Maybe it starts off as a slight scratchiness in your throat. Or, maybe you wake up and notice that your nose is stuffy. Whether it's congestion, an upset stomach, or a scratchy throat, we've all teetered on the edge of not feeling well, but not yet down and out sick. While most viruses need to work their way through our system, we can find a bit of relief right from our pantry. Heat up a pot of water because these herbal teas will help ease common symptoms.
Please note, some herbal teas may interact with certain prescriptions, medical conditions, or pregnancy. It is best to consult your health care practitioner to avoid contraindications.
In addition to the herbal benefits, drinking tea also helps hydrate the body- essential for cold/flu symptom relief and preventing illness. Likewise, inhaling the herbal tea vapors incorporates aromatherapy and eases sinus congestion.
Cough: Lemon balm, eucalyptus, and peppermint teas can help ease congestion causing a cough and soothe the throat tissue lining. Adding a bit of honey to hot tea not only sweetens the flavor, but is a natural cough suppressant. Peppermint, on the other hand, acts as an expectorant to help break up phlegm and reduce coughing.
Headache: Lemon balm, lavender, and feverfew teas help alleviate anxiety, tension, and stress which, in turn, helps reduce headaches. While these teas may not end migraine pain, they can help prevent them from occurring. (*feverfew should be avoided when pregnant and/or if allergic to aspirin).
Nasal congestion: Peppermint, stinging nettles, and eucalyptus tea antibacterial properties aid in reducing sinus pressure and congestion. These teas are also beneficial for breaking up mucus and reducing symptoms of sinus infections.
Preventative care: Green, black, and white tea are all rich in antioxidants and help strengthen and support the immune system. Since all three teas naturally contain caffeine (though white tea has the least of the three) drinking them in the evening may affect falling asleep.
Runny Nose: Stinging nettles, peppermint, and chamomile teas are anti-inflammatory which reduces nasal passage swelling. Their antihistamine properties help alleviate runny nose symptoms due to seasonal allergies (*avoid chamomile if you have a ragweed allergy).
Sore throat: Peppermint, eucalyptus, and marshmallow root teas sooth a scratchy, sore throat and thin irritating post-nasal drip mucus. Because these teas have analgesic properties, they help numb the tender tissue resulting in pain relief.
Stomachache: Ginger, lemon balm, peppermint teas are effective for calming the stomach and reducing nausea. Roobis tea has the same effect, however, since it is naturally caffeine-free it may be a better choice for those with frequent indigestion or bloating.
While no one chooses to feel under the weather, finding relief with these teas may get you back on your feet faster, and prevent the symptoms from interrupting your lifestyle. Using herbal teas to support a healthy immune system might help you make it through “flu season” without a cough or a cold.