proven that many types of tea leaves contain antioxidants, with green tea having the highest levels, plus amino acids like L-theanine which makes people feel calmer.
Other benefits include improved memory and concentration, so here’s our top four teas to get you drinking:
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Chamomile tea comes from a plant similar in appearance to a daisy, from which the flowers are dried and then infused in hot water to create a herbal tea.
It’s caffeine free, so a great alternative to green or black tea, and can have a quite a light and naturally sweet aroma. One of its main positives is that it can help you feel sleepy, or at least very relaxed.
Chamomile is abundant in antioxidants, one of which is apigenin that helps you feel sleepy and is supposed to improve the overall quality of your sleep.
So try a cup of soothing chamomile tea around 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime while taking some quiet time – perhaps as you read a book, or rest in a dimly lit room.
We suggest that you drink the tea without any honey or sweetener. Feeling calm and relaxed is not just about slowing the mind down, but also ensuring that your physical state is comfortable too.
If you suffer from stomach problems like difficulty in digesting, wind or general discomfort after eating then you should definately try a cup of chamomile tea as it contains anti-inflammatory properties to help relax the stomach muscles.
Lavender is not only a very fragrant and beautiful flower, but if you boil the purple buds – whether fresh or dried- in hot water it’ll make a tea that’s generally believed to be calming and help you sleep better.
Lavender has anti-inflammatory properties, which is why it’s so popular as an oil rubbed on the skin. There’s less research on lavender tea than other herbal teas, but it’s safe to say, it’s natural woody, herbal and fragrant taste will make it a relaxing beverage and help you unwind after a long day.
You can often purchase lavender tea in bags, or loose purple buds.
At MindEasy we often look out for organic lavender without any additives added, and we’re also partial to Lavender and Chamomile mixed together.
The latter can often be found already in tea bags at your local supermarket.
Mint tea is probably the most popular herbal tea out there as it has so many positive properties – it can help ease any discomfort in the stomach and aid digestion, while freshening breath, lessening headache pain, as well as having antibacterial properties.
For those who grow their own herbs, you can literally take a handful of mint leaves and brew it in hot water, and if you fancy a colder beverage why not leave it to cool, and then add some ice for a refreshingly cold mint tea (add sugar syrup if you fancy a little more sweetness).
Popular mint tea brands include Twinings Pure Peppermint, Teapigs Peppermint Leaves and Pukka’s three mint organic bags and their mint refresh selection.
Mint leaves are full of antioxidants and phytonutrients, with traces of vitamin A, vitamin C, and B-complex, phosphorous, calcium, as well as anti-bacterial properties. It also contains iron, potassium, and manganese which can boost haemoglobin levels and enhance brain function.
As well as aiding digestion- given that it can help relax the stomach muscles, some healthcare professionals also suggest using mint to help combat asthma as it’s a relaxant and can help ease chest congestion. Mint is also known to help unblock a stuffed nose with the menthol making it easier to breath and can calm the irritation caused by a cough.
Valerian root tea
Valerian is a herb found in Europe, Asia and in North America, with the root being used to make medicine.
It’s most commonly used to help sleep disorders including insomnia and anxiety, and was extremely popular as a herbal remedy in the Ancient Greek and Roman times.
You should note though that it’s still uncertain how valerian root works, but researchers think that the root could increase the levels of a chemical known as gamma aminobutyric acid in the brain, which helps to calm.
Valerian root tea can be found in powdered form or teabags, but it’s worth noting the dosage.
We’ve found research that suggests 300 to 600 milligrams of valerian root a couple of hours prior to bed, can be very beneficial, but if you’re planning to take valerian root for a long period of time you should consult your doctor.
Side effects from taking valerian root may include headaches, drowsiness, dizziness, stomach upset or restlessness.
MindEasy founder & meditation teacher