As an avid tea drinker, and as encouraged by Joanne at our wonderful Dragonfly Delights Tearoom here in Brandon MB, I thought I would take a few minutes to share the benefits of tea for mental health. Although most of us are familiar with the mainstream benefits of tea, such as antioxidants, immune system benefits, sleep aid, digestive system aid, and even as a weight loss aid, many of us do not know the mental health benefits associated with tea drinking.
Epidemiological studies and trials in humans suggest that many compounds found in tea act as preventative aids and treatments for a variety of mental health and behavioral challenges (Lange et al., 2022). According to empirical research, anti-depressive biological compounds of tea have been researched and reported. In fact, research supports that green tea may be helpful in keeping depression and anxiety at bay (Lange et al., 2022). As a tea drinker, these findings put a smile on my face! Given that tea tends to be widely consumed in our society, and has very few documented adverse effects, its potential as a protective and preventative factor for depression should be recognized.
Tea, as a hot (or cold) beverage, can also be used as an emotional regulation and distress tolerance tool. Prior to holidays, I often suggested to my clients to have a hot or cold drink in their hands if they knew they would be in distressing environments with their family members. Cold/hot temperature tends to regulate our nervous system, thereby regulating our emotions and decreasing our distress. Additionally, tea can be a wonderful wellness tool for grounding exercises (engaging your senses, such as smell, touch, taste) and engaging in mindfulness activities (staying in the moment and taking deep belly breaths).
Lange, K. W., Nakamura, Y., Lange, K. M., & Zhao, H. (2022). Tea and depression. Food Science and Human Wellness, 11(3), 476-482. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fshw.2021.12.032