11th
Nov
2016

Posted in Kafevend Blog

Keep calm and carry on


Here at the Kafevend blog, we feel it would be fair to say that some tempers will have run high after recent news from across the pond. Whilst we can't help how politics play out, we feel we can help in another way- explaining how tea is a good way to stay calm, which is just what we need!

Keeping cool with camomile


One of the most popular drinks used to keep calm is camomile. This small, daisy like flower has been used for medicinal purposes dating as far back as the ancient Roman empire, thanks to surviving writings by contemporaries such as Pliny the Elder. The name comes from the Greek chamomaela, meaning ground apple, alluding to the scent of camomile blossom. Camomile is well known for its relaxing properties. For the ultimate in relaxation, it is recommended to have a cup of camomile tea whilst having a bath similarly containing camomile- is it possible to be any more chilled out? Camomile has a few other uses too: it is thought to aid digestion as well as having antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory effects, amongst others. It's well worth then keeping a few camomile tea bags handy for when the going gets tough!

Easing tension with tea


We needn't turn to herbal teas to calm us down though- regular tea is quite capable of performing that role. It seems that it can achieve this in a few ways. The most obvious- though perhaps least explored, as far as rigorous testing is concerned- is the chemical make up of tea. Some tests appear to show that there is something in tea that helps to calm us. An important distinction made was that it doesn't necessarily reduce our chance of stress, but instead how quickly we are able to reduce it after a stressful event. Quite what chemical or group of chemicals it is behind the phenomenon is something that remains unknown, though we're sure that some bright spark will figure it out eventually.

Another way that tea calms us is through the act of actually making a cup. Here in Britain at least, simply flicking the kettle on even helps. It seems that there is a cultural element at play that becomes ingrained in us- the very ritual of making tea, anecdotally, has a calming effect on many of us. It could perhaps be the placebo effect at work- we collectively think of tea as calming us down, and so our brains go some way to making that a reality- not exactly top notch science, but interesting food for thought at least!

If you've been feeling stressed then, hopefully this little guide will encourage you to reach for your tea caddies. Of course, if you felt you needed to go in the other direction, then coffee would be the one to go for... but that's one to explain another time!

References:

The daily tea
The Telegraph

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