Forty million adults suffer from anxiety disorders in the United States. While the reasons are numerous and complex—genetics, life events, brain chemistry and personality all play partial roles—some of the ways you can combat anxiety are surprisingly simple.
Many studies have linked improvement in anxiety symptoms with everything from daily exercise and meditation to cognitive behavioral therapy and a healthy diet, but one of the easiest ways to relieve the symptoms of anxiety disorders can be found in a simple, undemanding cup of tea.
Even if you currently practice a lifestyle that involves a fair amount of anxiety-reducing routines, adding tea will benefit you even more. Here are a handful of the best—and most readily available—teas for anyone suffering with an anxiety disorder:
- Valerian root. Valerian root acts as a mild sedative that works on emotional, physical and psychological levels. Drink a cup before bed if you need a sleep aid, or any time you feel unduly tense.
- Kava kava. One of the best herbs for people suffering from moderate to extreme anxiety, kava kava root relieves stressful feelings by acting as a sedative and anesthetic. Studies have also found it to be an effective foe against anxious thoughts.
- Chamomile. An ideal companion for mild to moderate anxiety, chamomile’s fragrant and relaxing flowers actually go to work on the same brain receptors that the prescription drug Valium targets. No wonder it has been used to promote rest and calm for centuries.
- Green tea. Wonderfully high in antioxidants, green tea also contains theanine—an amino acid that relaxes brain waves and rejuvenates the mind. Green tea does contain caffeine, so if you’re sensitive to the ways in which caffeine can exacerbate anxiety, choose a decaffeinated version.
Anxiety disorders affect an astonishingly large portion of the general population. While a one-size-fits-all panacea has yet to be found, the age-old calm found in a daily cup of tea can work quick and consistent wonders for anyone suffering from a harried mind, shortened breath and pounding heart.
With the enlightening desire to improve world health through tea, John Boyd is the CEO and founder of the Buddha Teas company (www.buddhateas.com). Over the past four years the company has flourished and has become one of the leading producers of single-herb organic teas.