Winter brings with it those delightful things, like Christmas, scarves, snowmen, dark nights, icy mornings, and seasonal illnesses – oh wait, that’s not delightful at all. If like me you have succumbed to the winter sniffles, or any other seasonal maladies, there’s a tea for what ails you. Tea has been used as a medicinal drink for centuries as well as a tasty beverage, and is still effective today for all sorts of lurgies.
Ginger & lemon tea for colds and coughs
Unless you live in an anti-microbial bubble, you will most likely catch a cold during the colder months. A combination of freezing temperatures making us huddle indoors and the lack of humidity helping nasty cold germs to travel further means that colds and coughs will be ubiquitous in the winter time. A soothing herbal blend featuring lemon and ginger will help to keep symptoms under control, with its natural anti-inflammatory properties and warming effects to ease sore throats and congestion. Ginger has an active ingredient called zingiber, and lemon contains the immune-boosting compounds pectin and limonene. This epic duo makes ginger & lemon tea an effective weapon against bacterial infections.
Peppermint tea for the inevitable Christmas food coma
“The meal isn’t over when I’m full. The meal is over when I hate myself.” – Louis C.K.
I think we’ve all been there – after devouring your own body weight in turkey, mashed potatoes, pigs in blankets, gravy, and who knows what else, and then to finish it off with a Christmas pudding, one of the most dense materials known to man outside of a neutron star, you might be feeling unpleasantly full. A cup of peppermint tea after dinner can act as a digestif, or digestive aid, and can help to ease bloating and queasiness. Maybe you will manage that wafer-thin mint after all.
Milk Thistle tea for hangovers
Okay, so you got into the spirit of things rather enthusiastically last night – just too damn festive, that’s what you are. The party season comes with its downsides as well, and to avoid the risk of being labelled a scrooge, we won’t suggest you go teetotal – we aren’t complete monsters, after all. After a night on the eggnog, a nice cup of milk thistle tea can help to protect the body against the ravages of alcohol, and is thought to have liver-boosting properties. A few cups of tea will also help to settle your stomach and will rehydrate you so you can feel somewhat human again.
Masala Chai to warm you up
When you’ve been out and about shopping for presents, visiting friends or going for a bracing walk, the biting cold feels like it’s settled in to your very bones and it can feel like you’ll never get warm again. Here’s where the Indian brew of masala chai, (or simply just chai as it’s known here in England) steps in. A rich, flavoursome black tea that is flavoured with warming ingredients ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, clove and black pepper can help you get toasty from the inside out. This delicious tea is traditionally served with warm milk and sugar or honey to bring out the natural sweetness.