Am I the only one who experiences anxiety when I feel the first signs of sickness coming on?
Although I usually love any excuse to lie around in my robe and pajamas, having a cold or the flu does NOT qualify as an enjoyable, relaxing experience. Life will pass you by while you lie sick for days. Laundry piles up, groceries run out, and work goes undone as you lie sprawled on the couch, sniffling, sweating from fever, and begging for someone to bring you tea.
Not a pretty picture, right?
I work hard to avoid this scenario with a proactive approach to my health. You’ve heard it all before – eat well, get plenty of sleep, and take steps to reduce stress. But, sometimes sickness still strikes even when you’re working hard to avoid it.
The good news is that we can reduce the anxiety of becoming sick by preparing for it. Having a basic cold and flu tea already mixed up is an efficient way to prepare. Let’s just hope you won’t need to use it!
Make your own Cold and Flu Tea
The herbs in this cold and flu blend were chosen for their ability to stimulate the immune system, fight viruses and bacteria, and ease the uncomfortable symptoms of a cold or flu.
Ingredients for tea blend:
- ¼ cup dried echinacea leaves (find echinacea leaves here)
- ¼ cup dried peppermint leaves (find peppermint leaves here)
- ¼ cup dried lemon balm leaves (find lemon balm leaves here)
- 3 Tbsp dried elder berries (find them here) or ¼ cup dried elder flowers (find them here)
Add all ingredients to a glass jar and shake gently to combine. Seal jar tightly. Label well and store your Cold and Flu Tea away from heat and light for up to a year. This blend will make approximately 24 cups of tea.
For one cup of tea:
- 1 cup of filtered water
- 2 tsp Cold and Flu Tea blend
- raw, unfiltered honey to taste (optional)
Add tea blend to tea infuser or tea ball. Bring water to a boil, remove from heat. Pour water into mug and add tea. Steep for 5-10 minutes. Add honey (if using) and stir until dissolved. Drink up to 3 cups of tea per day as needed.
Herbs for cold and flu season
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea, E. angustifolia, E. pallida) – Echinacea was chosen for this tea blend based on its ability to prevent or help the body fight colds and the flu. Echinacea is one of the most researched herbs for its effectiveness in shortening the duration and reducing the severity of cold and flu symptoms. This herb contains active substances that boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, and reduce pain.
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra, S. canadensis) – Elderberry is a powerful flu fighter. This herb has anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and immune stimulating effects. It has been shown to greatly reduce healing time when taken at the first signs of flu symptoms. Elderberry works to prevent viral infection by blocking the virus from penetrating our cells. Many symptoms of the typical cold and flu virus can be treated with this berry. Elder flowers can also be used in herbal tea blends to help reduce fevers. (Never eat the leaves, stems, or raw berries of this plant, which contain toxic components.)
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)- This member of the mint family works against a variety of viruses and bacteria, including the virus that causes the common cold. Its anti-inflammatory properties also make it perfect for soothing headaches. It has a fresh lemony-mint flavor when added to tea.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) – This herb’s active component, menthol, can improve nasal congestion and relax airways. Peppermint can also help soothe a sore, irritated throat. (Not to mention, I just love minty things.)
Get back to normal
Too many DIY projects can cut into my sleep. So when I was feeling worn out and felt a sore throat coming on the other day, I quickly brewed a cup of this tea. One cup before bed, another first thing the next morning, and my sore throat was gone by the afternoon.
I can’t afford to lie around for days anymore. My mom isn’t here waiting on me hand and foot, bringing me soup to slurp, and Archie comics to read. Instead, I think I’ll speed recovery with a natural, soothing tea and get back to the land of the living in no time.
What natural remedies do you utilize to curb cold and flu symptoms?
Share with the community!
Resources and Recommended Reading