There’s no greater comfort for a sore throat than a hot cup of tea. Not only are certain teas rich in antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins that can boost your immune system, but the warmth can soothe even the most tender and inflamed throat. Below is a list of the best teas for a sore throat and the health benefits that each provides.
What are the best teas for a sore throat?
Tea is a classic home remedy for colds, sore throats, and upset stomachs. Not only does tea provide warmth and coziness for reading and bedtime, but it’s also rich in ingredients that make us feel good — especially when we’re sick. If you have cold symptoms or sore throat symptoms (or you’re just looking to fortify your immune system), these are a few of the best teas for the job.
1. Green Tea
Green tea is rich in antioxidants, a chemical property that helps to protect our bodies from the side effects of exposure to substances called free radicals. Antioxidants are found in many foods and vitamins, and they fight against free radicals that can damage skin, contribute to chronic conditions, and even cause illnesses. By drinking green tea, you help to protect against these free radicals and reduce your body’s vulnerability to disease and illness.
Additionally, green tea also soothes sore throats with its anti-inflammatory properties. (When you have a sore throat, it’s typically because your pharynx is swollen or inflamed.) To make the most of your green tea’s anti-inflammatory effects, you can also gargle it for 30 seconds, making sure to use warm liquids rather than very hot ones. Add a little honey to your green tea for a touch of sweetness.
2. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is a beloved herbal tea and a traditional herbal remedy. It’s also a popular bedtime tea, both because it’s caffeine-free and because chamomile tea bags are known for being mildly sedative. Chamomile tea ensures more restful sleep, which is something those with cold symptoms or viral infections are sure to appreciate.
Like green tea, chamomile tea also has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, making it helpful for soothing inflammation. A longtime traditional medicine, it’s also an antispasmodic (which means it can help to reduce coughing fits). And you don’t even need to drink chamomile tea to enjoy its benefits. Simply inhale the steam from your hot tea or create a steam room with a tea towel to make the most of this natural remedy.
3. Ginger Tea
We all know that ginger root is a wonderful option for managing the effects of an upset stomach. But that’s not all this root-derived tea can do. In fact, ginger tea is a smart addition to your cold remedy kit because it will both help you feel better and reduce your healing time, the latter thanks to — you guessed it — anti-inflammatory properties that block the proteins in the body responsible for inflammation and itchiness.
Ginger tea can also strengthen the immune system, thus reducing healing times and mitigating risk of colds or viral infections in the future. While not yet tested in scientific conditions, many caretakers and medical professionals believe ginger helps the immune system kill viruses and protect against other pathogens and bacteria.
4. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea can improve your health from head to toe. It’s useful for managing the effects of an upset stomach, reducing the severity of menstrual cramps, and even boosting energy levels. As for relief from sore throat, peppermint tea helps in reducing discomfort related to colds, flu, and infections. That’s because it contains menthol, an aromatic component that also decongests and soothes, thus helping to relieve headaches and unclog sinuses. An added bonus: Menthol has a bright flavor that both tastes good and freshens your breath.
5. Licorice Root Tea
Licorice root tea may not be for everyone — you either love its flavor or you don’t — but something everyone agrees on is the fact that it provides relief from an irritating sore throat. That’s because licorice root tea, like throat lozenges, contains expectorants. Expectorants loosen mucus, thus making your cough more productive and hastening healing. Licorice root tea also improves your body’s ability to fight against future respiratory infections by boosting your immune system, and it helps to relieve pain and reduce associated feelings of stress.
6. Marshmallow Root Tea
Among the most unique therapeutic types of tea is marshmallow root tea, which has been used for centuries to treat everything from stomach irritation and skin ailments to sore throats. Like licorice root tea, marshmallow root tea helps to loosen the mucus that causes pressure and irritation in the face and sinuses when you have a cold. This makes it easier to cough and clear your throat, which in turn, promotes quicker and more efficient healing. Marshmallow root tea also contains mucilage, which is helpful for coating the throat and providing relief during healing, so you can avoid the worst of that painful dry and scratchy feeling.
7. Slippery Elm Tea
Like marshmallow root tea, slippery elm tea also contains mucilage. This substance, when mixed with water, becomes gel-like and supports in what’s called “throat coat” (e.g., relief of sore throat symptoms and discomfort). Also similar to other bark teas like licorice root and marshmallow root, slippery elm tea has proven useful for reducing irritation.
8. Cinnamon Tea
Cinnamon tea is known for its antibacterial properties, antimicrobial properties, and even antiviral properties. Taken together, these can help reduce the swelling and inflammation associated with sore throats and colds and ward off future colds and viral infections. It also mixes well with honey, which soothes and relieves sore throat symptoms.
Start Feeling Better
Whether you’re experiencing symptoms of a cold or fighting off strep throat, drinking tea can be a useful method for relieving throat pain and discomfort. Different types of teas, from slippery elm to ginger root, have unique benefits and properties, many of which hasten healing by loosening mucus and making coughs more productive. Of course, you’ll find plenty of teas that can help reduce the sensation of a sore throat by coating the throat in soothing compounds or reducing the inflammation that causes irritation. Tea can even help to boost your immune system and improve your body’s ability to fight against future infection. For relief of pain and irritation from sore throats, try a cup of chamomile, marshmallow root, or slippery elm tea today.
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