With its naturally sweet taste and soothing fragrance, lavender tea is pretty much a great big ‘hug in a mug’. But did you know that its goodness runs deeper than that? Lavender tea boasts some very impressive benefits, here’s the top 3 reasons you may want to get sipping!
What is lavender tea? How can lavender be used in tea?
Lavender tea is pretty straightforward – it’s simply purple flower buds from the Lavender plant brewed with hot water.
There are many types of lavender plant, including:
- Common / English Lavender (Lavandula angustofolia)
- Spanish / French Lavender (Lavandula stoechas)
- Portuguese Lavender (Lavandula latifolia)
English lavender tends to be the most popular for making tea with due to its sweeter taste.
What is lavender tea good for?
Lavender has a generally good rep for helping people to relax and sleep. However, clinical research on lavender tea is limited, with a lot of studies choosing to focus on lavender essential oil and other extracts.
That being said, lavender tea can certainly hold its own in the health world – and well, it tastes pretty delicious too! Find out the top 3 lavender tea benefits below and how you can try it out for yourself.
Top 3 Lavender tea benefits
1. Sleep: Could lavender help you sleep better?
Lavender essential oil has already been highly praised for its sleep-inducing nature1 , but what about lavender tea?
Currently, there are not many specific studies on how lavender could affect sleep quality, but there are promising results from other lavender products, like lavender oil.
Just like lavender tea, lavender essential oil is made from flower buds from the lavender plant. Steam distillation is usually used to extract the oil, which is composed of many important compounds, it’s most popular being linalool and linalyl acetate.2
These ‘relaxing’ compounds3 could also be released when steeped in tea, so if you take time to inhale the lush lavender aromas from your cuppa it could have similar effects to using lavender oil in a diffuser or spritzing some onto your pillow at night.
Multiple studies on lavender and improved sleep have published promising results. The following studies found that inhaling the scent of lavender improved the participant’s overall sleep quality:
- 15 healthy Japanese students4
- 64 ischemic heart disease patients in intensive care5
- 34 midlife women with insomnia6
One specific study into lavender tea and sleep involved 80 mothers in Taiwan who had recently given birth. Half of them were told to drink at least one cup of lavender tea a day, making sure to stop and appreciate the aroma when they did so. Results showed that the participants drinking the tea felt significantly less fatigued in the first 2 weeks.7
Herbal teas in general are a great choice if you want better sleep as you get to enjoy all their soothing goodness without the usual keep-you-awake caffeine hit from regular black tea and green tea.
2. Mood disorders: Is lavender tea good for anxiety and depression?
Lavender is one of the most popular herbs in the aromatherapy world, especially when it comes to relaxing and relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Research suggests that the important compounds linalool and linalyl acetate can have a mildly sedative effect on the body, including the brain.8
As we mentioned above, a lot of studies on the therapeutic benefits of lavender focus on aromatherapy and the effects of inhaling lavender oil – so do stop to smell the roses / lavender when you brew your next cup!
Several studies have found that lavender could potentially ease the symptoms of anxiety and depression.9
One study found that lavender was superior to a placebo in reducing feelings of anxiety in 221 patients suffering from anxiety disorder, as well as generally improve their quality of life and wellbeing.10 11
Another study on the effect of lavender herbal tea on anxiety and depression in the elderly population found that it could help to reduce scores for both conditions. The researchers added that as it is so inexpensive and easily accessible, it could be used as a complementary treatment for these mood disorders.12
3. Menstruation: Can lavender tea help with premenstrual stress and period pain?
Most girls and women of reproductive age experience an array of uncomfortable symptoms in the time leading up to their period bleeding.
As there is currently no ‘cure-all’ for PMS, a lot of women turn to holistic approaches like aromatherapy to self-soothe from all the pain and emotional discomfort of this time of the month.
One study found that participants who inhaled lavender for 10 minutes experienced significantly higher parasympathetic nervous system activity in comparison to those who just inhaled water vapour. This suggests that inhaling lavender could help to alleviate premenstrual emotional symptoms.13
Another study found that inhaling lavender aroma on the first 3 days on menstruation for 2 months could help to reduce pain severity. No side effects were reported either, so the researchers regarded lavender aromatherapy as a safe and effective treatments for menstrual pain.14
How to enjoy lavender tea
1. Make your own
When you make your own lavender tea, you are in control of how much you use and how strong you would like it to be.
How to make lavender tea
- Boil a mug’s worth of water (approx. 250ml) in the kettle / on the stove.
- Put 4 heaped teaspoons of dried lavender leaves into a tea strainer or teapot.
- Let the lavender immerse in the water and steep for around 10 minutes – here is where you can start inhaling all the aromatic goodness!
- Get sipping once it’s cool enough to enjoy,
2. Try a tea bag
If you don’t want to make your own lavender tea, these ready-made tea bags could be the solution!
Organic lavender flowers are mixed with echinacea (long believed to help ease cold and flu symptoms) to make this relaxing and wonderfully aromatic tea.
Last updated: 18th December 2020
Author: Donia Hilal, Nutritionist
Donia started her career as a freelance nutritionist, later she joined Nestle as their Market Nutritionist to help support their healthier product range, before joining the team at Holland & Barrett in January 2018. Donia has 6 years experience as a Nutritionist and also works with clients on a one to one basis to support their goals which include weight loss, prenatal and postnatal nutrition and children’s health.
Donia has a special interest in; weight management, plant-based nutrition, pregnancy nutrition, special diets and disease risk reduction. Donia’s LinkedIn profile
3 As source 2