Herbal Teas for Colds and Headaches
Ginger Lemon With Optional Licorice
A tea that’s good to make at the first feeling of scratchiness in your throat is a combination of fresh minced ginger, fresh lemon juice, and raw honey or rock sugar. If you are coughing add a few pieces of licorice root, and less ginger and lemon.
Rock sugar is the purest form of sugar and, after it is dissolved in water, it can moisten a dry esophagus and aid in protecting against laryngitis.
You can make this two different ways depending on what you have at home.
1. Put a few pieces of ginger into a food processor or blender and puree them. If you just want to use just the ginger juice and not the fibrous part, pour the pureed ginger through a mesh strainer. This could take a little while so you can set the strainer to drain into your cup and do something else while you wait.
Next squeeze about half a lemon into the cup and, if it’s organic, drop the rind in too. Pour boiling water into the cup and stir in a spoonful of honey or rock sugar.
2. If you don’t have a blender or food processor you can either cut thin slices of ginger or chop it up with a knife and let it steep in a cup with boiling water for a few minutes before adding the lemon and sweetener.
For licorice root, break up a few pieces and let them steep in boiling water with a small amount of ginger for five minutes. Add the juice of a quarter lemon and drop the wedge into the cup. If preferred, you can remove the licorice with a spoon or tea strainer before you drink it.
Fresh Mint and Lemon
Fresh peppermint leaves with rock sugar and some lemon can help the common cold.
Pour a cup of boiling water over a handful of peppermint leaves and then stir in the rock sugar. Let it steep for five minutes and then add a squeeze of lemon. It is fine to eat the peppermint leaves as you drink the tea.
Make a tea with dried peppermint leaves, and add some honey or rock sugar if desired.
Use a tablespoon or two of leaves and put into a tea ball strainer. Steep five minutes, remove the leaves, and enjoy.
Dried lavender flower tea can also bring relief for migraines.
Put about 1 tablespoon of lavender flowers inside a tea ball strainer and pour over boiling water. Brew for about five minutes.
You can make a good sleep-aid tea by adding dried chamomile to the lavender.
Where to Purchase Herbs and Other Ingredients
Many of the dried herbs listed above can be found in Asian grocery stores. However, it is very hard to find them in organic and conventional grocery stores.
Specialty herbal shops will have them and almost all of them can be found on herbal websites like starwest-botanicals.com, mountainroseherbs.com, or www.bulkherbstore.com/Herbs.
Fresh ginger, peppermint leaves, dried goji berries, and barley can be found in many conventional grocery stores and most natural food stores.
Rock sugar can be found in some organic and specialty grocery stores and also in most Asian grocery stores.
Note: If you are pregnant or nursing, please consult your doctor before drinking any of the tonics listed above. For early stages of pregnancy drinking a small amount of ginger tea is good for alleviating morning sickness. Pure red rooibos tea is also mild enough to drink during pregnancy.
Benjamin Chasteen is a certified tea expert who enjoys teaching tea classes and giving tea presentations for various occasions. For questions or comments write to [email protected].
Image of tea via Shutterstock