When the winter season hits so can the colds, sneezes, sore throats, and sniffles.  Aside from curling up on the sofa under a blanket, a hot cup of tea can do wonders on many levels.

Just drinking hot water on its own can help to alleviate nasal congestion and soothe scratchy throats.  Add to that various immune-boosting herbs and you have yourself a comforting and cold-fighting potion.  Of course, there is the fact that staying hydrated is essential in fighting a cold.

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There are many different herbs that offer relief from the various symptoms colds and the flu throw at us.  There is a herbal remedy for every symptom from headaches and sore throats, and they are herbs that are often in the cupboard or garden anyway.

When using herbs to make tea, it is worth noting that fresh herbs are not as strong as their dried herb counterparts, so you may need to use more fresh herbs than you would dried and steep them for much longer.  You can simply add your herbs to a cafeteria, or a metal tea strainer and steep them in hot water for at least five minutes.  The length of time you leave them to steep is really a matter of personal taste.

You are also free to blend certain herbs together.  Herbs like peppermint and lemon balm are great for masking bitterness or other flavors that don’t please you.

1. Chamomile

Try drinking chamomile tea if you are finding that you are having trouble spelling.  A good night’s sleep is essential in giving your body a chance to heal.  Chamomile contains an antioxidant called apigenin that is said to help promote sound sleep.

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2. Echinacea

This is a wonderful herb that has been long used as a remedy for colds and flu.  It is thought that taking echinacea at the onset of a cold can help to reduce the severity of symptoms and cut the duration of the illness.

Sipping echinacea tea can help with symptoms of sneezing and sinus issues as well as work on boosting your immune system.

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3. Peppermint

Aside from being delicious and easy to grow for yourself, peppermint tea can do wonders for you while you are under the weather. Due to the menthol in peppermint, inhaling the steam from a hot cup of peppermint tea can help with decongestion, soothe coughs, and relieve headaches.  It is also good for helping to boost your mental and physical energy and lift your mood.

4. Thyme

Thyme has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can be useful during a cold.  Thyme can also help with coughs by relaxing the bronchial muscles that are involved in coughing.  It also works as an expectorant by breaking up mucus and making it easier to cough.

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Thyme is also packed with lots of vitamins, including vitamin C, that you will need to keep your immune system boosted and working for you throughout your illness.

5. Hibiscus

Hibiscus tea is made from the flowers of the Hibiscus sabdariffa plant.  It’s a delicious tea that has a lovely sour flavor not dissimilar to cranberry.  Being high in vitamin C, hibiscus tea is a great beverage to sip on during a bout of flu or a cold.

6. Marshmallow

We aren’t talking about those sweet fluffy candy pillows here, but the root of the marshmallow plantMarshmallow root, due to its mucilaginous properties is thought to be a good remedy for treating coughs and colds.  It works by loosening mucus build-up and soothing irritated throats.

7. Stinging Nettle

Despite its name sounding terrifying, nettle tea (Urtica dioica)is actually incredibly nutritious and could really give you a helping hand during a cold. Nettle is rich in immune-boosting compounds which help to support your immune system.  Nettle has a very earthy flavor similar to spinach.

8. Ginger

It may be more of a spice than a herb, but ginger cannot be dismissed when you are feeling rotten.  Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that may help relieve cold and flu-related headaches.  Inhaling the ginger vapors from your tea will help to alleviate nasal congestion while drinking it will give your immune system a boost.

9. Cinnamon

Here is a spice that oozes comfort and warmth.  Cinnamon is one of the spices with the highest antioxidant content and is also a powerful anti-inflammatory.  It is thought to be able to soothe sore throats when sipped in tea form.  Try blending ginger and cinnamon together for a powerhouse remedy.

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Be sure to consult a medical professional before using herbal remedies and research individual herbs for allergy information.  

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