During the fall and winter months, cold season is at its peak. But, if you are under stress, a cold can pay you a visit year-round, especially if you’re traveling. If your immune system is under attack, a cold can be prevented or the severity lessened with tea.
What tea Rx to use: Drink one 8-ounce cup of black tea (hot or iced) with or without 1 teaspoon honey two to three times per day while symptoms last.
Why you’ll feel tea-rrific: Tea researchers believe it’s the compound antigen (a molecule capable of inducing an immune response) in black tea that bolsters the body’s immune system and may help guard against colds. Known for being rich with antioxidants, tea also contains tannins which may help to stave off viruses like a cold.
Coping with a cold can be annoying but coughing (either from a cold or allergies) can be pesky and make your throat and chest ache.
What tea Rx to use: Opt to brew one 12-ounce cup of black or white tea. For an extra throat soother, add 1 teaspoon of local honey is especially good for allergies!). Repeat as necessary.
Why you’ll feel tea-rrific: Tackling a cough takes a bit of sleuth work to discover why you are coughing. If allergens are the issue, for instance, it’s time to get an air purifier, vacuum and dust more, and add tea with local honey to your diet repertoire.
Catching the flu, which can come on suddenly, drags you down and into bed? Viruses come in all forms and can give you anything from a 24-hour bug to a stubborn virus that’ll hang on for weeks.
What tea Rx to use: Take 2 cups of tea (black, green, or white) and 1 cup of your favorite vitamin C-enhanced herbal tea– such as hibiscus.
Why you’ll feel tea-rrific: It’s no surprise that tea is chock-full of antioxidants—the good guys that can keep your immune system healthy and stave off germs you could encounter. By drinking tea and a vitamin-rich tisane teamed with a nutrient-dense diet, you’ll be keeping your immune system strong.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Feeling down and sluggish with SAD? Seasonal depression is yet is another monster to face in the colder months. I have tackled the symptoms with an arsenal of remedies—and tea is on the list come late fall through early spring.
What tea Rx to use: Brew 1 cup of green tea. Steep for 3 minutes. Repeat 2 times per day.
Why you’ll feel tea-rrific: Green tea has 45 milligrams of caffeine (which can give you a physical and mental burst of energy). But also, green tea contains L-theanine—a compound that enhances brain chemicals including serotonin and that can give you a calming sense of well-being.
A sore throat is a telltale sign that a cold or allergies are looming, so rather than run to the pharmacy for medication every time, why not take an alternative route and turn to tea first?
What tea Rx to use: Dried oolong leaves combined with rose hips or hibiscus can be a perfect pairing. Put 1 teaspoon of tea leaves and 1 teaspoon of the herbal tea of your choice in 1 cup of hot water. Steep for a few minutes, then strain. Add honey to taste.
Why you’ll feel tea-rrific: Oolong tea may reduce swelling and inflammation, due to flavonoids. Also, local honey boasts anti-inflammatory benefits and contains pollan to help balance allergies.
Ginger Lemon Honey Tea
Ginger and lemon go together like salt and pepper—two of nature’s finest superfoods with an immunity booster that can keep you healthy this winter and all year-long.
2 cups water
10 thin slices ginger root, fresh
1 lemon sliced
3 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup lemon juice
Bring water, ginger root, and lemon slices to a boil for 1 or 2 minutes. Remove from heat, steep 10 minutes, strain. Stir in honey and lemon juice. You can also add apple peel, a piece of onion, and one or two tablespoons of chamomile.
Cal Orey, A. is an accomplished author and journalist specializing in topics such as health, science, pets, and relationships. Her hugely successful Healing Powers book series include: The Healing Powers of Honey, The Healing Powers of Chocolate, The Healing Powers of Coffee, The Healing Powers of Vinegar, and Herbs & Spices: Timeless Treasures. She lives in Northern California. www.calorey.com.