If you’re wondering how to make tea at home, know that it couldn’t be any simpler. Here are two tea recipes that taste great AND help ward off illness.
Ginger Tea: For “wind cold”
The ginger tea is perfect for early onset of chills, body aches, and scratchy throat-when you just want to climb under the covers! Make this tea first and bring it with you under those covers! Ginger is excellent at expelling wind and cold from the body. It also helps warm the lungs and reduce phlegm.
To make it, cut a few slices of raw ginger root (available right in the produce section of any grocery store). Place in a pot with water, bring to a boil, and then simmer for at least 30 minutes. Because ginger is a root, it needs the long simmering time for its properties and essential oils to leach into the broth and create an effective tea.
Once you have made it, you can keep it in your fridge and warm up a cup whenever you need it. When I’m feeling worn down, have the sniffles or some phlegm I love to drink warm ginger tea with a little fresh lemon and a spoon of honey. And truly, strong ginger tea at the very early signs of a cold can often help your body kick it out and prevent you from getting sicker.
Mint Tea: For “wind heat”
The mint tea is perfect for what we call a “wind heat” condition in Chinese Medicine. This is when you feel more feverish, warm, and have a sore throat. Mint is cooling and helps expel heat from the throat, eyes, and head. It can also help expel heat rashes.
You can use fresh or dried mint for this tea. I carry dried mint in the office and it is also a part of the Cold and Flu Season kits we have for sale this time of year. If you have some fresh mint left from your own garden, by all means use that! You can also usually purchase fresh mint in the produce section of the grocery store.
Whether you are using fresh or dried, it is important not to steep mint too long. It is a leaf and it is delicate and aromatic. You want to put a spoonful of mint/1-2 cups of water in a pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer 5 minutes. You can drink this hot and you can also drink the leftovers cold, if that appeals to you. Again, you can add honey to this tea for a sore throat. This is so effective for very early signs of a sore throat and great for kids as well (the honey helps the taste).