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With the cold and flu season in full swing, we’re all at greater risk of getting sick (or having to take care of someone that isn’t feeling well). So, allow us to give a little bit of friendly advice; reach for some of the best teas around and get brewing!
For years, herbalists have been using teas to successfully combat everything from nagging coughs and stuffy noses to chest congestion and body aches. And, even though some herbal blends aren’t officially defined as “tea” in the purist/traditional sense, we’ll be using the term for easy reference in this post.
Here’s a list of our “top five” teas for surviving the flu and cold season:
1) Ginger Lemon Tea with Raw Honey
First on our list of best loose leaf teas for surviving cold and flu season are ginger lemon blends. When combined together, the natural ingredients will traditionally clear the nasal passages and give an ailing body’s immune system some much needed assistance. Why?
Ginger is a very effective anti-inflammatory, while lemons contain Vitamin C. As you drink this tea, not only will these ingredients begin to take effect, but the heat and spice of the ginger together with the citrus flavor of the lemon
To up the ante even more, add a spoonful of raw honey. It will likely help calm the tickle in your throat and help your body fight bacterial infections.
2) Garlic Infused Green Teas
Next up are garlic infused green teas…and if you can find one that also contains lemon, all the better. Like ginger, garlic has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities.
Compounds in garlic have also been found to contain medicinal properties that boost the body’s immune system, fighting against viruses such as the common cold and flu.
In addition, it has the ability to reduce the viscosity of mucus and act as an expectorant. Within our body, the same powerful scent of garlic is deposited and helps work as an efficient decongestant that expels germs. Thus, it’s excellent at helping people cope with chest colds, sinus infections and the like.
3) Elderberry Teas
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center’s research, elderberry teas are wonderful when it comes to easing the discomforts that go along with having sinus infections and chest colds too.
This is because elderberries have great antiviral properties that help aid respiratory illnesses. It is considered by many to be one of the most powerful natural ingredients to fight against cough and colds.
More often than not, the elderberry teas also come with helpful additives like echinacea, blackberries, pomegranate,
4) Peppermint/Eucalyptus Teas
Since we are still on the topic of expectorants and decongestants, there are two other teas to consider. They are peppermint and eucalyptus blends. Both are also sold individually.
The peppermint tea acts like menthol, opening up airways and relaxing our body’s throat muscles. It relieves congestion in the nose and lungs, giving you a lighter feeling. As for eucalyptus, the ingredient aids in loosening up phlegm and soothing swollen muscles in the throat. It is also considered to be a popular home remedy for colds.
When choosing peppermint or eucalyptus blends, look for ones that have additional cold fighting ingredients. The list includes, but doesn’t end with fennel, chocolate, ginseng, licorice and green tea extract.
5) Thyme Infused Teas
Finally, we can’t forget about thyme infused, loose leaf tea blends. A 2011 study published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggested that the herb is beneficial when it comes to addressing congestion, coughs and other seasonal ailments.
The herb has been found to exhibit anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that ease diseases in the chest and in the upper respiratory system. This includes your common cough and colds, bronchitis, among many others. Furthermore, over the years, many people have used the herb to fight gastrointestinal and urinary tract infections too.
Do you have any favorite teas you rely on to get through cold and flu season? If so, please share in the comments section below.
Scott is the founder of TeaMinded. He enjoys tasting and discovering teas from across the globe, with green teas and ceremonial matcha from Japan being among his favorites. He’s grateful to be immersed in the tea community, always learning and sharing along the journey.