As active as I am on this Stack and enjoy the occasional drink I'm realizing more and more that, regardless of how little I drink from day to day, for the most part booze just tends to bring me down a bit, and if I avoid it I usually feel better than if I had had something to drink.

So I'd like to put this question out there to get some ideas for drinks that act as sedatives, but which are non-alcoholic.

So far I've primarily been using lavender and chamomile teas, and straight water. Water specifically isn't sedating but does tend to balance out overloads of caffeine or sugar.

Is there anything else that's commonly used for this purpose?

  • Any cold-press concoction of Nut Meg powder can give a sensation of relaxation. Mar 30, 2019 at 8:44
  • "tends to bring me down a bit" and you want an alternative drink that brings you down ( act as sedatives ) ?
    – Alaska Man
    May 3, 2020 at 18:33
  • Yea, I think the implication is that alcohol is an unnatural, addictive substance that causes a hangover, and potentially a bad hangover if overdone. Whereas non-alcoholic sedatives would have a similar, up-front effect, but without the hangover or negative side effects, or ability to cause addiction.
    – Cdn_Dev
    May 3, 2020 at 22:09

4 Answers 4


Allow me to suggest a Kava tea as an alternative to an alcoholic drink due to it's sedative properties.

Kava drinks - often referred to as "kava tea" - are made from the roots of a plant grown in the South Pacific, and they're known for their purported anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects.

When ground up and mixed with water, the root turns into a juice that some claim can be a natural alternative to alcohol. It has been used for thousands of years as a ceremonial and social drink in the South Pacific.

Basically, the drink mimics alcohol's relaxing and sedative effects without the downsides - no extreme emotions, no memory loss, and no hangover. Tech Insider previously reported on kava's key compound, kavain, which mimics a sedative and triggers relaxation in the body. It works as a muscle relaxer, so while you're mentally alert, you feel physically loose.

Here is what Bulletproof has to say about Kava:

Kava is like chamomile on steroids. This muddy-tasting little root comes from the Pacific Islands, where people have used it for centuries as everything from a pain reliever to a ceremonial drink. A potent anxiety reliever, kava offers a non-alcoholic way to wind down at the end of the day, especially if you’re working late or you have trouble falling asleep.

The secret lies in kavalactones, the psychoactive parts of the kava plant. The kavalactones in a cup of kava tea, or a few drops of kava extract, can put you into a rare state of relaxed focus.

If you can not find it locally, it may be obtained on Amazon.

YOGI TEAS Kava Stress Relief Tea

YOGI TEAS Kava Stress Relief Tea

  • Has anyone else experienced this or am I just an aberration? I tried Kava. I bought what the lady told me was the most potent/kick ass extract in existence. I took a double dose - nothing. I tried doubling and tripling the dose - still nothing. I had high hopes for the stuff, but it doesn't seem to have any effect on me whatsoever.
    – bigga
    Feb 2, 2019 at 1:22

I don't know where you are located, but in my state Cannabis is legal and would be a perfect replacement for alcohol. Cannabis oils are not water soluble, so you have to get there a different way than just putting the flower buds in water, but it's pretty easy. The effects of Cannabis are well known, so I won't go into what it does to you.

Cannabis tea can be made in a variety of ways from many different ingredients depending on your personal preferences. A few methods include:

  • An infusion of dry flowers and water — typically less psychoactive because THC is not water-soluble.
  • A mixture of cannabis infused with fat (e.g., coconut oil, butter, and/or dairy) combined with tea leaves and water to make a chai or latte-type drink.
  • A mixture of regular tea leaves and water heated with an alcohol-based extraction (such as a tincture) added to it.

How to make Cannabis infused tea

  • 1
    Cannabis has never been my poison of choice (I prefer an old fashioned G&T), but what about putting cannabis oil in an e-cigarette vapor - just like normal nicotine vaping, but using cannabis oil. Apr 23, 2017 at 5:39
  • They make m-cigs that are used for just Cannabis oil. They do not put out clouds of smoke like vape pens. They are very popular (albeit expensive) choice because there is way less smoke and you can control your dosage very tightly. Apr 23, 2017 at 13:42
  • So, why aren't these things more popular, or are they? Apr 23, 2017 at 15:07
  • They are here in Washington and Colorado states! Apr 23, 2017 at 19:50
  • This is definitely something that hadn't occurred to me for this question, and would work, although I moreso had 'non-addictive' substances in mind, or at least ones without a psycho-active component. Replacing alcohol with cannabis feels like replacing one sub-optimal substance for another.
    – Cdn_Dev
    Apr 27, 2017 at 17:12

Tulsi, aka holy basil tea actually lowers the cortisol levels in your body, and speak as a person who used to drink daily for stress, this has worked the best for me.


So I went to my local tea shop and had a chat with the owners there, who are experts on this topic, and ended up picking up a few more sedatives.

So far these teas seem to be good options:

  • Chamomile
  • Lavender
  • Mints
  • Valerian Root
  • Lemon Balm (mint family)

Update: I've also taken the suggestion in one of the other answers to try Tulsi, and this has turned out well. Where teas like Chamomile or Lavender are good sleep aids, Tulsi acts as more of a relaxant that can be drunk at different times of the day.

So far the teas seem to work out like this:

  • Lavender - sleep aid
  • Valerian - sleep aid
  • Chamomile - sleep aid
  • Mints - muscle and body relaxant
  • Tulsi - stress relief

Second Update:

I'm going to share another update here as this question is getting a lot of views, and I believe this information to be pertinent to the question.

In the past year I've not only been making use of sedatives, but have also been reducing the caffeine content I drink via coffee. To help cut back on caffeine I've been mixing caffeine-free coffee beans with regular ones, and gradually increasing the amount of caffeine-free beans in the mix. At this time I'm at about 25% regular / 75% caffeine free.

What's interesting to note about this is that since seriously cutting back on caffeine I've found that I no longer have much need for the sedative herbals I'd been drinking. As it turns out, once your body acclimates to not pumping itself with stimulants, there is less need for sedatives to calm yourself down at the end of the day.

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