When you are feeling sad or down, you want something quick and easy to help you feel better. Sometimes just talking to a friend, or going for a walk outside can lift your spirits. Eating foods we love can offer us comfort, too. As long as we don’t over-indulge.
Tea is one of those comfort foods. You can picture sitting in your favorite cozy chair with a soft blanket wrapped around you, reading a book in one hand and sipping a steaming cup of tea in the other. Or, on a lazy, hot summer day sitting outside with a refreshing iced-tea surrounded by the buzzing of Cicada and chirping birds.
If your sadness or feeling down is more than a bad day and lasts for several weeks or more, it might be depression. A cup of tea, hot or cold can be comforting but can it help with depression, too?
Many teas, including herbal blends, have qualities that can support your mental health. Some teas infused with aromatic plants such as St. John’s Wort have been shown to reduce some symptoms of mild depression and anxiety.
What is Depression?
Depression, also called major depressive mood disorder, is a severe mental illness that can range from mild to severe. It negatively affects how a person thinks and reacts, causing issues with functioning in daily life. Simple activities become challenging including working, eating, and sleeping.
Common symptoms of depression can include:
- Feeling overly sad
- Loss of interest in doing activities
- Not eating enough
- Feeling worthless
- Sense of hopelessness
- Thoughts of suicide
Can Tea Be an Antidepressant?
Certain herbs are reported to help relieve some symptoms of depression. Herbal teas and teas that are infused with these aromatic plants are a tasty and convenient way to incorporate the health benefits of herbs into your diet.
It’s essential that you never replace any of your prescribed depression medications with tea. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression always consult with a medical doctor for a diagnosis and support.
There are several commonly used herbs made into teas that help to ease symptoms of depression. They are also good at reducing symptoms of anxiety which is often experienced with depression. Beneficial teas for depression include chamomile, lemon balm, lavender, Ashwagandha, St. John’s Wort, and green tea.
- Chamomile is a flowery herbal tea that is shown to help with relaxation and reducing anxiety. It’s often paired with lavender and lemon balm, both soothing herbs used for their calming effect. All three herbal teas can be used for insomnia to help you get a good night’s sleep. Being able to get quality sleep can help ease depression symptoms.
- Ashwagandha has been used for over 3,000 years as a medicinal herb. It has many health benefits and is used extensively in Ayurveda, an alternative medical practice originating in ancient India. As a tea, it’s known to help reduce levels of stress and anxiety. Stress can often make symptoms of depression worse.
- St. John’s Wort is a plant that has been used for centuries to help reduce some symptoms of depression. It’s often infused with other teas, or taken as a supplement. Care needs to be taken with St. John’s Wort. It has been known to reduce the effectiveness of some prescription medications.
- Green tea is one of the most popular teas when it comes to health benefits. It’s high in antioxidants that can help fight diseases throughout the body such as cancer, and diabetes. Another naturally occurring chemical in green tea, called polyphenols, has been shown to help ease the symptoms of depression. Polyphenols help increase dopamine and serotonin, the chemicals in our bodies that make us feel good. Adding lemon to green tea can help boost its beneficial properties.
How Much You can Drink Tea per Day
Many people drink a variety of teas daily for their different health benefits. A cup of chamomile or lavender tea in the evening can help you have a more restful sleep. A cup of green tea in the morning is good for energy and alertness.
The amount of tea you can drink per day depends on several factors including caffeine levels. Herbal teas are caffeine-free and can be enjoyed without experiencing caffeine chitters. Black teas have the most caffeine. How many cups per day you can enjoy depends on how well you tolerate the effects.
In general, most research shows that drinking at least a couple of cups of tea a day can lead to better health. Eating a healthier diet, including what you drink, can help you feel better and give you more energy. Try switching out a couple of your daily cup of coffee for green tea. When it's snack time at your desk, try drinking Matcha tea instead of your usual soda. It’s a variety of green tea that naturally increases focus and energy.
Depression is a serious health issue that should always be diagnosed and taken care of under professional medical supervision. With your physician’s approval, you can use home remedies to ease your symptoms. This includes using tea as a holistic antidepressant. But remember, always consult a professional. Tea cannot replace therapy and medication but it can be used as stress relief and help to make your day a bit better.
Author Bio: Mike Martin is a creative content marketer at Sirjasonwinters.com Passionate about life, he not only studies and writes about quality of life, environmental changes, healthy living, but also loves writing just about everything that's challenging people to aspire towards continuous improvement and building their own success.