Best Teas for a ColdMillions of people all over the world enjoy having a cup of hot tea for one reason or another. However, when they are sick with a cold, sore throat or flu, hot tea takes on even more significance. The reason for this is because many different types of tea can help soothe the symptoms of a variety of common illnesses. Not all tea is great for this purpose, though. The best teas for a cold, flu or sore throat have special properties that make them viable remedies.

Peppermint Tea

This is a very popular tea that can help soothe the symptoms of colds and flu. Chills are often one of the symptoms of the flu virus, so drinking a cup of hot peppermint tea can warm the body and make it sweat. Many experts believe that sweating helps remove the virus from the body more quickly. In addition, the antioxidants in both the tea and the peppermint help the immune system fight off illness, hopefully shortening the duration of the illness.

As one of the best teas for a cold, peppermint tea also contains menthol, which is a proven remedy for congestion and cough. For people suffering from nausea related to the flu, this kind of tea can help calm the stomach and reduce muscle cramps. Peppermint is also known to aid in digestion, which is why it is often given at the end of a meal.

Lemon Tea

This makes the list of best teas for colds because of its high concentration of vitamin C. Many healthcare professionals recommend increasing vitamin C consumption when flu symptoms are present. Vitamin C is effective in neutralizing free radicals that can damage cell walls. Lemon juice has proven to decrease the strength of the flu virus in the body, so the duration of the illness may not last as long if lemon tea is consumed regularly.

In some cases, lemon tea can reduce the amount of phlegm the body produces in reaction to the presence of a virus. It can be consumed either hot or cold and can be paired with honey to help balance the sourness of the lemon flavor. It is also one of the easiest teas to make, since all that is required is tea (black or green), the juice from one lemon and honey, if preferred. Lemon tea can also be combined with other flavors to boost its flu- and cold-fighting properties.

Chai Tea

A best tea for flu, chai tea is excellent for reducing fever and alleviating sinus and chest congestion. Cinnamon, which is often an ingredient of chai tea, is known to relieve digestive issues, including nausea and gas, and to relieve body aches associated with the common flu and cold. Black pepper is another popular ingredient in chai tea and has been used for centuries to promote sweating, which can break a fever.

Usually, chai tea has a black tea base, which contains powerful antioxidants to shorten the duration of the symptoms. Ginger is also another major ingredient in chai tea that can help soothe a sore throat related to colds and the flu. The cardamom in many best teas for a cold can lift a drinker’s spirit when feeling down because of illness.

Licorice tea

Sore throats don’t stand a chance around licorice tea. Not only does the licorice root help soothe sore throats, but it’s a best tea for flu because it also settles an upset stomach and quiet a noisy cough. When consuming licorice tea, though, it is important to ensure the tea is made from real licorice root. Many teas use licorice flavoring, but this will not alleviate any symptoms of the cold or flu. This is because real licorice root contains glycyrrhizin, the active ingredient that delivers the health benefits.

Although licorice is a best tea for flu, it is not recommended to be consumed for more than two weeks, since licorice root can also have negative effects on health, particularly to the cardiovascular system. Seek the advice of a physician before continuing to consume this beverage for longer than the recommended two weeks. Children should never be given licorice tea to treat their flu or cold symptoms.

Mullein herbal tea

While not technically a tea, this herbal concoction is often used to soothe the pain associated with sore throats. Similar to other best teas for a cold, this herb is also an expectorant, which will loosen chest and nasal congestion. In addition, this tea can relieve a harsh cough very quickly. Mullein works by relaxing the muscles in the chest, allowing the mucus to loosen and leave the body more easily. If laryngitis is present with a cold or flu, mullein can help the drinker get his or her voice back to some degree.

The antibacterial and antiviral properties contained within mullein tea make it a best tea for flu because they help rid the body of the virus or bacteria that is causing cold and flu symptoms. It also seems to neutralize toxins within the body and aid in digestion. This tea can be sweetened with sugar or honey and is even safe to give to kids who are suffering from a cold or the flu.

Elderberry herbal tea

Another type of drink that is not actually a tea, but has superior cold- and flu-fighting properties. As with other best teas for a cold, it has shown to be effective in protecting the respiratory tract from the flu virus, reducing the chances of developing a cough. Moreover, this herb is effective at reducing the muscle aches associated with the flu and common cold. While this tea is best consumed when looking to avoid the flu, as a best tea for flu, it can also be used to treat some of the symptoms.

Chamomile herbal tea

One of the best ways to cure a cold or get over the flu is to sleep. The body repairs itself during the sleep cycle, but it can be difficult to get a lot of sleep when not feeling well. Chamomile tea, also referred to as “sleep tea” is a great way to relax and soothe the body, allowing it to drift off to sleep. The active component known as apigenin reduces activity in the brain, leading to the calmness required for sleep.

Ginger tea

This is easily one of the best teas for a cold. Ginger is a known natural remedy for many different ailments, including nausea, upset stomach, dizziness, sore throats and fever. It may also help break up mucus and quiet a cough. Ginger is often combined with some of the other teas in this list of best teas for colds because its flavor goes well with many other types and flavors of tea.

For example, when combined with lemon and honey, not only is the drinker getting the multitude of health benefits from the ginger, but he or she is also taking in huge amounts of vitamin C from the lemon, which can shorten the duration of the flu or a cold. Ginger and honey both help strengthen the immune system and lemon can protect the body’s cells from free radical damage.

Other Best Teas For A Cold

Several other lesser-known herbal teas have been effective at alleviating the symptoms of colds and flu, including rooibos tea, rosehip tea, milk thistle tea and dandelion tea. However, the eight teas listed above are the best teas for a cold and should have the drinker feeling better in no time.