Drinking herbal tea is one of the simplest and most effective ways to benefit from the medicinal and healing properties of plants. It’s an ancient practice which dates back to the dawn of time and long before the post-war introduction of the NHS.
Resident medical herbalist Wendy Kelly MNIMH shares some of her favourite health-boosting blends for anxiety…
Chamomile – This calming tea is soothing to the nervous system, as well as the stomach. It’s particularly useful for anxiety, including in children. Enjoy it at any time of the day either on its own or accompanied by a peppermint teabag, grate of fresh ginger or teaspoon of honey.
Lemon balm – This beautifully citrus scented member of the mint family might already be growing in your garden. It boosts GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) levels in the brain, calming anxiety and raising your mood. The fresh leaves of lemon balm make a soothing tea which is good for anxiety that goes for your stomach.
Green tea – This tea contains amino acid l-theanine, which gives it a GABA-promoting effect. It’s also thought to boost alpha wave production in the brain, which promotes focus and relaxation without a sedative effect. It can be particularly useful for people working at home who need to concentrate. It’s also rich in antioxidants which boost the immune system and is a great, healthy all-rounder.
Oats – Herbalists use tinctures and tea of oat straw for anxiety and the chronically stressed because it’s rich in the phytonutrients which nourish and restore the nervous system.
To boost your resilience against colds, flu and other viruses, you could also incorporate an echinacea blend into your daily routine to keep your immune system strong.
Echinacea – native to North America, this herb has proved beneficial for treating colds and flu and can even reduce the duration of infections. It works by increasing the number of white blood cells that help to fight infection.
Medical herbalists are medically trained and well equipped to choose the appropriate and safest blend for your individual needs.
If you are on medication, have any medical conditions or are unsure which herbs would be the most appropriate, consult your local, independent health store, many of which are either staying open or offering online services to support the nation at this time. Or click here to find a medical herbalist near you.