5 Teas To Drink When You Are Sick

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.

Peppermint

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!


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