Best Herbs and Teas For Immune System
Cold and flu season is just around the corner, but there are some things that you can do now to protect yourself and your family. Did you know that there are several herbs and teas for your immune system you can consume to not only treat colds and flu but also to help keep you from getting sick in the first place? Let’s talk about some of the best herbs and teas to keep winter illness at bay.
You can either purchase or grow any of these herbal teas, or you can add food grade essential oils to your hot tea.
Read Our Beginners Guide to Teas Here
- Beginners Guide to Black Tea
- Beginners Guide to Green Tea
- Beginners Guide to Herbal Tea
- How to Grow an Herbal Tea Garden
*This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I get a small commission. Please see my disclosure policy for details
Best Herbs and Teas to Consume During Cold and Flu Season
Elderberry is a fruit that is filled with antioxidants called anthocyanins, these antioxidants work to remove free radicals from the body. They also prevent the replication of the cold and flu viruses in the body in addition to working to relieve inflammation, pain, and swelling. Elderberries are naturally anti-viral, and they are safe to take in supplement form (teas, gummies, syrup, and capsules) daily. While elderberries work to prevent you from getting the cold and flu, if you do still end up getting sick, you can take additional doses and significantly shorten the length of your illness.
Garlic is packed full of a compound called allicin, which is antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial. Eating or taking garlic as a supplement (there are odorless versions) daily can keep your immune system working at it’s best during cold and flu season. If you or a family member feel the onset of a cold or flu coming on, you can take or eat more garlic to prevent or lessen the illness.
Echinacea, a flowering plant from the daisy family, has been used for centuries to help treat and prevent both the common cold and the flu. Echinacea works by encouraging your immune system to work harder which helps keep you from getting sick. Echinacea can be found in a variety of forms including capsules, tinctures, powders, and tea.
Have you ever wondered why peppermint flavor plays such a prominent role in holiday treats and candies? Would you believe that the reason is that peppermint is so effective at treating many winter health ailments like colds and the flu? It’s true! Peppermint is both antiviral and antibacterial which can help stop the spread of illness and keep you from getting sick in the first place. Peppermint can be used in a variety of forms from essential oils, tea, and as a flavoring for food. Having peppermint tea on hand during the winter months to open stuffy nasal passages, reduce fevers, and soothe sore throats and upset stomachs is a great idea.
Thyme is a flavorful herb that many people use for cooking, but did you know that it can also be used to both prevent and treat colds and flu? Well, it can! Thyme is antiviral, antimicrobial, and even functions as an antibiotic. Thyme can be used in foods, taken as a supplement, and even enjoyed as a tea. If you do find yourself fighting off a cold, thyme can help to relieve mucus, soothe a cough, and relieve head and body aches.
Ginger is another herb that you may have in your kitchen that is not only delicious but good for your health as well. Ginger is antiviral and antibacterial and tea made from ginger root slices steeped in hot water is delicious, warming, and soothing. Ginger can help to alleviate nausea and help to break a fever if you do find yourself feeling unwell.
Rosemary is another herb that you will likely find in your kitchen. Rosemary is full of vitamins A, K, and C which can help to keep you from getting sick. Rosemary is antibacterial, antiviral, and stimulates the circulatory system. Rosemary tea or simply using it in a meal can help to alleviate chills and aches associated with a fever, and also kills off harmful bacteria, and soothes inflammation.
Sage, yet another herb commonly found in the kitchen, is also antimicrobial and antiviral and can be helpful in both preventing and treating the flu and common colds. Sage contains large amounts of vitamins A, C, and K, and is very soothing to a sore throat. In addition to making sage tea from dried sage, or using it for cooking, some people also like to burn sage, or use sage essential oils to drive out germs.
If you are looking for a way to relax and boost your immune system at the same time, make a cup or two of your favorite herbal tea. Once your tea has steeped add a dash of lemon and honey to the brew. Lemons and honey are both antiviral and antibacterial and they can give your immune system a big boost. Lemons are also high in vitamin C which is also helpful for your immune system.
Taking care of yourself is very important as the cold and flu season approaches. Make sure that you are staying hydrated, eating well, getting plenty of sleep, and exercising. Adding some of these herbs and teas to your diet a few times a week or more may help you and your family keep winter illnesses out of your household this year. Do you have any other favorite herbs or teas that you use for your immune system?
Enjoy this recipe of Hibiscus Rose Hips Iced Tea