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Anxiety is not a pleasant experience. It can be chronic, or seem to come from nowhere, but either way, those who have it want it gone. Gentle nervines like catnip and chamomile are great for calming anxiety and getting your mind and body back to normal.
Anxiety is frequently caused by a hormone imbalance in the body, so the first step is to bring the body back into balance. Unlike prescription medication that attempts to manipulate the body into compliance, herbs gently help your body to balance itself. Eating real foods, especially healthy fats, cutting out all processed sugar, and consuming foods rich in brain healthy Omega 3s, vitamin D and vitamin B12 will go a long way in helping resolve anxiety.
Herbs are a great addition to a healthy diet to help manage anxiety. Some of my favorites are catnip and chamomile, lendoth of which are gentle nervines. Nervines work by calming overexcited nerves in the body and offer comforting relief. Catnip doesn’t taste the best in my opinion, so I like to combine it with some refreshing peppermint and calming chamomile.
Let’s learn about each herb and why they are all included in our Calming Catnip Herbal Tea Recipe!
Chamomile is well known for its gentle nature, but don’t let that fool you. This herb is a powerful anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, and carminative. It helps calm irritability in a strong and active nervous system. It’s useful for those who feel restless, irritable, or overly sensitive. I like to drink a cup of chamomile after supper to help my digestion, and to calm my mind before hitting the hay. (source)
Chamomile also aids digestion, and is especially good for gas and colicky infants. Since a damaged gut frequently plays a big role in mental health issues, including anxiety, improving digestion is a key piece of the puzzle. (source)
Learn a whole lot more about chamomile in our detailed chamomile post here on the blog.
Peppermint is also good for aiding digestion and has been used for colic, gas, indigestion, and better overall digestion. It helps keep the liver functioning properly, and even helps dissolve gallstones. It’s safe for children, and has a refreshing taste that helps other less tasty herbs go down better. I’ll use it when I have nausea to calm my stomach, especially during a round of the flu. Peppermint shouldn’t be used in excessively large amounts in pregnancy, though drinking a few cups of tea throughout pregnancy won’t hurt. (source) (source)
Learn a whole lot more about using peppermint for the home, body, and in food in our detailed peppermint post here on the blog.
And here we come to our star player. Catnip is a member of the mint family, though it doesn’t have the same peppery taste that peppermint and spearmint do. It’s safe for children and is used to calm colicky babies and increase perspiration during a fever. Catnip helps to calm anxiety for those who feel restless and have nervous irritation or nervous headaches. It also helps to promote a restful night’s sleep for those who have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Catnip should not be used during pregnancy since it has the potential to cause loss of the baby. (source)
- 2 tsp Peppermint (organic peppermint)
- 2 tsp Catnip (organic catnip)
- 1 heaping Tbsp Chamomile (organic chamomile)
- 16 oz Filtered Water
- ⅓ cup and 2 Tbsp Peppermint
- ⅓ cup and 2 Tbsp Catnip
- ¾ cup Chamomile
- (Use 3 T per 16 oz of filtered water)
- If you're making the larger, 10 serving batch, then combine all of your herbs together in a glass jar and shake to combine. You can also put them into a coffee grinder and give it a few pulses to break up the chamomile and blend everything together well.
- If you’re using the larger recipe, then use 3 T of herb for each 16 oz cup of tea. If you're just doing 1 serving, then just put all of your herbs into your cup. Steep your herbs for 4 minutes, then strain. Make sure you squeeze all of the water from your herbs, since this liquid is the most potent.
- Sweeten with stevia or beautiful raw honey if desired and drink as needed throughout the day. This tea is particularly helpful right after a meal and before bedtime.