Does herbal tea boost my immune system? Featuring 2 Herbal Tea Recipes
Are you looking for teas that boost immune system because COVID outbreak made you feel conscious about it?
Or, maybe you are interested in herbal medicine but don’t know where to start?
Sometimes, herbal remedies may look suspicious or not as effective as western medicine.
It may be true for some herbs if they’re not backed by science.
In this article, we will explore if herbal tea can actually boost your immune system, if so, what teas may work for you!
Ready to take a look?
Yes! Let’s do this!
What are signs of a weak immune system?
If you are interested to drink immune boosting teas, you may be interested to know if your immune system is weakened right now or not.
According to Pen Medicine, there are 6 ways to assess your immune system level.
- Your stress level is sky-high
- You always have a cold
- You have a lot of tummy problems
- Your wounds are so slow to heal
- You have frequent infections
- You feel tired all the time
Do any of these apply to you?
Let me explain why high stress level and constant tiredness can be the sign of weakened immune system.
Have you heard of white blood cells?
The cells helps you fight off infection and when you are stressed, it lowers your white blood cell levels in your body unfortunately. This may be the reason why you get sick in the midst of a big project or chaos at your home.
How about feeling tired all the time?
A research paper published on national library of medicine explains when your energy level is low, it may be a sign that your body is trying to retain energy to protect your body from sickness.
So how can you get out of these situations and regain healthy immune system?
Well, there are many ways you can boost your immune system.
- Eat a whole-food based, balanced diet
- Aim optimal sleep
- Manage stress with holistic self care
- Get active minimum 30 minutes a day
- Supplement with immune boosting tea
Drinking immune boosting herbal teas solely might not improve your immune system drastically, but it will be more effective if you can combine with other healthy daily routines.
Ready to incorporate some herbal teas into your daily diet and prepare for flu season?
Let’s do this!
How Tea May Support Your Immune Health
Did you know that tea drinking culture started 5000 years ago in China by the second emperor, Shen Nung?
Since then, tea has been used for its health benefits, especially in Asian countries.
So, here is the question. Does tea actually support your immune system?
The answer is YES, according to a research paper published on National Library of Medicine.
They say that polyphenols found in tea act as antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory. Especially green teas have been reported to lower cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Further clinical research is required, but studies show that most herbal teas can promote health and prevent some chronic diseases with their medicinal properties. The thing is, not all tea is created equal.
So let’s take a look at immune boosting teas together!
What teas boost immune system?
1. Green teas
Green tea may be the most popular herbal tea amongst other teas I’ll show you today.
Did you know that there are many scientific papers explaining the great benefits of green tea as herbal medicine?
This scientific paper published on National Library of Medicine explains that green tea has health benefits for people with certain types of cancer, heart disease, liver disease, and type ll diabetes.
So what is it in green tea so magical?
Well, a plant-based compound called catechin (it’s called ECGG) plays an important role. Catechins act as potent antioxidants which help protect your body from damage caused by free radicals.
What are free radicals?
Essentially, free radicals are particles that form within your body. If the level of free radicals gets too high, they can damage cells.
Eating foods and drinking tea high in antioxidants helps limit the damage caused by free radicals.
In North America, I often see people confused about the difference between matcha and green tea. But they are very different beverages in many ways.
Most basically, green tea is made using the dried leaves of the tea plant, which is then steeped in hot water to release the flavour and nutrients.
The result is a clear, light drink with relatively low levels of caffeine – usually around 35mg.
So what is matcya?
Matcha, on the other hand, is made using steamed and ground tea leaf powder mixed directly with hot water.
As a result of this process, matcha has a stronger flavour, brighter appearance, and higher caffeine content (around 85mg, comparable to a cup of coffee)!
Nutritionally, matcha also offers superior health benefits.
Since the tea leaves used to make matcha are steamed before they dry, the process of oxidation stops, maintaining the integrity of the natural antioxidants present in the fresh leaves.
In green tea, the dry leaves have already oxidized, turning into the recognizable pale brown colour we are familiar with, and reducing the amount of naturally-occurring antioxidants and health benefits available in the final drink.
If you are interested in learning how to pick quality matcha, check out this article!
2. Turmeric tea
Did you know that drinking turmeric tea is a great way to add antioxidants to your diet?
The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has excellent anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties.
This ingredient is also what gives turmeric its trademark yellow colour.
Interestingly, curcumin has low bioavailability, which means that it is difficult for the body to absorb properly. For this reason, turmeric supplements are popular.
I love making ginger and turmeric tea together because of the complementary anti-inflammatory benefits of both ingredients and the great taste of the flavour mixture.
Take a look at my recipe to make your own fresh anti-inflammatory tea!
3. Ginger tea
Drinking ginger tea is a super easy way to take care of your gut health.
Ingesting ginger has shown to improve digestion issues like nausea, bloating and gas, and the wear and tear caused by free radicals that I mentioned earlier.
Ginger contains gingerol, a natural compound which encourages efficient digestion and reduces the time that foods spends in your stomach before moving on to the next stage of digestion.
To make ginger tea, simply buy some fresh ginger root, wash and trim the edges, cut into thin slices, and steep in hot water.
Add honey, lemon, or lime to your liking and enjoy the great taste and natural benefits of ginger without buying an expensive designer ginger drink from your local upscale tea shop!
Have you tried echinacea taking echinacea?
Studies suggest that echinacea contains active substances that boost immune function, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and have hormonal, antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Using echinacea, drinking tea has been used to treat urinary tract infections and ear infections among many other things. I suggest taking it during cold and flu season.
There is still a debate on whether it is an effective treatment for the common cold or not.
However, studies have shown either improvement in cold symptoms or no improvement at all. So, it’s safe to give it a try, just don’t expect it to be a magic potion.
5. Hibiscus Teas
Hibiscus teas offer a huge range of health benefits:
- Protects the body with antioxidants
- FIghts inflammation
- Lowers blood pressure
- Lowers cholesterol
- Promotes weight loss
- Fights bacteria
- Supports liver health
When it comes to hibiscus, there are also supplemental options, but hibiscus tea is the cheapest and most readily available form.
The great flavour of hibiscus has also inspired people to experiment with jams, jellies, syrups, and more made from hibiscus.
Hibiscus tea is a great way to add more variety to your antioxidant supplements, support your immune system, and reduce the impact of free radicals.
It can also be combined with other tea ingredients to create an extra nutrient rich tea.