Around the holidays, things can often get stressful, so I have put together a list of a few herbal teas that can help keep us calm and centered.
Herbal teas can be a wonderful soothing ritual – calming, restoring, and even meditative. These reasons alone are enough to start and maintain a regular tea ritual. Tea drinking can help beat stress because it’s a way to practice mindfulness and come into the present moment with stillness. I like to sit in my favorite reading chair, situated with a good view of the outdoors, and inhale the aroma and steam as a gentle beginning before sipping.
I choose my tea based on the tides of my mood, my energy level, and what my body is telling me that day. Below are a few of my favorites for finding a little extra peace during the holidays. Pick up some for yourself and a few extra to give as stocking stuffers.
1) Chamomile Teas by Numi and Traditional Medicinals
This is the classic calming tea that grandmothers have been brewing for ages. No matter if you choose the German or English variety of chamomile, they both have similar soothing properties. A tea brewed from these flowers has the power to soothe an upset stomach, relieve muscle spasms, easy anxiety and promote sleep.
While I keep bulk chamomile flowers in the kitchen, I also have two favorites that come in teabags. Numi Organic Chamomile Lemon with chamomile and lemon myrtle is absolutely heavenly. The gentle citrus aroma makes this a wonderful evening tea. My other favorite is Traditional Medicinals’ Organic Ginger with Chamomile. It is my go-to herbal tea for those chilly afternoons when I want to feel warm from my fingers to my toes and also relaxed.
2) Cup of Calm by Traditional Medicinals
If you like floral, apple, and mint notes in your tea, I would give Cup of Calm a try. It is a blend made from a just-right mix of lavender, chamomile, passionflower, rosemary, and catnip. These plants are all renowned for soothing the senses and bringing tranquility to the nervous system. I order it by the case.
3) Kava Stress Relief Tea by Yogi
Kava is a wonderful herb originating in the western Pacific islands, where it is used to calm the body, ease muscle tension, and promote relaxation. Kava can be bitter on its own, but luckily the Yogi tea brand shows masterful flavoring skills in this blend by adding cinnamon, sarsaparilla, and carob to round out the flavor. Each cup of Kava Stress Relief tea provides 78 mg of kava root extract and after the first sip I already begin to feel my shoulders relax and tension ebb.
4) Green Tea by Mighty Leaf
On those afternoons when I’m feeling a bit keyed up but still have a long list of “to dos” I reach for a cup of green tea. Green tea does contain caffeine, far less than a cup of coffee, but it also contains l-theanine, an amino acid type compound that promotes relaxation. The combination is usually all I need to get a gentle energy boost that is surprisingly tranquil. While I generally prefer loose green tea leaves at home, I carry Mighty Leaf Organic Green Dragon teabags in my purse when out and about in town or traveling.
Create Your Own Ritual
No matter which tea you prefer, the key to getting the most out of your teatime is to slow down for 5-10 minutes and really enjoy it. Slowly sip and taste the flavors in your mouth, feel the warmth of the cup on your fingers, open your eyes to what’s around you, and breathe in the aromatic steam.
Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves — slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. ~Thich Nat Hahn