The 8 Best Herbal Teas for Stress and Restful Sleep – CNET

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Updated on Sept. 20, 2023

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Caroline Igo

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Caroline Igo Editor

Caroline Igo (she/her/hers) is a wellness editor and holds Sleep Science Coach and Stress Management certificates from the Spencer Institute. She received her bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Miami University and continues to further her craft in her free time. Before joining CNET, Caroline wrote for past CNN anchor, Daryn Kagan.
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$23 at Amazon

Tazo Refresh Mint

Best overall tea for anxiety and stress

Tazo Refresh Mint Tea


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$8 at Amazon

Buddha Teas Passionflower tea

Best tea for insomnia

Buddha Teas Organic Passionflower Tea


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$15 at Amazon

Twining's lemon and ginger tea

Best tea for multiple health benefits

Twinings Lemon and Ginger Tea


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$16 at Amazon

Yogi Bedtime tea

Best tea for sleep and relaxation

Yogi Bedtime Tea


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$20 at Amazon

Lemon Balm tea

Best tea for improving mood

US Wellness Naturals Lemon Balm Tea


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$16 at Amazon

Bigelow chamomile tea

Best tea for digestive health

Bigelow Cozy Chamomile


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$17 at Amazon

Pukka peace tea

Best tea for anytime peace

Pukka Peace


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$14 at Amazon

Pukka Night Time tea

Best tea for night time calm

Pukka Night Time Berry


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For most people, starting the day off with a strong cup of coffee is essential. However, for those of us who can’t tolerate caffeine, it can be hard to find good substitutes — especially if you have issues with anxiety. According to Harvard Medical School, the caffeine from coffee can mimic anxiety symptoms, making any baseline anxiousness even worse.

Like many others, tea became my go-to. Herbal and decaffeinated teas are perfect for my body to handle and even ease some of my symptoms. Now I drink a cup of tea in the morning and at night to manage my stress and help me fall asleep. You can too.

This curated list took into account the best brands and selections of teas with ingredients that have been scientifically tested to ease stress and anxiety. I considered customer reviews, price, ingredients and my own experience. Here are the best teas for relaxation and sleepiness. 

Tazo Refresh Mint
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Best overall tea for anxiety and stress

Tazo Refresh Mint Tea

Ingredients: Peppermint, spearmint and tarragon 

Tazo is one of the top tea brands on the market and one of my personal favorites. Not only does it produce quality caffeinated teas, but it also offers plenty of noncaffeinated and herbal tea selections. 

Tazo’s Refresh Mint tea is an infusion of peppermint, spearmint and a little tarragon. Mint is a natural anxiety and stress aid. A pilot study on peppermint (PDF), in particular, suggests mint tea also enhances memory and improves sleep quality. 

This tea comes in a pack of six, and each box contains 20 tea bags. 

  • For the best brewing: Boil water (212 degrees Fahrenheit), pour a cup of water over the tea bag and let steep for 5 minutes. 

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Buddha Teas Passionflower tea
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Best tea for insomnia

Buddha Teas Organic Passionflower Tea

Ingredients: Organic passionflower 

Buddha Teas uses clean ingredients, unbleached tea bags, 100% recycled and recyclable cartons, no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or GMOs. Its organic passionflower tea is also noncaffeinated. 

Passionflower is a powerful yet natural sleep aid. Recent studies suggest that it has the potential to treat sleep disorders that are often associated with anxiety, such as insomnia. However, consult a doctor if you are pregnant or nursing, as passionflower may be unsuitable for you. 

Each Buddha Teas box comes with 18 tea bags. 

  • For the best brewing: Boil water, pour over the tea bag and let steep for 3 to 5 minutes. 

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Twining's lemon and ginger tea
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Best tea for multiple health benefits

Twinings Lemon and Ginger Tea

Ingredients: Ginger root, natural lemon and ginger flavors, blackberry leaves, linden, lemon peel and lemon grass 

Twinings, a tea company based in London, has been providing tea products for over an impressive 300 years. Its quality teas are often moderately priced. Twinings Lemon and Ginger tea is described as zesty, warming and lightly spicy (due to the ginger).

Ginger root has many health benefits to the body. Ginger reduces anxiety — in one study, ginger extract seemed to treat anxiety as effectively as Diazepam. It also serves as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and may even lower blood sugar in those with diabetes. 

One large box comes with 100 tea bags. 

  • For the best brewing: Boil water, pour over the tea bag and let steep for 4 minutes. 

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Yogi Bedtime tea
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Best tea for sleep and relaxation

Yogi Bedtime Tea

Ingredients: Organic passionflower extract, organic valerian root extract, organic licorice root, organic chamomile flower, organic spearmint leaf, organic skullcap leaf, organic cardamom pod, organic cinnamon bark, organic rose hip, organic lavender flower, organic stevia leaf and organic orange flavor. 

The Yogi brand is going to be the most expensive on this list. Yogi teas are all wellness-based — meaning its teas are made with your health in mind, only ever using organic ingredients — and offer products for cold season, immune support, detoxing and sleep. Each tea is USDA-certified organic, non-GMO, vegan, kosher, gluten-free and free of artificial flavors and sweeteners. Its Bedtime Tea is also caffeine-free.

Best enjoyed an hour before bed, Yogi Bedtime Tea relies on the natural sleep aids of passionflower, valerian root, chamomile, mint and cinnamon — which cinnamon extract has shown to increase melatonin levels.

This pack of four comes with 16 tea bags each for a total of 64 tea bags. 

  • For the best brewing: Boil water, pour over the tea bag and let steep for 7 minutes. Use two tea bags for a stronger cup. 

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Lemon Balm tea
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Best tea for improving mood

US Wellness Naturals Lemon Balm Tea

Ingredients: Lemon balm cut and sifted

This bulk of loose leaf lemon balm is natural, organic and caffeine-free. The leaves come from the Republic of Serbia and are packaged in the US. Note that you will need a strainer to brew this tea, as it doesn’t come in individual tea bags. 

Lemon balm is very similar to mint leaves, yet with a lemony smell and flavor. In addition to stress and anxiety, it is often used to ease depression and sleep conditions. Lemon balm aids in depression and mood by boosting GABA-T levels — the neurotransmitter that soothes the body.

Additionally, this is the best bang for your buck — one package is one pound of lemon balm leaves. One package can yield about 100 plus cups of tea, depending on how many teaspoons of herbs you add to one cup of water. 

  • For the best brewing: Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of dried herb into a strainer. Bring water to boiling and add the strainer to the cup. Let steep for 3 to 5 minutes. 

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Bigelow chamomile tea
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Best tea for digestive health

Bigelow Cozy Chamomile

Ingredients: Chamomile flowers

Bigelow, like Twining and Tazo, is a big brand name and has been producing tea for over 75 years. Bigelow offers teas that are gluten-free, non-GMO, kosher and packaged in the US. The Cozy Chamomile tea is also naturally caffeine-free. 

Not only is this tea known for its calming properties, but chamomile also supports a healthy digestive system. It is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and research suggests that it may aid systems of diarrhea, nausea and stomach ulcers.

This tea comes in a pack of six, and each box contains 20 tea bags.

  • For the best brewing: Boil a cup of water, pour over the tea bag and let steep for 4 minutes. 

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Pukka peace tea

Ingredients: Organic chamomile flower, organic spearmint leaf, organic licorice root, organic lavender flower, organic ashwagandha root and organic hemp seed oil granules 

Pukka is a popular sustainable tea brand that specializes in organic blends. The box is made with vegetable-based inks and sustainably sourced, recyclable cardboard. Its tea envelopes and strings are also recyclable. Each compostable tea bag is made with USDA-certified organic and ethically sourced ingredients. They’re also non-GMO, vegan and kosher. 

Pukka’s Peace tea is a blend of organic chamomile, lavender, spearmint, licorice root, hemp seed oil and ashwagandha. Chamomile, spearmint, lavender and ashwagandha, in particular, are used for the promotion of sleep and relaxation. However, this brand is the most expensive on the list. This set of three comes with 20 tea bags in each box for a total of 50 tea bags.  

  • For the best brewing: Boil water, pour water over the tea bag and let steep for 5 to 15 minutes.

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Pukka Night Time tea
$0 at Amazon

Best tea for night time calm

Pukka Night Time Berry

Ingredients: Organic rose hip, organic hibiscus flower, organic chamomile flower, organic lavender flower, organic licorice root, organic ginger root, organic echinacea leaf and root, organic blackcurrant fruit, organic elderberry, organic blueberry flavor, organic valerian root and organic blackcurrant flavor

Similarly to Yogi’s Bedtime tea, Pukka also offers a tea blend that is supposed to be brewed at night. Night Time Berry tea blends elderberry, blackcurrant, echinacea, chamomile, lavender and valerian root. Elderberry, blackcurrant and echinacea support your immune system, especially during cold season, and chamomile, lavender and valerian root aid in sleepiness before bed. This tea has a stronger taste than Yogi Bedtime, and is for those who especially enjoy berry flavors. 

However, this brand is the most expensive on the list. This set of three comes with 20 tea bags in each box for a total of 50 tea bags. 

  • For the best brewing: Boil water, pour water over the tea bag and let steep for 5 to 15 minutes.

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How do herbal teas help to reduce stress?

Herbal teas are warm, calming and often enjoyed while sitting down. Teas also have been shown to lower cortisol levels (the stress hormone) in a randomized double-blind study. Herbal teas also often include ingredients such as chamomile, lemon balm or mint that have been linked to relieving anxiety and stress. 

Is green tea good for stress and anxiety?

One cup of brewed green tea contains about 28 mg of caffeine, while a cup of coffee contains 96 mg. Depending on the amount of caffeine that your body can handle on top of lingering anxiety, this might be enough caffeine to exacerbate symptoms of anxiety. However, some studies have found green tea to ease stress and anxiety. Longer studies need to be done to fully support this claim.

What tea is good for anxiety and depression?

Mint, ginger, lemon balm, chamomile and other teas on this list have shown to help aid anxiety. However, lemon balm, specifically, has been used to ease depression symptoms and studies have shown promising results

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