9 OF THE BEST HERBAL TEAS FOR COLDS AND FLU…

It’s that time of year where we all know somebody who is suffering from colds and flu. Here are 9 of the best herbal teas to help you get rid of your symptoms from One Green Planet.

Just drinking hot water on its own can help to alleviate nasal congestion and soothe scratchy throats.  Add to that various immune-boosting herbs and you have yourself a comforting and cold-fighting potion.  Of course, there is the fact that staying hydrated is essential in fighting a cold.

1. Chamomile

Try drinking chamomile tea if you are finding that you are having trouble spelling.  A good night’s sleep is essential in giving your body a chance to heal.  Chamomile contains an antioxidant called apigenin that is said to help promote sound sleep.

2. Echinacea

This is a wonderful herb that has been long used as a remedy for colds and flu.  It is thought that taking echinacea at the onset of a cold can help to reduce the severity of symptoms and cut the duration of the illness.

Sipping echinacea tea can help with symptoms of sneezing and sinus issues as well as work on boosting your immune system.

3. Peppermint

Aside from being delicious and easy to grow for yourself, peppermint tea can do wonders for you while you are under the weather. Due to the menthol in peppermint, inhaling the steam from a hot cup of peppermint tea can help with decongestion, soothe coughs, and relieve headaches.  It is also good for helping to boost your mental and physical energy and lift your mood.

4. Thyme

Thyme has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can be useful during a cold.  Thyme can also help with coughs by relaxing the bronchial muscles that are involved in coughing.  It also works as an expectorant by breaking up mucus and making it easier to cough. Thyme is also packed with lots of vitamins, including vitamin C, that you will need to keep your immune system boosted and working for you throughout your illness.

5. Hibiscus

Hibiscus tea is made from the flowers of the Hibiscus sabdariffa plant.  It’s a delicious tea that has a lovely sour flavor not dissimilar to cranberry.  Being high in vitamin C, hibiscus tea is a great beverage to sip on during a bout of flu or a cold.

6. Marshmallow

We aren’t talking about those sweet fluffy candy pillows here, but the root of the marshmallow plant.  Marshmallow root, due to its mucilaginous properties is thought to be a good remedy for treating coughs and colds.  It works by loosening mucus build-up and soothing irritated throats.

7. Stinging Nettle

Despite its name sounding terrifying, nettle tea (Urtica dioica)is actually incredibly nutritious and could really give you a helping hand during a cold. Nettle is rich in immune-boosting compounds which help to support your immune system.  Nettle has a very earthy flavor similar to spinach.

8. Ginger

It may be more of a spice than a herb, but ginger cannot be dismissed when you are feeling rotten.  Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that may help relieve cold and flu-related headaches.  Inhaling the ginger vapors from your tea will help to alleviate nasal congestion while drinking it will give your immune system a boost.

9. Cinnamon

Here is a spice that oozes comfort and warmth.  Cinnamon is one of the spices with the highest antioxidant content and is also a powerful anti-inflammatory.  It is thought to be able to soothe sore throats when sipped in tea form.  Try blending ginger and cinnamon together for a powerhouse remedy.

Be sure to consult a medical professional before using herbal remedies and research individual herbs for allergy information.  

Original post on One Green Planet.

THE BEST & THE WORST WAYS TO STORE TEA…

Correct storage of tea will mean it will last a long longer and taste just as fresh as it did on the day you bought it. Here is a list of the best and worst ways to store your tea.

  1. It’s best to transfer both loose tea and tea bags from a cardboard or paper packet or tub into an air-tight container.
  2. Tins and caddies with tight-fitting lids are good as they can keep out smells and humidity which can affect the tea.
  3. Storing the jars in a dark cupboard will mean the tea will keep well.
  4. You should never keep it in the fridge as there is always the chance that water will get into the packet.
  5. You should always be careful with flavoured teas, as the added flavourings can be very powerful and easily taint other teas nearby.
  6. For loose tea, it is essential that you check that the spoon or scoop that you use is completely dry.
  7. If there is even a drop of moisture on the spoon, the humidity introduced to the interior of the packet or caddy will have an effect on the quality of flavour.

According to The Spruce Eats there are also certain things you should not do when storing tea.

Air exposure increases the chances that your tea will absorb moisture and odors. So, avoid leaving tea out, sealing it with excess air in the packaging or storing it in porous packaging materials, like paper bags. Do not store your tea near a spice cabinet, trashcan or another source of odor is a no-no as tea can absorb odour very easily. Heat can degrade your tea, so avoid placing it in the sun or near heat sources like stoves or ovens. Light and UV rays degrade your tea very quickly. Avoid buying tea from vendors who store their clear tea in glass or plastic containers, and avoid storing your tea in anything clear unless you plan on keeping it in a dark cabinet.