Feeling blue from time to time is a common occurrence, especially during the winter months. For some people that experience a more severe reaction and do so every year during the season, this may be categorized as ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’. The latter is most common during autumn and winter, but some may experience it during other seasons as well. There is help available though, so it’s important to reach out when you feel that you need it.
Fortunately, there is a method that can help if you’d like to try make yourself feel better during these times. According to research conducted by the Cleveland Clinic, food influences our mood and appetite. Certain foods have mood-modifying brain chemicals (termed ‘neurotransmitters’) that are made from the food we consume, and this includes liquids like herbal tea, like the ones we outline below.
A review was published in the Current Pharmaceutical Design journal showing results from studies about the effect of green tea on mood and cognition. Traditionally, green tea and matcha tea (that includes a higher intake of green tea phytochemicals), are known to provide mental clarity, enhance cognitive function, as well as promote physical activation and relaxation. The studies that were reviewed in this article indicate that these teas improved self-reported relaxation, calmness, and reduced tension.
Herbalist Tipper Lewis recommends a chai-inspired saffron tea to help you calm down.
- 1 tsp Green tea leaves (contain L-theanine to help you find your zen)
- 3-4 Strands of saffron (to calm the nerves)
- 3-4 Cardamom pods (to clear the mind and refocus)
- A dash of liquorice powder (to combat stress)
Infuse all ingredients with freshly boiled water in a teapot for 5-10 minutes, strain, and enjoy.
A study conducted by Moss et al. (2016) showed that chamomile tea significantly increased levels of calmness, allowed for reduced blood pressure, lower sleep onset latency, reduced night-time wakefulness, and boosting the immune system. A review published in 2019 confirms the effects of chamomile tea on improved sleep quality and remedied feelings of low mood.
Cardamom and nutmeg
Herbalist Monica Wilde suggests that cardamom and nutmeg have sedative qualities to help you unwind and get a good night’s rest.
- 2 or 3 Cardamom pods
- Nutmeg (grated)
- 1 cup Almond or oat milk
Gently heat the cardamom pods and milk, just below boiling point, for a few minutes. Grate a little nutmeg over the hot milk and allow to infuse.
Whatever your remedy of choice, it is imperative that you don’t delay it for too long. Your wellbeing is of utmost importance and remedies like this one are particularly helpful during times when ‘the blues’ arise.
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