International tea day: Brew your brain

Posted 3 weeks ago

Teas to make you feel good

There's something inherently soothing about a warm cup of tea. Whether it's the comforting warmth, the calming ritual, or the flavours themselves, tea has been a staple in our wellness routines. From boosting mental alertness to promoting relaxation, different types of tea offer a variety of benefits. Here’s a look at some popular teas, their benefits for mental health, and simple ways you can brew them at home (you can always just buy in the pre-made bags instead for ease!).

The best teas for your mental wellbeing

1. Chamomile tea:  The relaxer

  • Benefits: Chamomile tea is almost synonymous with relaxation. Often recommended before bedtime, it’s known for its mild sedative effects which can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep.
  • Brewing at home: To make chamomile tea, steep 1-2 teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers in hot water for about 5 minutes. Strain and enjoy. You can add honey or a slice of lemon for an extra touch of flavour.

2. Green tea: The energiser

  • Benefits: Green tea is famed for its antioxidant properties and its ability to enhance mental alertness, thanks to its caffeine content. It’s also linked to better memory and could potentially lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Brewing at home: For a perfect cup of green tea, heat water until just before it boils and pour it over about one teaspoon of green tea leaves. Let it steep for no more than 3 minutes to avoid bitterness.

3. Matcha: The powerhouse

  • Benefits: Matcha is a type of green tea that comes in powdered form and contains a higher concentration of antioxidants than regular green tea. It’s known for boosting energy and focus without the jittery feel that coffee can induce.
  • Brewing at home: To prepare matcha, sift 1-2 teaspoons of matcha powder into a cup to remove clumps. Add a bit of hot water and whisk until it becomes a smooth paste. Then, add more hot water and whisk briskly in a zigzag motion until frothy.

4. Peppermint tea: The soother

  • Benefits: Peppermint tea is invigorating and is excellent for digestion and stress relief. It has a cooling, refreshing effect and can help alleviate headaches and migraines.
  • Brewing at home: Steep 1-2 teaspoons of dried peppermint leaves in boiling water for about 5 minutes. You can add honey if you like it sweet.

5. Herbal Blends: The customisers

  • Benefits: Herbal teas, which can be a mix of various plants like lavender, lemon balm, and rosehip, are great for tailoring to your specific needs. They can help reduce stress, aid sleep, and support overall mental well-being.
  • Brewing at home: You can create your own blend by mixing dried herbs in equal proportions. Use about 1 teaspoon of this mix per cup of hot water and steep for 5-10 minutes depending on how strong you like your tea.

What is your favourite tea to drink for your mental wellbeing? Let us know @sancstudents.