By Peggy Alaniz
Life these days can be stressful. If you don’t believe me spend five minutes driving on I-94 between Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor during rush hour. Stress is not good for the mind, body, or spirit. It can cause inflammation, high blood pressure, and even anxiety. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle it is recommended that an individual decrease their level of stress—often easier said than done!
What if something as simple as drinking the right type of herbal tea could help? Where coffee has been known to increase anxiety, herbal tea has a relaxing influence on the body. Three teas known for their calming effects are chamomile catnip, and it's close family member catmint.
Chamomile contains the antioxidant Apigenin as well as vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Chamomile not only helps a person relax and sleep better, it has also been shown to help lower blood pressure and fight inflammation.
Catnip and catmint contains Nepetalactone, which is similar to valerian, along with vitamins C and E. Where catnip tends to make your kitten or cat hyperactive, it has the opposite effect in a human. It aids in relaxation as well as sleep.
The two teas can even be combined to increase relaxation. If you are new to drinking herbal teas, I would suggest trying one of them at home in the evening to see the effect it has on you. After all, it can be embarrassing to fall asleep somewhere unintended. Some people are more sensitive to chamomile and others catnip. Personally, I have been known to drink chamomile tea during daylight hours in order to relieve the anxiety of a stressful day when I have a deadline to meet. I also drink another one in the evening around eight, as part of my winding down ritual for the evening. It is good to remember that all tea is a diuretic. If you drink it too late in the evening you may be running to the bathroom all night, which could be counterproductive. I prefer sleep over mad dashes to the bathroom!
The beautiful thing about tea is that it can be consumed hot or cold. Herbal teas like chamomile, catnip, and catmint can be easily infused in a water bottle that you refill throughout the day. Since they are herbal it is okay to continue to re-steep without the fear of your drink tasting bitter.
Next time you find yourself fighting with traffic, late for an appointment, taking an exam, or just have a day where things seem out of control, try a cup of tea.
Peggy Alaniz is a local tea enthusiast and former resident of Boulder, Colorado where she spent time employed by Celestial Seasonings. Have a question about tea? Email Peggy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the Crazy Wisdom Tea Room for a cup of Aquarius’ Tranquil Tisane, a mixture of chamomile, catnip, and skullcaps. Mention the new tea column in the Crazy Wisdom Community Journal and receive your first cup for half off the normal price. You can’t go wrong with a discount and a tranquil tea room to relax in. Don’t worry, we’ll wake you up if you fall asleep in one of our comfy chairs!