The kids are back to school and (all too) soon the days and nights will turn cold. This is the time of year the cold and flu viruses runs rampant between children and adults alike, no one safe! A good immune system is our first and best line of defense against these viruses so what can we do to help boost it during these Russian roulette days known as cold and flu season? There are a plethora of healthy ways to help protect us from the inside out, but today we are going to focus on tea, specifically cold and flu brew tea. Its blend of herbs and spices helps excite the immune system thus providing an initial defense to the cold and flu. It also works to remove the cause of illness, in addition to providing a dose of vitamin C. Let’s take a closer look at it’s ingredients:
Peppermint – According to Katie Wells of Mama Wellness and her team of medical experts (2018), “Peppermint is great for all digestive disturbances and for lowering fever. It can be used as a tea or tincture or rubbed on the skin to bring a high fever down. This herb is antimicrobial and antiviral and kids usually love the taste.” The smell of peppermint is also soothing and can help to open our nasal cavity for easier air flow during these hard to breath times.
Elder Flower – According to Meagan Visser, RN and herbalist of Growing Up Herbal (2016) says, “Elder flower is a commonly used diaphoretic herb which means it opens the pores of the body and allows heat to escape. It’s most often used with other herbs to help lower fevers naturally, but it’s also used to help calm the nerves and relax the body.” Not only is it said to help lower fever and aid in the relaxation of both adults and children alike, it is also said to be an excellent anti inflammatory for the nasal cavity. This, again, aids in easier breathing during the dreaded “stuffed nose” symptom that accompanies both the flu and cold viruses.
Rose Hips – Here is where your vitamin C punch kicks in! The Complete Herbal Guide (2017), “Probably the greatest known use of Rose Hips is an extraordinary source of vitamin C, which is most beneficial for the prevention and treatment of infection and a great many common diseases, including the common cold, flu, and pneumonia. It is said to prevent ailments before they happen by using a prophylactic dosage on a daily basis.” There you have it, take your vitamin C and help fight off the cold and flu!
Ginger – This strong flavored herb creates a slight delicious spicy taste when gingerly (no pun intended) added to tea. “[Ginger]…can greatly help with nausea and vomiting associated with the flu. It can also help with high fever and headache. Fresh ginger root can be steeped in boiling water to make a tea that is very effective against sinus symptoms and congestion” (Mama Wellness, 2018). Ginger is an all around great additive when alleviating cold and flu symptoms.
Thyme – This herb is excellent to utilize when infection has occurred such as the onset of bronchitis due to the cold/flu. Chris Killham, herbalist and author (Medicine Hunter) says, “The herb is antibacterial, anti-fungal and spasmolytic, so it fights agents that cause bronchitis and helps to quell a spasmodic cough. It is also a first-rate expectorant, aiding the body to eliminate accumulated mucus” (2014). Think of thyme as your anti-flem friend.
Yarrow – If you are one who recognizes the unmistakable “tickle” of the throat as one of the first signs of the onset of the cold or flu and immediately bust out your anti-cold/flu arsenal then yarrow will be your new best friend. Mama Wellness (2018) says, “[Yarrow]…Unsurpassed for flu and fever, and great for children. If used abundantly in tea or tincture at the beginning of an illness, it will usually shorten the illness to less than 24 hours. It is especially good for fevers as it induces perspiration and is great for all childhood type illnesses.” I for one am all for taking an entire day out of my cold and flu suffering, whose with me?!
Calendula – Inflammation is unfortunately a tough side effect of the flu/cold, and generally inflammation means pain. Calendula is an excellent anti-inflammatory herb. According to Dr. Josh Axe (2017), “Anti-inflammatory linoleic acid is also found in high concentrations in calendula. Its powerful anti-inflammatory properties make it a potent remedy for all kinds of inflammatory, issues like diaper rash, dermatitis, ear infections, ulcers, sore throats and more.” Anti-inflame, anti-pain!
After reviewing all of the wonderful (and tasty) potential health benefits of each ingredient of our cold and flu brew tea, we want you to know and understand that nothing can replace the guidance and treatment options a licensed medical professional will provide. If you are dog sick, please, get help! But, if drinking a soothing and potentially beneficial hot tea can alleviate both your anxiety of catching the cold/flu in the first place or help to keep you relaxed after the onset of them, then go for it! It can’t hurt and will taste great. Here’s to a cold and flu free season!