Steeping the Sniffles: 5 Teas to Fight a Cold
Has anyone else noticed the obscene amount of rain that has been occurring this summer?
Maybe it’s a Northeast Coast thing. I’m in New York City, where the theme of this season seems to be, “Humidity: The Musical.” It’s as if as soon as the clouds start gathering up their share of sweltering heat, then we’re immediately due for a storm. (Not very awesome during a torrential downpour, when your local Dungeons and Dragons group meets over forty blocks away from your humble living space and you, dear genius, forgot your umbrella because the gigantic handbook takes up most of the space in your backpack.)
But regardless of where you’re residing, if you’re running into rainfall, then you know what’s coming next:
Sniffles are the sad baby cousin of a full-blown cold, and usually come after being caught in the embrace of an unexpected shower.
In previous years, I would save my arsenal of sniffles teas for the autumn, when folks are getting back to school or other close-quarters living situations, and immune systems are recalibrating themselves for new invaders.
This year, however, the post-rain sniffles are hitting extra early, so why not be proactive about defensive measures?
Here are a few anti-sniffle blends that should be sure to knock them out in a few sips:
Composed of arabica tea leaves, cinnamon, lemongrass, ginger, cardamom, cloves, red peppercorn- what’s not to love in this blend?
If you’re the kind of person who normally shies away from any menu items that have a cautionary chili pepper next to them, this is where I’m going to encourage you to abandon any fear of peppercorn as you pour yourself a cup of this spicy, spicy concoction. Peppercorn contains piperine, a highly-studied compound that has immense health benefits and can even help with chronic illness. Get some of that in you, pronto!
Made of apple pieces, lemongrass, orange peel, blue cornflowers, lavender, and natural flavors, this sweet thing has the power to tame the sniffliest dragon.
Lavender has been used historically to soothe the senses, and is proven by modern medicine to effectively calm the nervous system. You’ll get some great naps out of this, and sleep is the most underrated tool to fight illness.
It’s the Return of the Peppercorn! Blended with ginger, green rooibos tea, natural flavors, red and black peppercorn, orange, marigold flowers, and strawberries, you can be sure that it takes no prisoners if there’s anything awry in your immunity.
The heat of the ginger really punches up the power of the pepper, which is great because ginger is also an incredible anti-inflammatory. Red noses from excessive sniffling, begone!
Goodness, did I forget to include a caffeinated option? Well, this should certainly do the trick for you in the morning. With Yerba mate tea, orange, marigold, and natural flavors, this blend is a sensational punch of vitamin C from its citrus component. Vitamin C is crucial for a healthy immune system (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707683/), and you definitely want that on your side when doing battle against airborne bugs.
I got super excited for a moment there, but then quickly realized that this is a different kind of Serenity than the one that belongs to Joss Whedon… Anyway! This blend is truly serene, made of apple pieces, rose hips, natural flavor, pineapple, peach, chamomile flowers, and lemon verbena. The final ingredient possesses similar qualities to lavender in its calming nature as it soothes cranky nerves and protects against inflammation.
Given all the different options you now have to fight the oncoming sniffs, you also want to make sure that you have the best equipment to use each of them to their best advantage. For such purposes, I always recommend the VarieTEA kettle for accurate temperatures when brewing, especially if you’re ever unsure how how hot the water should be before you steep a cup.
And if you’re feeling a little blue from being stuck inside in all this rain, then try treating yourself to some uplifting teaware like this Midori Matcha Bowl— it’s the perfect shade of happy blue to undo any sad blue that might come your way!
NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach, Founder of Work Life Fitness