Saturday, February 25, 2006

Tea, Caffeine & Seasonal Affective Disorder

Oh, I wish. Moving back east after seven years in the great Southwest, Tea Guy realizes how spoiled he was by all those sunny days. The sun doesn't show itself much around these parts this time of year and I'm starting to feel it's absence.

So I thought I might take a look and see if there's any link - positive or negative - between tea and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Over at What Really Works I found an article that suggests that basil tea, previously mentioned here, might help.

A number of sources suggest that caffeine and SAD are a bad mix, but I've decided to ignore those for now. On the plus side, is a 2002 article in Psychology Today that recommended tea as a SAD palliative based on its polyphenol content.

Another site suggests that a compound called L-Theanine might help. L-Theanine is "a natural amino acid derived from green tea that relieves anxiety and stress without the drowsiness associated with antidepressants." As luck would have it, the good people who run the site just happen to sell L-Theanine in supplement form. Well...

If you're really having trouble with this sort of thing, try the The Seasonal Affective Disorder Association. This has nothing to do with tea, but there it is if you need it.

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