Written by Alessia Cantale, Haberfield Health
Edited by Rosa Ghidella
It is important to keep our immune system strong, and even more essential today during this global pandemic. There are many things you can do to keep well. Herbal teas are rich in anti-oxidants and immune-boosting properties. This makes them a simple and effective way of boosting our health.
Here are a few tips when buying herbal teas:-
- Always buy the best quality herbal teas you can afford.
- Organic is best. Research conducted by CBC News in Canada found that more than half of the supermarket-bought teas they studied had high levels of pesticides. Many of these pesticides were above the legally accepted level. In addition, many of these same teas also contained high levels of chemicals.
- Where possible, purchase loose leaf teas. Some studies have found that some commercially available teas contain microplastics in the tea bags. Another Canadian study at McGill University found that steeping a plastic tea bag, at a brewing temperature of 95°C, releases around 11.6 billion microplastics into one single cup.
- Try mixing different herb combinations. For example, ginger and lemongrass work well together.
- You can add 1/2 teaspoon of Manuka honey, which is known to have anti-bacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.
These specific herbs are high in antioxidants & have strong antiviral and antibacterial properties, making them ideal for the winter months.
Chamomile is useful in helping digestive problems such as flatulence, indigestion and nausea. It can also be helpful in soothing fevers. This gentle and fragrant herb is known to calm the mind and nervous system. As a result, it can ease stress-related symptoms as well as nervousness and anxiety. For this reason, many people drink Chamomile tea to help promote a deeper sleep. In addition, Chamomile tea can manage addictive impulses. Chamomile is suited for children.
This herb (and some call it a spice) is a carminative, spasmolytic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral herb and so much more! What does this mean? It means that Ginger is useful in boosting overall immunity. Ginger is also often used to treat nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness and dyspepsia and other GI inflammatory conditions. We know that our gut health is closely linked to a healthy immune system.
Lemongrass benefits those with bloating, anxiety, coughs, sore joints, fever, common cold and exhaustion. This hardy herb has antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, diaphoretic, and antispasmodic actions. Lemongrass helps break fevers and cools the body.
4. Licorice root
Licorice root is an adrenal tonic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, antiviral, anticarcinogenic and muco-protective herb. This can be helpful to those with asthma, coughs, irritation of mucosa, colic, and low immunity.
Turmeric is a highly protective herb! It is know for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, carminative, neuroprotective, anti-microbial, depurative properties and more. This widely-researched herb is useful for those with arthritis, dyspepsia, IBS, IBD, low immunity, colds, and fevers.
Whilst most herbal teas are a safe, you may want to be cautious if you are taking anti-coagulant medications, for example, and always check any contra-indications for your specific situation.