Although there are many things we love about cold weather (cozy pumpkin teas, curling up by a warm fire, snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes), the fall and winter months also bring something a little less pleasant: the specter of cold and flu season. In addition to helping to boost your immune system with certain ingredients, tea can be helpful in soothing the sniffles, comforting sore throats, and reducing chest congestion.
Sips by is a personalized tea discovery subscription. Each month, we match tea drinkers across the U.S. with delicious teas from over 150 global tea brands that we’re sure they’ll love. Subscribers receive 4 teas chosen just for them in every box. Learn more here.
We suggest pairing honey with healing teas for a hint of sweetness and its natural throat-coating ability. Sipping your favorite tea, whether it’s served hot, iced, or made into popsicles , can be a helpful way to stay hydrated when you’re under the weather, too. Here are some of the teas that we keep in our arsenal for when we start feeling that tickle in our throats.
Echinacea is a frequently-used ingredient to help fight colds and shorten their duration. Often taken as an herbal supplement, echinacea can help boost your immune system, but it’s also a natural antiviral, and has actually been proven to help prevent the flu and help you kick your cold faster. In fact, Native Americans used echinacea tea as a health tonic years before the tea made its way into Western society. Echinacea is also a natural anti-inflammatory, meaning that sipping the tea can help to calm sore throats and inflamed nasal passages.
Try one of our favorite echinacea teas:
- Snarky Tea - Recover
- Traditional Medicinals - Echinacea Plus
- Try similar teas with your own Sips by Box.
Ginseng is often used in herbal medicine and to help combat colds and flu. It contains ginsenosides, which can boost the immune system and provide other health benefits like regulating blood sugar levels. It can also help to boost energy levels and lead to clearer thinking(helpful when you’re battling a cold). Ginseng is loaded with antioxidants, meaning that it has an anti-inflammatory impact on your body, reducing pain and kicking your immune response into gear. Because ginseng can have a strong taste on its own, it's often paired with ginger or green tea.
Try one of our favorite ginseng teas:
A refreshing tea, peppermint is a go-to for your tea cabinet and your medicine cabinet. In addition to being soothing for the gut, it helps to reduce stress and relieve headaches. Plus, it’s an antispasmodic, which means that it helps to reduce congestion in the chest and sinuses, making it a go-to for cold relief. Peppermint can also help to relax muscles, ease aches and pains, and its high content of antioxidants makes it great for supporting your immune system. just breathing in the minty scent can help you feel rejuvenated.
Try one of our favorite peppermint teas:
Often touted for its respiratory benefits, eucalyptus is a common ingredient in products designed to relieve cold and flu symptoms. A natural anti-inflammatory, eucalyptus can help reduce congestion in your chest and sinuses. Eucalyptus also contains eucalyptol, a compound which can help ease headaches, reduce congestion, and calm a cough. While there are clear benefits to sipping the tea, you can also reduce congestion simply by inhaling it in a warm steam, whether its as a facial steam or as a bath soak .
Try some of our favorite teas that contain eucalyptus:
A soothing tea, licorice root tea is naturally sweet, and pairs well with orange peel and warming spices. Although it’s typically used to help ease digestive issues, it can also be beneficial when dealing with cold and flu, especially for soothing sore throats. It helps to coat the throat, relieving scratchiness and nagging coughs. It’s also high in antioxidants and is naturally antimicrobial.
Try some of our favorite teas that contain licorice root:
Also known as Tulsi tea, holy basil tea is frequently used in ayurvedic medicine, and has a number of supportive benefits for your wellness. It’s known to be adaptogenic, which means that it supports your body in a way that it needs, adapting to what your body needs in that moment. Holy basil works as a natural antiviral, which means that it can help to cut down on the time you’re under the weather. A natural painkiller, it can help to reduce inflammation and relieve stress.
Try one of our favorite holy basil teas:
Wonderfully calming any time, chamomile tea has some great benefits when you’re under the weather, too. In addition to boosting your immunity, it also acts as an analgesic, meaning that it naturally eases pain. It’s also a natural anti-inflammatory, and helps to treat sore throats and soothe congestion. You can try it as part of a chamomile ginger blend, which combines it with fresh ginger and honey, both of which are also beneficial when you’re dealing with a cold or flu.
Try some of our favorite chamomile teas:
An especially delicious tea during the cooler months of the year, apple tea is a comforting sip, especially when paired with cinnamon and other spices. Apples themselves are high in a number of ingredients that boost the immune system, including vitamin C. Apple tea is also helpful for the digestive system and is naturally anti-inflammatory, working to ease aches and pains.
Try one of our favorite apple teas:
CINNAMON AND CLOVES
Although we might not often think about it, spices can be incredibly healing and supportive for our health. Both cinnamon and cloves are high in antioxidants, meaning that they’ll support your immune system as you battle off the bug. Cinnamon itself is also great for reducing inflammation. Cloves are frequently used as an antimicrobial, to help you recover from the cold or flu quicker. The spice also contains eugenol, which helps to clear up congestion, as well as many essential nutrients like magnesium.
Try some of our favorite cinnamon and clove teas:
- Harney & Sons - Hot Cinnamon Spice
- Tipson Tea - Tumeric, Ginger, and Cinnamon
- Nepal Tea - Nepali Breakfast
Although it has a taste similar to licorice root, fennel is a different plant, and can have different benefits for your health. Fennel is a naturally cleansing tea and can help to relax your digestive system. It’s also great for helping to clear congestion, and gives your immune system a boost to get you through. Fennel also works to naturally relax your muscles, which can help you to get the sleep you need.
Try one of our favorite fennel teas:
About Sips by: We’re a female-founded and led startup that makes discovering tea fun, personalized, and affordable. The Sips by Box is the only multi-brand, personalized tea subscription box. Each month, we match tea drinkers across the U.S. with delicious teas from over 150 global tea brands that we’re sure they’ll love. Based out of Austin, Texas, we are adept at savoring a hot mug even when it’s seasonally inappropriate.