There’s no question that herbal teas have lots of healing powers. After all, it wouldn’t have survived for centuries in various cultures if there wasn’t even a hint of truth in them. And due to modern science, there is actual evidence that herbal teas have healing and medicinal properties. This is quite fortunate for us because cold and flu season is near. Plus, it’s that time of the year when we tend to sleep less, eat more which weakens our immune system, making us very vulnerable to illness.
So, what’s a guy or girl to do? Well, since it is already getting cold and you’re not sure whether you’re immune system has been weakened, why not go for a hot cup of immune-boosting tea? If you’re not sure which herbal tea to go for, we’ve got a list of the best immune-boosting teas to suit any palate.
Best Immune-Boosting Teas
Green tea is, quite possibly, the most popular herbal tea in the world. It is famous for its health benefits which include antioxidants and vitamins. One of the chemicals in green tea is a type of polyphenol called catechins which has been scientifically proven to kill bacteria and certain viruses including the influenza virus. Another study found that another powerful polyphenol, Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), causes an increase in the production of T cells which play an important role in the immune system which results in improving immune function.
Elderberry has been used for centuries as a natural treatment for colds, flu, fever, and a whole host of other maladies. This is because it is quite rich in flavonoids, particularly anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that have been proven to improve the production of cytokines which play a key role in our immune system. Cytokines are proteins that act as chemical messengers, helping regulate the body’s response to infection and disease. In addition, elderberries also contain antiviral agents which deactivate viruses, preventing them from multiplying. And then there’s the amount of bio-flavonoids in fruit which is effective in boosting the immune system and killing common pathogens. It is important to note that elderberries cannot be eaten raw because it contains a chemical related to cyanide when it is in its raw form.
Chamomile tea is well-known for its soothing properties. This earth-tasting tea can help you relax and, for some, can even make you sleepy which is why it’s the perfect drink before bedtime. But that’s not all that it can do. According to research, chamomile contains chemical compounds that can increase the production of your white blood cells which are responsible for fighting bacteria, viruses, and other sources of infection.
Lavender tea is another soothing herbal concoction. It’s been known to help calm the nerves and improve quality of sleep. But those are not the sole health benefits of this tea. Lavender also has antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties. It contains vitamins A and C, calcium, and amino acids – all of which help boost overall health.
Lemongrass Herbal Tea
Lemongrass helps boost the immune system because it is quite rich in vitamin C. Aside from that, this herb also has a lot of antibacterial and antifungal properties that will help fight colds, coughs, and flu. Plus, this herb is a great source of essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B, folate, copper, zinc, iron, potassium, and calcium. The best part of lemongrass herbal tea is its taste – the fragrance of lemon but sweeter in taste.
When to Drink Herbal Teas for the Immune Boost
Prevention is better than cure. That’s a fact. While most of us probably will remember taking this type of tea is when we begin to feel poorly, the best thing to do is to make drinking herbal tea a daily habit. Of course, not everyone can do that. If that’s the case with you, the best option is for you is to drink these herbal teas once you start to feel that tickle in the back of your throat or become slightly sluggish. Even if you don’t feel any of the symptoms, as soon as you’re around someone who is sick, it’s important that you start your immune boosting ritual. To reap the healing benefits of these teas, you should drink at least 3 cups a day. Some types of herbal teas such as green tea must be drunk on an empty stomach to ensure that the antioxidants are absorbed properly.