Pictured – Calming Herbal Tea
By: Kathy Sadowski, Master of Science Degree in Aromatherapy, Registered Aromatherapist, LMT, RYT
Lavender, chamomile, and lemon balm have been used for centuries to calm the mind. Below is a very simple recipe for a calming tea. A few research studies on the calming effects of these three herbs is listed below.
Calming Herbal Tea Ingredients
- 1 tsp of dried lavender
- 1 tsp of dried chamomile
- 1 tsp of dried lemon balm
- About 3 cups of hot water
- Honey to taste
Calming Herbal Tea Instructions
Pour about 3 cups of hot water over these dried herbs. Steep about 6 minutes. Strain and drink. Add honey to taste.
Scientific studies on these calming herbal tea ingredients:
- Oral intake of a lozenge containing lavender oil, hop extracts, lemon balm and oat had a calming effect. From: Dimpfel, W., Pischel, I., & Lehnfeld, R. (2004). Effects of lozenge containing lavender oil, extracts from hops, lemon balm and oat on electrical brain activity of volunteers. European journal of medical research, 9(9), 423-431.
- This meta-analysis provided a review of studies demonstrating an anxiolytic effect of lavender. Generoso, M. B., Soares, A., Taiar, I. T., Cordeiro, Q., & Shiozawa, P. (2017). Lavender oil preparation (Silexan) for treating anxiety: an updated meta-analysis. Journal of clinical psychopharmacology, 37(1), 115-117.
- Lavender orally reduced anxiety disorder symptoms. From: Kasper, S., Gastpar, M., Müller, W. E., Volz, H. P., Möller, H. J., Dienel, A., & Schläfke, S. (2010). Efficacy and safety of silexan, a new, orally administered lavender oil preparation, in subthreshold anxiety disorder–evidence from clinical trials. Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift, 160(21-22), 547-556.
- Linalyl acetate worked synergistically with linalool as an inhaled anti-anxiety treatment. These are the two key constituents in lavender essential oil. From: Takahashi, M., Satou, T., Ohashi, M., Hayashi, S., Sadamoto, K., & Koike, K. (2011). Interspecies comparison of chemical composition and anxiolytic-like effects of lavender oils upon inhalation. Natural product communications, 6(11), 1769-1774.
- A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel group, multicentre study showed improved sleep with a lemon balm and valerian blend. From: Cerny, A., & Schmid, K. (1999). Tolerability and efficacy of valerian/lemon balm in healthy volunteers (a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre study). Fitoterapia, 70(3), 221-228.
- Cyracos®, a standardized Melissa officinalis extract, reduced symptoms of stress and insomnia in this pilot trial of participants with mild to moderate symptoms. From: Cases, J., Ibarra, A., Feuillere, N., Roller, M., & Sukkar, S. G. (2011). Pilot trial of Melissa officinalis L. leaf extract in the treatment of volunteers suffering from mild-to-moderate anxiety disorders and sleep disturbances. Mediterranean journal of nutrition and metabolism, 4(3), 211-218.
- Lavender and Melissa had neuronal depressant and anti-agitation activities. From: Huang, L., Abuhamdah, S., Howes, M. J. R., Dixon, C. L., Elliot, M. S., Ballard, C., … & Lees, G. (2008). Pharmacological profile of essential oils derived from Lavandula angustifolia and Melissa officinalis with anti‐agitation properties: focus on ligand‐gated channels. Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 60(11), 1515-1522.
- Chamomile may have modest anxiolytic activity in patients with general anxiety disorder. From: Amsterdam, J. D., Li, Y., Soeller, I., Rockwell, K., Mao, J. J., & Shults, J. (2009). A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of oral Matricaria recutita (chamomile) extract therapy of generalized anxiety disorder. Journal of clinical psychopharmacology, 29(4), 378.
- Chamomile may have clinically meaningful antidepressant activity in those suffering from depression. From: Amsterdam, J. D., Shults, J., Soeller, I., Mao, J. J., Rockwell, K., & Newberg, A. B. (2012). Chamomile (matricaria recutita) may have antidepressant activity in anxious depressed humans-an exploratory study. Alternative therapies in health and medicine, 18(5), 44.
- Aromatherapy massage using lavender, chamomile, rosemary, and lemon reduced anxiety and improved self esteem. From: Rho, K. H., Han, S. H., Kim, K. S., & Lee, M. S. (2006). Effects of aromatherapy massage on anxiety and self-esteem in korean elderly women: a pilot study. International Journal of Neuroscience, 116(12), 1447-1455.
- Chamomile may help reduce insomnia. From: Zick, S. M., Wright, B. D., Sen, A., & Arnedt, J. T. (2011). Preliminary examination of the efficacy and safety of a standardized chamomile extract for chronic primary insomnia: a randomized placebo-controlled pilot study. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 11(1), 1.
- Inhalation of an essential oil blended with lavender, ylang-ylang, marjoram, and neroli had a relaxing effect and reduced blood pressure in humans. From: Kim, I. H., Kim, C., Seong, K., Hur, M. H., Lim, H. M., & Lee, M. S. (2012). Essential oil inhalation on blood pressure and salivary cortisol levels in prehypertensive and hypertensive subjects. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012.