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5 Soothing Teas That Can Fight Cold Symptoms

Grandma was right — herbal teas may help stop those sniffles. 

5 Soothing Teas That Can Fight Cold Symptoms

By Marisa Cohen, Good Housekeeping
 
When you have the sneezes, coughs, aches, and pains of a winter cold or flu, you may not want to do much more than curl up on the sofa under a fleece blanket with a box of Kleenex and your good friend Netflix. But add one more important image to that sniffly scenario: a steaming mug of hot tea. Grandma’s favorite home remedy has been helping cold-sufferers feel better for thousands of years. First of all, the hot liquid can soothe your throat and break up congestion. And if you add a few drops of local honey, you have a natural cough suppressant. Or, squeeze in a lemon and get a burst of vitamin C, which may reduce the duration of your cold.

But one of most important healing functions of tea may simply be that it keeps you hydrated, says GH Nutrition Director Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, author of Dressing on the Side (and Other Diet Myths Debunked). "When you're sick, eat high-water fruits and veggies and drink a ton of fluids — at least 10 cups per day from unsweetened sources, including tea," London says.Here are five of the most soothing varieties:


1

Peppermint

5 Soothing Teas That Can Fight Cold Symptoms

Just a few sips of peppermint tea can start to make you feel better. The menthol in the peppermint leaves can have a slight anesthetic effect on your throat, suppressing your cough (which is why peppermint appears in many cough drops). Plus, scientists from the USDA report that when tested in a lab, peppermint has been found to have significant antimicrobial and antiviral activities. While we don't know for sure if those lab results translate to humans, a cup of minty tea certainly couldn't hurt!


2

Chamomile

5 Soothing Teas That Can Fight Cold Symptoms

The dried flowers of chamomile have been used for centuries to help lull you to sleep — flavonoids from the plant have a tranquilizing effect. Since getting a good night’s sleep is an important part of your cold-recovery mission, chamomile is an excellent choice. There is also some evidence the tea acts as an anti-inflammatory, so sip away.
 
 
3

Echinacea

5 Soothing Teas That Can Fight Cold Symptoms

Echinacea comes from a purple flower found in North America and is used by Great Plains tribes as a traditional cure. Studies have shown that taking echinacea as a supplement can cut your chances of catching a cold by up to 58%, and can reduce the length of your cold by more than a day. Brewing it as a tea is potentially a tasty way to get all that protective goodness.


4

Ginger

5 Soothing Teas That Can Fight Cold Symptoms

Ginger tea is a favorite with singers to soothe their throats — the bioactive ingredients in it act as an anti-inflammatory and may also inhibit microorganisms that can lead to infection. And if your cold comes with an upset tummy, ginger is also known to relieve nausea.


5

Elderberry

5 Soothing Teas That Can Fight Cold Symptoms

Like other small, dark berries, elderberries are filled with health-boosting antioxidants, ranking even higher than cranberry and blueberry for polyphenol content. Studies with elderberry syrups and extracts have shown they can reduce the length and severity of cold and flu symptoms; we love the flavor sipped in a fruity tea.
 
5 Soothing Teas That Can Fight Cold Symptoms

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