Have you ever found your mind bouncing from one negative thought to another? Stayed awake at night trying to find your way out of a sea of thoughts? Worked yourself into an anxiety attack just by what was playing in your head? As someone who’s an expert worrier, I sympathize! Sometimes it seems like my thoughts and feelings go faster than I can keep up with – and I can feel them winding up my muscles, speeding up my heartbeat, and sending me sinking down into a well of despair and hopelessness. In this article I’m going to share with you how I’ve used herbal tea for worry with great success.
As I’ve worked with my own stress, worry, and anxiety, I’ve found that plant medicine in the form of healing herbal tea has been one of my greatest and most effective allies. The process of brewing a cup of healing herbal tea is a meditation in and of itself and helps quiet the mind. When we take our wellness into our own hands, it creates a sense of confident empowerment that often times puts worry to rest. Once the tea is done, we get to sip a calming brew to help nourish mind, emotions, and body so that we can settle into our center.
What Is Worry And Why Is It A Problem?
Worry happens when thoughts and feelings become cyclical in our minds. Instead of a problem or idea surfacing in our minds where we come up with a solution or outcome, it stays there nipping at us from every angle. Worry is often about the future, and most people spend time worrying about ‘what if’. Worrisome thoughts often come in the form of ‘what will happen if…’, ‘what if…’, and ‘what will I do if…’. These thoughts, for me, seem to have a lot to do with confidence, empowerment, and authenticity. I worry when I’m not sure if I trust my own power and abilities – or those of the people in my life I can call on when I need help.
Worry is a problem because it causes a whole host of stress-related issues while being completely useless! That’s right, worry gets us nowhere and really just forces us to spin our tires. Worry rarely leads to any breakthrough ideas or new ways of approaching a stressful situation. It usually just ramps us up and scatters our energy. Worry is essentially useless, so when we’re able to set is aside and rely in experience, wisdom, logic, intuition, or the guidance of a trusted friend, we’re actually a whole lot better off!
How Herbal Tea Can Help With Worrying
If you ask me, there have been more problems then I can count that cup of herbal tea made with intention has helped me solve in amazing ways. There’s something about working with plant medicine that opens up our hearts and minds to a bigger set of possibilities – and a calmer, more centered way of being.
Herbal tea is a wonderful ally for those of us who worry. It can help calm the nerves, relax the muscles, quiet and focus the mind, and give us some time to just sit and be. Making tea is a ritual in and of itself, and as with all rituals, whatever your intention is sets the direction of the energy.
A Simple Herbal Tea Ritual To Replace Worry With Empowerment
The next time you find yourself in a worry cycle, try choosing to do something about what you’re worrying about instead of just letting it run loose with your energy. Start by setting an intention to brew some healthy herbal tea as a way to create space, silence, and nourishment to get some new perspective.
Take time to thank the plants you’re working with. Ask them to lend their energy and love to you so that you can do some healing, growing, and adjusting right now.
As the tea steeps, give your mind those five or six minutes to run free. Decide that you’ll let all the chatter run itself out. You may want to take this time to stretch, speak your worries out loud, write them down in a journal, or sing a song. Whatever you do, do something that moves energy.
When the tea is finished steeping and is the perfect temperature to drink, get comfy and stat sipping. Imagine the tea washing away your worries, centering any scatteredness, calming your emotions, and bringing you peace.
While you’re sipping you might meditate, journal, pray, or just sit and be in peaceful silence. The idea here is to quiet down enough to let things work themselves out in a more healthy way. You’ll still need to put in the work, but you can do it without being in a worried state.
Herbal Tea For Worry
Here are some of my favorite herbs to work with in herbal tea blends to help bring calm, clarity, relaxation, and a sense of well-being. These feelings create a safe space for you to work through whatever you need to without the heaviness and frustration of real worry. Further down the page you’ll find a recipe I love to make when worry is in the way.
Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)
Skullcap is by far one of my most favorite herbs to work with during times of worry – and for those who tend to worry a lot. This delicate purple flower acts as a deeply relaxing ally that also helps soothe the mind and quiet the thoughts. I always think of the name Skullcap as an indicator of it ‘capping’ my mind so that thoughts and worries aren’t so scattered and out of control.
Skullcap herb is a nervine and an antispasmodic. This means that brings about a gentle state of calm while soothing the nerves and the mind. It also helps relax the entire body – something very important in getting the mind to relax as well.
I use Skullcap in small amounts as part of a larger blend – see my recipe below.
Important: It’s very difficult to find pure Skullcap. Most is mixed with other plants that don’t have the same therapeutic qualities it does. You can find the pure, organic Skullcap online.
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)
Passionflower is a flowering vine of famous beauty. The flowers are almost alien in quality, and their colors never fail to amaze! This beautiful plant is a nervine, sedative, and antispadmodic. It can help soothe the mind and the nerves, relax the body, and bring on deep states of relaxation or even sleep.
If you find that worry kicks in the minute you lay in bad and things get quiet, Passionflower may be the herb for you. It helps calm and center while allowing us to get the deep, restful sleep that can often heal worry cycles.
Passionflower is best added in smaller amounts to a larger blend.
Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis, Matricara chamomila)
There’s almost no better herb to bring on the calm than Chamomile. This sweet, apple-like flower is a staple among herbalists, and is a plant we use for all kinds of stress, worry, anxiety, pain, and restlessness.
Chamomile is a calmative nervine. It gets to work fast soothing the emotions, quieting the mind, and even helping to lighten the thoughts. It’s also a wonderful muscle relaxer that can help the body let go so that the mind can follow.
I use Chamomile as a base for other blends all the time. It’s easy to work with, tastes great, and really helps!
I prefer a specific type of therapeutic Chamomile for tea.
Lemon Balm (Melisa officinalis)
This sweet, vibrant herb is one of my favorites in helping to light the spirits, lighten the thoughts, and relieve negativity when worry happens. Most people focus on the calming side of dealing with worry – but it’s equally important to help replace worry patterns with something healthier to ensure lasting wellness and positive change.
Lemon Balm is a calming, comforting herb that has many of the same properties as Chamomile. It has a lovely flavor that sweetens the palette, and it’s a good ‘every day tea’ for those with worrisome personalities.
I use Lemon Balm alongside Chamomile as a base, and often enjoy it on its own as well. During the summer, iced Lemon Balm herbal tea is a real treat!
Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
If you thought Catnip was only for cats, think again! This is one of my favorite calming herbs for adults and kids because it’s super gentle and gets to work fast. Many herbalists, myself included, believe that Catnip is one of the most important herbs to have on hand when you’re raising a child – both for you and for them!
Catnip is a deeply relaxing herb that helps the body move into the present while allowing the mind to unwind. It doesn’t cause the same effects in humans as it does in our feline friends, so don’t expect to be chasing your tail if you enjoy this delicious tea.
I like adding Catnip in small amounts to a larger blend to help ground out the effects of the other herbs in my body.
Make this simple, delicious herbal tea for worry in your own kitchen anytime!
Josh’s Worry-Free Herbal Tea
Note: In this recipe, a ‘part’ can be any volume measurement you choose. If you want to make a big batch of tea, a part could be a half cup. A smaller batch might use a Tablespoon as the part. If the recipe calls for 5 parts of something, you’d add 5 half-cups (2.5 cups) or 5 Tablespoons, or whichever measuring size you’re using.
5 parts Chamomile
5 parts Lemon Balm
2 parts Skullcap
1 part Catnip (use 3 parts to help with sleep)
1 part Passionflower
1 pinch Peppermint (optional, to taste)
Combine herbs. Steep one heaping Tablespoon in 8-10 ounces of boiled water for 5 minutes. If you steep this blend for too long it will take on a bitter taste. Once the tea is the perfect temperature, start sipping!
I suggest trying this tea at night to see if it makes you a bit sleepy before sipping during the day when a nap might not be an option. After a few nights’ o fuse you should acclimate and be able to enjoy as a sipping tea during the day.
Worry Less, Live More!
Here are a few other things you can do to help lessen the worry…
- Journal. Writing down your worries is a great way to release them from your mind.
- Try going on walks each day at the time when you worry most. This is cleansing for the Liver and recruits the tissues in your body in ‘working out’ the worry patterns.
- If you find that you worry about the same thing consistently, it may be time to get help with it. Rely on friends, spiritual advisers, or counselors to help get new perspectives.
- Try to be 100% you. The more authentic you are, the less things you mat have to worry about.
- Take up mindfulness practices, meditation, coloring, sculpture, gardening, martial arts, prayer, or other centering activities. Amazing things can happen while you’re busy creating!
To our calm…
References & Resources
Gladstar, Rosemary. Herbs For Stress & Anxiety. Storey Basics, 2014. Print.
Zak, Victoria. 20,000 Secrets Of Tea. Dell, 1999. Print.
Web MD. Physical Effects Of Worrying.
Web MD. 9 Steps To End Chronic Worrying.