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Using kombucha for anxiety issues can be a simple way to add a helpful component into your natural anti-anxiety regimen. According to Harvard Health Publishing, there is a communication connection between the gut and the brain that indicates that each system affects the other (see that article here). It therefore stands to reason that caring for gut health can help relieve mental issues, and strategically brewing specific calming herbs and fruit into your kombucha can give your anxiety and a one-two punch.
For those that are anxiety sufferers like myself, it can seem like nothing helps except an antidepressant. I took one for two years, and feared what life would be like without it because my meds honestly changed my life. Through a series of events, I decided to taper down the Zoloft and I’m learning that handling anxiety naturally really takes a full diet, exercise and supplement regimen tailored to my body. Probiotics are also a part of that regimen.
Probiotics are helpful to everyone’s body in general, but particularly helpful for anxiety sufferers because of the brain-gut communication connection that is believed to exist. still, it’s not going to be just one singular thing that will help keep anxiety at bay, but through healthy food, exercise, supplement and vitamin choices, you can put together a decently effective prevention plan.
If you have never tried kombucha before, you wouldn’t know that this fantastic probiotic drink is easy to make, though it does take a little time and some special ingredients. A while back I wrote a post about how to make kombucha tea, so if you haven’t done this step yet, go back and complete that so you can do the steps in this post. Don’t worry, I’ll wait right here.
Flavoring Kombucha for Anxiety Prevention
Choosing the herbs and fruits you will use is as easy as understanding which ones will benefit you mentally. Let’s talk about that a bit.
There are many herbs that can aid us in relieving stress and anxiety, but in order to flavor our kombucha with it, we are looking for the ones that taste good and pair well with fruit. A few herbs that have lovely flavor and pack a punch against anxiety are the following:
Chamomile – soothing, supports the nervous system, calming
Lavender – relaxing, calming, uplifting
Ginger – antioxidant and anti-anxiety properties
Rose Hips – highest herb in vitamin C (60x more than citrus), which is known to reduce anxiety
Can You Use Essential Oils in Place of Herbs?
Maybe. But it wouldn’t be a great idea to use hyper-concentrated oils that won’t mix in and dilute well in the kombucha. There may be a way to do this, but I can’t recommend it because (1) I’ve never done it, and (2) I don’t know enough about using essential oils this way that I didn’t read from a MLM essential oils company. (If you would like to learn more about using essential oils in this way, I understand this book is helpful for learning those things. No guarantees, though, because I haven’t read it.)
When choosing fruits, berries, cherries, plums, apples, and citrus are all good choices, and pair well with the herbs we talked about.
Berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries) – high in antioxidants and vitamin C, both of which are known to reduce anxiety
Citrus – very rich in vitamin C
Apples – high in antioxidants
Basically, all you would need to do to blend flavors is to choose herbs and fruit that you think would taste great together. Here are the blends I chose to try:
- Dried cranberry, strawberry, ginger, and lemon balm
- Strawberry, dried rose hips, lemon balm, and ginger
- Apple, ginger, and dried chamomile
To Make Your Kombucha-for-Anxiety Teas
Whatever blend you choose, you’ll need at least one of the ingredients to have sugar in it, and it’s fine if there are two. Not much sugary fruit is needed, but it does a great job of adding extra fizz to the resulting drink. I added ginger to all of my brews because I like the flavor, and because it is anti-inflammatory.
If you need measures of how much fruit to put into your brew, here’s what I do: about a Tbsp of each fruit and a tsp of each herb per quart jar (I did mine in pints and didn’t think of this until afterward, but I’m sure it will be fine). In the case of the ginger, I added 1 tsp. of ginger juice rather than the herb itself. Once you’ve made your blends once and tasted them, you will know better if you need to adjust the amounts next time.
Cover your brews loosely with a lid (don’t tighten, you are only wanting to keep bugs out and allow gasses to escape). Alternatively, you can top with a paper towel held on with a rubber band. Allow your brews to remain on the counter for at least 24 hours. If your kitchen is warm like mine, you could probably get away with 1-2 days on the counter. If your home is well air conditioned, 3 days is the normal time frame you would wait.
Check daily if you’d like to see if the flavor is how you like it. Once it is just the way you like it, refrigerate and enjoy when chilled. If it bugs you that the herbs arnd fruit are there, strain before serving.
For further reading about using food to combat anxiety, read this article by Harvard Health Publishing.