Feeling a little under the weather? In the US, cold and flu season is generally during the fall and winter months, with a peak between December and March. That means we’re probably right in the middle of all the yuckiness. Womp womp. But worry not, tea lovers! Today we’re gonna tell you about the best teas for colds. Lots of tea blends and herbs can have immune-boosting properties!
Read on to find out what those are!
1) Best Teas for Colds: Ashwagandha
We’ve talked about ashwagandha before, but the research is still true. Ashwagandha can boost the immune system (Chandran and Patwardhan, 2016), especially if it’s already suppressed (Ziauddin et al., 1996).
2) Best Teas for Colds: Chamomile
Chamomile is one of the oldest and most common medicinal plants in the world, used by people for a variety of healing applications. Many people sip chamomile tea for relaxation, and some even realize that it’s helpful for digestion. But not everyone knows about its immune-supporting powers.
One study by Wang et al. (2005) supports this. Subjects who drank chamomile tea for two weeks excreted more hippurate and glycine in their urine. These chemicals are reflective of higher antibacterial activity in the body. Interestingly, the increased immune response continued up to 2 weeks after the subjects had stopped drinking their tea.
Other scientists have found that even inhaling the steam from chamomile can help treat cold symptoms (Saller et al., 1990, as cited by Srivastava, Shankar, and Gupta, 2010).
If you want more chamomile in your life, try:
- “Hug in a Cup” rooibos blend
- “Sleepy Tea” Thera-Tea™ herbal blend
- “Tummy Comfort” Thera-Tea™ herbal blend
- “Zen Blend” Thera-Tea™ herbal blend
- Plain chamomile tea
3) Best Teas for Colds: Echinacea
There is some controversy over the effectiveness of echinacea, as studies vary greatly in terms of both quality and results. However, at least one meta-analysis (a review of multiple experiments) concluded that echinacea was more effective at preventing the common cold than a placebo (Schoop et al., 2006). Another, more recent meta-analysis agrees with these immune-boosting observation (Schapowal, Klein, and Johnston, 2015).
4) Best Teas for Colds: Elderberry
Elderberry tea or syrup is a common folk remedy for colds, the flu, and sinus issues. And lots of science seems to support this! One Norwegian study had two groups of patients suffering from flu-like symptoms. Those who took elderberry extract felt better 4 days faster than the patients who had a placebo (Zakay-Rones et al., 2004). Another study proved that elderberry extract helped fight both bacterial and viral pathogens (Krawitz et al., 2011).
If you’re interested in adding elderberry tea to support your immune system, check out our “Berrylicious” tisane (herbal tea).
5) Best Teas for Colds: Ginger
Unlike the other teas and herbs on this list, ginger doesn’t seem to kick the immune system into high gear. (There are multiple crunchy-granola-type websites that say it does, but I couldn’t find any scientific evidence to back up that claim.)
Instead, ginger helps in a different way. It’s is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, with some antimicrobial properties (Mashhadi et al., 2013). And, it does help quiet coughs (Bera et al., 2016)!
If you’re a fan of ginger, then we recommend:
- “Chai Delight” black tea
- “Gentle Cleanse” green tea
- “Lemon Ginger Allure” green tea
- “Mo’ Rockin’ Minty Chai” green tea
- “90 Miles to Cuba” rooibos blend
- “Lemon GoGo” tisane
- “Cold Combat” Thera-TeaTM herbal blend
- “Holy Chai” Thera-TeaTM herbal blend
- “Turmeric Ginger” Thera-TeaTM herbal blend
We are halfway through our list of the best teas for colds. Tune in next week for the exciting conclusion and the rest of the list!
A word of caution…
Please consult a doctor before using any nutritional product, including teas and herbal teas. But especially if you’re pregnant, nursing, taking other medications or supplements, or have any illness! The statements in this Tea Blog post have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Lastly, these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
And if you enjoyed this Tea Blog post, you may also enjoy…
… Our Spotlight on the Benefits of Adaptogens:
… Our Healing Herbs (& Spices!) Series, including:
… Tea for Stress: Teas and Herbs to Help
… Ayurveda and Tea: All About India’s 5000-year-old System of Naturopathic Medicine