It seems there are germs everywhere you go during winter – and that if you just touch something in a store or a restaurant, you’ll catch a cold. You need to be prepared, and herbal teas are a great thing to add to your medicinal food stockpile. Herbal teas can be used as preventatives, to treat symptoms, and to shorten the duration of your illness. Even better, they’re exquisite!
Almost all of these teas can be mixed in bulk batches and stored in airtight containers for later use. Unless otherwise noted, all of these teas can be made the same way by putting 4 to 6 tablespoons of herbal tea mixture in the bottom of a quart jar. Pour boiling water over the top of the herbs and cover the jar. Steep the mixture for 30 to 45 minutes. Strain the herbs out and sip throughout the day. Excess tea can be refrigerated for 24 hours.
1) Immune Boosting Chai Tea
You can drink this Chai Tea daily throughout the year. It will help build your immune system. It also tastes wonderful. Astragalus and reishi are great herbs for preventing colds and the flu. This tea can be mixed in bulk in advance. The reishi and astragalus can be added before brewing since they are large pieces that do not mix in well with the rest of the herbs.
2 tablespoons dried ginger root
2 tablespoons dried orange peel
1 tablespoon cinnamon chips
1 teaspoon peppercorns
½ teaspoon hulled cardamom or two crushed cardamom pods
¼ teaspoon cloves
10 to 20 grams astragalus
6 to 9 grams sliced reishi
1 ½ quarts of water
Put all the ingredients in a pot or slow cooker. Boil and then lower the heat. Let simmer for one hour. Strain the herbs out. You can add milk or honey for added flavor. If made in the slow cooker, heat on low for 8 hours. The prepared tea can be kept in a sealed jar in the fridge for one day and reheated as needed.
2) Immune Boosting Tea
This tea is great for boosting your immune system because it is high in Vitamin C. This tea contains both elderberries and rosehips. Elderberries are well known for their cold and flu fighting properties, but many people do not think of rosehips, which have approximately 40 times more vitamin C than some citrus fruits.
1 part dried elderberries
1 part rosehips
¼ part cinnamon chips
¼ part ginger root
3) Honey Lemon Ginger Jar
This tea is different than many herbal teas. This tea is made in a jar and stored in the fridge until used. The liquid mixture is placed in warm water and can be drunk just as other herbal teas. This tea gives you many unique benefits of honey. Honey has antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties.
1 cup of raw honey
1-2 sliced lemons
1-inch piece of ginger
Wash and slice your lemon. Slice your ginger. It is not necessary to peel the ginger, although if you want to you can peel it with a spoon. Put the lemon and ginger in a jar and seal tightly. Then, place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours before using it. To make the tea, spoon 1-2 teaspoons into a cup of warm water and stir. Drink this tea immediately. This mixture can be stored in the fridge for around 2 months.
4) Elderflower Fever Reducing Tea
The elderflower is part of the same plant as the useful elderberry, and it is great for reducing fevers.
1 part catnip
1 part elderflower
1 part spearmint
5) Echinacea Tea
Echinacea is a beautiful flowering herb that is easy to grow. If you do not grow it yourself, you can easily buy it. Echinacea is a great herb to help stop a cold in its tracks. Start drinking this tea at the first sign of a cold and it can shorten the duration of your cold.
1 part echinacea roots, leaves, and/or flowers
1 part spearmint
1 part lemon balm
6) Ginger Tea
Ginger is an amazing medicinal herb. It can help so many symptoms of all kinds of illnesses. This herb is so powerful that herbalist Rosalee de la Forêt says that “if you only had one herb to choose from during a cold or the flu, ginger may be the one.” This herb is great for congestion, sore throats, and warming up from the chills. It is also a wonderful herb for calming the stomach and helping reduce nausea.
1-inch long piece of ginger (grated or minced) or 2 teaspoons of cut dried ginger
Splash of lemon
Spoonful of honey
Place ginger, lemon, and honey in a cup or jar. Pour water over these and cover. Let this steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain your tea. If your tea is too strong, you can add more water to dilute it.
7) Soothing Ginger Spice Tea
This tea has a lot of different ingredients. Many of them are things we keep in our kitchen and use in regular cooking. Each one of these herbs and spices has healing properties that we don’t expect. Cinnamon is full of antioxidants. Cloves will help with coughs and get rid of the nasty phlegm that comes with colds and flu. Turmeric can help ease up stomach symptoms that often accompany the flu.
3 cups of water
Juice from half a lemon
1 stick of cinnamon
¾ inch of ginger sliced
¼ teaspoon cloves
½ tablespoon turmeric
1 small pinch of cayenne pepper
Honey to sweeten your tea as desired
Add all of the ingredients into a pot except the honey. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain tea. Pour into a cup and add honey as desired.
Drinking these herbal teas can help not only reduce the symptoms of a cold or flu, but they can also help prevent getting sick by building up your immune system. Herbal teas will also shorten the length of your illness. Prepare and store these herbal mixtures before illness arrives, so at the first sign of sickness you are ready to make a healing cup of tea.
Anthis, Christina. (2014 September 18). Ten Homemade Herbal Teas for Cold and Flu Season. https://theherbalacademy.com/ten-homemade-herbal-teas-for-cold-and-flu-season/. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
Attwell, Ciara. (2015 February 23). Honey Lemon Ginger Jar – Natural Cold and Flu Remedy. http://www.myfussyeater.com/honey-lemon-ginger-jar-natural-cold-flu-remedy/. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
Chatelaine. (2014 November 11). Soothe cold and flu symptoms with this tea. http://www.chatelaine.com/health/wellness/flu-fighting-tea/. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
Nancy. ( 2013 August 9). How to Make Your Own Echinacea Tea. http://livininthegreen.blogspot.com/2013/08/how-to-make-your-own-echinacea-tea.html?m=1. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
De la Forêt, Rosalee. (n.d.) Learning Herbs. Herbal Cold Care Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu Season.