If ever there was time for tea, it’s now. If you're in search of a moment of calm with everything going on, take comfort in brewing yourself a delicious cup of loose leaf tea - but learn what types of tea can help add calm to your life. Our mission at Tealeavz is to share ideas with our community to help you through what we are all facing and how tea can play an important role!
There are a few legends around the discovery of tea, but according to the Chinese legend, tea was discovered about 3000 years before Christ by the Emperor Shen Nong when a leaf fell from a tree above and landed in a pot of water he was boiling in his garden. The water turned golden and a delicious scent rose from his cup. When he tasted his warm infusion he loved it and made it his mission to discover other leaf infusions and ultimately discovered the medicinal properties of tea.
Over thousands of years, this random accident has become a passion. People now turn to tea to ease stress and stay calm during tense times. But do all teas have these calming powers? Be sure you know what to look for when choosing a calming tea. Here’s what you need to read before you sip:
Beware of Caffeine
Caffeine is a very powerful stimulant. One that we gravitate towards in the morning to wake up, or as a pick me up in the afternoon. But a caffeine drink is one of the worst things you should have if you're feeling anxious or just need to relieve stress. So be sure to select your tea based on your feeling. But how do you know which tea will give you that sense of calm?
Many people are confused about which teas have caffeine. The fact is, any tea that comes from the Camellia sinensis plant has some level of caffeine. That means black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong, and even some herbal teas have caffeine. Just because they are a lighter steep in your cup does not mean it is caffeine-free.
Can Herbal Teas Really Have Caffeine?
Yes, you read it right. Even some herbal teas have caffeine! Yerba maté is an example of an herbal tea that actually has a moderate amount of caffeine. So be sure to read up on your tea selection and make sure it is "caffeine free" if you don’t want the jitters. Even if it claims to be decaf, it can still have a trace amount of caffeine.
Herbal teas do not come from the Camellia sinensis plant. They are simply an infusion of any edible plant such as tree bark, flowers, leaves, roots, spices, seeds, and fruit.
For a true cup of calm, choose a tea that is naturally free of caffeine. This doesn't mean you're limited to herbal teas. Rooibos is an example of a tea that is completely caffeine free. Rooibos comes from a South African shrub. Rooibos means 'red bush' and is also known as bush tea, red tea, or redbush tea.
Chamomile tea is another good cup of tea for stress relief. Chamomile is best referred to as a night time tea due to its well-known ability to promote calmness and relieve stress and anxiety and is also referred to as a sleepy time tea. Chamomile in the form of tea (as well as essential oil aromatherapy) is very effective at making you sleepy.
There are also many tea blends that contain fennel seed, lavender tea, rose hip, lemon balm, rose petals, or something from the mint family like Pure Peppermint that is good for easing a stomach ache as well as for relaxation.
The Power of Herbal Medicine
Herbal medicine has been a primary form of medicine for over 5000 years. That's a lot of time to study the art and science of using herbs for health benefits and preventing and treating illnesses. Modern medicine has taken center stage over the last 100 years, but do you realize 75% of the population still relies on herbal medicine?
Yes, it is a marvel what modern medicine has also accomplished, but people have been trusting the healing properties of herbal medicine and teas for thousands of years simply because they work. As you listen to your body and what it may need, learn about the benefits herbs can provide, and look for a tea that is a blend of that herb.
And remember, when steeping your herbal cup of calm, be sure you cover your cup with a lid while your tea is brewing to ensure the essential oils in the tea don't escape along with the steam — plus it keeps it warm while you wait!