8 Best Teas for Cold and Flu

Eu Natural
May 30, 2018
Fact checked
Dr. Stephanie Nichols, ND

When you’re sick with a cold or the flu, one of the most beloved and long standing home remedies is a simple mug of hot tea. Why?

  • Teas hydrate you and help you get more liquids (of course, you need to choose herbal and decaffeinated teas for this to be the case!)
  • Teas have their own healing properties that help you feel better while you recover
  • Teas simply feel good – warm liquid helps bring comfort and relief
8 Best Teas for Cold and Flu

If you’re going to take the time to brew a cup of tea, you might as well choose a leaf that has been shown to help bring an end to your miserable symptoms. Below you are going to learn more about 8 of the best teas you can choose for a cold or flu.

1. Ginger

One of my favorite teas when I’m sick is ginger tea – and that’s true for so many reasons. It’s really soothing to a sore throat, it reduces some of the phlegm, and it calms any stomach upset that comes from post nasal drip. It’s anti-inflammatory and has plenty of antioxidants, so it doesn’t just improve symptoms; it helps you heal.

2. Peppermint

peppermint tea
closeup of fresh mint tea, surrounded by fresh mint

Peppermint is such a soothing tea, but one of its greatest benefits comes from the menthol. When you breathe in the peppermint tea steam, you can actually help decongest your airways. That same menthol can help calm a headache as well. If you are feeling any sort of stomach discomfort from your flu, peppermint may help ease that too.

3. Lemongrass

Lemongrass has a reputation for being a great treatment for the common cold, coughs, aches, and fatigue. This one isn’t always as easy to find as some of the other teas on our list. You may find it as an ingredient in a tea blend. If you’re struggling to get some at your grocery store, you can also add one drop of lemongrass essential oil (of pure, high quality labeled safe to ingest) to another tea.

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Your final option is to brew it directly from the lemongrass stalks. Here’s a video on how to do just that:

4. Green Tea

Green tea is touted as one of the healthiest “superdrinks” on the market. It’s filled with antioxidants that boost the immune system, so it should come as no surprise that it’s a great tea to sip for cold and flu. Just be sure to choose the decaffeinated green tea so it doesn’t dehydrate you as much. It won’t reduce effectiveness…it’s been shown to decrease the frequency and longevity of colds and flus.

5. White Tea

Green tea isn’t the only antioxidant rich tea choice. White tea will help support your body’s healing process too. Keep in mind: white tea has about half the amount of caffeine as black tea (less than half of coffee), but you still may want to opt for a decaffeinated option while you’re healing up.

6. Chamomile

Cups of herbal tea with camomiles close up

The nice thing about chamomile tea when you’re dealing with a cold or the flu is it’s going to help you fall asleep. When you’re dealing with all those uncomfortable symptoms getting to sleep can be really difficult, which is unfortunate since sleep is one of the best treatments available to you. A warm mug of chamomile will help soothe your stress and let you fall into a more peaceful sleep.

7. Turmeric

Turmeric is a wonderful natural anti-inflammatory ingredient, so it’s the perfect choice for strengthening your immune system and warding off your cold and flu symptoms. You can either choose an actual turmeric tea for steeping, or you can go for the popular golden milk. It may not be a literal tea, but it’s a potent, tasty, warm drink. Plus, it adds in antimicrobial coconut oil and that helpful ginger.

8. Licorice

Components of licorice root have been shown to fight viruses like HIV, hepatitis, and…influenza! Plus, it’s anti-inflammatory. That’s why you’ll often find it as one of the main ingredients in tea blends designed to help with sore throats and other cold/flu symptoms.

What About Black Tea?

Here’s the thing about black tea: it may be a great tool to help you prevent cold and flu, but it may not be the best choice to treat a cold or flu.

Harvard scientists discovered that drinking 5 cups of black tea a day can improve the immune system and better fight off viruses that lead you to miserable illness. So drinking it regularly is a great choice!

The downside to black tea is that it can be a bit dehydrating thanks to the higher caffeine content, and the goal during recovery is to pump your body full of liquids. Opt for our other 8 teas until you’re feeling better. Then you can make black tea a regular part of your life.

What You Should Add to Your Tea


Sometimes what you put into your tea is just as helpful as the tea itself. Here are some of the best tea additions you can try when you’re sick:

  • Lemon: Lemon is such a great detoxifier. It’s filled with vitamin C and helps reduce congestion.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Adding a small splash to your tea won’t taste nearly as gross as you may think, and it can help kill bacteria.
  • Raw Honey: Honey soothes a sore throat and helps calm a cough, but high-quality raw honey can also help you fight bacteria and improve your immune system.
  • Garlic: This one may not be the tastiest tea addition on the list, but adding a small amount of garlic to your tea can give your body quite the immune boosting power.
  • Essential Oils: There are many different essential oils that can be ingested (as long as you are purchasing them from a reputable, transparent brand). Other than the lemongrass, some of my favorites include Roman chamomile and peppermint.

Tea Your Way to Health

While a mug of tea may not cure you of your cold or flu, it can certainly make you feel better and even speed up the healing process. Partner your tea with other natural home remedies like herbs, a neti pot, and extra rest.



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