Feeling under the weather? We’ve compiled a list of the 8 best teas to help alleviate those pesky symptoms and have you feeling better in no time.
Can Tea Kill a Cold?
While tea cannot “kill” a cold, it can certainly help ease the symptoms and make you feel more comfortable. Many teas contain antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and ingredients that help soothe sore throats, congestion, and coughs.
What Teas Are Good for a Cold?
Choose from these 8 teas, each with its unique blend of ingredients that can help you combat the common cold.
Ginger tea, made from the root of the ginger plant, is known for its warming and soothing properties. It can help alleviate cold symptoms by reducing inflammation, soothing a sore throat, and relieving congestion (1). Ginger tea also aids digestion and boosts the immune system.
Ginger tea has a spicy, slightly sweet flavor. To prepare ginger tea, slice 1-2 inches of fresh ginger root and steep it in 8-10 ounces of boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Strain and enjoy hot.
Peppermint tea, made from the leaves of the peppermint plant, is a popular herbal tea that helps with congestion and coughs (2). The menthol present in peppermint tea acts as a natural decongestant and can help clear nasal passages.
Additionally, peppermint tea can soothe an upset stomach and aid digestion.
Peppermint tea has a refreshing, minty flavor. To prepare peppermint tea, steep 1-2 teaspoons of dried or fresh peppermint leaves in 8 ounces of boiling water for 5-7 minutes. Strain the leaves and enjoy.
Echinacea tea is derived from the Echinacea plant, known for its immune-boosting properties. It can help shorten the duration of a cold and reduce the severity of symptoms (3, 4, 5).
In addition to its immune-supporting benefits, Echinacea tea also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe a sore throat.
Echinacea tea has a mildly bitter, earthy taste. To make echinacea tea, steep 1 teaspoon of dried echinacea flowers, leaves, or roots in 8 ounces of boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Strain before drinking.
Chamomile tea, made from the flowers of the chamomile plant, is a popular herbal tea known for its calming properties. It can help with cold symptoms by reducing inflammation, soothing a sore throat, and promoting restful sleep (6). Chamomile tea may also boost the immune system and help fight infections.
Chamomile tea has a delicate, slightly sweet flavor. Prepare chamomile tea by steeping 1-2 teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers in 8 ounces of boiling water for 5-7 minutes. Strain the flowers and enjoy.
Find the best chamomile tea that suits your palette. We’ve reviewed dozens to bring you the top picks.
Elderberry tea, derived from the berries of the elder tree, is a natural remedy for colds and flu. It contains immune-boosting properties and can help reduce the severity of symptoms and shorten the duration of a cold (7). Elderberry tea is also high in antioxidants, which can help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.
Elderberry tea has a tart, fruity flavor. To prepare elderberry tea, steep 1-2 teaspoons of dried elderberries in 8 ounces of boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Strain the berries and serve hot.
Green tea, made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, is packed with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can help alleviate cold symptoms by boosting the immune system and reducing inflammation (8). Green tea may also help soothe a sore throat and provide a gentle energy boost.
Green tea has a mild, slightly grassy flavor. To prepare green tea, steep 1 teaspoon of green tea leaves in 8 ounces of water heated to 160-170°F (70-80°C) for 1-3 minutes. Strain the leaves and enjoy.
Lemon and Honey Tea
Lemon and honey tea is a simple yet effective remedy for colds. The vitamin C in lemon boosts the immune system, while honey has antibacterial properties and can help soothe a sore throat. This combination can also help alleviate coughs and improve hydration.
With a sweet, tangy flavor, lemon and honey tea can be prepared by mixing freshly squeezed lemon juice and honey into a cup of hot water. Adjust the amount of honey to your preferred sweetness.
Licorice Root Tea
Licorice root tea, made from the root of the licorice plant, has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties that can help alleviate cold symptoms (9). It is particularly effective at soothing sore throats and reducing coughs. Licorice root tea may also help support the immune system and improve respiratory function.
Licorice root tea has a naturally sweet, slightly earthy taste. To prepare licorice root tea, steep 1 teaspoon of dried licorice root in 8 ounces of boiling water for 5-7 minutes. Strain the root and enjoy your tea.
Is Black Tea Good for a Cold?
While not as powerful as some of the teas mentioned above, black tea can still be beneficial for colds. It contains antioxidants that can help support the immune system and may provide a comforting, warm beverage to soothe a sore throat.
However, black tea does contain caffeine, which can cause dehydration if consumed in large quantities. If you opt for black tea, be sure to also drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
When it comes to battling a cold, incorporating one or more of these 8 teas into your daily routine can help alleviate symptoms and promote a faster recovery.
Remember, staying hydrated, getting plenty of rest, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are essential to overcoming a cold.
While tea cannot cure a cold, it can make healing more comfortable and enjoyable.