Herbal teas for stress relief and brain health
Are there any teas you can drink for stress relief or brain health?

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

People have used herbal teas for thousands of years to improve their health. Herbal teas can help reduce stress and anxiety.

They affect everyone differently due to stress levels and taste buds. You can keep an assortment in your cupboard to satisfy different needs, or you can try to find the right tea for you.

Some herbs can have effects on our stress levels and mental and physical health. The best herbal tea for you is listed in this list.

Herbal teas contain multiple types of natural anti-inflammatory compounds that may benefit the human body, such as:

  • The body has anti-oxidants that help protect it from stress.
  • Anti- and antibacterial compounds.
  • It is possible that herbs reduce inflammation.
  • There are herbs that can reduce the risk of blood clot.

Drinking a cup of herbal tea each day may help protect your health in the long term and reduce stress levels. For example, a 2021 study found that lemon balm, which can be consumed in tea blends, may be effective for improving feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression, though more research is needed.

A 2018 study suggests that even just inhaling tea aroma — black tea, specifically — may help lower stress levels and produce a calmer mood.

Be sure to talk with your doctor before introducing any herbal teas (or herbal supplements for that matter!) to your diet. Some teas can affect health conditions or medications. For example, chamomile acts as a mild blood thinner and can interact with the medication warfarin (Coumadin) if consumed in large amounts.

We looked into the research on the stress-reducing properties of the herbal teas.

Herbal tea is generally safe for most people, but some types may cause an allergic reaction. Before drinking a tea or adding one to your routine, you should research any possible drug interactions or how they may affect your health.

Follow the instructions on the bottle and check the expiration dates on the packaging to get the maximum benefits.

  • $ = under $0.40 per serving
  • The amount is equal to $1 per serving.
  • “It’s over $1 per serving.”

Best tea overall

Lemon balm

  • Price: $
  • Who it’s best for: those looking for feelings of calmness and mood boosting

People have used the herb lemon balm to reduce stress for hundreds and hundreds of years. Lemon balm is available in capsules, tablets, creams, and as a tea. Anecdotal reports and scientific research suggest that lemon balm may help with relaxation, boost mood, and ease the symptoms of stress.

Lemon balm products have been shown to have a positive effect on mood and stress, but there are other studies that have used concentrated lemon balm, not lemon balm tea, so it is not certain if lemon balm tea has the same effect.

Lemon balm tea pros

  • It was used to reduce stress.
  • It may help with relaxation and mood boosting.

Lemon balm tea cons

  • “The tea’s effect is not certain because studies usually use concentrated lemon balm.”

Best tea for antioxidants

Green tea

  • Price: $
  • Who it’s best for: those looking for high health benefits

Green tea is jam-packed with polyphenol antioxidants that are known to offer many health benefits — including some protection against oxidative stress, which could damage cells.

Green tea may improve brain functions like mood, memory, and reaction time, thanks to the amino acid L-theanine, which works with caffeine found in the tea.

Research has shown that green tea may benefit health in other ways. For instance, drinking green tea on a regular basis may benefit heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease in some groups of people.

Green tea pros

  • Thanks to the high amount ofAntioxidant, it has many health benefits.

Green tea cons

  • Side effects from caffeine can be caused by large amounts.

Best tea for cramps

Ginger tea

  • Price: $
  • Who it’s best for: those who have stomach or abdominal cramps

Ginger has been used for centuries to treat health issues including coughs and colds, nausea, and cramping. It’s made into tea by boiling peeled ginger root in milk or water.

If you suffer from menstrual or other abdominal cramps, you’re in luck.

Studies suggest that the anti-inflammatory compounds found in ginger, including shogaols and gingerols, may help relieve menstrual cramps when taken at the start of your period. However, doses shown to be effective for treating period pain are generally much higher than what’s found in ginger tea.

Ginger tea pros

Ginger tea cons

Best tea for digestion

Senna tea

  • Price: $
  • Who it’s best for: those looking to improve digestion and avoid indigestion

Senna tea is herbal tea containing the senna plant’s leaves. You can drink it straight or in combination with other herbs like milk thistle, chamomile, or turmeric.

The tea’s sennoside chemicals encourage contractions and bowel movements due to them breaking down in the colon. Additionally, the tea effectively acts as a laxative to relieve constipation caused by various things.

Senna tea pros

  • It may help relieve the symptoms of sphinx.

Senna tea cons

  • It is possible that consuming too much may cause a disease.
  • Key electrolytes, minerals, and fiber may be lost.

Best tea for stress relief

Honey lavender blend

  • Price: $
  • Who it’s best for: those looking to de-stress at the end of the day

Lavender tea is made with a brew of the Lavandula angustifolia plant’s purple buds in hot water. This plant is frequently found in Mediterranean climates. It’s easy to add complementary flavors to lavender tea, like the honey in this blend from Yogi.

Lavender tea has been found to have some great benefits, such as easing tension, calming nerves, and improving sleep. However, research and studies are limited.

Honey lavender tea pros

  • It can be a great way to relax.
  • “It’s ideal for aromatherapy.”

Honey lavender tea cons

  • You should consult with a healthcare professional before drinking it.
  • Studies on benefits and safety for breastfeeding are rare.

Best tea for anxiety

Herbal blend tea

  • Price: $
  • Who it’s for: those looking to relieve anxiety

Herbal teas have been a long-established way of bringing calm to daily life. They include ingredients like rooibos, rose petals, lavender, passionflower, and chamomile that have been shown to reduce stress and mild anxiety or depression when taken in certain doses.

In fact, the flavonoid apigenin, an active ingredient in chamomile, may have beneficial effects on memory, mood, and reduce stress. That being said, no tea can act as an alternative or substitute to receiving professional mental health care or taking medications.

Herbal tea pros

  • It may reduce stress and anxiety in certain ways.

Herbal tea cons

  • natural doesn’t always mean safe, as some herbal teas have caused liver damage
  • Some herbs may not be good for pregnant women.

Best tea for stomach health

Chamomile tea

  • Price: $
  • Who it’s best for: those who have stomach or intestinal issues

Today, many people associate chamomile tea with a good night’s sleep. However, this herb was traditionally used to treat stomach and intestinal issues, including gas, upset stomach, stomach inflammation, and anxiety-related loose stools.

A 2014 study found that chamomile extract has the potential to protect against diarrhea in rats, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Another study from 2014 noted that chamomile was powerful in protecting rats against stomach ulcers.

In addition, research suggests that chamomile can help reduce anxiety and insomnia.

Chamomile tea pros

  • Irritable bowel Syndrome is one of the issues that can be treated effectively.
  • It is a great sleep aid.

Chamomile tea cons

  • Side effects can include dizziness, nausea, and allergic reactions.
  • It is not clear if safety for kids and pregnant people is good.

Best tea for brain health

Rosemary tea

  • Price: $$
  • Who it’s best for: those looking to sharpen their memory

Rosemary is a popular herb for cooking and fragrances. One of its less common uses is as an herbal tea. Still, some research suggests that it may have beneficial effects on cognitive health. While there isn’t much concrete data to conclude that rosemary can help with Alzheimer’s disease, research is promising — though more studies are needed.

The research shows that the compounds in Rosemary can help reduce inflammation, prevent ulcers, and improve brain health.

It is difficult to know the long-term effects of Rosemary tea, despite the fact that it is encouraging.

Rosemary tea pros

  • Regular consumption may help with brain health.
  • Reducing inflammation may be helpful.
  • It smells good.

Rosemary tea cons

  • There is limited or lacking research.
  • “It’s difficult to know long-term effects.”

Best tea for improving mood

Lavender tea

  • Price: $$
  • Who it’s best for: those looking to reduce feelings of depression and boost their mood

Lavender tea may benefit your digestive and mental health. Lavender extract has long been used in aromatherapy to promote relaxation, and research suggests that there may be mental health benefits from drinking it, too.

A 2020 study in 60 older adults found that drinking lavender tea in the morning and night reduced anxiety and depression scores in the participants.

Lavender itself may also help promote relaxation and sleep and improve your mood.

Lavender tea pros

  • It is great for mental health and relaxation.

Lavender tea cons

  • Side effects like headaches, and scurvy, could be found.
  • Tea taste and smell can vary widely.

Best tea for a caffeine-free boost

Rose tea

  • Price: $$
  • Who it’s best for: those looking for a yummy, caffeine-free beverage

Rose tea is free of harmful substances. It can be a great boost in the morning or afternoon.

While caffeine does have some positive benefits, it can also increase blood pressure or cause feelings of anxiety. Some people choose to avoid caffeine due to uncomfortable crashes or jitters.

Over the years, people have added rose petals to cakes, jams, and hot teas for flavoring. Rose petals are also a good source of antioxidants like vitamins C, A, and E.

Some people with asthma, allergies, or taking certain medications have had side effects. You should talk with your doctor before you drink tea.

Rose tea pros

  • “It’s naturally caffeine-free.”
  • It has vitamins A, C, and E.

Rose tea cons

  • It may affect people with asthma or allergies.
  • Can react to some drugs.

Best tea for deep sleep

Valerian root tea

  • Price: $
  • Who it’s best for: those who want a good night’s sleep

The deep stages of sleep are believed to be the most restorative and essential to feeling well-rested in the morning. Valerian root is widely used to help improve sleep quality and quantity, especially for deep sleep.

Studies suggest that the herb valerian works by blocking an enzyme that interferes with gamma-aminobutyric acid’s (GABA) function. GABA is a neurotransmitter that blocks impulses between nerve cells in the brain, leading to increased feelings of calm.

There is research to support valerian root tea as a sleep aid.

Research from 2020 found that the herb valerian is effective in increasing time spent in deep sleep and reducing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. However, it’s important to note that these findings are on valerian supplements, which aren’t the same as valerian tea.

Valerian root tea pros

  • It can improve sleep quality.
  • Feelings of calmness can be triggered.

Valerian root tea cons

  • It is mostly anecdotal.
  • side effects vary and can include heart palpitations and vivid dreams

Best tea for IBS

Peppermint tea

  • Price: $
  • Who it’s best for: those needing to treat indigestion

Peppermint tea is brewed from the dried leaves of a peppermint plant. Research from 2018 suggests that peppermint can help soothe bloating, abdominal pain, and other uncomfortable symptoms of IBS.

Peppermint is an herb commonly used to relieve digestive issues. A 2014 study found that people with IBS who used peppermint oil for at least two weeks experienced significant relief.

Additional research suggests that even the smell of peppermint may help reduce anxiety and stress: A 2019 study on 80 cardiac patients found that peppermint aromatherapy helped reduce pain and anxiety in those who received an IV.

Peppermint tea pros

  • It may help with stomach and bicyle problems.
  • A non-caffeinated way to feel refreshed.

Peppermint tea cons

  • It may increase acid reflux.
  • Can interact with certain drugs and health conditions.

Best tea for inflammation

Oat straw tea

  • Price: $$
  • Who it’s best for: those who are in the market for a natural way to possibly reduce inflammation

Oat straw tea is made from the stems, seeds, and flowers of the oat plant. Oat tea extract has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to help relax, increase mood, and reduce fatigue. A 2011 study on older adults found that oat herb extract helped improve their attention and concentration.

There’s minimal research on how oat straw affects health when consumed as a tea, even though it has been long used for traditional medicine. However, oat straw extract is rich in antioxidants, including avenanthramides, which have been shown to reduce inflammation.

Oat straw tea pros

  • Reducing feelings of fatigue may help.
  • It can boost your mood.
  • Reducing inflammation may be possible.

Oat straw tea cons

  • Traditional medicine has used limited research on benefits.

Tea type Pricing What it’s best for Customer rating (out of 5) Who should try it
Lemon balm $$ overall wellness 4.7 those looking for better overall balance, calm, and positivity in their lives
Green $ antioxidants 4.7 those looking for high health benefits
Ginger $$ cramps 4.7 those who have stomach or abdominal cramps
Senna $ digestion 4.5 those looking to improve digestion and avoid indigestion
Honey lavender $$ stress relief 4.8 those looking to destress at the end of the day
Herbal blend $ anxiety 4.6 those looking to relieve feelings of anxiety
Chamomile $$ stomach health 4.6 those who have stomach or intestinal issues
Rosemary $$$ brain health 4.6 those looking to sharpen their memory
Lavender $$$ mood boosting 4.5 those looking to reduce feelings of depression and boost their mood
Rose $$$ caffeine-free boost 4.7 those who want to reduce their consumption of caffeine
Valerian root $$ deep sleep 4.5 those needing a good night’s sleep
Peppermint $ IBS 4.6 those who want to treat indigestion
Oat straw $$$ inflammation 4.3 those who want a natural way to possibly reduce inflammation

You should research how well an herbal tea can reduce stress or deliver the outcome you want before you drink it. It is important to abide by expired dates to get the maximum benefits.

If you have any allergies, health conditions, or other reasons to believe you could react to specific ingredients, you should consider that. If so, you should consult a healthcare professional to investigate potential drug interactions and effects.

Before choosing your tea, check out reviews and how the tea is made.

“It is important to treat your stress so that it doesn’t get worse. Teas can help with some health benefits, but they can’t be used as an alternative for getting help from a professional.”

If you do decide to see a doctor, you should do so with the knowledge that you should.

  • It is difficult to control your anxiety, worry, or fear.
  • It can include things like personal hygiene, social interactions, school, or work, so you feel that it is interfering with daily life.
  • It is possible that your anxiety is due to a mental health issue.
  • Are you using drugs or alcohol to deal with depression or other mental health concerns?

How many cups of tea is an okay amount to drink daily?

“If the tea is not caffeinated, you can’t drink it. You should have no more than 3 cups of tea a day. You may be able to drink more cups of tea each day, but you should be careful about the side effects of the brew.”

If this is too much for you, pay attention to the effects and adjust.

You should talk to your doctor about any questions you have.

Does green tea relieve stress?

Green tea may relieve stress and anxiety, thanks to the high amount of L-theanine amino acid.

Can drinking iced tea relieve stress?

Iced tea has the same stress-relieving benefits as hot tea, but some people prefer hot tea.

Herbal teas are great for self-care or stress relief. Enjoy the taste and smell of these teas to get their full benefits.

Many of the herbs mentioned here are also available in blended tea varieties, so you can reap the benefits of multiple herbs for stress management. If you are considering adding new herbal teas or supplements to your daily routine, you should talk to your doctor first as some may interact with certain medications and health conditions.

A health and wellbeing writer, she is based in Michigan. She helps people understand what affects their health so they can make informed choices to take back control of their health and wellbeing journey.