Best teas to fight colds and flu

There is plenty of evidence that suggests there are some herbal tea ingredients that may ease respiratory infection symptoms.

Our elders always resorted to some tea concoction to help us kick a cold or flu to the curb. Tea can actually help soothe a sore throat and break up congestion. It automatically helps you feel better to sip on a hot beverage when you’re under the weather battling the sniffles. The main thing is that you stay hydrated when you’re sniffly.

There is plenty of evidence that suggests there are some herbal tea ingredients that may ease respiratory infection symptoms. Here are a few tried and true teas that can help break up the common cold and flu:

Echinacea. Studies have shown that drinking echinacea tea or taking it as a supplement can cut your chances of catching a cold by up to 58%, and can reduce the length of your cold by more than a day. Now echinacea is also quickly becoming known for multiple uses and benefits — from combating cancer to alleviating pain.

Elderberry. The dark berries are filled with antioxidants that have been found to have antiviral and antimicrobial properties. Several studies have shown that elderberry is effective in reducing the duration of colds and flu.

Ginger. Many singers use ginger tea to soothe their throats. According to a 2013 publication of the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, ginger is an effective herbal remedy for fighting medical conditions such as the flu and common cold. This is because of its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-oxidative properties.

Lemon. Drinking lemon tea, or squeezing lemon into another kind of herbal tea, is a home remedy that folks have been using since forever. Lemons are a citrus fruit, meaning they contain vitamin C. Vitamin C is an important nutrient for your body when you’re fighting a cold or virus.

Peppermint. Just a few sips of peppermint tea can start to make you feel better. The menthol in the peppermint leaves can have a slight anesthetic effect on your throat, suppressing your cough (which is why peppermint appears in many cough drops). Plus, scientists from the USDA report that when tested in a lab, peppermint has been found to have significant antimicrobial and antiviral activities.

Rooibos. The best benefits of African red bush herbal tea include its anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. Among other great benefits, studies showed that rooibos may help in inhibiting certain tyes of common flu viruses.

Guava. Guava tea may help prevent the growth of common types of flu. This tea may be helpful in inhibiting the viruses in their initial stage of infection and preventing epidemic, the rapid spread of flu.

Iceland moss. One of the best teas for sore throat is Iceland moss. It’s a bitter, but effective infusion of lichen found in northern countries. As a sore throat is one of the first symptoms of the common cold, the tea contains mucilage that may help soothe it, offering instant relief.

FYI, add honey…Try adding honey instead of sugar to sweeten your tea. Honey has antimicrobial properties, which may allow it to fight some bacteria and viruses.