Why tea is perfect for anxiety.
I grew up in England, we drink a lot of tea, its become sort of the “in” joke when imitating a British person. I have very fond memories of drinking tea at my Nana’s house with the finest china, cups and saucers and an actual pot with a cozy to keep it warm.
Tea in England is usually a black tea, what we might call an orange pekoe here, taken with milk and sometimes sugar.
Here in North America, this is not how we drink tea (for the most part), hence the English Breakfast tea or Canadian Breakfast tea you can buy – in England its simply “tea”.
My love for tea has never died but over the past 16 years, it has been mostly focused on green tea, herbal tea or matcha.
Did you know that tea is the only natural beverage in the world that is neuroprotective? And it is the most widely consumed beverage in the world after water.
This is the reason it has been at the root of ceremonies and Buddism for 1,000’s of years.
Why is tea so popular and what makes it so good for you?
Tea contain L Theanine – an amino acid which passes through the blood brain barrier. It significantly increases the activity of the alpha frequency – which relaxes the mind without making you drowsy and helps reduce anxiety.
“In studies conducted on animals, for example, it was found that L-theanine affected dopamine and serotonin concentrations in the brain and reduced blood pressure in hypertensive rats” 1.
There is also evidence to suggest that L Theanine may be useful for reducing high blood pressure. This might be due to the fact that we need to take time out of our day to brew the tea, prepare the cup, pour and sit down to drink.
If we can cultivate a meditative practice around our tea making, this can elevate the soothing and stress reducing aspect of drinking tea.
We can also add adaptogenic herbs to our tea. Adaptogens help the body adapt to stress so teas containing asian ginseng, holy basil, and ginseng lily flour balls can all be added to the tea repertoire.
Here are some of my favourite teas, one in particular is perfect for helping you sleep:
Rest & Repair – Ingredients: Lavender, Rose, Hibiscus, Chamomile, Catnip, Licorice Root, Alfalfa, Spearmint and Wintergreen. Caffeine-free.
Ginseng Lily Flower – Ingredients: Luxury green tea, ginseng, lily blossoms.
Holy Cold Buster with Tulsi – Ingredients: Rooibos, ginseng, tulsi holy basil, lemon peel, orange peel, hibiscus, ginger root, rose hips, cinnamon, rose petals, marigold flowers, orange, cinnamon and vanilla natural flavouring.
Good old black is is also a great choice as it may actually contain more L Theanine than green tea. 2
So however you like your cup, keep drinking, but give it variety, and not too much caffeine – especially before bed.
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