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Herbal Teas for Immunity

January 04, 2018

Herbal teas are a gentle but effective choice for strengthening the immune system.

Almost anyone can benefit from the therapeutic flushing activity of an herbal tea.

In fact, teas are highly recommended for special groups of people like children, the elderly, or people recovering from illness where other supplements or herbal preparations may be too strong.

Here are five tea recipes to improve immune defenses, how they work, and how to use them for the best results.

How to formulate a tea blend:

Like other traditional herbalists, I develop tea formulas with “parts.” How big your part is will depend on how much tea you’re planning to make.

I personally start with small batches, prepare just a few cups and customize the blends for the best flavor.

For small batches, I use about 2 tbsp. of dried herbs to blend for my “parts.”

How to make a cup of herbal tea:

Mild tea blend: Use 1- 2 tsp. of dried herbs per 8 oz. of water. Steep for 10-15 minutes. Kids ages 4 and up can enjoy dilute tea blends!

Strong infusion blend: 1-2 tbsp. of dried herbs per 8 oz. of water. Steep for 30-60 minutes. Infusions are often bitter, especially if you use strong herbs or roots and barks.

Tea Recipes for Improved Immunity

1. Cold/Flu Tea Tonic

This tea is an antiviral blend for colds and flu. It also helps relieve congestion if you’re feeling stuffed up. Drink 2-3 cups of this tea daily if you’re feeling unwell.

2 parts Echinacea root (Echinacea angustifolia)
1 part Astragalus root (Astragalus membranaceus)
1/2 part Lemongrass leaf (Lemon Verbena)
1/4 part Ginger root (Zingiber officinale)
1-2 pinches of Turmeric root powder (Curcuma longa) per cup

Sweeten as desired with a little stevia, agave syrup, or raw honey.

2. Liver/Lymph Cleansing Tea Blend

The health of your lymphatic system and liver are critical for strong immune defenses.

The liver is responsible for more than 1500 functions that directly maintain your immune system.

The liver also produces the majority of lymph, which creates white blood cells and antibodies for illness protection.

Drink this cleansing tea 3-4 times a week to help prevent colds and flu, and keep your immune system strong during high risk seasons.

2 parts roasted Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale)
1 part Burdock root (Arctium lappa)
1 part Bancha Green Tea leaf (Camellia sinensis)
¼ part Hibiscus petals (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
¼ part Rose Hips (Rosa spp.)

Sweeten as desired with a little stevia, agave syrup, or raw honey.

3. Cooling Tea for Fevers

An anti-viral, diaphoretic (sweat inducing) herbal tea is an excellent tool to help cool down a fever, especially for kids who are sick. Drink 1-2 cups daily for support for mild colds or flu, and fever.

Note: Seek medical attention for a fever that persists for over 3 days or seems unusually high (over 102).

2 parts Elder berry (Sambucus nigra)
1/2 part Spearrmint leaf (Mentha spicata)
1/2 part Peppermint leaf (Mentha piperata)
1/4 part Boneset herb (Eupatorium perfoliatum)
Add 1 pinch of Cayenne (Capsicum annuum) per cup if you don’t mind spicy.

Sweeten as desired with a little stevia, agave syrup, or raw honey.

4. Allergy Relief Tea

Chronic allergies tax the immune system through constant overstimulation.

Neutralize your allergies to keep your immune system strong and vital during high risk seasons.

An allergy relief tea can also relieve annoying cold symptoms like post nasal drip, runny nose, or itchy eyes.

2 parts Nettles leaf (Urtica doica)
1 part Dandelion leaf (Taraxacum officinale)
1 part Echinacea root (Echinacea angustifolia)
Bee pollen granules- ¼ tsp. per cup (Not if allergic to bees)

5. Stress Less Immune Tea

High stress depresses immune response and increases your risk of colds and flu.

Keep stress in check, improve sleep and give your immune system a boost with this calming tonic tea. Drink 1- 2 cups in the evening for the best results.

2 parts Chamomile flowers (Matricaria recutita)
1 part Eleuthero root (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
1 part Spearmint leaf (Mentha spicata)
1/2 part Catnip leaf (Nepeta cataria)
½ part Skullcap root (Sculletaria lateriflora)

Sweeten as desired with a little stevia, agave syrup, or raw honey.

Experiment With Your Favorite Herbs in Teas

If you’re not used to them, it may take time to become accustomed to the flavor of therapeutic herbal teas.

Start with diluted teas and sweeten them lightly with the natural sweetener of your choice.

You can create stronger infusions as you become more used to the grassy, rich flavors of the flowers, leaves, roots, and barks of your favorite healing plants.

References:

Page, L. & Abernathy, S. (2011). Healthy Healing 14th Edition.