Cold and flu season has hit us hard this year. Just about everybody is sick, was just sick, or feels like they might be getting sick. Plus the temperatures around these parts are barely reaching 20 degrees, which makes for a brutal combination.
So what do you do besides get enough sleep, take your vitamins and wash your hands like a maniac? Oh and get the flu shot, if you are so inclined?
DRINK TEA. And lots of it.
Here are my three favorite teas for battling this onslaught of viruses. All delicious, all effective and all kid friendly. Because lets face it, your kids spend all day in a petrie dish… oh no wait… school… and are bringing all sorts of stuff home with them besides homework.
Elderberry: According to a 2001 study from Jerusalem’s Hadassah University Hospital, this herb activates the immune system and may be effective against over 10 strains of flu– considerably more than the annual flu shot. (Just sayin’…) In fact, it has been used for centuries by Native Americans to reduce fever and other symptoms. It is rich in both antioxidants and vitamin C, which we all know are super helpful in fortifying the system against catching colds and flu. And, if you are unlucky enough to come down with something, drinking this tea can significantly reduce the time you are sick. Like in half. Which doesn’t suck. Plus it is delicious and sweet, making it super easy to convince the little ones to drink it. Add a spoon of honey and it’s basically candy.
Ginger: Widely known to ease nausea, Chinese herbalists have long used this root as an antihistamine and a decongestant, two substances whose services are much in demand around this time of year. My favorite way to make ginger tea is to roughly chop up a good sized root, put it in a pot of water (3 or 4 cups) boil it till the whole kitchen smells like ginger (20 mins or so), then pour it into a mug, adding the juice of half a lemon, a big spoonful of honey and a pinch of cayenne pepper. I drink loads of this whenever I feel a fever coming on and I swear it makes me feel better.
Lemon balm: The anti-viral qualities of this herb make it ideal to drink when you are feeling under the weather, and it has been found to combat mumps as well as to bring on a sweat that helps reduce fever. A member of the mint family, this herb is really easy to grow, so you can easily keep a fresh supply going in a pot in your kitchen. It is also known to be a bit of a tranquilizer, so it helps you get the sleep you need to heal.
Oh and if you want to know where to get this great teapot pictured above (a favorite holiday gift from one of my husband’s colleagues) read on… — Read more