This year’s flu season might be particularly hard on many, with H1N1 strain attacking young and healthy adults and threatening to turn into another pandemic. Even if you received your flu shot and practice good hygiene, you are not entirely immune. The vaccinations have limited effectiveness, and many people choose to avoid them altogether. If you are a proponent of natural treatment and prevention methods, you might want to consider boosting your immune system with some teas this winter. Here are some of the best teas (Amazon affiliate link) you can drink to help ward off colds and flu, or relieve some of the symptoms if you do get sick.
While you can buy premade ginger tea, you’ll get the most out of its anti-inflammatory and immunity boosting properties by making it from scratch. Simply peel and grate about one inch of the ginger root, pour two cups of boiling water over it, and let it sit for 15 minutes. You can add some honey for taste as well as some fresh lemon, which will only add to the health benefits of the tea. Ginger helps fight respiratory problems, relieves congestion and fights infection. It’s rich in antioxidants, which are great for your immune system. It will even relieve stress and help you calm down at the end of the day.
You can usually find dried elderberry flowers in your local organic or health foods store. This herb has great antiviral qualities, and you should try to brew some elderberry tea at the very first signs of getting sick. It will help relieve some of the symptoms associated with the flu, such as muscle pain, and it might even help you get rid of the virus in fewer days. Elderberry is known to protect the respiratory tract, so you might want to drink it for prevention as well during the flu season. Put a heaped teaspoon of the dried flowers into a cup, add boiling water, cover and let it steep for 15 to 20 minutes. Use a strainer to remove the flowers and add honey to taste.
Once again, you can buy this type of tea premade at the store, but you’ll get so much more out of it if you take a few minutes to make it on your own. Simply add zest from one lemon into a cup of boiling water and let it seep for at least 10 minutes. Strain it off and add freshly squeezed juice from half of a lemon and some honey to sweeten it up. Lemon tea provides a great dose of Vitamin C and lots of antioxidants to help boost your immunity and remove toxins from your body.
Even if you don’t have these particular varieties at hand, remember that drinking pretty much any hot tea (affiliate link) will open up your sinuses and help relieve sore throat. Other great teas to drink when you have cold or flu are Echinacea, sage, mullein, lemongrass and peppermint. The easiest ones to find might be black, green and white teas, all of which have healing properties as well. Any of these teas can be used to supplement your current treatment methods, but in most cases you shouldn’t rely on them as the only remedy. It’s always a good idea to see your doctor if your cold or flu lasts more than a few days or if your symptoms worsen.
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