The Best Herbal Teas for Cold and Flu Season

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This post is inspired by real-life events. A few days ago, Greg exhibited cold symptoms including sneezing, sniffling and itchy eyes. Like me, he doesn’t typically take over the counter meds. He does not need to. I know exactly which herbal tea to prepare for him.

After only one cup of hot tea, he felt better. His eyes stopped itching and I didn’t hear a sneeze the rest of the evening. The next day, after two cups of herbal tea, one in the morning and one in the evening, his cold symptoms completely disappeared.

I love healing naturally, especially when it takes the form of a cup of hot tea.

Check out the best herbal teas for cold and flu season. When dealing with bugs, colds and flus, reach for one of these soothing drinks to speed healing.

The Best Herbal Teas for Cold and Flu Season title meme

The Best Herbal Teas for Cold and Flu Season

We are currently in the midst of cold and flu season. In fact, it is quite severe in my area. This year scary reports of a new strain of flu, the corona virus, is creating alarm.

When the sniffles strike or the flu causes you to curl up under a blanket with a box of tissues nearby, create one of these ultra-healing teas. The hot herbal drinks relieve congestion, soothe a sore throat and ease headaches and tense muscles.

Add a spoonful of raw, organic honey to combat coughs. Squeeze fresh lemon or orange juice into the tea for a boost to the immune system. And sip on these teas all day. Another important benefit from drinking tea is hydration, which helps clear mucus from the nose and lungs and restores health more quickly.

Chamomile

This tea, made from the flowers of the herb chamomile, is well known for helping the body relax into sleep. However, chamomile’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties fight against cold and flu bugs while eliminating head and chest congestion. The herb soothes sinus headaches associated with the flu and it really does relax the body. While healing from a cold or the flu, a good night’s rest is helpful and restorative.

Steep two teaspoons of dried chamomile in a cup of very hot water, for 15 minutes.

Chamomile Tea
The best herbal teas for cold and flu season – chamomile

Echinacea

A member of the daisy family, this flowering herb is also known as purple coneflower. It is commonly found growing in fields, fence rows and flower borders. I grow this flower in my backyard garden. Due to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, echinacea reduces the risk of catching a cold by more than 50%. During cold and flu season, drink a cup of this herbal tea every day to minimize the chances of catching a virus.

Echinacea helps the body to heal more quickly if it is under attack from a cold or flu bug. It eases sore throats, relieves sinus and chest congestion and soothes an ear ache. And it provides natural pain relief for the achiness that accompanies the cold or flu.

Steep two teaspoons of dried echinacea, or a couple of fresh blooms, in a cup of very hot water for 15 minutes.

Echinacea Tea
The best herbal teas for cold and flu season – echinacea

Ginger

This flavorful herb is a powerhouse of healing benefits. It soothes the body struggling with the cold or flu. Ginger’s anti-inflammatories and its antiviral and antibacterial properties fight against infection. The herb relaxes tight throat muscles and eases muscular pains throughout the body. Additionally, ginger relieves headaches and heals sinus and ear infections. And because ginger aids the entire digestive system, if nausea is present due to flu, this herb helps calm the stomach.

Add one teaspoon of freshly grated ginger to a cup of very hot water. Steep for 10 minutes. Add a dollop of raw, organic honey and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a powerfully healing hot drink.

Ginger Tea
The best herbal teas for cold and flu season – ginger

Peppermint

Ahhh, peppermint, my go to herb for almost everything! Peppermint is a member of the mentha family, along with spearmint. The menthol in the herb’s leaves soothes a sore throat while calming a cough. Menthol relieves congestion as well, while its antiviral properties fight cold and flu viruses…and symptoms.

Like ginger, peppermint restores the entire digestive system, a bonus when the flu causes an upset stomach.

Add two teaspoons of dried peppermint to a cup of very hot water. Steep for five to ten minutes. Or use a sprig of fresh peppermint instead of dried.

Peppermint Tea
The best herbal teas for cold and flu season – peppermint

Nettle

When Greg’s cold symptoms appeared, I immediately grabbed this herb. Nettle, also known as nettle leaf, supports a body under stress. When attacked by cold or flu viruses, the body goes into reactionary mode. This potent herb is packed with phytochemicals, anti-inflammatories and alkaloids. They calm the reactionary symptoms in the body, relieving itchy, watery eyes, sniffles and a scratchy throat.

Nettle fights infections of all kinds and it is a natural pain reliever. At the first signs of flu or a cold, brew a pot of nettle tea and combine it with other herbs for the most benefits.

This is my favorite cold remedy:

Add two teaspoons dried nettle leaf, two teaspoons dried peppermint and two teaspoons dried lemon balm to a mesh tea ball. Drop into a teapot and add boiling water. Cover teapot and allow tea to steep for 15 minutes. Add raw, organic honey if desired, and freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice.

Sip on this tea throughout the day. I rarely catch a cold, however if I show symptoms this herbal tea eliminates them within 24 hours.

The Best Herbal Teas for Cold and Flu Season Nettle
The best herbal teas for cold and flu season – nettle

Fight that Cold or Flu and Win

Ginger is available in the produce section of most grocery stores, such as NaturalĀ  Grocers or Walmart.

Pick up dried herbs below, to make your own herbal teas. Fight the battle against the cold and flu and win, while naturally boosting your immune system. A strong immune system is the best defense against the viruses that create those miserable symptoms.



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Nettle Leaf

I first became aware of this plant as a youth. Brushing bare arms or legs against it could result in a temporary stinging sensation. Stinging nettles were something I learned to avoid. However, long before I switched to a plant based lifestyle, I discovered the surprising benefits of drinking nettle tea.

Nettle Leaf

This adaptogenic herb provides support for our bodies during times of stress. The leaves contain vast amounts of phytochemicals, anti-inflammatories and alkaloids. Nettle leaf is also full of bone building and bone protecting silica, 40+ trace minerals, and it contains a potent natural pain reliever.

This wild food, that many consider a weed, provides amazing support for the adrenal glands and the endocrine system that are often overburdened, overworked and fatigued. Adrenal fatigue can severely affect women in particular, causing reproductive system symptoms such as hormonal imbalance, infertility and perimenopause. The problem can be that the adrenals need help, rather than the reproductive system. Nettle helps to address multiple sources of hormone disruption.

Nettle Leaf

Nettle leaf eases infections in the urinary tract, bladder and kidneys, and fights against cystitis and reproductive cancers. It’s a powerful ally against viruses such as Epstein Barr and shingles, and helps the body to recover from rheumatoid arthritis, post traumatic stress disorders, autoimmune diseases, anxiety, depression and mood swings.

For the greatest benefit from this centering herb, use it in dried form to create tea. I buy dried nettle leaf by the ounce. It’s available in health food stores and health conscious grocery stores. Add a couple of teaspoons of dried nettle to a tea ball or mesh basket and drop into a tea cup or mug. Fill cup with boiling water, cover and steep for at least five minutes. Other dried herbs can be combined with nettle leaf, for unique blends. Raw organic honey or a squeeze of lemon can be added as well.

Nettle Leaf

I have gone from avoiding the plant to regularly drinking a cup of nettle tea during my afternoon tea time. The hot tea brings comfort and a sense of settling and centering to my busy mind.

Nettle brings that same sense of wellbeing to my body as it provides healing and restoration. When I’ve had a stressful day this is my go to herbal tea. I am extremely grateful for this incredible plant.

Nettle Leaf

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Four Drinks that Help Fight a Cold

We are in the middle of cold season. And while not life threatening, the sniffles make us miserable while the bug runs its course. There are many over the counter cold remedies available, however these products can create side effects such as drowsiness, dry mouth and eyes, and digestive distress. 

I’ve discovered four natural alternatives to cold medicine. These powerful drinks not only help me in my fight against colds and allergies, they support and strengthen my immune system so that I am less likely to catch what’s going around next time. 

Four drinks to help to fight a cold
Banana Orange Pineapple Smoothie

We typically think of hot drinks when fighting a cold. However, this nutrient packed fruit smoothie is a great drink to boost the immune system and increase vitamin C. 

Bananas are a powerful antiviral food that also soothes sleep disorders and reduces anxiety. Oranges are high in vitamin C and bioactive calcium. They help combat the strep virus and a host of other disorders. Pineapple is anti inflammatory and supports the immune system as well. 

In a blender, combine 1 banana, 2 oranges and 1 cup frozen pineapple chucks. Add 3/4 cup water and blend well. 

Sipping on a banana orange pineapple smoothie is a great way to start the day, boost the immune system, and soothe a sore or scratchy throat. 

Four drinks to help to fight a cold
Spiced Apple Cider 

This fragrant hot drink not only tastes great, it also smells wonderful as it simmers on the stove. And the spiced cider is full of health benefits. 

Apple cider is a great digestive aid and is very soothing to the digestive tract sipped before or after a meal. It also helps to reduce stress damage and keep the body energized and active. Cloves and ginger are especially good for warding off respiratory ailments and any cold or flu symptoms. They also help relieve headaches, nausea, muscle spasms, tension, and nerve pain. Cinnamon is very good for reducing inflammation. Star anise is highly beneficial in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis and sinus infections. (Recipe and info from Anthony William, the Medical Medium).

Four Drinks to Help Fight a Cold
This warming drink is soothing, easing a sore throat and clearing a stuffy nose. Save the left overs in the fridge and drink cold or reheat. Drink spiced apple cider often to ward off cold symptoms and strengthen the body’s immune system. 

Four Drinks to Help Fight a Cold
Big Magic Chai

I discovered this hot drink via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook page. Full of anti inflammatory spices, this hot drink is a great end of the day treat. Liz swears that it will cure anything! 

Ginger is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds with powerful antioxidant and anti inflammatory effects. Cardamom is a pungent spice, related to ginger, that helps alleviate cold symptoms. Cinnamon also has antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. 

Four Drinks to Help Fight a Cold

This is another aromatic drink that makes me feel better just by inhaling the spicy scent. 

Four Drinks to Help Fight a Cold
Nettle Tea

This tea can be purchased in tea bag form, or it is simple to brew from loose dried leaves, purchased in bulk, at a health food store. 

Nettle leaves have anti inflammatory properties that work with the body in relieving and preventing cold and allergy symptoms. I brew a pot of tea and keeping it warm under a tea cozy, sip on it all day. 

Place 3-4 teaspoons of dried nettle leaves into a large mesh tea ball. Steep in teapot, in very hot water, for 15 minutes. Add a spoonful of raw honey to each cup of tea, as a sweetener, if desired. 

A single cup of tea can be prepared by adding 1 teaspoon of dried nettle leaves to a small mesh tea ball or mesh basket and steeping for 15 minutes in a cup of very hot water. 

I start drinking nettle tea as soon as I feel a cold coming on. It not only feels great to my throat, it soothes my body and clears my head. 

Four Drinks to Help Fight a Cold
The next time a cold threatens to bring you down, try one, or all, of these natural drinks. Your body will thank you.