When you are fighting the common cold, it often feels like there isn’t a lot that you can do. However, while the typical antibiotic isn’t an effective remedy for a viral condition like a cold, there are a number of different treatments you can use to get a little relief and speed the healing process. A warm cup of herbal tea is one such remedy that can provide at least a little reprieve from coughing, nasal congestion, and more. Plus, many of these herbal concoctions actually boost the immune system, soothe stomach upset, and break up congestion in your nose and chest. So the next time you are fighting off a cold and just can’t seem to get past that achy, tired, stuffy feeling, give one of these herbal teas a try.
Herbal Remedies to Relieve Cold Symptoms
1. Peppermint Tea
One of the most common ingredients in over-the-counter cold and cough remedies, peppermint is a perfect option for treating a cold. This common herb contains an important chemical known as menthol, which has been found to help relieve congestion and support effective coughs. Likewise, the oil in the leaves of peppermint have antiviral properties, which help prevent the spread of viruses that contribute to colds and the flu. Peppermint tea is a safe remedy for the typical cold, but it is important to avoid high consumption of menthol as too much of this chemical taken at once can be toxic.
2. Ginger Tea
Ginger tea is a unique herbal tea made from fresh or dried ginger root. This blend typically has a spicy, aromatic taste and smell. Ginger tea can be beneficial for relieving both nasal and chest congestion often associated with a cold or the flu. Ginger contains chemical compounds that may also help your body fight viral cells and aid in a faster recovery from these common conditions. It is important to note that ginger may periodically cause heartburn.
3. Eucalyptus Tea
Eucalyptus tea is another herbal remedy that is beneficial for treating colds and flu. Originally, aboriginal tribes made tea from eucalyptus leaves to relieve fever. Today individuals use the tea in treating congestion and stuffiness. The chemical compound, eucalyptol, found in eucalyptus leaves helps relieve congestion and may even destroy viruses. Be careful when handling the tea leaves, though, as it has caused skin rashes in a few rare cases.
4. Licorice Tea
A familiar flavor if you’re a fan of the black jellybeans, licorice is actually an effective herbal remedy too. This herb possesses a delicious sweet flavor even without the sugar and boosts the immune system. It can also relieve soreness in the throat, calm spasms in the lungs, and thin mucus making coughs more productive. If you were a jelly bean aficionado in your younger years, this tea may also bring about some warm and comforting memories as you work through a cold.
5. Mate Tea
A little less known by the general public, mate tea is another cold remedy well-known to herbalists. This herb was first used by natives to South America as a preventative treatment for scurvy. It was also recommended as an appetite suppressant. The herb contains a healthy dose of vitamin C, which can enhance immune function and help your body combat cold and flu viruses. Be aware, though. This herb does contain caffeine, so it can interfere with restful sleep habits.
Herbal Preparations for the Biggest Health Benefits
Like with most any health remedy, not all herbal remedies are created equal. In fact, when you purchase tea bags in the store, the herbs are dried and powdered far beyond their original form, which eliminates many of the beneficial properties of the plant. For the biggest benefit from your tea, look for an option that is made or allows you to make tea from the whole herb.
In addition to a warm cup of tea, being able to relax in a clean, comfortable home is a welcome reprieve when you are dealing with a cold. Couch cleaning for dust and mites is likely the last thing you want to be doing when you are struggling with a cold, though, so you may want to enlist a little help. Either way, use a cold as an opportunity to put your feet up, sip a warm cup of tea, and catch up on a little rest and relaxation.
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