Herbal teas for cold and flu season

It’s that time of year, cold and flu season. If you are unlucky enough to succumb, the best antidote for a miserable cold with body aches, chills, and fever is to sweat. Drinking a warm herbal tea with diaphoretic (sweat promoting) properties and wrapping up in heavy blankets will help you to sweat out the illness and recover more quickly. Here are two tasty and effective options.

Yarrow, elderflower, and peppermint tea

  • 1/2 tsp. dried yarrow flowers
  • 1/2 tsp. dried elderflowers
  • 1/2 tsp. dried peppermint leaves
  • 12 oz. boiling water

A small teapot is convenient, because it has two necessary items: a lid and an infuser. A large mug can be used as well, but you will need either a disposable tea bag or a tea ball, as well as a small plate to use as a lid. The lid is important, because it traps all the volatile oils and prevents them from evaporating into the air. These oils are the active ingredients that promote sweat and circulation, so don’t lose them! 

Place the dried herbs into the infuser, pour the boiling water into the pot, and cover. Steep for 20 minutes. Pour the tea into a mug and enjoy. Then wrap yourself up in bed and sweat out your cold. This can be repeated 2-3 times per day until you feel better.

Ginger and honey tea

  • 4 quarter-size slices of fresh ginger
  • honey, to taste

Follow the directions for the previous tea, placing the fresh ginger in the infuser. Stir in the honey after removing the infuser. The addition of honey to this tea is particularly soothing to a sore throat. 

If you’re in need of a good source of high-quality, organic, dried herbs, I suggest Mountain Rose Herbs.