Matcha extract can help to reduce anxiety

Amanda Salazar

A study done at Kumamoto University in Japan found that matcha powder and extract had a calming effect on mice, according to an article from Science Daily .

To conduct the experiment, the researchers placed mice in an elevated plus maze.

 The experiement is a maze shaped like a plus sign where mice are placed to test their anxiety. After doing so, the mice were given portions of matcha powder or matcha extract, which was found to reduce their anxiety and relax them.

“When the anxiolytic activity of different Matcha extracts were evaluated, a stronger effect was found with the extract derived using 80% ethanol in comparison to the extract derived from only hot water,” according to the article in Science Daily. 

“In other words, a poorly water-soluble Matcha component has stronger anxiolytic effects than a component that is easily soluble in water.” 

The article continued: “A behavioral pharmacological analysis further revealed that Matcha and Matcha extracts reduce anxiety by activating dopamine D1 and serotonin 5-HT1A receptors.”

What makes this study important, however, is the potential it has to help humans with their anxiety management.

While more research has to be conducted, it is possible that there can be a way to use matcha to help improve people’s mental health.

Matcha, which is found in green tea, contains L-theanine, which increases serotonin and dopamine levels. This reduces stress and “boosts cognitive performance,” according to an article from MariMatcha.com. 

For people who have to deal with mild anxiety or stress from school and work, drinking green tea or matcha lattes may help to counteract the effects of stress. Other coping methods include exercise, meditation, yoga.

Chamomile tea can also help with anxiety because of the high amounts of antioxidants it has, as stated in an article from Healthline. In fact, some studies have shown that chamomile extract decreases anxious feelings when consumed regularly.

“They’ve found that those diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) experienced a significantly greater reduction in symptoms after consuming chamomile extract, compared to those who did not,” the article says.

It is still unclear the exact effect drinking chamomile tea has on anxiety, but the extract has been proven useful.

Other foods that have been found to help aid the treatment of anxiety are turmeric, salmon and dark chocolate. Berries are also great foods to reduce anxiety, particularly raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. 

There is a strong likelihood that matcha extract can be added to this list in the near future. It’s unlikely that matcha will be a one-stop cure for anxiety and stress, however. A healthy diet combined with exercise is the best cure.

However, if it can bring some calm to a student’s or worker’s busy day, it might be worth spending a few bucks for at the coffee shop.