Teas for relaxation
If you practice yoga, meditation or other stress-reducing activities and yet calm still manages to allude you. Instead of getting a prescription for Xanax, try naturally relaxing supplements. There are several herbs which you can take in a nice cup of tea giving you the sedative effect you need during times of stress and anxiety. Generally, one teaspoon of dried herbs or three tablespoons of fresh herb to one cup of water is a beneficial amount. Most herbs should steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
Valerian - This root is well known for its sedative properties and is often taken to promote good sleep. However, it can also ease tension, both physical and emotional. Too much can make you sluggish. It should not be used by kids under 12 years of age.
Blue vervain – Is another herb associated with easing sleep troubles and calming the nervous system. Research has shown that it can be effective against certain nervous conditions, but it should not be used for extended periods of time.
Catnip - If you have cats, try borrowing their catnip. It can also reduce muscle tension while providing mild stimulation. If your troubles are making it difficult to fall asleep, try catnip in a tea before bedtime. It could also help if your lack of sleep is giving you headaches. Even people with severe anxiety may benefit.
Chamomile – This is a very commonly used herb for relaxation. It helps soothe the stomach and decreases mild anxiety. It is one of the herbal remedies that can be given to children, though it is not recommended for extended use in anyone. Chamomile and catnip could both stimulate an appetite lost due to stress. In addition to a cup of tea, people can add chamomile to a warm bath for increased relaxation.
Lemon balm - Lemon balm acts on the nervous system to reduce nervousness, anxiety or upset. Generally taken in a tea, lemon balm may also reduce headaches. Let it steep up to 15 minutes and use it in a hot or iced tea.
Kava - Arguably the best herb for treating moderate to severe anxiety. Many studies have shown its effectiveness for anxiety and stress. Some herbal remedies ease the symptoms of anxiety, but kava might actually reduce anxious thoughts. There are some concerns about the safety of kava, so even though a cup of kava tea is unlikely to hurt you, consult a healthcare practitioner first just to be on the safe side.
Passionflower - People with moderate anxiety who want the benefits of kava without the possible risks can try passionflower tea. Passionflower might help with severe anxiety, but it is recommended for people with a mild to moderate condition. This herb is known to decrease muscle tension and calm nerves. It could also help with headaches and sleep difficulties.
Hops - Although a main ingredient in beer, hops are also used in tea and may soothe nervousness and stress. It could also fight insomnia, indigestion and headaches. If your stress level has weakened your immune system and you end up with a fever, hops is known to help that too.
Green tea - Besides its high antioxidant content, green tea could help you relax because it contains theanine. Research shows that this amino acid promotes alpha waves in the brain, which are linked to relaxation. Green tea does have caffeine though, so if you're looking to calm down, you may want to try the decaffeinated variety.