Note: Always check with your doctor before adding any new medicinal herbs to your diet, especially if you’re taking other medications.
Ah, fall. Pretty leaves, cozy sweaters, crisp weather and…germs. With school back in full swing and the weather turning cooler, we’re exposed to a variety of everyday illnesses that we don’t usually have to worry about during summer. While the common cold and other pesky contagious viruses are pretty much unavoidable, there are plenty of things you can do to alleviate some symptoms. This year, try adding herbal tea to your treatment plan.
Teas for cold and flu season:
Elderberries have been used for centuries as nature’s cure for the common cold. Some studies have proven that elderberry tea can shorten your cold’s duration, as well as relieve some symptoms.
Eucalyptus tea is well-known for its ability to combat respiratory problems like congestion.
People who tout the healing benefits of echinacea say that the herb boosts the immune system and reduces many symptoms of colds and the flu.
Teas for a sore throat:
Slippery elm contains a substance called mucilage that turns to gel when mixed with water. That gel provides a natural coating for your throat, which can soothe and protect an inflamed throat.
Like slippery elm, licorice creates a coating that some people say soothes sore throats.
Turmeric has potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, according to research published in Indian Journal of Research in Homeopathy.
Teas to help with digestive issues:
Peppermint is wonderful for treating an upset stomach, bloating and nausea. Be careful, though, because it can leave heartburn sufferers feeling worse than before.
Ginger has long been to combat nausea. Because of its alleged ability to relieve nausea, indigestion and motion sickness, ginger root has been used medicinally for thousands of years.
Chamomile tea has carminative properties, which can help to reduce gas and bloating.
Teas to combat headaches:
Ginger again! In 2016, The Journal of Phytotherapy Research published a study that found ginger to be as effective as sumatriptan, a commonly prescribed med, when it comes to reducing migraine pain.
Certain studies have suggested that feverfew can be used to treat and prevent migraines.
Chamomile is known for its relaxing properties. While there’s no proof it can help with migraines, its calming benefits can certainly help relieve some tension headaches.
WATCH: How to Make a Traditional Hot Toddy
Teas to calm you down, because mental wellbeing is just as important as physical health:
Because of its proven calming properties, kava is currently being studied by the medical community as a treatment for anxiety disorders. However, kava is a somewhat controversial herb and research into its side effects is ongoing, so exercise caution.
Passionflower may boost the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in your brain, which lowers brain activity and may help you relax.
Chamomile tea not only reduces stress and anxiety, but it can also help you sleep better.
Teas to give you an energy boost:
Ginseng has long been used for its revitalizing benefits by herbalists in China. Unrelated but interesting: Some people believe ginseng can also boost fertility. So, you know... proceed with caution.
Listen, you might as well just stock up on ginger tea. You’re gonna need it for something. Ginger stimulates the circulatory system, helping to clear your mind.
Another popular Chinese herb, Ginko Biloba helps increase blood flow to the brain.