Herbal Tea for Colds – 10 Best Recipes that Work!

Tea for Colds

There is no real cure for the common cold. Often, when one strikes, we head off to the pharmacy for an over the counter remedy for the fever, chills, coughing, sneezing, congestion and body aches associated with one of the oldest illnesses. These over the counter remedies can help somewhat with symptom relief, but they often come with side effects like drowsiness and provide no other benefit than relieving cold symptoms because of their chemical compositions.

On the other hand, there are many herbs that are found in nature that can be useful when a cold rears its ugly head. Some herbs can naturally help in breaking a fever, others can reduce cold symptoms. Some have antiviral properties that can shorter the duration of the illness. In addition to helping stave off the discomfort associated with a cold, herbal remedies provide other benefits not found in the medicine aisle like nutrients such as vitamins and minerals that can help your body fight off the illness. Herbal remedies can also be used in a tea for colds, which can provide further soothing relief.

We have compiled a list of the best ten herbs and herbal tea recipes to consider for cold symptom relief. But, if you are taking any medications or have any health conditions, you should check with your doctor before using them. Natural herbs contain powerful compounds that lend to their wide range of health benefits, but some of these can have negative implications in some users. Seek medical advice or direction before trying any of the ten best herbs to use in a tea for colds before proceeding.

1. Thyme: One of thyme’s most notable uses is that of an expectorant. Anyone who has had to battle a common cold knows that coughing comes with the territory most often, and those coughs may or may not be productive. Thyme’s expectorant quality helps to clear the gunk out of the lungs by making coughs more productive. This can lead to a shortened duration of illness and certainly provides immediate benefits in terms of some symptom relief. It makes an excellent base for a tea for colds, and two tablespoons can be boiled in water for about ten minutes to make a delicious cupful.

2. Licorice Root: Love or hate the flavor, licorice root boasts known medicinal properties that make it one of the most commonly turned to herbs in alternative medicine. This herb is a powerful antiviral, thanks to a compound found inside called glycyrrhizin, which has been shown in some studies to be effective against serious viruses, such as that responsible for the bird flu. Aside from its potent antiviral properties, licorice root also makes a great tea for colds thanks to purported expectorant qualities long celebrated in Ayurvedic medicine.

3. Echinacea: Echinacea is one herb that is often associated with colds because using Echinacea during a cold may possibly shorten its duration. Evidence is limited in this regard, but more is available about the preventative qualities of using Echinacea. Using the plant in herbal tea recipes during the seasons that illness is most common may be able to help prevent them altogether.

4. Elderberry: Both the cold and flu should consider running and hiding from the elderberry, which but also shorten the length of illness associated with a cold by as much as four days. The herb itself and extract are ideal for addition to a tea for colds.

5. Yarrow: Yarrow is one of the oldest herbs used in medicine due to its laundry list of naturally occurring compounds like volatile oils, sterols and saponins. It has been used for everything from baldness to digestion and boasts anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties amongst others. Yarrow is particularly good for use in people with a cold because it can help to break a fever quickly. It also brings about sweating which may have detoxification purposes as well. Yarrow makes a fine addition to a tea for colds, but its bitter flavor may require a sweet herb addition to counter.

6. Peppermint: Peppermint may be best known today for its aromatherapy benefits, but it holds a wealth of medicinal use beyond just stimulating our senses. This minty herb is a natural remedy for colds because it can reduce fever, congestion, aches and pains and help to relieve headaches too. It makes a perfect choice in a tea for colds thanks to its sweet and familiar flavor.

7. Catnip: Catnip is not just for felines. While they go nuts for the herby delight, humans have been benefitting from the medicinal qualities in catnip for a very long time. It has been used in cold remedies for a very long time because it can help to reduce fevers. Also a mild sedative, it can bring about peaceful sleep, which is often very welcome for cold sufferers. Catnip is best used in a tea for colds, although it can be sprinkled in as well.

8. St. John’s Wort: Flavonoids, tannins, resin and volatile oils are the natural constituents that are thought to lend to the many medicinal uses for St. John’s Wort including relieving congestion. The herb is also said to be particularly useful in tonics for relieving anxiety and depression, which can bring further soothing relief to those feeling under the weather.

9. Ginger: Ginger has been used for a wide range of health benefits for hundreds if not thousands of years. And, although ginger is primarily associated with relieving nausea, it is also useful in relieving some of the symptoms associated with a cold. It can be used in many herbal tea recipes, but for a delicious and soothing brew, try simmering one cup of water to one teaspoon of fresh ginger for ten minutes. Lemon and honey can be added for more benefit.

10. Angelica Root (Dong Quai): Because of its purported ability to reduce fevers, provide stimulation to the lungs and ease congestion, angelica root has been a mainstay in tea for colds and flu for a long time. Honey and cinnamon can be added to an angelica root brew after simmering one teaspoon of the herb with one cup of boiling water for ten minutes. If sleep problems are experienced as a result of illness, a bit of valerian can be added to the blend as well.

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