Take a moment to consider this question: How much stress are you dealing with right now?
If your mind didn’t immediately recall a source of stress, you’re one of the lucky ones. For most of us, stress is an inevitable part of life, and it can feel overwhelming.
But what if that overwhelming feeling wasn’t so inevitable after all?
While it’s easy to understand the emotional and mental effects of stress, most of us don’t realize that there’s also a physical component – specifically, chemical, which often leads to both short- and long-term health issues.
We at Buddha Teas truly believe that experiencing stress is somewhat in our control. One way to positively, and deliciously deal with stress is to reach for tea!
The Effects of Stress on the Body
When you encounter a threat – whether real or perceived – your body automatically tries to deal with it. The brain signals the release of certain stress hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol, which flood your body with energy. Other systems also come into play: the heart beats faster, lungs work harder, muscles tense, all preparing you to leap into action.
In short-term situations, this can work well. Your mind becomes more focused, and your body more capable. You are now physically more prepared to handle an emergency.
Yet not every situation benefits from increased physical prowess. Take making a dreaded phone call, for example, or fighting with a friend or family member. Instead of being prepared, you now are overflowing with energy, but have nowhere to release it.
Long-term stressors can be even worse. Instead of a short burst of adrenaline, your body fights to maintain a high alert status. Soon, your body no longer has the energy to maintain it, and your health starts to suffer. You can’t sleep, you acquire digestive issues, or headaches, you can’t focus, and you’re regularly irritable. These are just a few of the physical effects linked to chronic stress.
What Can Herbs Do?
True, there is no cup of tea that will do your taxes, help you land that promotion, or magically un-jam the traffic on your daily commute. Tea won’t help your problems go away, but it might help you control how you react to them.
Each of the teas on this list works with your body’s natural systems to achieve a greater sense of calm. If you’re open to incorporating tea into your natural stress remedy options, we know for sure you’ll want to examine the following list.
Ashwagandha is known as an adaptogen, which is a compound known to help balance the body’s systems.
Studies have shown that ashwagandha reduces the release of the stress hormone cortisol. Because of this, ashwagandha can lower the energy-draining effects that stress imposes, helping to reduce fatigue.
Chamomile Flower Tea
Chamomile may the most well known herbal tea, but don’t mistake its global popularity for being mundane. For many people, chamomile should be the first tea they reach for when dealing with stress.
On top of its pleasant fruity flavor and aroma, chamomile tea contains flavonoids found to relax. Reaching for a cup of this tea the moment you feel a stress attack approaching can reduce muscle tension, promote feelings of peace, and minimize your overall feelings of stress.
Chamomile is also well known for promoting a restful night’s sleep, which is essential when you’re under stress. Steep a cup an hour before bed to help you unwind from the day, and odds are you’ll wake up prepared to face whatever the new day will throw your way.
Holy Basil Tea
Also known as tulsi, this one is the second Indian tea on our list. Holy Basil is considered sacred in India, and has been an essential fixture in the Ayurvedic world. Among its purported health benefits are its ability to promote healthy cardiovascular and respiratory function, boost immune strength and – you guessed it – combat stress.
Early studies have shown that holy basil helps to limit the release of stress hormones, much like ashwagandha. It may also promote focus and mental clarity; combined with its immune-boosting properties, ashwagandha addresses three of the biggest issues of stress with energy, focus and immune strength.
This herbal tea may not be one of the most appealing taste-wise, but its natural relaxing properties may be an effective stress reliever. Hops tea has shown natural sedative properties, helping to relax tense muscles and calm the mind. It probably won’t be powerful enough to put you to sleep, but it could be just the thing you need to settle down after a stressful event.
Kava Kava Root Tea
If you enjoy a potent peppery taste, you may want to look into kava kava. Polynesian cultures have used the root of this plant for centuries to create a traditional beverage known for its calming effect. This appears to be due to the kavalactones, compounds found in kava that have a relaxing effect in the brain. When you feel frazzled or unfocused, kava kava root tea could be just the thing you need.
There is some controversy around the potential harm kava kava root may cause to the liver. While many experts contest this, saying cases are rare and appear to be linked to other liver-toxic substances, it may be best to avoid kava kava if you have or are prone to liver damage.
The mildly sedative qualities of skullcap won’t put you to sleep, but a cup of Skullcap Tea can be a great way to wind down and release tension at the end of the day. Skullcap is known to calm both the muscles and the nerves, relaxing them and allowing you a break from the cycle of stress.
Calm Buddha Blend
When you can’t seem to decide on one tea, a blend may be your best option. Our Calm Buddha Blend combines the calming powers of kava kava root, chamomile and skullcap with other refreshing ingredients, including fragrant lavender, cool spearmint, passion flower, st. John’s wort and a dash of cinnamon. Balancing flavor with effectiveness, the Calm Buddha Blend is carefully crafted to give you the best relaxing experience. Give this one a try next time you have a hard day!
How do you deal with your stressful days? Do you prefer to unwind with a cup of tea, or do you have your own special method? Share it with us in the comments below!