When you’re feeling under the weather, one of the best remedies is a warm cup of tea. Not only does it help you relax and unwind, but it can also help alleviate symptoms such as a sore throat. Here are the best teas for soothing a sore throat:
Chamomile tea is a popular choice when it comes to soothing sore throats. With antibacterial properties that fight off infections and a calming effect that eases pain, chamomile tea is also known to coat the throat and increase lubrication, which decreases pain. It is naturally caffeine-free and can be enjoyed throughout the day. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile tea can help to soothe sore throat pain and redness, making it the perfect nighttime tea.
To brew chamomile tea, use two tablespoons of dried chamomile flowers for every eight ounces of water. Steep in boiling water for five to ten minutes depending on desired flavor. The longer the tea steeps, the stronger the flavor will be. Add a dash of raw honey to further soothe throat inflammation or if you have a bad case of strep throat.
Licorice Root Tea
Licorice root tea is an herbal tea that is made by steeping the root of the licorice plant in boiling water. Licorice tea can help eliminate symptoms of the cold and flu by targeting the viruses and bacteria that cause the illness. With more than 300 flavonoids that boost overall health, researchers have found that licorice tea boasts anti-inflammatory properties and antibacterial powers that help to induce death of viral cells.
To brew licorice root tea, bring water to a boil and add in two teaspoons of dried licorice root tea for every eight ounces of water. Steep for five minutes before serving in a teacup. Add a dash of lemon juice to boost vitamin C content and increase immunity. Licorice root tea can also be used as a warm salt water gargle, just allow the tea concentrate to cool slightly and gargle for 30 seconds.
Green tea is well known for its extensive health benefits. It is packed with healthy antioxidants that can boost immunity and help you defeat a cold faster. One of these antioxidants is known as EGCG, which has antiviral activities on diseases including influenza A and adenovirus, which cause cold-like symptoms such as a sore throat and bronchitis.
A study published in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine found that green tea helped soothe sore throat pain associated with tracheal intubation. The green tea was used as a gargle and showed significant effects 12 to 24 hours after intubation.
To brew green tea, use water between 160 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Steep for one to three minutes for the best flavor. To gargle with green tea, brew with hot water, not warm water. Allow the tea to cool for a minute or two before gargling for 30 seconds to one minute.
Slippery Elm Tea
Slippery elm tea has been used as a natural remedy for centuries due to its medicinal properties. The inner bark of the slippery elm tree is infused in hot water to make this tea. Slippery elm bark tea contains mucilage and tannins. Mucilage is a sticky substance made up of various carbohydrates that coat the mucous membranes, easing throat pain and coughing episodes. Tannins have anti-inflammatory effects that help reduce throat irritation and boost the immune system by stimulating cytokine production.
To brew slippery elm tea, bring water to a rapid boil and pour it into a teacup. Add two tablespoons of powdered slippery elm tea bark and steep for three to five minutes. You can sweeten the tea with honey or maple syrup if desired.
Marshmallow Root Tea
Marshmallow root tea is made using the herb native to Europe and Africa. Like slippery elm tea, it contains mucilage, which coats the mucous membranes and offers throat pain relief. Research also suggests that marshmallow root tea may alleviate cough, a common symptom that can worsen sore throat pain.
To brew marshmallow root tea, use one teaspoon of marshmallow root for every eight ounces of water. Bring the water to a rapid boil, add the marshmallow root, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain the root from the tea concentrate and enjoy with a dash of agave.
Ginger Root Tea
Ginger is a well-known herb used in traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger tea contains gingerol and shogaol, compounds that have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. These compounds help fight off infections by targeting the bacteria and viruses that cause sore throat symptoms. A study published in the Indian Journal of Dental Research found that ginger is effective in treating diseases caused by Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans.
To brew ginger root tea, use fresh ginger or dried ginger instead of tea bags. Tea bags may contain fillers and may not contain all the healthy compounds of the ginger root. Start with a one-inch piece of fresh ginger or one teaspoon of dried ginger. Add it to boiling water and steep for about ten minutes. Drink with a dash of honey, a slice of lemon, and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to enhance the throat soothing properties.
Turmeric is a member of the same plant family as ginger, and turmeric tea shares similar health benefits with ginger tea when it comes to fighting cold symptoms. This vibrant yellow tea is usually made using the whole or ground root of the turmeric plant. However, due to its intense color, be cautious as it can stain clothes and surfaces.
Studies have shown that turmeric has both antibacterial and antiviral properties, which help to treat the root cause of a sore throat. Additionally, it can enhance the effectiveness of certain antimicrobial medications by promoting synergism.
How to Brew: For every eight ounces of hot water, use one-inch of fresh turmeric root or one teaspoon of turmeric powder. Simmer the mixture in a pot for 20 minutes and strain out the root. Serve with a dash of honey.
Similar to green tea, black tea is rich in antioxidants and tannins that help boost immune health and assist your body in fighting off infections faster. According to a study, drinking five cups of tea per day boosted the production of T cells by tenfold, which is a powerful immune response to pathogens and infections. Essentially, black tea works by strengthening the body’s natural defenses, enabling you to overcome cold symptoms like a sore throat more quickly.
How to Brew: Brew black tea using boiling water between 200 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Steep for one to three minutes. You can also choose a flavored black tea like Earl Grey, which contains bergamot orange and a touch of immune-boosting vitamin C.