Tea scented candles are becoming increasingly popular as people turn to the soothing fragrance of tea as a way to calm their nerves, and as a means of calming themselves during periods of stress.
But as the fragrance of the dried leaves and flowers of the plant grows stronger, the medicinal benefits of tea can also be observed.
Amaranth scent, for example, has been proven to help reduce the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in military veterans by increasing their ability to control emotions, decrease anxiety, and reduce symptoms of depression, according to a study in the journal Psychiatry Research.
The researchers from the University of Bath in the UK say the scent of Amaranth tea is so appealing that people have even started to purchase the tea to help them relax and get some sleep.
Tea scented scented coffee can be used as a tea substitute for those who suffer from post-partum depression, while tea scented bath salts are also used to treat anxiety disorders and insomnia.
For people suffering from anxiety, tea scents may also help to alleviate their symptoms.
“Tea scents such as amaranths are very soothing and relaxing and can help reduce anxiety and stress in some individuals,” Dr Mary Beth Rader, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University’s Department of Psychology, said in a press release.
“It may also be beneficial to treat a number of conditions such as depression, post-stress disorder, anxiety, sleep disorders and stress, and can be effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety, panic attacks, panic disorder and post-concussion syndrome, among other disorders.”
According to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, the human brain is particularly sensitive to caffeine and alcohol, and this may be why tea screeds are so effective.
The researchers found that subjects who had consumed tea screed prior to a task were significantly more effective at completing the task, even though they had not been caffeinated, compared to those who had not consumed tea prior to the task.
Researchers say this may explain why tea and coffee are so popular amongst athletes, as the caffeine and other compounds that accompany caffeine can increase performance.
“Tea and coffee have a similar chemical profile, so the same effects may be achieved with the same ingredients,” Dr Rader said.
“For example, coffee is a powerful sedative, and tea can be a powerful anti-depressant, both of which can help to reduce anxiety, depression and stress.”
The study also found that those who enjoyed tea scotch, ginger beer and other scented beverages were also more likely to report improved mental health.