While it may be argued that stress has become unavoidable, there are ways to help your body address it better. After all, if you don’t do anything to fight off stress, it can harm both your body and mind. Even worse, stress can also drastically alter your quality of life. One of the best ways to keep this from happening is by drinking tea on a regular basis. This helps you avoid compromising your body’s functions in times of stress and suffering from adrenal fatigue.
Typically, the human body is capable of dealing with stress. After all, it has a NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response system that it can readily utilize.
The NEM stress response system is made up of several organs and functions in the body. When the body detects stress, it immediately spurs into action by engaging a number of important circuits. These include the detoxification, inflammation, neuroaffect, cardionomic, bioenergetic, and hormone circuit.
The hormone circuit of the body is particularly significant because it involves the production of certain hormones that enable you to respond to stress. Among the most important hormones produced is cortisol, which is secreted by the adrenal glands.
Recognized as the primary stress hormone in the body, cortisol helps you initiate a fight or flight reaction to stress. At the same time, cortisol disrupts certain functions which are not immediately necessary in times of stress. These include the immune system. Cortisol also works against insulin and helps the body break down glucose to give it more energy.
Typically, cortisol’s activities while under stress cease once the stressful episode goes away and the adrenal glands reduce their cortisol output. In the face of severe or unending stress, however, the adrenals are forced to continue producing cortisol for a prolonged amount of time. At some point, they are no longer be able to keep up with the demand for cortisol. This creates a condition of hormonal imbalance in the body and triggers Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS).
One of the best ways of tackling AFS is by making certain modifications to your lifestyle, especially your daily diet and habits.
Drinking tea is one way to help improve your body’s ability to handle stress. At the same time, drinking tea can also help relieve your body of any symptoms of adrenal exhaustion that you may already be suffering from.
When you are faced with constant stress and you feel like your body has already started to experience adrenal fatigue, it’s time to take the necessary steps to keep your condition from getting any worse. Drinking tea is one of the easiest ways to do this.
Research has shown that sipping some tea is effective in getting the body to relax better so that you won’t end up feeling anxious and tense all the time.
In fact, one study conducted by the University College London found that drinking tea regularly can lead to significantly lower post-stress levels of cortisol in the body. Another study that was published in 2016 investigated the effects of drinking beverages that contain L-theanine, a type of amino acid that is naturally present in green and black tea. According to their experiment, taking an L-theanine-rich nutrient drink resulted in a significant reduction of salivary cortisol among the study participants.
Meanwhile, another study conducted by the Northumbria University in Newcastle looked at the effects of consuming drinks that contain both caffeine and L-theanine. According to their findings, the participants who consumed drinks containing both substances showed reduced “tired” and “headache” ratings. At the same time, their level of alertness increased, and their cognition levels also significantly improved.
However, those in the advanced stages of adrenal fatigue may want to tread carefully here, as the stimulatory effects of caffeine may have long-term consequences.
Aside from this, a recent research conducted by the University of Uppsala in Sweden found that consuming tea has led to better estrogen metabolism among women. When a person experiences high-stress levels, the body funnels progesterone to produce the stress hormone cortisol. This, in turn, leads to a relative excess of estrogen in the body. According to a research from Yale University, high levels of estrogen can affect the brain’s ability to cope with stress. Hence, taking some tea can help stop estrogen from compromising one’s ability to deal with stress in a healthy manner.
Other herbal teas may not contain L-theanine, but carry a wide range of benefits and soothing powers depending on which herbs are used.
Indeed, drinking tea at least once a day can go a long way in supporting your health and preventing adrenal fatigue. There are a number of teas to choose from. These include both herbal and non-herbal types of tea.
Before you start taking any of these, however, please note that it is always recommended that you consult with your physician first, particularly if you have advanced adrenal fatigue. This is because you may have an intolerance or allergy to some of the tea ingredients that you never knew about. By consulting with your physician, you can best avoid intolerance and allergy symptoms such as migraines, sneezing, stomach ache, and runny nose.
Here are some teas that you can consider to help strengthen your adrenal health and even promote adrenal recovery:
Chamomile tea has long been a favorite among many tea enthusiasts. It has been known to possess several therapeutic benefits. Some turn to chamomile tea to ease conditions such as vomiting, nausea, heartburn, and upset stomach. Meanwhile, there are also studies that have linked chamomile to decreased oxidative stress as well as a reduction in the levels of stress-induced adrenocorticotropic hormone.
Lavender is another herb that is known for its calming and soothing properties. One study conducted by the Thompson House Hospital in Northern Ireland found that aromatherapy using lavender can lead to less psychological distress and improved moods. Meanwhile, another study conducted by the Chulalongkorn University in Thailand found that inhaling lavender oil reduced heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature, and respiratory rate.
Scutellaria lateriflora, or skullcap tea, has long been recognized as a traditional remedy for both anxiety and stress. In fact, it has reportedly been used for panic attacks. Moreover, a study conducted by the University of Westminster in London found that participants who received regular doses of skullcap experienced significantly reduced total mood disturbance and a decrease in anxiety levels.
Rhodiola is a herbal adaptogen that has been known to significantly reduce irritability and anxiety levels. One study published in 2012 found this herb has a role in helping to alleviate mental fatigue. Another study found that Rhodiola can be effective in reducing general fatigue when one is faced with a stressful situation. Another study published in 2014 looked into the possibility of using Rhodiola for managing major depressive disorder. It is important to keep in mind that adaptogens can sometimes excite very sensitive people with adrenal fatigue, so consult your physician first before taking this adaptogen.
Licorice has been known to help regulate certain stress hormones, such as adrenaline, in order to counter the hormonal imbalance in the body, which triggered adrenal fatigue. A study conducted by the Zagazig University in Egypt also found that licorice can alleviate the effect of oxidative stress in the brain. Another study published in 2016 also found that licorice has significant anti-inflammatory properties.
Popular in traditional Chinese medicine, ginseng has been known to help increase one’s energy and even improve one’s mental and physical performance. Even better, research has also shown that ginseng can help you cope with stress better. In fact, a study conducted by Sungkyunkwan University in Korea found that ginseng can effectively defend the body against oxidative stress. Moreover, ginseng was also found to be effective in suppressing chronic inflammation as a result of stress-induced depression and anxiety.
Also known as “Indian ginseng,” ashwagandha has been widely used in Ayurvedic medicine for over 2,500 years. It is an adaptogen herb proven to have anti-stress properties, according to a 2012 study conducted in India. However, beware of its sometimes stimulating effects if your body is not equipped to handle this herb.
Take your time choosing the right tea for you and the herbs that will work best for your body. You can also try several kinds, so you have different teas to drink daily. You can also enjoy drinking any of these teas hot or cold. Just be sure to let the tea bag or pouch steep in the water for as long as needed in order to get the desired taste. Alternatively, you can also use a French press when brewing tea from loose leaves.
Aside from brewing prepared tea bags, you can also choose to make your own tea blends to help you deal with any symptoms of adrenal fatigue. These can help rejuvenate your body and become better prepared to handle stress. That said, here are some recipes that you can try:
When it comes to hot tea drinks, having the right water temperature is important to ensure a good flavor. Never pour boiling hot water on loose leaf tea or a tea bag as this will scald the tea and alters the flavor in unpleasant ways. Instead, once your kettle has boiled, just allow the water to cool down for a few minutes before pouring.
There has also been an increasing interest in cold brew drinks, including cold brew tea. This may be because cold brew teas preserve some natural nutrients and vitamins in tea which might be lost if the tea is heated too much. For example, cold brew teas tend to contain more vitamin C than hot brewed tea. It is also believed that cold brewing tea produces a drink with relatively less caffeine than hot tea.
Cold brewing tea is also said to produce better flavor, and many find it to be naturally sweeter than hot brewed tea. This could help you avoid adding extra sugar to your drink for taste. Cold brew tea also makes for a cool, refreshing drink on a hot summer day.
To make cold brew tea, simply steep loose leaves or a tea bag in room temperature water and leave in your refrigerator for around eight to 12 hours.
Because of the long soak time, many prefer to make a big batch of cold brew tea to enjoy throughout the day.
For a larger batch, take a huge pitcher and put in around four tea bags or four teaspoons of loose leaf tea per quart of water. For loose leaf tea, you can put it directly in the pitcher or use an infuser or tea filter. Pour in the water and cover the pitcher. Place in the refrigerator, allow it to brew overnight, and enjoy.
Without a doubt, drinking tea can help improve how your body handles stress. The herbs you brew and the components in green and black tea can nourish and protect your body, and the act of drinking tea itself is soothing for many. Tea can also help you achieve better calm so that your days are happier and more optimistic. Indeed, tea can make a difference in improving your quality of life in the face of everyday stress.
© Copyright 2019 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
Drinking tea can go a long way toward helping your body learn how to cope with stress in a much healthier manner. It also has the ability to significantly reduce mental fatigue whenever you find yourself facing a stressful situation.