11 best teas for depression to soothe your mind
Depression strikes the hardest when there is stress fueling it. Choosing the best teas for depression can be an excellent way to soothe your mind and uplift your spirit.
These teas are beneficial for treating depression, anxiety, and stress in general, but only a handful of these plants can be accessed fresh in Africa.
They relieve the most prominent symptom of depression, fatigue.
However, you can still find the preserved teas for depression in bags in various brands from top shopping malls and online marketplaces at affordable rates.
Here, you will learn the best teas for depression, how they can help you, where to find them, and how to prepare them.
Origin of teas
Lord Shen Nong, a legendary Chinese founder of agriculture, was the first person to discover tea. According to a report, this Chinese lord ate all kinds of plants to find their properties, whether they were healing or poisonous.
At a point, he ate 72 poisonous plants in a day; that was when he started dying.
In search of remedies for his hurting soul, he ate green leaves and the juice from green leaves, now called ‘tea’, cleared off the poison and cured him.
Since that day, the tea plant ‘Camellia dinesis” has become an inseparable part of the human diet.
Though teas have a Chinese origin, the Japanese soon got to appreciate their healing powers. They even got to use pressed tea bricks as a currency at some point.
These teas started spreading worldwide in the 17th century when the European traders brought tea from china to distribute during their colonial era. The credit for popularizing teas in Europe is given to King Charles’ consort, Catherine of Braganza.
Teas are now widely available due to the hard work of tea leaf pickers in Asia. These teas are still celebrated for their healing powers in today’s world, and you can get the best out of them because of the various methods of treatments that have been adopted.
How drinking tea can calm your mind
Teas are best known for their soothing effects and have become the best alternatives to coffee. Since coffee is high in caffeine, an ingredient that makes people anxious and jittery, people turn to tea for the opposite effect.
Though green tea and black leaf tea contain some levels of caffeine, they give an energy boost and still produce a calming effect from their other properties, which are not contained in other drinks.
These powerful antioxidants are known for fighting free radicals and lowering blood pressure. These two are needed to keep you mentally strong and healthy.
Though scientists are still undergoing research on the other undiscovered benefits of teas, it is believed that they can reduce people’s risk of dementia and depression.
Having a cup of tea for depression is also known to improve focus and sleep. You can make it a habit to drink a cup of tea in the middle of the day when you want to alert your mind or at night when you need the right mood to take a rest.
African best teas for depression
Besides the most popular teas for depression, others have been discovered to offer this same calming effect.
Read on to find out the other herbal teas for depression in Africa and enjoy the variety.
- Passionflower tea
Passionflower grows in Nigeria, and its tea is regarded as one of the best teas for depression.
Passionflower is known to reduce nervousness and restlessness.
The teas from the flowers, stems, and leaves are all used to treat depression, anxiety, and their most typical symptom, insomnia. It is also a supplement to treat seizures and hysteria.
This tea is a sedative and over-the-counter aid for inducing sleep, so it may be your best help to “sleep away the depression”.
Passionflower tea, according to a study published by Phytotherapy Research, improves relaxation and improves sleep quality by boosting GABA levels.
Find the passion flower herbs in tea bags on Amazon.
- Hibiscus tea (Roselle drink)
Nigerians popularly know this tea as zobo drink, but it is also known as roselle drink by the Carribeans.
The zobo drink contains vitamins and minerals like flavonoids (which are responsible for the red pigment), and they act as a natural antidepressant.
It is known to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety and is very helpful for people suffering from restlessness, sadness, negative thinking pattern, insomnia, etc.
Another great thing about hibiscus teas for depression is that it contains a lot of water, and water is very beneficial for flushing out toxins boosting moods. It also acts as a natural cure for headaches.
- Holy basil tea (Scent leaves)
Scent leaves, also called Holy basil or tulsi by the Indians. These leaves are used for many Nigerian dishes, especially for the South-South and South-East. However, I bet the users didn’t know that this plant is a rich antidepressant.
Holy basil tea is very effective for treating a wide range of ailments and is known to reduce stress and treat depression. It also improves sleep quality and keeps your mind alert. It is a great remedy for people who have work depression.
In Ayurvedic medicine, this tea is usually served as a staple for yoga. In this practice, it is believed that the tea nourishes and nurtures the body while creating a sense of relaxation.
To prepare this tea for depression, extract the liquid from the leaves after washing by either pressing or scrubbing; filter and drink.
You can also get the tea bag on Amazon.
- Peppermint tea
We will forever thank God for the gift of this wonderful plant. It has numerous health benefits and one of them is fighting depressed moods.
The tea from peppermint contains exceptional anti-anxiety properties. According to research, the scent of peppermint tea can reduce the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and chronic stress by inducing relaxation.
This tea also has anti-inflammatory properties, which reduces inflammation and pain. Like the other herbal teas, it acts on the nervous system to boost mood and lower cortisol levels.
To prepare this best tea for depression, infuse the leaves of the peppermint plant in hot water for about 10 minutes, filter and drink.
Herbal teas for depression available in teabags
- Green tea
Like I mentioned above, green tea is packed with antioxidants. It contains EGCG and L-theanine, which offer a calming effect on the nervous system.
Another study proves that green tea has a direct impact on the nervous system, thereby inducing calm. This research also showed that green tea inhibited a-amylase activity, which is a marker of stress.
Besides the calming effects of this tea, it also protects the body from cancer, reduces a person’s risk of heart disease, and improves immune system health.
You do not need to worry about the depression fatigue problem that comes with depression because green teas also come with a healthy dose of caffeine to give you a boost.
- Black tea
Black tea is the big brother of green tea, and you can depend on it if you do not find all the energy boost you need from green tea.
Though black tea and green tea come from the same plant, the oxidation process for black tea increases its amount of caffeine for an extra energy boost.
You can try black tea for depression if you are low on energy, but if all you need is something to keep your racing mind at bay, then you may need to try green tea or the other options.
- Ginseng tea
Ginseng tea is of Chinese origin and can be bought in major stores and pharmacies across the country.
Ginseng is primarily known to tackle the feeling of fatigue that accompanies depression and anxiety. It also offers protection against high stress levels.
Ginseng tea tastes a bit bitter but is contrasted by an earthy sweetness.
According to research, Ginseng was found to contain properties that boost cognitive performance and improve mood.
- Lavender tea
Lavender tea is trendy for its calming effect. It contains an essential oil that has been used for ages in Ayurvedic medicine and other holistic regimens for the treatment of depression and anxiety.
In Germany, the extracts of lavender have even been approved for the treatment of depression and anxiety.
A research carried out on Silexan, a German lavender supplement, showed that the lavender oil was as potent as a sedative for anxiety symptoms called Lorazepam.
This research also proved that lavender is better than many depression and anxiety medications because it doesn’t cause drowsy side effects like these medications. And unlike passionflower tea, you can still stay focused after drinking.
The delicious floral aroma of lavender is what induces relaxation. And according to another research, this lovely scent can increase the amount of time you have deep sleep cycles, thereby improving your quality of sleep.
- Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea is a derivative of the flowers of the chamomile plant. Its flavor is similar to a crisp green apple.
This tea is mainly used for relaxation during bedtime, and according to a study published by Phytomedicine, chamomile tea has a significant relaxation effect on Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The effects of chamomile tea are potent enough to decrease moderate and severe symptoms of anxiety.
Chamomile tea is also a great sleep promoter, and its calming effect is attributed to apigenin. Apigenin is an antioxidant in chamomile tea that targets brain receptors and neurotransmitters to induce relaxation.
- Lemon balm tea
Lemon balm tea is from the mint family and according to a study published in Neurochemical Research, lemon balm tea reduces the levels of corticosterone (e.g. cortisol) and increases the level of GABA.
Cortisol is the human stress hormone, while GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps people feel relaxed. According to this research, drinking lemon balm tea can make you feel less anxious by treating the symptoms of anxiety on a chemical level in the brain.
- Valerian root tea
This tea is made from the root of the valerian plant and has an earthy flavor with a refreshing aroma and some pine notes.
Some people find this tea flavor overwhelming, but adding a touch of raw honey can help balance it up.
Valerian root tea is a widely used herbal remedy for depression and anxiety symptoms. According to a study, valerian extracts were found to decrease pre-surgery anxiety.
How to prepare best teas for depression
Teas are easy to make, but you want to be sure you are doing it the right way if you’re going to get all the goodness from it. This brief guide will lead you through preparing your first cup of herbal tea for depression.
You can watch this video on how to prepare peppermint tea if you want something more practical.
When preparing the best teas for depression, you need to know the following factors:
Important factors for preparing a perfect cup of herbal tea for depression:
- You need to boil the water for the tea
- Always cover the tea while it steeps
- The tea has to steep for the right amount of time. For most teas, the best steeping time is 3 to 15 minutes. It may taste more bitter when you allow it to steep for a longer time.
Other factors for preparing a perfect cup of herbal tea for depression:
- You can use either fresh or dried herbs
- You can use either fresh leaves or tea bags. Though it is always more preferable to use fresh leaves, tea bags still work well.
- You decide whether or not to sweeten the tea.
Items you need to prepare a perfect cup of best teas for depression
Making tea is very simple, and they do not need a heck of equipment. I bet you already have these at home:
- The herbs or tea bags
- A teacup
- A tea strainer
Now that you have these items ready, let’s proceed to make the tea.
Steps for making the best tea for depression
- Boil some water
You need to boil a small amount of water, one that is enough for your tea. You need to make it hot because when water is hotter, it infuses quickly into the herbs to pull out their properties.
- Put the herbs into a tea strainer
If you have a tea bag, put the herbs inside and drop them in the teacup. If you are using loose leaves, pour them into the tea strainer and put them in your cup.
- Pour in the hot water
Just pour in the water you boiled into your teacup through the tea strainer so that the herbs can be submerged in the water.
- Steep the tea
Just cover the teacup with a plate or bowl. Teas from leaves and flowers should be allowed to steep for 10 minutes. If you are using barks or berries, give them 20 minutes of steeping, but if you have a root, go for 30 minutes.
If you want to extract as much as possible, you can also simmer the tea in a saucepan on a cooker over low heat.
- Strain and sweeten the tea
If you use a strainer, take it out of the teacup, but if you use a tea bag, pull it out of the cup and squeeze out the water.
You can reuse the herbs if you think they were not totally infused.
If you want to sweeten the tea, add a sweetener, but like I said, sweetening is totally up to you. You can even use herbal honey to enjoy your tea.
Teas have been very helpful for putting the body at rest. If you feel like you are getting a bit too on the tip for everything, or depression is consuming you, please drink the feeling away with a cup of any of these best teas for depression.
I hope this helps. Be a great friend by sharing this article.