Winter is officially here, and with it comes the hated cold and flu season. While there is no tried and true remedy for curing either ailment, there are plenty of prescription, over-the-counter and natural methods of “hurrying” the illnesses along their way. While the tea recipes that follow aren’t meant to be a cure for the cold and flu, they can help boost your immune system to a level that might just keep you from getting sick in the first place. They taste great, too!
Chai is a popular tea throughout India and the Middle-East. It tastes fantastic and two of the ingredients–astragalus and reishi–are excellent herbs for preventing illness. This tea can be mixed up in bulk and stored, but once you get a taste for this spicy beverage you won’t likely have a surplus on your shelf for long!
1 tablespoon cinnamon chips
1 teaspoon peppercorns
2 tablespoons dried orange peel
2 tablespoons ginger root
½ teaspoon crushed cardamom pods
¼ teaspoon cloves
7 grams sliced reishi
15 grams astragalus
1 ½ quarts of water
Mix all of the ingredients in a large pot and bring the whole concoction to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for an hour then, using a strainer or slotted spoon, sift out all of the herbs. You can add honey for extra flavor, or for a traditional experience add a little milk and sugar. Store whatever you don’t drink in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Vitamin C is like a silver tipped super-spear when it comes to doing battle with the cold and flu. This tea contains elderberries and rosehips, both of which are packed with vitamin C. In fact, rosehips are fairly unknown among food ingredients but they contain almost 40 times as much vitamin C as many citrus fruits. To make this tea, mix up the ingredients in a cup and pour boiling water on top. Let it steep for 5 minutes and then strain out the herbs.
1 part dried elderberries
1 part rosehips
¼ part cinnamon chips
¼ part ginger root
The elderflower and elderberry come from the same plant, but the elderflower is a fantastic herb for actually reducing fever, so mix this one up if you’re already under the weather. Again, just add boiling water, steep for a few minutes and remove the solids before drinking.
1 part catnip
1 part spearmint
1 part elderflower