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Wellness Wednesday Tips from Nurse Brenda:

  • Have a Cup of Tea

    Posted by Brenda VanDomelen on 3/31/2021 9:00:00 AM
    These are excerpts from the book 5-minute Stress Relief By: Elena Welsh, PhD
     
    Have a Cup of Tea
     
    Sipping a hot cup of tea is often associated with calm and relaxation, probably because it involves so many of our senses.  Because tea is typically warm or hot, we are more likely to drink it slowly, which simultaneously slows down brain activity and calms the body.  The process of making a cup of tea is also a great opportunity to pause in our day and be mindful.   (I know... there are a lot of iced tea drinkers out there)     Here are some guidelines to make the most of this time:
     
       1.  Pay attention to the sound of the water coming to a boil.
       2.  Observe the steam rising from the kettle.
       3.  Listen to the sound as you pour the hot water over your tea bag.
       4.  Focus on the sensation of the warm cup in your hand and aroma of the tea leaves.
       5.  As you sip the tea, notice the sensation of the liquid flowing down your throat.
     
    Teas for relaxation and stress relief
         Across cultures, tea has long been used as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments, including stress.  The experience of making, sipping, and sharing tea can be a pleasant and relaxing experience in and of itself. But there are also particular types of tea that contain compounds that can reduce your stress on a biochemical level. Other teas can help relieve some of the ailments associated with chronic stress, like an upset stomach or nausea.
    Here are a few to try out:
     
    Chamomile tea: Contains a chemical called apigenin, which is an antioxidant that directly targets brain receptors and neurotransmitters associated with relaxation.  Chamomile tea has also been linked with reduced anxiety and improved sleep and has been used to alleviate nausea in women undergoing breast cancer treatment.
     
    Lavender tea: The scent of lavender is known for producing a calm and relaxing effect, but you can get added benefits from ingesting lavender essential oil in tea. Lavender essential oil is approved for the treatment of anxiety and depression in Germany and has even been found to be as effective as Lorazepam (a sedative prescribed for anxiety symptoms) in one German study.  Lavender can also improve sleep quality.  Please consult your medical provider before ingesting any essential oils.
     
    Lemon balm tea: Lemon balm tea has been found to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol and increase levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that induces feelings of calm and relaxation.  Research also found that those who drank lemon balm tea reported less anxiety.
     
    Ginger tea: Ginger and ginger tea are known to relieve stomach aches and nausea, which is why many still turn to ginger ale for an upset stomach.  Ginger alleviates stomach aches by reducing inflammation and irritation in the stomach.
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