Tea—and the drinking of it—can lower anxiety


A regular tea drinker probably can’t tell where the very act of sipping a quality tea ceases to be relaxing in itself and the ingredients in the tea take over as a soothing agent. It may be that the act of cradling in your hand a warm cup of tea, enjoying the aromas lifting from the cup, never ceases to relax. Rather, the tea itself only adds to the relaxation quotient.

I believe it is the latter—a combination of tea time and a soothing tea choice—that mitigates the cares that make us anxious and keep us awake at night.

Chinese green tea is a good choice when a central purpose of drinking the tea is to fight anxiety or insomnia. Green tea has plenty of l-theanine, the amino acid that seems to induce a sense of calmness in mind and body and, thus, aids in sleep. Of course, green tea also contains caffeine, which is a stimulant that can keep people awake.

Though l-theanine tends to offset the caffeine, a surer solution might be to drink green tea during the day for alertness as well as calming. Then, in the evening, you can switch to a caffeine-free herbal tea. It is best to drink either tea at least an hour before retiring, so that the diuretic properties in the tea won’t interrupt your sleep for a trip to the bathroom.

Chinese green tea choices are many. Chinese oolong tea also is an option when de-stressing is the goal. As for an herbal tea, one of the good choices is the Guangxi Jiao Gu Lan, a tea that is renowned for its healthfulness. It contains the five-leaf gynostemma herb whose curative powers include aiding sleep.

So if you are anxious, relax. Specifically, relax with a cup of Chinese green tea, Chinese oolong tea, or a choice herbal tea. (Want to stay connected to other tea lovers? Check the Tea Twitterati 100, a list of the 100 most active tea industry social media users. The regularly updated list is posted on the website of premium quality tea supplier Wild & Bare Co. wildandbare.com)

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