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What Teas to Drink When You're Not Feeling Your Best

Andrea loves tea. She has a giant chest of tea in her home. She often spends her mornings & afternoons reading about tea and its benefits.

Tea has a variety of benefits for your health. It's important to know how tea can influence you for the better and what might happen if you overindulge.

Tea has a variety of benefits for your health. It's important to know how tea can influence you for the better and what might happen if you overindulge.

Using Tea for Self-Care

My husband and I have a huge cabinet in our house dedicated to tea. It has seven shelves with little compartments. I've used tea before to help wake me up, to help me fall asleep, to get rid of colds, to make my throat feel better, and for a variety of ailments.

The nice part about tea is it's natural. You can add ingredients to fit your needs and taste preferences. If you're looking for something to soothe your aches and pains, you may want to try tea.

For Your Benefit

I want to be transparent about where I have found information about tea. I've listed several medical articles throughout this article and where you can find them. I've included those articles in a works cited section at the bottom and where you can find more information. I want you be informed and know where you can do more research before you start adding more tea into your day.

Tea Basics

  • Black teas have caffeine. They're generally not as strong as coffee, but they can keep you awake or overly alert. Black teas are best in the morning. Earl gray is a popular black tea.
  • Chamomile is a go to for sleep. Don't drink this if you need to wake up in the morning or drive somewhere far.
  • Green tea is full of antioxidants that are great for your health.
  • Drinking lots of hot tea can stain your teeth. Make sure to rinse out your mouth with some water and brush your teeth, especially if you added lemon to your tea. Lemon raises the acidity in your mouth.
  • Turmeric can be added to help combat inflammation.
  • Vanilla can raise alertness.

Drink Tea in Moderation and with a Balanced Diet

Before going crazy with tea, you should know it's best to drink in moderation. I encourage switching around teas, kind of like with food — you don't want to keep eating the same things. Why? Because It's good for you body to process different vegetables and fruits to get different minerals and nutrients. Too much of one thing can be hard on your body.

Listen to your body. If you're getting anxious, calm down on the green tea. If you're feeling lethargic, cut back on the chamomile.

  • Several teas are not recommended while pregnant.
  • I encourage talking with your doctor before adjusting your diet, which includes tea drinking.
  • Some teas can have weird reactions in combination with medications.
  • Tea can be enjoyable and have fantastic benefits, but you don't want to overindulge. And in most cases, it would take a lot to overindulge.

Drinking certain teas can be used as preventive care. If you know Alzheimer's runs in your family, certain teas may help protect your brain from building up the plaques associated with the illness.

Quick Glance at Teas, Benefits, Side Effects, and When to Drink

TeasBenefitsCaution / Side Effects from OverindulgingBest Time to Drink

Chamomile

Relaxation, improved sleep, treats cold symptoms, reduces inflammation.

Causes drowsiness, potential for allergic reaction for people allergic to daisies.

Before bed at night

Lavender

Improved mood, soothes anxiety and depression, better sleep, soothes cramps.

Hormone effects have been discovered. It has the ability to mimic estrogen. Not recommended for men and pregnant women.

Before bed / before a soothing bath

Saffron

Improved heart health, prevents development of neurodegenerative diseases, combats depression, boost in happiness.

Not recommended for pregnant women, those with an olive allergy may have an allergy to saffron, not recommended if you have low blood pressure, not recommended if on medication for bipolar disorder.

In the morning or at night. For morning if you need a boost of happiness. Try at night if dealing with insomnia.

Peppermint

Freshens breath, relieves tension headaches, eases digestive issues, improves energy, unclogs sinuses.

May trigger heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Any time of day. Great as a post-meal treat to aid digestion. Boosts energy in the afternoon. Relaxes you before bed.

Passionflower

Reduces symptoms of anxiety, reduces intensity of hot flashes, side effects similar to sedatives.

May cause sleepiness or drowsiness. Don't take with actual sedatives.

Right before bed.

Lemon Balm

Boosts cognitive function, relieves symptoms of anxiety, eases insomnia, balances energy, reduces nausea.

Increased appetite, dizziness, abdominal pain.

With a meal and before bed.

Turmeric

Boosts immune function, treats inflammation, prevents cancers, prevents and treats Alzheimer's, reduces cardiovascular complications.

Nausea, not recommended if on blood thinners, not recommended if you have gallbladder problems.

Any time. It's soothing before bed.

Green Tea

Improves brain function, prevents cancer, protects brain from aging, may prevent type 2 diabetes.

Caffeine stimulant can cause anxiety, upset stomach, constipation.

In the morning. Great before a big exam or intense activity demanding of the brain.

Chamomile tea is excellent to drink right before bed. Chamomile helps you sleep, it relaxes you, and it helps lower your anxieties.

Chamomile tea is excellent to drink right before bed. Chamomile helps you sleep, it relaxes you, and it helps lower your anxieties.

Chamomile

The soothing tea helps you sleep and reduces anxiety. Chamomile in a 2010 study showed a decrease in menstrual cramps. Women in the study also reported less anxiety. The study was in the Iranian Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Infertility, March 2010.

Chamomile has also been found to lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. A 2008 study looked at rats. Consumption of chamomile tea prevented blood sugar from increasing in the animals. The article about the study is titled: "Protective Effects of Dietary Chamomile Tea on Diabetic Complications." It was reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, August 6, 2008.

Chamomile also helps slow and prevent osteoporosis. This was reported in an article in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2004.

This type of tea may also help with inflammation, arthritis, and depression.

  • I recommend drinking chamomile before you go to bed, especially if you are feeling stressed or depressed.
  • You can drink chamomile hot or cold. I like it hot in the winter and cold in the summer.
  • Drink chamomile before taking a shower. Listen to gentle soothing music while you wash up. Then go to bed.
  • Chamomile can make you feel drowsy, so avoid drinking before a long drive or in the morning.
Lavender tea is another tea that's great for relaxation. Drink a hot cup of lavender while you take a bath. The soapy texture of the tea might bother some; others might find it works with berries.

Lavender tea is another tea that's great for relaxation. Drink a hot cup of lavender while you take a bath. The soapy texture of the tea might bother some; others might find it works with berries.

Lavender

The fragrant tea soothes and calms nerves. Lavender is widely used as an aromatherapy agent. It is used to treat anxiety, depression, and fatigue. The calming effect of lavender can help with sleep, soothe chronic pain like menstrual cramps, and may improve skin health.

Lavender is also used to soothe digestive issues and relieves pain from headaches, sprains, toothaches, and various sores.

Potential Negative Issues

Those with pollen allergies might have an aversion to lavender tea. It could trigger an allergic reaction. Bad reactions include: constipation, headache, and increased appetite.

Lavender also mimics estrogen. High amounts of lavender tea could create hormone issues, and isn't recommended for men and pregnant women.

Other Important Notes

  • Lavender has a soapy taste to it that some might not find appealing.
  • A cold glass of lavender tea can be really refreshing in summer, especially with berries and citrus fruits.
  • Lavender belongs to the Lamiaceae botanical family along with mint and sage.
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to boost collagen production.
  • Lavender may help reduce issues with Alzheimer's disease. That's according to an article in the Natural Product Communications: "Linalool — A Review of a Biologically Active Compound of Commercial Importance," 2008 Vol. 3 No.7.
  • For centuries, people have used lavender to heal burns, cuts, and different wounds. Do not do this without consulting your doctor!
  • People have used lavender essential oil to promote hair growth.
  • Lavender may help to balance the immune system. This is according to an article in Molecules: "Much More Than a Pleasant Scent: A Review on Essential Oils Supporting the Immune System."
Saffron tea is great if you're wanting to boost your mood. Saffron makes you happy. It's good for your heart and supports your cardiovascular system.

Saffron tea is great if you're wanting to boost your mood. Saffron makes you happy. It's good for your heart and supports your cardiovascular system.

Saffron

A saffron tea helps release serotonin. This will make you feel happy! Saffron is good for the heart, it strengthens the circulatory system, and it has antioxidants that help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Drinking saffron tea regularly protects your heart.

Saffron is an ancient spice. It has a deep red or orange hue. It turns yellow when cooked. It is the world's most expensive spice. Even though it is pricey, a jar of it can last for a long time. (You don't need to use a lot of saffron all at once. You only need a couple of strands to brew a tea.)

FYI: the spice was a central remedy used by the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians. The spice is also mentioned in the Bible in Song of Songs.

Studies have shown:

  • Saffron may push back on low-grade depression. You can read about this in a 2013 study published by the Journal of Integrative Medicine.
  • It has anti-cancer properties. Saffron comes from a flower rich in phytounutrients and antioxidants.
  • It soothes PMS and PMDD symptoms.
Drink peppermint tea to freshen your breath. This is a great tea to drink after a big meal, especially if you ate a meal with lots of onions and garlic.

Drink peppermint tea to freshen your breath. This is a great tea to drink after a big meal, especially if you ate a meal with lots of onions and garlic.

Peppermint

Great for your breath and combats mental stress. Peppermint is an aromatic herb. It is a cross between watermint and spearmint. It's native to Europe and Asia.

Peppermint has been used for thousand of years for its health benefits. It contains several essential oils: menthol, menthone, limonene, and others.

  • It may ease digestion. It relaxes your muscles. It can help relieve spasms in the gut / solar plexus. (National Library of Medicine: "Peppermint oil for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis, July 2014.)
  • It can be used as a pain reliever for headaches, it increases blood flow, and it gives off a cooling sensation. Peppermint oil applied to the forehead and temples in one study showed significantly reduced pain after two hours compared to a placebo oil. (National Library of Medicine: "Cutaneous application of menthol 10% solution as an abortive treatment of migraine without aura...")
  • It freshens your breath and kills germs. It's commonly placed in toothpastes.
  • Peppermint relieves clogged sinuses. Hot peppermint tea vapors are soothing for breathing, especially when sick.
  • The tea is great for fatigue.
  • Peppermint oil helps to kill bacteria.
  • The tea is low-calorie, it helps reduce appetite, and it is overall good to drink if you're trying to manage your weight.
Passionflower tea will relax you to the point of making you feel sleepy. This is a good tea to drink right before bed.

Passionflower tea will relax you to the point of making you feel sleepy. This is a good tea to drink right before bed.

Passionflower

The fruity flavor helps produce a calming effect. Drink a cup before bed for a better night of sleep.

The tea is associated with reducing anxiety, insomnia, hot flashes, and pain. It boosts GABA levels in the brain. Gamma-aminobutyric acid is a naturally occurring amino acid that reduces activity in the central nervous system. It helps to soothe nervous activity. It acts as a mild sedative.

The tea has a mild flavor in grassy tones. It can be sweetened with honey or lemon. Passionflower is best to drink at night and not in the morning. It's not recommended for pregnant women and may interact with some medications.

The benefits of Passionflower tea against anxiety were studied in a clinical trial. You can read about the study through the National Library of Medicine. The article is titled in short: "Passionflower in the treatment of generalized anxiety..."

Lemon balm tea helps get your imagination going and your digestive system on track. Drink lemon balm tea during a meal.

Lemon balm tea helps get your imagination going and your digestive system on track. Drink lemon balm tea during a meal.

Lemon Balm

Another calming herb. It should be used in small doses. It has been used as far back as the Middle Ages to address stress and anxiety.

Lemon balm promotes better sleep, it eases pain, and it relieves discomfort from indigestion, like gas and bloating.

Evidence has shown that lemon balm increases GABA levels in mice. It can be used as a sedative, like passionflower.

  • Healthline has listed several studies that show lemon balm can be used to treat stress, anxiety, and to improve cognitive function. It curbs issues related to insomnia, cold sores, indigestion, nausea, menstrual cramps, headaches, and toothaches.
  • The herb is from the same family as mint.
  • An overuse of lemon balm can lead to negative side effects such as nausea, painful urination, wheezing, nausea, and skin irritation.
  • Lemon balm is best ingested with food. Healthline suggests no more than 2 grams of lemon balm per day.
  • It's also suggested to take one week off from using after every three weeks of use.
  • You should talk to a doctor before implementing lemon balm into your daily routine.
Start your morning off right with a cup of turmeric tea. It will help protect your body from various diseases and ease inflammation.

Start your morning off right with a cup of turmeric tea. It will help protect your body from various diseases and ease inflammation.

Turmeric

Boosts immune function, reduces arthritis symptoms, possibly treats against Alzheimer's, and manages IBS. Consult your doctor if you've had inflammation of the gallbladder or gallbladder stones before going wild with turmeric.

For Trivia Purposes:

  • The bright yellow-orange spice is used in curries.
  • The spice has been used as a remedy for thousands of years.
  • The flavor is subtle and earthy.

Healthy Responses & Side Effects

  • An active compound in turmeric has been found to reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis. It's called curcumin.
  • Some research shows turmeric can reduce the synaptic marker loss and development of amyloids linked to Alzheimer's.
  • The spice is associated with anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Curcumin is also considered an effective anticarcinogen.
  • Turmeric may help with remissions from symptoms in ulcerative colitis patients.
  • Turmeric boosts the immune system's responses.
  • Turmeric should not be used if you're on blood thinners. It can increase stomach acidity, which can cause ulcers. It's best to switch around different teas rather than binge on one. Also, drink lots of water. (Water keeps you hydrated and helps dilute what you put into your body.)
  • Turmeric is safe in moderation.
Drink green tea before a long walk or before a big test. Green tea helps boost cognitive activity. It's also great to drink if you want to manage weight.

Drink green tea before a long walk or before a big test. Green tea helps boost cognitive activity. It's also great to drink if you want to manage weight.

Green Tea

Improves brain function. It's great to take before a big test. It may protect the brain from aging and helps reduce bad breath.

Green tea is best brewed well below boiling temp. It's suggested to be at 150 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. If your green tea tastes bitter or overly grassy, you should turn down the heat.

The tea is derived from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, the most popular tea plant. Green tea is loaded with nutrients, and it is used as a stimulant. The antioxidants from green tea may help protect against cancer.

It also has potential to protect you from developing type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. It may also help with managing weight. The caffeine boosts your metabolism and increases fat burning.

Studies also show that green tea:

  • Improves immune system support.
  • Improves overall dental health.
  • Lowers risk of arthritis.
  • Lowers risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

Three to five cups of green tea a day is recommended to help protect people against diseases.

Drawbacks:

  • Too much caffeine may cause anxiety, sleep disruptions, headaches, and an upset stomach. Don't drink green tea before bed.
  • Don't drink while pregnant or nursing as caffeine isn't recommended during this time.
  • Catechins may reduce iron absorption.
  • Toxic effects are most common when people take green tea supplements.
  • Green tea isn't recommended if you're taking medications for anxiety or heart conditions.

Works Cited in Alphabetical Order

Akhondzadeh, S. "Passionflower in the treatment of generalized anxiety: A pilot double-blind randomized controlled trial with oxazepam." Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, Oct. 2001.

Haghighi, A, et al. "Cutaneous application of menthol 10% solution as an abortive treatment of migraine without aura: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossed-over study." International Journal of Clinical Practice, Mar. 2010.

Hausenblas, H, et al. "Saffron (Crocus sativus L.) and major depressive disorder: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials." National Library of Medicine, Nov. 2013.

Jenabi, E, and S Ebrahimzadeh. "Chamomile tea for relief of primary dysmenorrhea." Iranian Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Infertility, vol. 13, no. 1, 2010, pp. 39-42.

Kamatou, G, and A Viljoen. "Linalool – a Review of a Biologically Active Compound of Commercial Importance." Natural Product Communications, July 2008.

Kassi, E, et al. "Greek plant extracts exhibit selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM)-like properties." Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, vol. 52.

Kato, A, et al. "Protective effects of dietary chamomile tea on diabetic complications." J Agric Food Chem ., Sept. 2008.

Khanna, R, et al. "Peppermint oil for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis." National Library of Medicine, July 2014

For More Information

Healthline.com has a ton of articles and data on different teas and how they work with your body. Healthline also lists peer reviewed research, so you can carefully look at how teas interact with people, both the benefits and side effects.

This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2021 Andrea Lawrence

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