How a cuppa can solve your winter ailments
It seems as though the second the weather turns, your body falls prey to illness after illness. Whether it’s cold, flu, sore throats or even digestion problems from all the rich food, the winter is often punctuated by bouts of sickness.
Luckily, it’s possible to protect yourself from many of these illnesses simply by having a good old cup of tea. Tea has been used medicinally for hundreds of years and it’s a staple of many people’s everyday lives. Research has proven that by drinking certain teas it is possible to prevent or ease the symptoms of many common winter ailments.
Here’s a look at some of the most common seasonal illnesses and which teas you can enjoy to get rid of them.
Combating colds with chamomile
In 2005, researchers from Imperial College London found that chamomile tea (German) could help to relieve colds.
Participants in the study (seven men and seven women) each drank five cups of the tea daily for two consecutive weeks. During the investigation, urine samples were taken before and after drinking tea.
It was observed that after consuming the tea urinary levels of hippurate increased, which is a sign of antibacterial activity being at work.
Levels remained elevated for up to two weeks after participants stopped drinking tea, suggesting the extent of the protective effects chamomile tea offers.
Soothing sore throats with licorice root
When sore throats strike, licorice root tea is the perfect treatment. Not only is it delicious but its anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties help to lessen symptoms by reducing swelling. It’s also thought that it is capable of soothing the mucus membrane in the throat.
Research has also shown that licorice root can help to ensure tooth and gum health, so there’s no harm in having a protective licorice tea every couple of days.
Fighting flu with black tea
Winter is flu season and because it can be fatal, it’s important to protect yourself against it. Researchers at Harvard University have previously suggested that drinking five cups up black tea a day can quadruple the body’s immune defences after just two weeks. This is because it contains theanine and catechins.
Perfect digestion with peppermint
During the winter the body naturally wants warm, comforting and – let’s face it – rich foods. However, this isn’t good for us and we’re likely to find that our digestive systems suffer. To keep things in good working order, there’s nothing quite as effective as peppermint tea. It is a relaxant and antispasmodic, helping to prevent bloating and gas. While this doesn’t mean you can eat what you want as long as you have tea on hand, it does give you permission to indulge now and again.
Get over chest infections with ginger
Quite often when you contract cold or flu, you’re left with a chest infection or congestion. This can be incredibly painful and might linger on for longer than your initial illness. Ginger tea can help to reduce symptoms by lessening inflammation. It’s a great antibacterial and it will also help to perk you up, which is important when you’re feeling low.
Helping muscles with hyssop
Hyssop tea isn’t particularly well known but if the cold weather is causing you to experience aches and pains it can help to offer relief. It works as an anti-inflammatory and will ease muscle and joint pain. However, if you can’t get your hands on it, chamomile tea works just as well.