Finding the best herbal tea to fight colds & Flu
Finding the best herbal tea for colds might just mean you aren’t walking around with a stuffy nose for longer than you have to.
A cold is generally harmless, however, its symptoms can exhaust your energy and make you feel downright miserable.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that common cold symptoms like a runny nose, congestion, watery eyes, sore throat, and cough usually resolve within 7-10 days in adults.
Unfortunately, common cold symptoms can stop you in your tracks and get in the way of going about your daily life.
For instance, congestion can interfere with your breathing and cause pressure, leading to sinus headaches.
Over the counter decongestants can provide short-term relief for a congested or stuffy nose.
But they are not suitable for everyone, such as people with diabetes, glaucoma, or high blood pressure.
In addition, decongestants usually have side effects like feeling agitated, restless, sleepy, dry mouth, and headaches.
Neti pots and saline nasal sprays can also effectively flush excess mucus and debris from the nasal passages.
However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that improper use can be dangerous and lead to serious infections like the ‘brain-eating’ amoeba.
Luckily, certain remedies can help alleviate the symptoms of a common cold and provide relief.
A good example of a natural decongestant is hot tea.
This article outlines the best herbal teas for colds.
How Do Herbal Teas Help with Colds?
Your grandma was right, herbal teas may help treat the symptoms of a cold.
A warm cup of tea is a great choice not only for keeping you hydrated but also for soothing sore throats, reducing inflammation, and clearing nasal congestion during the flu season.
According to medical experts, tea consumption may be helpful for people suffering from a cold or cough.
Findings from scientific studies show that herbal teas contain plant compounds that have beneficial effects like improving your immune system function, making it more effective when dealing with multiple diseases.
Drinking herbal tea for a cold can provide relief in the following ways:
- Loosen phlegm
Drinking your favorite herbal tea may help loosen phlegm and eliminate the thin mucus that may be causing discomfort.
- Soothing sore throat
Herbal teas are a common remedy for sore throats. A good example is licorice root tea which provides a protective coating over your throat, preventing throat irritation, and making it easier to cough up.
- Medicinal effects
Some types of tea contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which give your immune system a boost and help promptly cure colds.
9 Best Herbal teas for colds
1. Tomato Tea
This refreshing tea recipe from Jean Woolhiser at Earth Clinic may provide symptom relief during a bout of cold or flu.
Tomato tea is an easy homemade drink that has received numerous reviews for nasal decongestion, fighting sinus infections, and relieving sore throats.
The tea contains most of the nutrients you’d find in whole vegetables.
For instance, it contains high amounts of vitamin C and A.
You can serve it cold in the summer and hot in the fall.
Tomato tea recipe
- 2 cups of veggie juice (v8 juice) or organic tomato juice
- 2 or more cloves of garlic (crushed)
- 2 tablespoons of vinegar or juice a quarter of a fresh lemon
- Hot sauce to taste (use as much as you can handle)
- Warm the V8 juice in a pan or in the microwave. You can make it a little too hot (the steam will soothe your nose and throat).
- Mix the rest of the ingredients in the hot juice and stir.
- Sip the warm drink and re-warm as needed to experience the full effects of that nice steam.
- Let the tea sit at the back of your throat to bathe and soothe it. You should also suck the steam through your sinuses and down into your lungs.
2. Honey Tea
Honey tea is touted to offer powerful health benefits like enhancing skin health, boosting overall health, and relieving the symptoms of a cold and cough.
This popular tea for cold weather is super easy to make and only has two ingredients (warm water and raw honey).
The hot liquid naturally soothes your throat and alleviates congestion.
It also reduces internal inflammation, which provides relief to a sore throat.
Honey tea can also increase antibacterial properties that help in curing colds.
Multiple studies have found that raw honey can minimize mucus production and act as a natural cough suppressant.
Adding a few drops of honey into your favorite herbal tea is a tasty way to help loosen phlegm, suppress coughs, and soothe pain.
3. Ginger Tea
Ginger tea has multiple health benefits but is especially known as a complementary remedy for common cold, cough, and flu symptoms.
This herbal beverage from fresh ginger roots has become everyone’s go-to tea in the winter season.
Research shows that it contains an active ingredient, gingerol, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can provide instant relief.
Sipping ginger root tea (ensure the root is boiled in hot water) may be soothing to an inflamed throat and irritated airways.
It can effectively remedy a sore throat by relieving inflammation, and its components can help suppress a cough.
4. Licorice Root Tea
Licorice root contains compounds with antimicrobial properties and antiviral properties that can help fight against colds.
Made from the roots of the licorice plant, this herbal tea for cold has a slightly bitter and salty taste with sour notes.
A hot cup of tea contains compounds that can help ward off sore throats by coating your throat and easing the feelings of a scratchy, itchy throat.
It also possesses antibacterial properties that boost your immune system, helping it inhibit the growth of the bacteria and viruses that causes infections to begin with.
Pregnant women should not drink licorice root tea as it can impair the placenta.
In addition, consuming large quantities of licorice can reduce potassium levels in the body and cause irregular heartbeats and high blood pressure.
5. Chamomile Tea
Made from dried chamomile flowers, chamomile tea was used as a traditional medicine to treat many ailments like sciatica, gout, eczema, burns, and viral infections associated with cold.
This tea possesses specific flavonoids that have a soothing effect that can help with cough, cold, and sore throat.
Its health-promoting benefits can also help reduce inflammation, hence remedying sinus pain.
Because of its tranquilizing effects, chamomile tea is best consumed at night to promote adequate sleep and alleviate depression.
6. Lemon Tea
This delicious tea is great for soothing sore throats, congestion, and coughs.
You can make lemon tea by adding organic lemon juice to a cup of green tea or black tea.
This kind of tea has a low-sugar and low-calorie content and is a perfect way of adding a variety of minerals and vitamins to your diet.
Other lemon-based teas with a high level of vitamin C and beneficial antioxidants include lemon balm and lemongrass tea.
Research has found that though vitamin C has little to no benefits for preventing the common cold.
It can speed up your recovery and reduce the severity of flu symptoms by boosting your immune system.
7. Peppermint Tea
There are no studies on peppermint tea specifically.
However, the natural compounds of this essential oil have been studied for many years as a possible natural remedy to many symptoms like digestive upsets, headaches, and clogged sinuses.
Fresh peppermint leaves contain menthol, an organic compound that has antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
This hot beverage can help soothe the body aches caused by flu, clear blocked sinuses, and ease congestion, making your breathing easier.
Besides making you feel much better, the virucidal effects of peppermint tea bags can also shorten the duration of a cold, cough, or flu.
8. Black Tea
This drink has become a popular tea for cold.
Black tea is low in calories, and it may offer multiple health benefits, including giving your immune system an extra kick to alleviate body aches and pains.
This flu-fighting tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, which contains a range of bioactive constituents that can help reduce inflammation and alleviate the aches that come along with a cold or flu.
Some studies have found that daily consumption of black teas and other true teas can help reduce influenza rates and shorten the length of cold symptoms.
This hot drink also helps soothe a sore throat while its complex aroma opens up your airways and reduces coughing.
9. Echinacea Tea
Echinacea Tea is an extremely popular drink for the cold season.
The purple flower is touted to prevent the risk of catching a cold or cough by nearly 58% when consumed as a supplement.
This flower can also be used to brew tea.
Echinacea tea has anti-inflammatory effects that can boost your immune system, shorten the period of the common cold, and treat respiratory tract infections.
Best Herbal tea for colds - The bottom line
Herbal teas are well-known beverages that can help soothe sore throats and kick colds quickly due to their antibacterial properties.
However, not all herbal teas can help with a cold.
As such, it’s crucial that you handpick the best teas for cold carefully and seek medical advice if you want to recover fast.
The good news is that there are many other home remedies for a cold.
For instance, drinking or inhaling apple cider vinegar, taking a hot shower, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating foods that can fight sinus congestion, such as spices, garlic, and pineapple.
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