No one wants to be tied down with a cold or the flu. Luckily, there are some easy ways to pamper yourself if a cold or flu does strike. It is a good idea to be prepared with these best herbal teas for cold and flu season ahead of time. Find out why these easy to whip up teas are a must to have on hand and all the benefits they provide for you.
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A cold or flu takes time to get rid of. However, there are ways to speed up the process, and drinking one of the teas below when you are sick with a cold or the flu is definitely one of them.
My family drinks these herbal teas by themselves or sometimes as a concoction. If you are sick, most likely energy is limited. Therefore, storing these teas in an easy to find area when the time comes to make one will benefit you greatly.
Choose the tea that best fits your needs or your flavor palate. I provide the best brands as well in order to provide you with the best health benefits. I truly believe herbs are a great addition to the healing process. However, I am not the only one. Science backs this up as well.
Disclaimer: No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor, a qualified clinician, or other qualified healthcare professional.
This post shows you the best herbal teas for cold and flu season.
Best Herbal Teas For Cold and Flu
Licorice Root For Colds and the Flu
Chinese medicine has used licorice to treat both cold and flu symptoms for years. Studies have shown that licorice root's antiviral properties have successfully stopped viral infections from spreading. Therefore, licorice root is one of the best flu-fighting teas to drink when flu symptoms begin.
Additionally, licorice root is good at relieving a cough, soothing a sore throat, and clearing up sinuses from nasal congestion. Therefore, licorice root is both a powerful tea for flu symptoms as well as cold symptoms.
I find licorice tea to actually be mild and pleasant tasting even though I am not a fan of licorice in general. The benefits are so great that having this in your cabinet during cold and flu season is definitely in your favor. Keep in mind that licorice interacts with other herbs differently. It may make certain herbal properties more potent if used together.
Consult a doctor before taking and if pregnant.
White Tea for influenza
White tea, like that of green tea, is unfermented, and it is subtle and mild tasting. It is picked at the very start of the season giving this tea a unique attribute. Also, white tea contains a large amount of the compound catechin, a powerful antioxidant. Studies have found that these compounds in white tea show effectiveness in combating influenza. So if you feel as if you may be coming down with the flu, beginning white tea at the start will be beneficial to you.
Lemon balm tea for colds
Lemon balm is settling to an upset stomach. Also, this herb contains a high concentration of vitamin c making it a great fighting herb against cold symptoms. Consider using this herb with another herbal tea flavor or add a squeeze of lemon to your tea to enhance effectiveness.
Women who are breastfeeding should not consume lemon balm. Also, consult your doctor prior to use if you have hypothyroidism.
Holy Basil Tea (for cold & flu)
Holy basil is an herb possessing antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, therefore it is naturally a candidate for fighting colds and flu viruses. This small study shows holy basil increasing the immune cells which are responsible for warding off viruses. It also aids the body in stress due to being an adaptogen. The tea option below is paired with ginger to amplify cold and flu healing.
Elderberry Tea (for cold and fever)
First of all there are high levels of vitamin C in elderberries making them a powerhouse for the immune system. They are also full of antioxidants. A beneficial use of this herb not always noted is its ability to promote perspiration and stabilize fluid levels. A fever is able to break with increased sweating, therefore, elderberry tea can be beneficial during a sickness.
It is important to keep in mind, however, that boosting immunity can be problematic for some autoimmune conditions. With the high levels of vitamin c, elderberry is a highly potent herb, so it is best to note the condition of your body when using this herb. The options below allow you to try elderberry as a tea on its own or paired with other herbs.
Sage Tea For Colds, throat irritation, and Flu
Sage is an herb that works well for fighting colds and an irritated throat. It has been used for Chinese medicinal purposes for many years to fight symptoms related to the cold and flu. It is also know for killing pathogenic bacteria and clearing phlegm from respiratory systems. Rosemary Gladstar commented on the usefulness of using this herb to combat these types of sicknesses.
Chamomile Tea for the common cold
Chamomile tea is known for a wide range of medicinal properties. Of course, among them is fighting against respiratory infections and relieving body aches from the flu. Studies show that chamomile is effective in fighting common cold ailments when ingested or inhaled.
According to the USDA, findings show via a test tube study the antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that chamomile tea provides. Although it is a soothing tea for mild colds, it may be a good idea to pair the herbal tea with different herbs for stronger cold infections.
Olive Leaf Tea
This herb is a great choice for a tea against the flu and colds due to its antiviral, antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Olive leaf has high amounts of zinc, selenium, beta-carotene, iron, and antioxidants. It is reported that the antioxidant level in olive leaf is 400 times that of vitamin C.
Taking olive leaf is seen as beneficial by many herbalists as a preventive measure and for overall health. In addition to fighting the cold and flu, olive leaf is safe to use for antibiotic purposes over an extended period of time. On top of all of these attributes, using this herb is a great way to increase energy levels.
This herbal tea is highly effective in settling nausea and vomiting, therefore, making it one of the best ways to fight the flu when it comes to home remedies. Thyme has been shown in scientific studies to reduce mucus, and not only lessen cough symptoms, but cough frequency. This small study shows the efficacy of this.
Honey is an extremely beneficial element to add to thyme tea. The attributes of honey are highly effective against colds, and add a lovely sweet note. Find out more about the benefits of using honey for colds in the post linked at the bottom of the page.
Catnip Tea for colds and flu
Catnip is more than just for kitties. It is also an herb that has been traditionally used for fighting colds. Drinking catnip as a hot beverage increases the herbs potency and effects. Also, catnip's diaphoretic property helps the body increase sweating without increasing the body's temperature. This helps the immune system work to fight the sickness quicker and lessen the duration of the flu. Congestion is reduced with the use of this herb as well.
It is important for pregnant women NOT to take catnip.
Red Clover Tea For Colds
This herb makes a strong-fighting tea against colds and congested chests. It has shown effectiveness against respiratory issues and ailments as well as whooping cough. Although named red clover, the herb is more of a purplish flower.
Do not give to children without first consulting with a doctor!
Ginger Tea For colds and nausea
Ginger is actually a not a true herb, and most sources classify it as a spice due to it being a root. However, herbal medicine uses ginger as a remedy, and since I want to provide you with the most healing teas for colds and the flu, I am including it here for you.
Ginger has been used for colds and symptoms of nausea for centuries. The dry form of this root makes it perfect to drink as a tea when not feeling well. Its properties are also more potent that fresh ginger when it comes to using a hot cup of tea as a home remedy.
Wang, L., Yang, R., Yuan, B., Liu, Y., & Liu, C. (2015). The antiviral and antimicrobial activities of licorice, a widely-used Chinese herb. Acta pharmaceutica Sinica. B, 5(4), 310–315. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apsb.2015.05.005
Ng SL, Khaw K-Y, Ong YS, et al. Licorice: A Potential Herb in Overcoming SARS-CoV-2 Infections. Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine. 2021;26. doi:10.1177/2515690X21996662
Furushima, D., Ide, K., & Yamada, H. (2018). Effect of Tea Catechins on Influenza Infection and the Common Cold with a Focus on Epidemiological/Clinical Studies. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 23(7), 1795. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23071795
Srivastava, J. K., Shankar, E., & Gupta, S. (2010). Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. Molecular medicine reports, 3(6), 895–901. https://doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2010.377
Paidi, R. K., Jana, M., Raha, S., McKay, M., Sheinin, M., Mishra, R. K., & Pahan, K. (2021). Eugenol, a Component of Holy Basil (Tulsi) and Common Spice Clove, Inhibits the Interaction Between SARS-CoV-2 Spike S1 and ACE2 to Induce Therapeutic Responses. Journal of neuroimmune pharmacology : the official journal of the Society on NeuroImmune Pharmacology, 16(4), 743–755. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11481-021-10028-1