Tea to Boost your Immune System
2023 is the year of health consciousness - and drinking tea is the go-to for inspired mindfulness and other health benefits of tea.
Cold and flu season are upon us, so there's no better time than now to incorporate teas and foods that boost your immune system into your daily routine. The stronger your immune system, the easier your body will be able defend you from getting sick or aid in your recovery.
Replacing Cold Medicines With Tea
Over the counter cold medicines like Sudafed, Mucinex, Tylenol, Allegra, Dayquil and Nyquil are all commonly used to treat symptoms of colds or allergies. However, the drugstore chain CVS has pulled these widely used decongestants from its shelves and will no longer sell them after the FDA's Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee (NDAC) recently determined that the main ingredient, oral phenylephrine, is not effective in offering relief from nasal congestion. Thankfully, medications aren't the only way to relieve congestion. Tea offers a great variety of herbs that play different roles in helping you get the relief you need.
How Tea May Support Your Immune Health
Did you know that simply drinking tea on a daily basis will help boost your immune system? It turns out there are studies that show certain components found in tea - specifically EGCG and L-theanine help strengthen the immune system by priming T cell activity. You will find this combination especially high in non-oxidized teas like green and white teas, which are loaded with antioxidants. Studies have shown that specific classes of anti-oxidants found in these teas help boost the immune system.
Adding immune boosting teas to an already balanced diet is key. We recommend including immune boosting foods into your diet and cutting down on things like sugars and processed foods.
Best Teas For Fighting Cold And Flu
1. Feel Better Tea
It's all in the name - Feel Better tea is our top pick when it comes to battling the cold/flu. This blend has green tea to provide benefits to the immune system, as well as a variety of supporting herbs. Herbs like sage, tulsi, elderberries, rosehip serve as antiviral and sore-throat soothers. Echinacea has been shown in clinical trials to be as effective as tamiflu - with fewer side effects and at much lower cost.
- Echinacea - Commonly used to treat or prevent colds, flu, infections and wound healing.
- Elderberries - A rich source of antioxidants, considered by some to be the holy grail solution to treating colds and the flu.
- Rosehip - High in vitamin C, loaded with antioxidants to help boost your immune system, aid weight loss, reduce joint pain and protect against heart disease and diabetes.
- Sage - Lots of medical benefits such as improving the memory and concentration, reducing inflammation, preventing or improving diabetes and boosting the immune system.
- Goji Berry - Similar to acai berries, this popular "superfruit” has been used to increase longevity and boosting the immune system. [NCBI]
2. Green Tea
Green tea is very beneficial to the immune system because it contains large amounts of EGCG (an antioxidant) and L-theanine (an amino acid only found in tea). These have been shown to strengthen the immune system by boosting T cell activity. These are the cells that attack external bodies that infiltrate your blood. Any green tea (or white tea) will do this job. It doesn't matter if you drink pure or flavored green tea - you'll get a nice gentle dose of antioxidants that will circulate through the bloodstream. Avoid green tea extract pills - they can be toxic!
Try: Shaolins Grove
We chose Shaolin's Grove because of its great taste (light jasmine and tropical fruit notes) plus three different types of green tea and a bonus white tea. Great flavor and lots of EGCG in one package. Because it contains some caffeine, and EGCG is known for improved brain function, we do not recommend taking this before bed.
3. Greek Mountain Tea
Greek Mountain Tea is similar to green tea, providing the body with extra immune support. It's great for inducing cellular antioxidant defenses and preventing oxidative stress. The anti-inflammatory and mild diuretic effect in Greek Mountain tea has many great potential effects:
- Lower blood pressure
- Allergy treatment
- Helps respiratory issues
- Relieves mild abdominal discomfort
Now you can experience Greek Mountain tea with the addition of a variety of healthy herbs and fruits with our newest Greek Mountain Meadow Tea. This Greek Mountain blend adds herbs like fennel, rosehips, chamomile, sage, licorice and lavender.
4. Moringa Tea
Moringa tea, which comes from the Moringa tree also known as the "miracle tree" is native to northern India and has been used by health practitioners for hundreds of years. Today, it's beginning to gain more and more popularity as a new nutritional superfood.
Moringa tea is a standout tea not only for its great health benefits, but also its delightful orange citrus taste. Moringa is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and iron - which stimulates white blood cells and helps slow down oxidative stress. It's also high in antioxidants, boosting the immune system and keeping you safe from infections (PharmEasy).
- Vitamin C - Strengthens the immune system.
- Iron - Transports oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body.
- Protein - Helps create new cells, tissues and muscles.
- Vitamin B6 - Boosts immunity and prevents anaemia.
- Magnesium - Regulates blood sugars and strengthen bone.
5. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is a great herb for soothing both the body and mind, especially when you're not feeling well. It's one of the most ancient medicinal herbs known to mankind, most commonly used to help with sleep. Getting a good night's rest of an important part of recovering from being sick, making chamomile an excellent choice.
6. Stimulating Tea
- Ginger - Has a large range of benefits due to its strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects.
- Turmeric - Used in Ayurvedic medicine to maintain a healthy weight, blood glucose, and cholesterol especially during times of stress.
- Cardamom - Impressive medicinal properties - rich in compounds that may fight inflammation. There is also an abundance of antioxidants to protect cells from damage and stop inflammation.
- Coriander - Offers several antioxidants, preventing cellular damage caused by free radicals and fighting inflammation in your body.
7. Comfort Chaga
Chaga mushroom is found in forests and while it may just look like another mushroom, inside is a super powerful source of nutrients and antioxidants. Comfort Chaga combines the perks of chaga with other effective ingredients to create a bold, spicy cup with added benefits.
- Honeybush - is a caffeine herb found in South Africa and contains antioxidants, but also has the potential to calm coughs and has been traditionally used as a tonic for colds, influenza, mucus buildup due to its expectorant potential.
- Chaga - mushroom benefits - found on birch trees, these slow growing mushrooms are considered an antioxidant superfood. They promote the formation of beneficial cytokines, specialized proteins that regulate the immune system, and stimulate white blood cells which are essential for fighting off harmful bacteria.
- Turmeric - Contains circumum, a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals and boosts the body's own antioxidant enzymes. Circumum is also combined with black pepper for better absorption.
- Bee Pollen - One of the most nutrient rich foods on the planet. Only bees can produce it - no mechanical process has been able to replicate it.
- Ginger - A common theme amongst our herbal friends. It had digestive benefits, but in this case, we like it because it is high in gingerol, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
When it comes to a sore throat or stuffiness, peppermint tea can be a life saver. The menthol in the peppermint leaves can help to soothe your throat and promote better rest. Its antimicrobial powers can also help fight off the infected mucus in your sinesis, helping you breathe more easily. Plus, it's naturally caffeine-free making it a great choice for drinking before bed.
Recommendations for tea - Part of the family of foods to boost your immune system:
Drink these teas several times a day, and incorporate foods to boost your immune system into your daily diet. Ensuring that you have a strong immune system will help defend you from sickness, but also if you happen to get sick - aid in quicker recovery.
You can drink tea all the time - not just when you are not feeling well. Our recommendation is to rotate these teas into your daily drinking habits - at lunch, in the afternoon as a pick me up or before bed. You'll get the hydration you need and keep the beneficial compounds flowing!
- Tea and Health: Studies in Humans - PMC (National Library of Medicine)
- 6 Ayurvedic Science-Backed Benefits Of Moringa! (PharmEasy)
- A Guide to Common Medicinal Herbs - Health Encyclopedia (University of Rochester Medical Center)
- The Top 101 Herbs and Spices for Healing (Dr. Axe)