5 Practically Medicinal Teas to Drink When You Feel a Cold Coming On

tea with tea leaves

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Cold and flu season is upon us, which means there’s never been a better time to restock your tea collection. Medicinal teas have been in play for thousands of years and can still be a fantastic alternative or supplement to over-the-counter meds. Whether you're looking to up energy levels or alleviate sleep issues naturally, tea can be used to solve a host of health issues, and addressing the common cold is definitely on the list. For healthy, natural cold relief, we recommend putting on a kettle, cozying up with your favorite mug, and adding one of these teas for a cold to your pantry.

Ginger Tea

Ginger has powerful health benefits when it comes to inflammation, indigestion, and nausea, owing in large part to the substance gingerol. It’s one of the top ingredients for natural immune system support, making ginger tea one of the best teas for a cold. It’s often paired with turmeric, another herb with a host of health benefits.

The Republic of Tea Organic Turmeric Ginger Green Tea by World Market
The Republic of Tea Organic Turmeric Ginger Green Tea $12

Licorice Tea

For a double assault on your cold, licorice root contains antimicrobial and antiviral properties that provide immune system support while easing throat soreness. Licorice tea can also help fight the effects of congestion, which is especially great if you’re experiencing a cough. Try three-licorice tea from Pukka for a mildly sweet but sugar-free cold remedy.

Pukka Three Licorice $15

Peppermint Tea

Much like licorice, peppermint is an excellent ingredient for easing coughs and helping to resolve the mucus buildup that often comes with a cold. Menthol—a natural component of peppermint—is a well established decongestant, which makes peppermint one of the best teas for a cold. Opt for an organic choice like this peppermint tea from Two Leaves and a Bud.

Two Leaves and a Bud Organic Peppermint $8

Green Tea

The health benefits of green tea have been well documented for years (thanks, Harvard), and a strong immune system is definitely something you can add to the list. In addition to treating cold symptoms once you have them, green tea can help reduce the body’s susceptibility to infections and viruses, due in large part to its antioxidant content. Double your efforts with this organic green ginger tea from Traditional Medicinals. Just be careful to avoid caffeine consumption too late in the day, since a good night’s sleep is also an important part of getting over your cold.

Traditional Medicinal Green Tea Ginger $30

Eucalyptus Tea

Some of the best teas for a cold are those that include eucalyptus. Used by aboriginal groups in Australia for centuries, eucalyptus can be used to treat colds, fevers, and respiratory illnesses. We recommend this bronchial wellness tea from Gaia Herbs, which also includes healthful doses of licorice and peppermint.

Gaia Herbs Bronchial Wellness Herbal Tea $6

Hopefully the above teas help alleviate your symptoms, but when in doubt, always check with your physician for cold relief.

Now, if getting some rest is your issue, we also know the best teas for sleep.

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