We can get pretty serious around here rather often: thyroid disease, autoimmune disorders, cancer, you name it. There’s a reason for that, obviously. They are serious conditions that demand our respect and attention and require serious commitment and action. However, as practitioners of healing, we must not neglect to address those “lesser” ailments that plague us all from time to time, those annoying and uncomfortable maladies over which you would likely never consider visiting a doctor but nevertheless diminish your quality of life.
I’m talking about colds, stomachaches, headaches, allergies, trouble sleeping, etc. Sometimes these are signs of deeper problems. Sometimes they aren’t. Nevertheless, let’s do them a bit of justice and talk about one overall approach to making everyday life a bit more livable: tea.
Below are some great teas for what ails you. It’s usually a delightful experience drinking them as well. So enjoy!
- Cold, flu and viral infections. Ginger tea. Not only does a nice ginger tea give you that pleasant, spicy, burning sensation in your throat, it’s a great anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antioxidant painkiller. Goldenseal tea, though a bit bitter, is also known to help with any sort of viral infection. Just add a bit of honey to help with the taste. Cloves are a know anti-bacterial as well. You can make a tea out of them, or add them to any other existing tea for a fortifying and flavorful kick.
- Bacterial infections. Don’t be too quick to rush out and get a prescription for antibiotics. There are a several teas worth trying first. Echinacea has a pleasant aroma and a lovely flavor and is known to increase the chemical properdin, a catalyst for increasing the body’s natural defense mechanisms. Garlic tea is also good for bacterial infections, as is sage tea, cinnamon tea, rosemary tea, chamomile tea and lemongrass tea.
- Inflammation. If your sinuses are bothering you, or your lymph nodes are swollen, try a turmeric tea. It’s also known to shrink tumors when combined with black pepper (I know we said we were going to keep it light, but turmeric is just too amazing). Lemongrass tea is also great for inflammation, as is chamomile and clove tea.
- Headaches. Ginger tea is a natural painkiller, but the real powerhouse against headaches is peppermint tea. It also happens to be delicious. Rosemary tea helps to dilate the blood vessels, which is often a root cause of headaches.
- Upset stomach. Both chamomile and peppermint tea are very helpful for an upset stomach. Chamomile’s natural oils have been shown to relax the muscles that control your stomach movements. And menthol—the active ingredient in peppermint—has long been used as a digestive aid. Ginger tea is great for relieving nausea, and cinnamon tea can stop vomiting in its tracks.
- Coughing and sore throat. Thyme tea will help relax your bronchial passageways, reduce spasms and ultimately help give your chest and throat more time to heal when you’ve had a bad cough or cold, as well as relieve you from these symptoms and enable you to rest.
- Fever. A good peppermint tea (not spearmint) will aid in bringing down a fever. It helps to induce sweating, which cools down the body. Catnip tea can be quite helpful as well (don’t worry, it won’t have the same effect on your toddler as on your cat). Yarrow, bee balm and thyme teas are also known to help with fever.
- Fungal infection. Several popular teas are good for fighting a fungus attack, including garlic tea, cinnamon tea, goldenseal tea, chamomile, lemongrass, turmeric and rosemary.
- Sleeplessness. It may seem like I’m going on and on about chamomile, but it’s quite helpful for when you can’t sleep as well. Passionflower tea is also fantastic for when counting sheep doesn’t work any more. And if you can get past what many consider to be an unpleasant odor, valerian tea promotes deeper, more restful sleep.
- Tension, stress and anxiety. We all have it sometimes. Lemon balm tea is known for its calming, soothing properties that not only help you sleep, but calm your nerves. Rosemary tea will help get rid of the headaches that come with stress as well. Lastly, there might be a tea-related reason British people are so often considered calm, cool and collected. Studies have shown that people who consume quite a bit of black tea are more likely to calm down more quickly in stressful situations.
There’s a reason tea has been a staple of natural treatment for as long as humanity has been keeping records (and probably longer). It works. It’s safe and it’s often delicious—much more pleasant than your average over-the-counter cough syrup, that’s for sure.
IF you’ve got your own herbal remedies to share, please leave us a comment. We’d love to hear from you!