Drinking tea to deal with anxiety or for a night of deep sleep is much more than making tea on the run and hoping it will have a certain effect. If the plant used has good quality and the tea prepared at the right time and amount will undoubtedly produce the desired effects.
But why not create a tea ritual ceremony, an experience of complete attention to the moment itself?
Tea represents a pause and a peaceful moment – premises for fighting anxiety, stress, insomnia, and other ailments.
For those looking for natural tranquilizers, there are several herbal remedies that can be used, but it is not just any tea that helps in this process, the herbal sources of caffeine should be left out, as they can aggravate anxiety due to the stimulating effect, like green tea, mate tea, black tea, and others obtained from Camellia Sinensis.
Tea, through infusions and decoctions, is the best way to use medicinal plants as a complementary anxiety treatment. Infusions are recommended in the preparation of teas where the plant actives are flowers or leaves. Decoctions are indicated for the hardest parts of plants, such as roots, rhizomes, barks, and seeds.
Preparing the tea is very simple: when done with the leaves or flowers, just heat the water until it starts boiling, pour the water over the herb and cover for 10 to 15 minutes. In the case of bark and stems, boil the water, add the plant and boil for 5 minutes. Then turn off, let it rest for 5 to 10 min, strain and consume hot or cold.
Tea is a natural remedy for anxiety and you shouldn’t sweeten so that its therapeutic action is not impaired.
Sachet teas, found in the markets, can also be consumed. Despite having a very low concentration of herbal medicine, they still contribute to the feeling of well-being.
It is important to understand the quality of what you consume because many companies that sell this type of product do not excel in quality and the sachet might have plastic microparticles.
Best way to consume tea
The form of consumption does not alter the benefits of herbs. Once ready, it can be consumed hot or cold for up to 24 hours provided it is properly stored, preferably in a glass bottle with a lid.
Teas can also be used in the preparation of recipes, such as fruit-infused, which combine teas with fruits, such as chamomile tea with pineapple or melissa tea with apple and mint.
The Mindset of a Medicinal Tea Ritual Ceremony
A tea ritual ceremony is much more than the preparation and appreciation of the tea served. It’s necessary to be present, immersed, involved. Forget about WhatsApp, Instagram and don’t even think about making videos for stories. You have to BE.. mindful!
Taste the different sensations, and enjoy the moment slowly. The physical action of slowing down will impact your mind and cause you to slow down as well. If you wish you can create an environment, music, candles. While the tea cools a bit you can practice a breathing technique or a grounding exercise, and after drinking the tea write in your journal. Get creative with your tea ritual ceremony!
Medicinal Plants and Human History
Since ancient times Humanity learned to eat, to dress and to heal. For that, we always observed the environment and the behavior of the animals, who through their instinct knew how to select edible or medicinal plants from other toxic ones.
The use of medicinal plants dates back to the first shamans, but there are also reports of use in ancient Egypt, where this knowledge belonged to the priestly caste dated initially in 1700 BC, in China there are reports that go back to 2800 BC, going through the Middle Ages and the whole history of Humanity.
Clearly the use of medicinal plants went hand in hand with human evolution, and in 1996 the World Health Organization (WHO) attested that 80% of the world population depended on medicinal plants for primary health care.
Researches give us proof of indications of use already known to popular knowledge. Studies also instruct on specific dosages, toxicity and drug interactions.
Medicinal plants are defined as those capable of producing active ingredients that can alter the functioning of organs and systems, restoring the body’s balance. The vast majority of these compounds act on the central nervous system, thalamus, hypothalamus, organs, and tissues, with tranquilizing, sedative, calming, anti-inflammatory, astringent, antispasmodic, digestive and healing actions, for example.
Keeping our body balanced is the key to fighting these very frequent moments of anxiety.
Plants You Can Use For Anxiety
Scientifically known as Passiflora, this plant grows in abundance in Latin America. Its flowers are aromatic and exotic and its use in alternative medicine became popular for solving problems of anxiety and insomnia.
Its anxiolytic power produces a mild sedative effect and it is good for controlling blood pressure due to its emmenagogue properties, which stimulate blood flow.
Since the time of the Greeks and the Roman Empire, Valerian (Valerianaceae officinalis, Caprifoliaceae) has been considered a medicinal plant.
Its use as an infusion is common to balance the nervous system (as a sedative or as an anxiolytic). The use of valerian brings great benefits regarding sleep, especially when mixed with other plants that also have a calming effect.
This is one of the best-known plants. Famous for being an anxiety control tea, chamomile has a mild sedative action, helps control anxiety and fight insomnia. It is also a good tea for pregnancy anxiety.
It is made with the flowers and can be consumed during the day and at night, before bed. In excess, chamomile tea can decrease iron absorption.
Derived from the Tilia genus of trees, that typically grows in temperate regions of North America, Europe, and Asia. Tilia cordata is considered the most potent species.
Its consumption is highly recommended in febrile states, flu, and phlegm, especially in children due to its mildly soothing action and its pleasant and sweet taste. It is a good tranquilizer of the nervous system and widely used in hyperactive children.
This plant also works as a sedative, anxiolytic and anti-spasmodic.
Traditionally in France, five o’clock tea for children was linden taken in the shade of the tree itself, so that the effect would be even more effective. Linden is also useful in relieving headaches and insomnia.
Due to the action of bioflavonoids, it is effective as a hypotensive. Combat arteriosclerosis, cough, bronchitis, difficult digestions, and gastrointestinal cramps.
This plant, also known as melissa, has the official name Melissa officinalis. It is an herb originating in the Mediterranean Sea. It is widely used as an infusion for its strong tranquilizing power. Lemon balm is considered a potent natural remedy. People with low blood pressure should use it with caution.
Its scientific name is Humulus lupulus and it belongs to regions in Europe, Western Asia, and North America. This plant produces perfumed essential oils and oxygenated compounds with sedative and hypnotic effects.
A study conducted by the Department of Physiology at the University of Extremadura, in Portugal, showed that the hop resin’s mechanism of action inhibits the central nervous system, causing nighttime activity to be lower and sleep to be induced.
As we can see there are more applications for this plant than artisanal beer production. Hops are contraindicated during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as well as for patients with diabetes or cancer.
Contraindications of teas for anxiety
Anxiety teas can be offered to children and the elderly, always without added sugar and, in this case, reducing the amount of herb for the preparation by the target. For example: if it is recommended to use 2 tablespoons, use only one.
As for pregnant women, it is okay to consume chamomile tea in moderate amounts. It is important to just talk to the doctor or nutritionist.
People who use antidepressant medications should avoid consuming these teas, as they can cause depression of the nervous system.
Tea Ritual Ceremony Recipes
Chamomile and Linden tea
Chamomile and linden tea acts on the nervous system, making the person calmer, thus being a great option against anxiety.
1 small spoon of chamomile;
1 small spoon of linden;
1 1/2 cup of water.
How to do it: Put the clove in a pan with water until it boils. Then turn off, put the chamomile and the linden, let it rest for 5 min covered. Strain and consume it warm at night, before going to sleep.
Insomnia tea in pregnancy
A good tea recipe for insomnia in pregnancy is lettuce, as it has soothing properties that can be used at this stage of life, without causing any harm to the baby. In addition to being able to be consumed during pregnancy, this tea can also be taken by children over 6 months of age.
How to do it: Boil 1 cup of water with 3 chopped lettuce leaves for 3 minutes. Wait for it to cool, strain, sweeten with honey and then take it.
Medicinal plants are our allies
However, great care must be taken when using medicinal plants, as they have different popular names, depending on the region of the country, which can be confusing.
In addition, storage must also be done correctly, as well as planting, harvesting, and extraction.
Therefore, the rational use of herbal medicines is extremely important, guided by qualified and specialized professionals to indicate the exact dose and form of use, and also to advise on plants not indicated for certain interactants and possible interactions with any medication that you take.
A tea ritual ceremony like all behavioral and cognitive rituals serves to control the effects of uncertainty with simple actions, without forgetting of course of the medicinal effects of the tea. They bring order, structure, generate calm for the mind, and security. Rituals create a bridge between the conscient mind and the subconscious mind, between the ego and the collective unconscious.