Winter can be beautiful as colder temperatures and snow-filled landscapes take over. But as the cold creeps in, it ushers in the much-dreaded flu season and those all too familiar symptoms like fever, sore throat, cough, and fatigue.
While medical treatment is essential in severe cases, there are natural remedies that can help alleviate symptoms and promote a quick recovery. One of the more popular remedies to beat the flu is tea. This article explores the best teas to fight the flu and all their health benefits.
Immune System Boosting Teas for Cold and Flu Season
When preparing for flu season, it's essential to have a few holistic tools ready to keep the flu at bay or help with your recovery. One of the most soothing and effective allies in this fight is tea. Tea, especially herbal varieties, offers many health benefits that can significantly aid your healing and wellness journey.
Hydration: Staying hydrated is a cornerstone of recovery during any illness, and the flu is no exception. Tea, whether a warm cup of herbal infusion or a classic black or green tea, is one of the best ways to increase fluid intake. Plus, sipping on a steaming cup of tea makes you feel cozy and encourages you to drink more fluids, ensuring you stay hydrated.
Antioxidants: Many teas, especially green tea, white tea, and certain herbal blends, are packed with antioxidants, compounds that combat harmful free radicals in your body. During the flu, your immune system works overtime to fight off the virus, increasing oxidative stress and making you feel tired and weak. Antioxidants help reduce this stress and support your immune system, boosting your body's defenses, building strength, and allowing it to combat the flu more effectively.
Soothing Properties: The discomfort associated with the flu, like a sore throat, congestion, and coughing, can sometimes be unbearable. This is where a nice cup of warm tea makes all the difference. The warmth of the tea helps soothe a sore throat, relieving the pain and scratchiness. Additionally, the steam from a hot cup of tea can help ease congestion by loosening mucus, making breathing easier.
Relaxation: One of the most common things a doctor will say to you when you have the flu is to go home, drink plenty of fluids, and rest. The act of brewing a cup of tea and sitting in your favorite chair wrapped in your favorite blanket while you savor the flavors is a powerful form of self-care. The warm, comforting sensation of sipping hot tea can help alleviate stress and anxiety, which often comes as part of the flu package. This relaxation is essential for recovery because it redirects your body's energy towards healing.
It's important to remember that tea should complement, not replace, proper medical care. To make the most of your flu-fighting herbal tea blends, incorporate them with a sound diet, ample exercise, and good personal hygiene.
Our Top Picks for Teas To Fight The Flu
Let's look at the top teas you can take to help fight the flu and assist with recovery. These teas strengthen the immune system, help lessen cold and flu symptoms, and quickly make you feel better again.
#1. Echinacea Tea
The top flu-fighting tea on our list is Echinacea tea. Few herbs have gained as much recognition as Echinacea regarding natural remedies for flu and colds. Echinacea tea, derived from the vibrant purple flower called Echinacea purpurea, has a long and rich history as a trusted herbal medicine. Mainly known for its remarkable immune-boosting properties, today, it is one of the most extensively studied herbs for its potential to enhance the immune system's function.
The secret to Echinacea's immune-boosting prowess lies in its rich composition of active compounds, including alkamides, polysaccharides, and flavonoids. These compounds work together to help stimulate various aspects of the immune system, allowing you to recover quickly from cold or flu symptoms. A hot tea with Echinacea is a must-have during cold and flu season.
#2. Ginger Tea
Nothing beats the flu-fighting power you'll get from fresh ginger, especially organic ginger tea. Made from the aromatic rhizome of the ginger plant, it is a flavorful and comforting beverage and a potent natural remedy with a wide range of health benefits, ideal for taking for a cold or flu. Fresh ginger tea has many health benefits, such as healing the gut, regulating blood pressure, and helping with a cold or flu. Its unique combination of anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties makes it an excellent choice for relieving symptoms and promoting a speedier recovery.
One of the primary reasons this tea is effective against the flu is its powerful anti-inflammatory qualities. Inflammation is an essential part of the body's immune response to a foreign attack from a virus or bacteria. However, excessive or chronic inflammation can contribute to several problems in the body. Dealing with inflammation during the flu can cause a whole host of symptoms like sore throat, congestion, and body aches are common. The bioactive compounds in ginger, including gingerol, have been shown to help reduce inflammation and provide much-needed relief.
Ginger's antiviral properties make it a solid contender as a flu-fighting hero. Research suggests that ginger may have inhibitory effects on certain viruses, including those responsible for respiratory illnesses. While ginger may not directly kill the flu virus, its antiviral properties can help slow its replication, potentially leading to a shorter and less severe bout of the flu. Additionally, a warm cup of ginger tea can be incredibly comforting when you have a fever, helping to regulate your body temperature and make you feel more at ease as you battle the flu.
#3. Elderberry Tea
Elderberry tea is one of the best herbal teas to boost your immune system. Derived from the dark and juicy berries of the elder tree (Sambucus nigra), elderberry tea is one of the most well-known and widely respected herbal remedies to help fight the flu. Its popularity stems from its impressive antiviral qualities that have been recognized for centuries. Elderberry tea contains compounds that effectively slow the virus replication process within the body, making it a great way to maintain wellness during the flu.
Elderberries also contain additional immune-boosting compounds, such as vitamin C and dietary fiber, which further support your body's defenses against the flu. So, the next time you find yourself battling the flu, consider sipping on a cup of elderberry tea to harness the impressive potential of this time-tested remedy.
#4. Peppermint Tea
Another way to stay healthy during the flu is peppermint tea. Made from the leaves of the peppermint plant (Mentha × piperita), peppermint tea is a highly effective remedy for alleviating flu symptoms. Its ability to ease congestion, open airways, and soothe a scratchy throat makes it a go-to choice for those seeking comfort during the flu.
The most common feature of peppermint tea is its menthol component. This naturally occurring compound is known for its cooling and soothing properties and signature fresh minty flavor and aroma. When you're battling the flu, congestion and a stuffy nose can sometimes make it unbearable.
With a few sips of peppermint tea, you've got a natural decongestant right under your nose, clearing nasal passages and bronchial tubes in the process. The menthol works by relaxing the muscles of the respiratory tract, reducing the sensation of breathlessness and making it significantly easier to breathe.
#5. Honey And Lemon Tea
One of grandma's secret recipes to help cure the common cold - honey and lemon with hot tea. Although this isn't technically a tea, it is a popular beverage when battling flu. Made from fresh lemons or lemon juice, tea leaves or tea bags, and a teaspoon of honey, people for centuries have used this concoction to help them soothe a sore throat and feel better overall.
However, there is more to this tea than just a comforting drink. Honey has antimicrobial properties and can help ease a sore throat, lemon provides an extremely high dose of vitamin C to boost your immune system, and tea is loaded with antioxidants. So add some tea leaves to hot water, squirt a few drops of lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey for a potent flu-fighting tea.
#6. Cinnamon Tea
Made from the aromatic bark of the Cinnamomum tree, cinnamon tea is a delightful and fragrant brew and a super supportive tea in the fight against the flu. This spicy tea boasts an array of natural compounds that offer multifaceted benefits to help you combat the viral invaders taking over so you can find comfort during your illness.
One of the main components of cinnamon tea is its antimicrobial properties. Cinnamon contains bioactive compounds, such as cinnamaldehyde, with potent antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal qualities. Sipping on cinnamon tea introduces these antimicrobial warriors into your system, stopping the spread of the flu virus.
As one of the best teas to fight the flu, cinnamon's anti-inflammatory effects can help reduce fever and relieve the heat and discomfort associated with elevated body temperature. Moreover, its anti-inflammatory properties can reduce inflammation, easing muscle pain. By reducing inflammation, your bout with the is much more bearable.
#7. Licorice Root Tea
Licorice root tea is a herbal tea made with the roots of the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant. It's a potent natural flu fighter! This delicious tea contains an impressive combination of antiviral and antibacterial properties, which can help with your battle against the flu's unwelcome symptoms.
Licorice root contains glycyrrhizic acid, a potent compound that can hinder the replication of viruses, potentially reducing the severity and duration of flu symptoms. Moreover, licorice root has anti-inflammatory compounds that can provide comfort during illness. When the flu strikes, your body's immune response can lead to inflammation, resulting in a sore throat and persistent coughing. Licorice root tea steps in as a natural soother, helping alleviate these symptoms and creating a more comfortable environment for your flu recovery.
#8. Green Tea
Green tea has existed since ancient times and has stood firm as one of the best teas for its unique taste and numerous health benefits. Both black tea and green tea come from the camellia sinensis plant, and both black tea and green tea help fight off illness and deliver unique and powerful antioxidant powers. The potent antioxidants in green tea, called catechins, offer a range of properties that can assist your body in combatting the flu virus and alleviating its symptoms.
Green tea's high concentration of catechins, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), is known to boost the immune system. EGCG enhances the production of immune cells and antibodies, making your body more efficient at identifying and neutralizing flu viruses. When you're under the weather with the flu, your immune system is working overtime, and green tea can provide the much-needed boost required to fend off the infection more effectively.
Some Honorable Flu-Fighting Mentions
Chamomile tea is a popular herbal tea well-known for its calming and soothing properties. When battling the flu, chamomile can help you relax and get much-needed rest. It can also alleviate digestive discomfort and reduce fever.
Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory compound. Turmeric tea can help reduce the severity of flu symptoms, such as fever and body aches. Its anti-inflammatory properties can also support overall immune function.
Lemongrass is a caffeine-free herb and refreshing brew to fight the flu. Renowned for its antibacterial and antiviral properties, essential nutrients like vitamins A and C, and minerals like potassium and magnesium, this herbal tea supports your immune system but also relieves flu symptoms.
Hibiscus Herbal Tea
Hibiscus herbal tea offers a vibrant and tangy approach to flu-fighting. Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, this crimson-colored herbal infusion can bolster your immune system's defenses against the flu virus. The vitamin C content in hibiscus tea supports the production of white blood cells, enhancing your body's ability to combat infections.
Start Your Flu Fight With Teas
Teas like black, green, or herbal tea have historically been a great way to get over the flu and feel better again sooner. Whether you prefer an herbal tea blend containing potent flowers and herbs or teas like black or green tea that promote overall health and well-being, try a brew the next time you feel a cold or flu starting. Try any of these for some of the best teas you can take to combat the flu!