Did you wake up today feeling sick and a little worse for wear? A sore throat with a running nose, a pounding head with chronic sneezing and coughing? Or are you just feeling that dreaded weak and achy body pains where you can’t move a muscle? Well, those are all the classic signs and symptoms of a cold.
The common cold is a viral infection caused by rhinoviruses or coronaviruses. Along with the previously mentioned symptoms, the eyes can also feel dry and tired due to a loss of fluids and mucosa from running nose. In more extreme cases a cold infection can cause fluid build-up in the middle ear causing temporary mild hearing loss and earache.
You may be surprised to find out that numerous traditional herbal tea remedies have proven to be both effective in relieving symptoms and reducing the overall length and severity of a cold. So head to the kitchen, grab your favorite mug and get the water boiling in preparation for a nice cup of homemade herbal tea as recommended in this article.
Herbal Tea Remedies for Colds
When you are feeling sick due to the symptoms of a cold or flu such as a sore throat or headache, herbal teas can be great to take for helping to ease its effects by providing effective and natural relief. Traditional moms knew the secret of using herbs for colds to sooth and fix the irritating cold symptoms.
Read on to find the best herbal teas to use when you have a cold or flu.
Green tea has been consumed for eons due to its health benefits. The tea is packed with antioxidants for supporting your body’s immunity to withstand infections.
According to one 2018 Study on “tea catechins on influenza infection and the common cold”, catechins in green tea are “effective against some cold viruses”. Green tea enhances the immune system to protect and fight against pathogens.
Green tea is also useful for soothing inflamed sore throat. So drink up!
Hibiscus tea boasts high levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C is known to be effective in soothing a sore throat and fighting off a cold. Hibiscus tea derived from hibiscus flowers can either be taken when cold or warm. However, it is always best to take it warm as it helps soothe a sore throat.
The tea can also help you fall asleep quickly, especially when down with cold and unable to sleep well.
It should be noted, however, that Hibiscus flowers are packed with estrogen and hence should not be consumed while pregnant. Also, since it is effective in lowering blood pressure, it is not appropriate to use if you have low blood pressure.
You can use fresh hibiscus petals if you can access them. If you can’t, dry petals are equally effective. Always do your best to source organic and pesticide-treated flowers.
Ginger Root Tea
Ginger tea has stood the test of time to remain a popular traditional tea remedy for colds in many homes far and wide.
The herb contains gingerols and shogaols which are anti-inflammatory compounds that help combat and soothe a sore throat. Ginger root is also helpful in fighting off rhinovirus, a cold-causing virus.
Talking a cup of warm ginger root herbal tea can not only provide you with packed benefits but can make you warm during the cold season.
Basil, also known as tulsi in regions of Asia is an herb regarded as sacred for its numerous health benefits. It is no wonder that users of this herb often refer to it as ‘holy basil’. In Ayurveda treatment, tulsi is an essential herb for various sicknesses and health conditions.
In modern herbal treatments, basil is used to prevent and fight bacterial, fungal, and viral infections such as the common cold. The compounds in basil, cineole, eugenol, and camphene help to decongest the respiratory tract. Basil tea is a popular Indian herbal tea for colds and coughs.
Taking a hot cup of basil herbal tea can help to soothe your sore throat and fight your cold and flu.
Is peppermint tea good for colds? Yes! The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of mint or menthol are effective in relieving the common symptoms of a cold.
Most of the over-the-counter cough syrups have a dose of peppermint to help decongest a blocked respiratory tract. However, pure peppermint tea can actually work far better than many conventional cough syrups.
Taking hot peppermint tea can loosen congestions caused by cold infection to give you relief and ease breathing, especially when sleeping.
A mixture of lemon as a base and other teas can make an effective tea to fight off colds faster. Lemon can boost vitamin C to strengthen your immune system.
You can make an effective herbal tea blend for colds by mixing lemon with ginger and honey.
Sleeping with a stuffy nose can be very uncomfortable. Take a cup of hot lemon, ginger and honey tea before sleeping to experience easier breathing and better sleeping.
Chamomile has for many years been a household herbal tea for various health remedies. Drinking chamomile tea for colds can effectively relieve classic cold symptoms such as the sore throat.
One 2010 study indicates that inhaling steam from water infused with chamomile can also help in cold symptoms relief.
The properties in chamomile, which are anti-inflammatory, high in antioxidants, and antispasmodic, are vital in dealing with common cold symptoms.
Chamomile teas also soothe the nerves to help you relax and get a better night’s sleep.
Licorice Root Tea
Licorice is a popular herb among Chinese traditional medicines. The active properties of licorice root make the root a powerhouse for dealing with various health issues. The herb has antiviral, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial activities.
Licorice herb can, therefore, assist in fighting off the common cold by reducing the severity of symptoms. Licorice root is a popular and traditional remedy used in Chinese medicine, specifically in the fight against the colds and flu. It may also assist in driving out phlegm and reducing the cough.
If you regularly take a cup of licorice root tea, it can inhibit any viral, microbial, bacterial, and inflammatory infections by boosting immunity.
To lift the potent flavor, you can add a dash of lemon and honey into your cup of licorice root tea for a very tasty drink.
Cinnamon has potent medicinal properties such as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. In addition to its irresistible spicy taste, it can assist in combating your cold, cough, and other symptoms of this dreaded virus.
The spice which was of high value in ancient civilizations still holds its value in today’s modern kitchens.
Cinnamon tea is also very effective in lifting body temperature after cold exposure.
For best results and a fantastic taste, mix one teaspoon of cinnamon with one tablespoon of honey in a cup of hot water. You can also add in some lemon to enhance the flavor and potency for cough relief and soothing a sore throat.
Black Elderberry Tea
For elderberry tea, use berries and not the leaves as they can be toxic. Elderberries are high in antioxidants and flavonoids essential for your immune system.
Use black elderberry tea to reduce cold symptoms and duration. Boil the berries and bring to a simmer for ten minutes. Strain the berries and use them while hot during cold weather or cold during warm weather.
Our Final Say
Herbal teas are just one of mother nature’s many great gifts that we can turn to for improving our health. Many of the recommended teas listed in this article have proven benefits in helping to fight off and reduce the overall severity of the common cold and its various symptoms.
As always though, be sure to consult with your doctor or primary medical physician prior to taking any of the natural remedies, herbs or general advice given in this article. This information is for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.