Calming Tea: Homemade Recipe for Anxiety, Stress & Depression

Calming Tea
Cleanse Joy Research TeamCalming Tea
Research Analysis
CleanseJoy Editorial

Recipe | Herbs | About stress | References

The simple calming tea recipe below uses common herbs and foods that can naturally help relieve anxiety and stress, support your well-being and balance the mood.

Also, see the AM & PM options of the recipe. The AM version is ideal during the day, and can help with energy and focus. While it won’t keep you awake at night, the PM option is a better for the afternoon and up, as it may also promote restful sleep.

It is important to know that not all popular calming herbs work the same. So, they may affect each person differently. For best results, listen to your body and be mindful. Observe how you feel after you drink the calming tea recipe and make changes based on your needs.

Calming Tea Recipe

Calming Tea Recipe
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5 from 1 vote

Calming Tea Recipe

A simple healthy calming tea recipe with natural herbs and foods that can help the body cope with anxiety, stress and depression. Note that the recipe has an AM version that can support energy during the day, and PM version that may help to promote a restful sleep.
Prep Time5 minutes
Course: Tea
Cuisine: Chinese, Indian
Keyword: Calming tea, Tea for anxiety, stress and depression
Servings: 1 people
Author: Cleanse Joy Editorial Team


AM Version: support energy

  • 1 cup almond milk (pure, unsweetened) carrier
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder (raw, organic) mood
  • 1 medium banana electrolytes, minerals, fiber, improves taste, thickens the smoothie
  • 1-2 scoops BrainOn mood, brain function, focus, gentle detox
  • 1  dropperful tulsi extract calm stress and nervous system, support adrenals, balance mood & energy
  • 1/4  tsp vanilla extract (natural non-alcoholic ) optional
  • dash stevia or monkfruit  optional

PM version: support sleep

  • 1 cup almond milk (pure, unsweetened) carrier
  • 1 oz cashews or walnuts (unsalted unroasted) sleep & relaxation nutrients
  • 1 medium banana electrolytes, minerals, fiber, improves taste, thickens the smoothie
  • 1 dropperful valerian extract
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (natural non-alcoholic ) optional
  • dash cinnamon optional
  • dash stevia or monkfruit  optional


  • Place all ingredients in a blender
  • Drink immediately and enjoy a state of calmness, relaxation and well-being!
  • When drinking the PM version, notice how soon you feel relaxed. Many people prefer to make the drink 30 min before bedtime.

The Foods & Herbs in the Calming Tea Recipe

So, what does the evidence say? Here’s a little more info about the main ingredients in the calming tea recipe.

  • Tulsi (Holy basil).
    One of Ayurvedic medicine most studied herb known for its ability to relieve stress, support the adrenal glands, and balance mood and energy.[1]
  • BrainOn.
    A blue-green algae extract that is naturally high in Phenylethylamine (PEA), a natural component that can help support focus, brain function, and mood.[2]
  • Valerian root.
    Multiple studies found valerian as an effective natural alternative that can safely help improve sleep quality and relieve anxiety.[3,4]
  • Raw cacao.
    According to research, the polyphenols in cacao can reduce perceived stress and support good mood.[5,6]
  • Nuts.
    Nuts and walnuts in particular are rich in melatonin, the sleep hormone. In fact, studies have found that when nuts were eaten, they increased blood melatonin concentrations.[7]

Additional calming herbs

  • CBD. Well studied for its ability to help with anxiety and sleep.[8,9]
  • Dr. Group Full Spectrum CBD (Hemp Extract) is a wonderful source of CBD from a certified organic US grown hemp, with no added fillers, binders, etc.
    Unlike many CBD products we tested that could not provide analysis of the actual CBD content in their product, Dr group openly shares the entire phytocannabinoids content on his website.
  • Other popular calming herbs. Include ashwagandha, chamomile, lavender, and passion flower. Keep in mind, the idea is not to take all these herbs together, but to find the few that actually work for you.

One more thing…Find the source of your stress

Lastly, calming teas are not a permanent solution to anxiety, stress and depression. Sure, this recipe and the list of herbs above can all help provide relief when needed. It is essential however, that you understand the cause of the stress, depression, etc. and not rely on any recipe, remedy, supplement, or herb to resolve these.

In fact, there are cases where emotional wellness challenges are caused by an underlying condition in the body. For example, studies have shown that the gut microbiome may affect mental health.[10]

Another possibility is deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. For instance, studies have found an association between depressive disorders and vitamin D deficiency. This data is very significant, because it is estimated that most Americans have low levels of vitamin D.[11]

So, the takeaway here, is that if you can’t figure out the cause of your emotional issues, it is always best to seek professional help. It may be as simple as nutritional deficiencies, something that a medical professional can easily find.

Why am I stressed or depressed?

Very often, the stress, anxiety or depression can also be resolved with a few basic changes in our natural environment, or in the way we communicate.

Here are a few common examples.
Ask yourself, do you have…

  • Too much on your plate.
    Have unrealistic expectations, ones that you can never meet.
    As a result, you have too much on your plate?
  • Challenges with work-life balance.
    The best way to achieve work-life balance, is to start and resist the pressure to have it all. Instead, evaluate and re-prioritize what is more important. Maybe it is also a good time to ask for help? There’s much more than life than task completion. And, life is short. Leave time to smell the roses!
  • Relationships & communication.
    Does the stress come from unresolved tension between you and other people? Think about your boss, your significant others, your kids, etc.
    Very often, when people openly communicate how they feel, or learn about the point of view of the other person, they find ways to reduce future stress. Keep in mind, stress is so common in our society today, that many people appreciate open communication about it. In fact, your boss may not even know that the new task at work causes you a lot of stress, because you already deliver it on time, and never say anything.

In Conclusion

Calming herbs can offer a major relief during times of emotional challenges, which sometimes, make all the difference in the world.

With that said, not everyone responds the same to medicinal herbs. The best tea for relaxation, anxiety, sleep or depression that worked for your family or friends, may not work for you. So, remember to listen to your body, and fine tune. Until you find your own winning formula. This recipe is a great starting point.

Read Next

Best Teas For Detoxing

best teas for detoxing

Finally, the complete list our most popular detox teas recipes. All natural, all safe and effective.


  1. Tulsi – Ocimum sanctum: A herb for all reasons.
  2. β-phenylethylamine, a small molecule with a large impact.
  3. Valerian for Sleep: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
  4. Valeriana Officinalis Root Extracts Have Potent Anxiolytic Effects in Laboratory Rats.
  5. Effects of chocolate intake on Perceived Stress; a Controlled Clinical Study.
  6. Effects of Chocolate on Cognitive Function and Mood: A Systematic Review.
  7. Melatonin in Walnuts. Influence on Levels of Melatonin and Total Antioxidant Capacity of Blood.
  8. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series.
  9. Cannabidiol, a Nonpsychotropic Component of Cannabis, Inhibits Cue-Induced Heroin Seeking and Normalizes Discrete Mesolimbic Neuronal Disturbances.
  10. Gut microbiota’s effect on mental health: The gut-brain axis.
  11. Vitamin D and Depression. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Comparing Studies with and without Biological Flaws.

Gluten Free Pasta Recipe: Anti Inflammatory Mediterranean Diet, One-pot

Gluten Free Pasta Recipe Mediterranean Diet One-pot Pasta
Ana Reisdorf MS RD AuthorAna Reisdorf, MS, RD
Health & Nutrition Author
Registered Dietitian & Nutritionist

Why Gluten Free | Nightshades | Mediterranean Diet | Nutrition Facts

The combination of zucchini, white beans, garlic and oregano create the famous Mediterranean aromas and flavors to satisfy your taste buds, lift your spirit, nourish your body, and support your health.

For the recipe, we use the gluten free penne pasta variety, which is made with corn and rice without wheat.

Typically, this dish would have tomatoes, which can aggravate arthritis pain or cause inflammation in some people,  so they aren’t included in this dish.
The flavors are so robust, you won’t miss them. If you are concerned about inflammation, you may also want to skip the red peppers flakes (optional in the recipe).

The Gluten Free Pasta Recipe

Gluten Free Pasta Recipe: Mediterranean, Anti-inflammatory, One-pot Pasta

The combination of zucchini, white beans, garlic and oregano create the famous Mediterranean aromas and flavors to satisfy your taste buds, lift your spirit, nourish your body, and support your health.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: Anti-inflammatory Recipe, Gluten Free Pasta Recipe, Mediterranean Diet Recipe, One-pot Pasta Recipe
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 355kcal
Author: Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD


  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 2 cloves garlic sliced
  • 2 small zucchini cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes optional
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 8 ounces gluten-free penne pasta
  • 1 cup canned white beans
  • ¼ cup grated sheep's milk pecorino cheese optional, see vegan options below


  • In a large pot, heat the oil over high heat.
  • Add the onion and garlic and sauté until softened, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the zucchini, sea salt, oregano, and red pepper flakes (if using) and mix well.
  • Add the broth and penne and bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, until the penne is tender, 8-12 minutes.
  • Stir in the beans, sprinkle with the pecorino cheese (if using), and serve.
  • Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze for several months.

Vegan Option

  • To make it vegan, omit the cheese, or if omnivorous, substitute chicken broth for vegetable broth.


Calories: 355kcal

Gluten Free Pasta Recipe Nutrition Facts

Gluten Free Pasta Recipe Mediterranean Diet One-pot Pasta Nutrition Label

Why We Love This Recipe

Cleanse Joy’s Team Notes

This gluten free pasta recipe is an excellent example of how easy healthy cooking can be. Especially when you are looking for these quick wins.

In just a few minutes you can eat healthy without giving up flavor, carbs. No need to work all day in the kitchen.

Using one-pot to make pasta is actually very effective. Store (covered) in the refrigerator for up to 5 day.

From a health perspective, the recipe considers one of the main concerns of modern diets and lifestyle, chronic inflammation. Diet plays a key role. Just like certain foods trigger inflammation, others can help your body to have it under control. More on that on the evidence section below.

Feel free to experiment with the recipe. Based on the many requests we get, we are going to test other sources of pasta with this recipe. Especially the chickpea pasta which is lower in carbs, higher in protein and is also gluten free.

Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to learn how it turned out, or share your own comments below.

For more healthy & easy recipes by Ana for see the anti-inflammatory diet, see: One-Pot Cookbook.

Gluten Free Pasta Recipe: Evidence

Now as always, time to look at the evidence:

Should I Go Gluten Free?

Gluten Free Pasta

Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, has been getting a lot of bad rap lately. Many health experts suggest gluten may be linked to a large number of health conditions, even for people who do not have Celiac disease.

Time for some quick definitions:

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that occurs in genetically predisposed people, where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide.[1]

What about those people who do not have Celiac disease? Can they eat Gluten?

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity:
Recent studies now show that significant percentage of the population have problems caused by wheat or gluten ingestion, even if they do not have celiac disease. Most patients report improvement of symptoms on a gluten-free diet.[2]

In fact, many health experts consider gluten as one of the top foods that can cause gut inflammation. Not surprisingly, many dietary protocols such as the elimination diet, and the inflammation diet exclude gluten foods.

So if you have digestive issues or inflammation, you may want to eliminate gluten from your diet for a few weeks and see how you feel.

Tomatoes, Nightshades & Inflammation

Nightshades & Inflammation

You may wondering why all of a sudden we are saying that tomatoes are bad for you.

Tomatoes belong to a group of fruits and vegetables called Nightshades. According to some evidence, Solanine, a natural chemical found in Nightshades can aggravate arthritis pain or inflammation in some people.

The research data on this topic is not conclusive. According to the medical community, most people should eat nightshades due to their many health benefits.

If you have arthritis pain or inflammation symptoms, however, you may want to talk to your health care professional, to see if eliminating Nightshades for a few weeks can make your symptoms better.

Common Nightshades fruits and vegetables include:  tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, okra, potatoes and goji berries.

The Mediterranean Diet

Mediterranean Diet Recipe

This gluten free pasta recipe is inspired by the famous Mediterranean diet. Known for its rich deep colors, aromas, and flavors, numerous studies have shown that this type of eating can help control inflammation, prevent disease and even increase your lifespan.

The Mediterranean diet is a way of eating that is based on the traditional cuisine of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The diet is typically high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, herbs, garlic, red onions, nut and seeds, pasta, and olive oil.[3,4]. Just like you see in this recipe.