When a sore throat, stuffy nose, or cough strikes, your immune system springs into action to fight illness-causing bacteria. Of all the seasons, winter — which is when cold and flu symptoms are at their peak — requires the immune system to work the hardest. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, this is because “people are indoors more often, allowing viruses to pass more easily from one person to another.” Additionally, “the cold, dry air may weaken [immune system] resistance.”
Sipping nutrient-rich drinks is one way to prevent this from happening. The below three teas, in particular, have healing ingredients that boost the body’s disease response.
Elderberry Immune Tea – Earth Mama Organics
Fans of tart, fruity teas will love sipping on Elderberry Immune Tea by Earth Mama Organics (Buy a 3-pack from Amazon, $17.99). Research on elderberry’s health and immune-boosting benefits are ongoing; but, a 2015 review of studies notes that elderberries contain polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that reduces inflammation and oxidative stress (both of which weaken the immune system). Similarly, a study published in Nutrients found that air travelers who took two daily elderberry capsules 10 days before flying experienced fewer flu symptoms like headaches, sore throat, and sneezing in the days after traveling. Researchers credit this benefit to the polyphenols in elderberry extract, as well as its vitamin C content — another immune-boosting nutrient. To prepare: Steep one teabag in 8 ounces boiling water five to 10 minutes.
Tulsi and Spices Cold Infuse – Tezahn
Tezahn’s Tulsi and Spices Cold Infuse (Buy from Tezahn.com, $7.99) might also keep cold symptoms at bay. The drink’s main ingredient is an Ayurvedic herb called tulsi (or holy basil). A 2017 systematic review of studies confirms that holy basil has immune-boosting properties thanks to a bioactive compound known as eugenol, which helps lower blood sugar. This is key, as high blood sugar levels are commonly linked with reducing immune system defenses — which are necessary for fighting infections and viruses. To prepare: Place one infusion teabag in a bottle with 500 milliliters cold water, and shake well. Let sit five minutes, and enjoy.
The Limited-Edition Beauty Tea Box – The Beauty Tea Company
If you like a variety of teas, The Beauty Tea Company’s limited-edition box is for you (Buy from Amazon, $34.99). It includes three loose leaf blends made with green, white, and rooibos teas. Blends contain ingredients like blueberries and oranges for increased immune system strength, and vary in caffeine levels — from no-caffeine to mild caffeine. (Bonus: This tea set makes a great holiday hostess gift.) To prepare: Steep one teaspoon of your desired tea blend in hot water three minutes before drinking.
A Final Word
Feeling your best during cold and flu season shouldn’t require a bunch of complicated steps — just start with these herbal fruit-infused teas, and see how you feel. Just be sure to speak with your doctor beforehand to confirm they don’t interfere with your medication or diet.
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