Making a cup of tea is a beautiful thing. While a common practice, it can also be viewed as a ritual, a ceremony, or an act of self-care. Using a moment in the day to break from our busy schedule, make ourselves a cup of tea, and take some deep breathes can relax our nervous system and slow the passing of time for a moment.
We can employ herbs that are specific to assist the body in releasing tension and easing the mind in our tea routines to reduce stress and anxiety. Some of my favorite herbs for tea that are nervines (herbs that effect the nervous system in a positive way), and actually taste good, are listed below with their specific indications.
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla): Chamomile tea is a familiar flavor to many. Chamomile is specific to times when we are stressed, feeling whiny and like we just want to cry that it is all too much. It relaxes tightness in the mind and body, allowing you to deal with the world with a little more perseverance and a little less complaining. Chamomile reduces tension in the digestive tract, especially when there is associated bloating and discomfort and is great for adults and children alike.
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata): Native to North America, Passionflower is a beautiful vining plant with flowers that never cease to amaze. Passionflower tea is for those whose mind is racing, overactive and prone to circular thinking. This state of anxiety often leads to insomnia where the mind will not shut down. Here Passionflower works to cool the mind, and gently sedate the body allowing relaxation and rest to ensue.
Lavender (Lavandula spp.): An infusion of Lavender makes for a floral, aromatic tea. Lavender is a great stress reducing herb. When you are overworked and life is taxing, your mind tenses and it shows itself to you through stress headaches. Lavender is great at reducing that tension, increasing blood supply to the mind and easing the strain of life.
Rose (Rosa spp.): The smell of Rose is intimately familiar to us, and an infusion of petals makes a lovely tasting tea. Soothing to the soul, Rose stimulates our capacity for empathy and kindness not only to others but to ourselves as well. It is cooling to the mind, reducing worry and thoughts of rejection. Rose tells us we are okay as we are, and worthy of love. Try this tea with a bit of cream and honey, to sweeten up your day.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis):A strong flavor a lemon, this tea can brighten your day. Specific to those who are stuck in a state of melancholy, this herb can shine some sunlight on the mind of those who need it. It brings a state of gladness where depression has been the standard mode of operation. Particularly when grief is the root cause of the melancholy or depression, it can move you from the state of nostalgia and into present day.
All of these herbs are great for teas, safe to consume and can be fun to blend together. Try being creative with these plants and see how they affect your nervous system, including levels of stress and physical tension. And if you have any questions or would like to provide feedback, send me an email at Lindsey@aromaticstudies.com
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