Anxiety seemed to be the buzzword of 2018. It became less stigmatized as more and more people began talking about it. Anxiety (and depression) are often treated with antidepressants. But the side effects aren’t always manageable. More and more people are looking for more safe and natural ways to treat anxiety. Tea is often used as a coping tool during stressful situations. And there are certain teas for anxiety that can help.

Nature’s Anti-Anxiety Prescription

Tea doesn’t need a prescription. It’s easily available and most brands are affordable. Studies show that increasing intake of theanine can significantly reduce anxiety symptoms. Theanine is an amino acid not commonly found in the human diet. It’s found almost exclusively in tea and specific mushrooms! Theanine helps prevent the brain from reaching to anxious responses in stressful situations. Studies also show that theanine helps improve sleep, one of anxiety’s biggest enemies.

Types of Tea for Anxiety


Chamomile is a tea often suggested for bedtime. A powerhouse, chamomile tea is naturally low in caffeine. Many experience it’s relaxing effect as it helps bring about sleep. According to a 2016 study from Phytomedicine, chamomile tea “significantly [reduces] moderate-to-severe generalized anxiety disorder symptoms”. Try making some with fresh chamomile flowers and an infuser teapot. Or reach for Twining’s right before bed!

Ashwagandha Root

Ashwagandha root tea is used in Ayurvedic medicine practices. It hails from eastern healing methods and helps maintain balance and reduce cortisol levels. Cortisol is the “stress hormone” produced by the adrenal glands and acts as the fight or flight stimulant. But when cortisol is elevated, it causes anxiety. Try boiling milk, ashwagandha, and honey for a sweeter nighttime treat.

Valerian Root

People have been using valerian for medicinal purposes since the 4th century. Studies have shown it helps both with insomnia and the neurotransmitter in the brain that helps with anxiety. And when women were given valerian root at a stressful time, they experienced less anxiety than those not given it, according to a study from the Global Journal of Health Science. Steep one dry teaspoon of valerian root per cup for 15 minutes before bed!

Lavender Tea

If you have issues sleeping, you know lavender is a pretty big deal. Lavender is incredibly soothing. And a German study in Phytomedicineactually showed it to have a similar effect to a commonly prescribed anxiety drug, Lorazepam. The best part was, there weren’t any side effects. It may also alleviate headaches, which are apparently linked to anxiety, according to the Calm Clinic. Add whole, dried lavender flowers to boiling water and allow to steep. Breathe in as you sip, though — its scent is both calming and delicious.

Let CPA Help Too!

We know you need a toolbox full of skills in order to cope with the challenges life throws at us. At CPA, we will always encourage patients to explore coping mechanisms that work best for them. However, we also know that a number of those skills come from counseling and different methods of therapy. Cristina Panaccione and Associates has three locations in the South Hills. We are currently accepting a limited number of new patients, so check out our videos to learn more about how we can help teach you the skills to fight depression and anxiety!


* This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please contact a medical professional for advice.

Scott Cunningham 

For the past 20 years, Scott has been providing a safe and supportive environment where people feel comfortable talking about their depression, fears, stresses, and hopes for life. Having a collaborative relationship with clients is important to him. Scott brings hope and knowledge into his sessions and provides psycho-education to aid in the effectiveness of therapy. He works with clients coping with issues such as, but not limited to anxiety, trauma, depression, partner-relational issues & phase of life transitions. My experience entails couples, adolescent, family and adult counseling. He is certified in Chemical Dependency Counseling, ASIST Suicide Intervention, Crisis Intervention Stress Management, and Comprehensive Crisis Management. He has earned his Master’s Degree in Counseling Education from the University of Pittsburgh and a Bachelor’s of Science in Christian Counseling from Fort Wayne Bible College.

Scott’s goal is to help people struggling with trauma to regain stability and strength as well as insight into their issues. He believes that everyone has an innate ability to grow and learn. He enjoys helping people accomplish that goal and live better and more productive lives.