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November 15, 2018

Top five herbal teas that relieve stress and help you sleep

A cup of tea./FILE
A cup of tea./FILE

If the demands of modern life are leaving you feeling tired, wired and anxious, something as simple a cup of herbal tea can make all the difference.

According to Sydney-based naturopath, Ghada El-Semaani, herbal teas are a great way to alleviate the symptoms of some stress-related problems.

'Make sure the herbal tea mixtures you choose don't contain any black tea as these contain caffeine,' she said, 'and the teas should always be organic where possible.'

Here, FEMAIL takes a look Ms El-Semaani's top herbal recommendations guaranteed to help you feel more relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on the world.

1. Chamomile

Chamomile tea is one of the most readily available teas on the market and is one that is known to aid with stress relief and provide a good night's sleep.

Ms El-Semaani said the tea contains mildly relaxing properties which can really help you switch off after a hectic day.

'Chamomile tea calms your nervous system which can help you to rest better. If you do have a restful night's sleep, you won't feel as anxious or as stressed.'

She recommends the tea should be sipped before bed for best results and brewed from the flowers where possible. 

2. Ginseng

Ginseng tea comes with a raft of health benefits including boosting the immune system, lowering blood sugar levels and calming effects.

 'Ginseng can be a little pricey for some people,' the expert said, 'but it's great for helping to settle the nervous system.'

 Ms El-Semaani explained the active agent in the herb can enhance mood as well as help restore flagging energy levels.

 She added forms of ginseng can vary from one country to another which can affect quality and purity of the herb.

 She suggested drinking this tea as a morning tonic.

 3. Turmeric

 Turmeric is currently one of the hottest supplements in the health food scene right now.

 The spice is well-regarded for its immune-boosting properties and it can also work wonders to help calm and relax a stressed body and mind.

And while it's gaining ground as the drink du jou, the spice can also be enjoyed as an evening tea too, the naturopath said.

A cup of turmeric tea made with some heated coconut milk and honey at night can work wonders as a relaxant.'

4. Holy basil

This herb, also known as tulsi, is one with a long history in history within Indian medicine.

All parts of the plant act as an adaptogen, which is a natural substance that helps your body adapt to stress and promotes mental balance.

Ms El-Semaani recommended drinking holy basil as tea using the leaves, however, she does warn this can have a slightly bitter and spicy flavour.

5. Ginger

The symptoms of stress and anxiety can show up in a number of ways, and for some this can mean gastrointestinal problems.

This is where a cup of ginger tea can really help to soothe an upset stomach, Ms El-Semaani said.

'Ginger is a stomach sedative and it's wonderful for calming your digestive system. If anxiety is causing your stomach issues, ginger is great for helping to calm this.'

Her recommendation is to drink ginger tea in the mornings after making a brew from freshly sliced pieces of ginger root.

She said the tea can be made up into a large batch, and sipped on over the course of the day.

And lastly, the expert offered her tea-making advice to those wanting to get the most from their herbal infusions:

'Remember, anything that grows underground needs to be boiled and anything that grows above ground should be brewed,' she concluded.

While herbal supplements are safe to take some can interact with anti-depressants and other medications. Always make sure you check with your doctor first. 



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