Tea can be a powerful ally in managing anxiety and easing symptoms. It's a generally calming ritual, and even better when brewed for relaxation.
What I’ve done here is compile a list of the best herbal teas for anxiety based on personal experimentation, some research, and what I’ve found works for others.
If anxiety plays a significant role in your life, these teas can grant some much needed relief and peace of mind.
Note – Teas are made from herbs, which are (kind of) drugs. As always, be sure to consult a doctor before drinking any new teas, especially ones you’ve never tried before.
First off, why drink tea?
There are three main reasons why people with anxiety should drink tea:
First, it’s relaxing as hell. If you’ve never made yourself an evening cup of tea then sat on the couch sipping it slowly, you’re missing out on one of life’s greatest feelings. Drinking tea is a relaxing and peaceful practice, which is perfect for us anxious folk.
Second, some teas provide calming benefits and have a neutralizing effect on anxiety. Herbs are “drugs”, and they do elicit certain effects when ingested. Down below, we’ll get into which teas do what and how they can help.
And third, tea is awesome as a replacement for coffee. As someone who is hyper anxiety-sensitive to caffeine, I tend to avoid coffee as much as possible. Teas tend to have lower doses of caffeine, but they can still provide enough of a kickstart to counteract your foggy mind.
While drinking tea shouldn’t be your only approach to managing your anxiety, it can be an awesome supplement and an enjoyable, calming practice to get into.
Now, let’s take a look at the teas that might interest you…
Best Herbal Teas for Anxiety and Stress
If you're looking for simplicity, this first list contains single-herb teas that I've found work best for anxiety.
Chamomile is one of the most ancient medicinal herbs on Earth, dating back at least as far as the Ancient Egyptians.
The tea is made from dried chamomile flowers and possesses a sweet flavor with calming benefits. It’s best known as a relaxing herb that reduces stress and anxiety, in addition to easing insomnia.
I enjoy sipping on chamomile tea in the evenings about an hour or so before bed. It’s especially beneficial after a stressful day of work when I need an extra boost of relaxation.
Any straight chamomile tea or blends of tea containing chamomile are meant to be relaxing – be careful though, you likely don’t want to drink this stuff before the end of your work day as it may cause sleepiness.
Most people think they know peppermint, but did you know it’s actually a hybrid mint? A cross between watermint and spearmint.
When made into tea, this sweet-smelling herb works effectively to reduce stress and relieve anxiety. The secret is the menthol within the peppermint, which acts as a natural muscle relaxer – nothing too drastic, but enough to instill a sense of calmness into tense muscles.
Since peppermint tea doesn’t contain any caffeine, it’s the perfect tea to drink in the evening, helping you to relax after a stressful day.
Again, when I drink tea before bed, I usually try to do so at least an hour or so prior to laying down, that way you don’t disturb your sleep by waking up to pee during the night.
If you're not into getting your tea delivered by Amazon, any middle-of-the-row priced blend in the grocery store should do just fine.
When people think of lavender, they usually think of its use as an essential oil (and the color purple). Lavender has a very pleasing aroma and is generally considered a calming herb. As a tea, it’s very much the same.
To my surprise, upon researching for this article, I came across very few studies regarding lavender and its effect on anxiety in humans;however, everything that I found led to very similar conclusions– a lavender oil extra called Silexan, proved effective versus a placebo for providing anxiety relief.
In the study linked above, lavender also showed improvement in overall mental health and sleep quality, with no evident side effects.
For a rather inexpensive and delicious tasting tea, that’s more than enough justification for me to drink it.
Much like other relaxing teas, I prefer to drink lavender tea in the evening, usually while snuggled up to my pup, laying under a blanket, and watching Netflix. It’s the perfect transition into my bedtime routine.
Straight lavender tea can be somewhat difficult to find (it's usually blended with others), so I typically buy it in its pure form and brew the tea myself.
If it weren’t for my anxiety, I likely would’ve lived my entire life not knowing what passion flower was. It’s an herb native to southeast North America that has been traditionally used as a medicinal herb for treating mental health disorders.
While more research is needed, preliminary studies and evidence from both animal and human research suggests that passion flower may provide relief from anxiety, insomnia and other related issues.
For me, I love the calming feeling I get after sipping on an evening cup of passion flower tea. I wouldn’t necessarily suggest passion flower as a first-choice tea on its own, but when combined with some other herbs, as you’ll find below, it can be very beneficial as an anti-anxiety aid.
Marshmallow root is the last tea in the single-herb category that I have listed here. While not directly proven to ease anxiety, I’ve had great experience with it and has actually become one of my favorite teas to drink.
This tea is originally touted for its gut-healing benefits. It relines your stomach with the gooey good stuff needed for gut flora to thrive. Research shows that anxiety and gut health are linked, and I’m a firm believer.
After drinking this tea for several months, along with a few other healthy changes, I saw a drastic reduction in my anxiety back when it was at its worst.
Now, I tend to drink this tea after a rather unhealthy weekend of eating and drinking, and when I feel I need to fix my gut health (poor digestion is a key indicator).
Usually after a few days of drinking this tea, I’m feeling back up to snuff again. Thankfully, I almost always have a box in my pantry.
Best Specific Blends of Tea
While single-herb teas are enjoyable on their own, combining them offers unique and powerful benefits for relaxation. Since I don't know too many folks that like to blend their own teas, I've provided a number of off-the-shelf solutions that I've found are extremely effective.
You’ll recognize that many of the relaxing blends of teas listed below contain some combination of the herbs listed above.
Note that all of these teas are caffeine-free.
Cup of Calm
This tea by Traditional Medicinals is the real deal, and I chose to list it first on this list for that reason. Anytime I feel anxious or find my mind racing, I stop what I’m doing, brew myself a cup of this tea, and take five to ten minutes to simply relax. Afterwards, I feel significantly better.
The primary effective ingredient in Cup of Calm is passion flower, and if you remember from above, it’s been shown in studies to relieve anxiety in a similar fashion to prescription anxiety pills.
This tea is another one that I always have in my pantry (and because it's only available in packs of 6 for some reason.)
Honey Lavender Blend
Yogi’s Honey Lavender Stress Relief Tea earns its name. This is another blend of tea that uses passion flower extract – for obvious reasons – but also combines it with a variety of other herbs, including chamomile and lavender.
The soothing virtues of lavender extract make it ideal for people who experience chronic anxiety and stress. It provides relief from inflammation, insomnia, tension, and high anxiety.
Combine that with the calming effects of chamomile and passionflower, and you’ve got yourself one hell of an anxiety antidote.
Another one that's only typically available in 6 packs from Amazon, but if you dig through the other sells you can sometimes find individual boxes of it. I've also seen it on a handful of occasions in the grocery store.
Stress Tea by Naturopathica
Stress Tea is one of the rare higher-priced teas I recommend (usually you can find great tea at affordable, not absurd prices).
If you can afford to splurge for stress relief, then this tea is your best bet. It’s primary ingredients are lavender and chamomile, both proven herbs for calming anxiety and providing a feeling of comfort.
In addition, this tea also contains holy basil and a few other other stress relievers. Caffeine-free and all but guaranteed to ease anxiety.
Unfortunately, it's not available on Amazon at the moment, but if you can find it here at Naturopathica's website.
Kava Stress Relief
As natural remedies continue to explode in popularity, kava has become a much more household name. Sometimes referred to as kava-kava, the tea comes from a root native to the South Pacific Region.
I'll be honest, this one is a little bit of a double-edged sword – it works....but not everyone appreciates the taste.
I personally have felt fairly strong benefits from drinking this tea. It offers simple relaxation without the sometimes hazy feelings; however, friends and family that I’ve made try it did not share my same enjoyment.
Kava continues to be looked at more and more for purposes related to anxiety, in addition to stress and insomnia. There’s still plenty of research to go, but it's still worth giving a shot.
Honorable Mention: Cinnamon Apple Spice
Ok, so this tea isn’t actually made for anxiety relief. But, since the act of drinking tea itself tends to be soothing, I felt like I had to add one of my favorite tasting teas to the list.
My mom bought me a box for Christmas the other year, and I quickly learned that this tea is about as delicious and enjoyable as they come.
Blended with a savory mix of cinnamon, hibiscus, apple and other natural flavors (including hints of chocolate and butterscotch), this tea will transport you to the warm, cozy feeling of autumn, regardless of what time of year it is.