Supporting your immune system is crucial this time of year! When it comes to seasonal challenges – you know, sneezing, coughing, and even trouble sleeping due to changes in the weather and all the icky microbes floating around at home and at work – you’re better off safe than sorry. Supporting a healthy immune system helps fight off those unwanted symptoms. And a nutritious diet – including herbal teas packed full of antioxidants – can be your secret weapon. Keep reading to learn about three herbals teas for respiratory support that may make a difference to your health.
How to Protect the Respiratory System
First, it’s important to understand the basics to protecting the respiratory system.
The respiratory tract, as it’s called, is composed of the organs and supporting parts that our bodies use to breathe properly, including the nose, throat, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and most importantly – the lungs. During seasonal changes, people with compromised immune systems due to stress, illness, age, or other factors, may be more susceptible to upper respiratory tract infections, which may trigger an inflammatory response in the body, leading to several unwelcome symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, congestion, runny nose, or a sore throat.
If you’re feeling under the weather, besides getting enough rest so your body can heal, you can also take pointers from practitioners of traditional folk medicine who have used natural, herbal-based remedies for many years to help soothe and ease these types of respiratory-related symptoms. Staying well hydrated with water, clear broth, or hot tea with honey is at the top of the list. Not only do clear liquids help loosen congestion naturally, but they also prevent dehydration.
Studies cite the importance of hydration for optimal and effective healing. And when it comes to hydration options, why not try drinking herbal teas for respiratory health support? That way, you get the best of both worlds – plenty of water and herb-based antioxidants that help protect your cells against free radical damage?
Try These 3 Herbal Teas for Respiratory Health Support
Considered a holy herb in Hebrew, the hyssop plant supports respiratory and digestive health. If you have congestion or a cough, soothe the symptoms with hyssop tea, whose antioxidants and flavonoids have been shown to help support healing and work as a natural expectorant to help break up congestion in the lungs.
To make hyssop tea, first boil water. Then pour 8 oz of boiling water over one tablespoon of dried hyssop herbs in a tea infuser or tea ball to begin brewing. Cover your mug or pot and continue steeping the tea for 10 minutes. Add lemon or local honey for taste. Drink this tea up to three times daily to support nose, throat, lung, and digestive health. Hyssop can also be found as an extract and in capsule form as a dietary supplement.
You may already be familiar with turmeric. It is the plant from which curry is derived – a popular spice in many Middle Eastern culinary dishes and medicinal remedies. The key to its natural medicinal power is curcumin, a bioactive compound from the root and rhizome of the plant, which has an antioxidant and clinically researched anti-inflammatory that promotes a healthy immune system, among other potential health benefits.
Turmeric root tea, otherwise known as Golden Milk or turmeric tonic, can be made by boiling a blend of almond or soy milk with a bit of coconut oil, a half teaspoon of turmeric powder and honey, cinnamon, cardamom, or vanilla for taste. Also add a sprinkle of black pepper to help with absorption. Simmer for two minutes and enjoy while warm. Or, you can just steep a turmeric tea bag or 1 tablespoon of turmeric loose leaf tea in hot water for up to 10 minutes.
When it comes to turmeric, studies also suggest that inhaling a diluted mixture of water and diffused turmeric volatile oil, may support respiratory tract health by relieving symptoms such as coughing and phlegm. Turmeric can also be found as a supplement form as a tablet, capsule, soft gel, extract, juice, or even in protein powder.
Meadowsweet, a fragrant herb used for centuries in honey-wine (also called mead), contains phenolic compounds that promote a healthy internal response.
Drink this herbal tea to help soothe a sore throat. To make meadowsweet tea, steep 4 teaspoons of fresh meadowsweet flowers, or 2 teaspoons of dried blooms in 250 mL of boiling water for 10 minutes. Then strain and add cinnamon, mint, lemon, or honey for added support and for taste. Meadowsweet tea leaves also taste great with chamomile, raspberry leaf, or ginger. Also try meadowsweet in a digestive support supplement blend.
What are your favorite herbal teas for respiratory health support? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below!