What is the best tea for a cold or cough? I like to fix myself a cup of lemon and sage tea whenever I feel the dreaded scratchiness of a sore throat or cough coming on or if I start feeling flu-ish. Try this homemade remedy that is not only healthy and soothing but it’s so tasty that you’ll actually enjoy it too.
WHY WE LOVE THIS RECIPE
- It’s quick to make. Like most teas for a cold, making lemon and sage tea is a fast kitchen affair. Allowing the mixture to steep takes the most time, but even that shouldn’t last longer than 15 minutes.
- The ingredients are easy to find. All the ingredients for this recipe should be available in your local grocery store. If you’re in the New Jersey area like me, check out Basil Bandwagon for a wide variety of organic produce and natural foods.
- It helps with congestion. Hot tea helps to clear the nose and reduce the amount of mucus coming from the nasal passages that might further irritate the throat.
- It keeps you hydrated. This recipe is caffeine-free. Not only does sipping a hot cup of hot lemon and sage tea throughout the day keep you warm, but it also ensures you stay hydrated. This ensures that your body can function properly and defend itself more effectively against the cold or flu.
You only need four ingredients to make this healing tonic:
- Sage leaves
- Fresh lemon juice
- Raw honey
- Sage leaves: Sage is a pungent, peppery herb. It has antibacterial and antispasmodic properties, which makes it an excellent choice for relieving coughs.
- Fresh lemon juice: Lemons have a high amount of vitamin C, which is known to support the body’s natural defenses.
- Raw honey: Honey has many medicinal uses. It is very soothing for the throat and also acts as a natural antibiotic. For the most health benefits, use raw honey. However, if you need a vegan alternative, try organic brown rice syrup. It’s mildly sweet with a slightly nutty flavor. Some people find that it’s reminiscent of butterscotch.
STEP 1: BOIL THE WATER
Gather the ingredients. Wash the sage leaves thoroughly. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
Remove the pot from the heat source. Add the leaves.
STEP 2: MAKE THE TEA
Cover the pot. Allow the leaves to steep for about 15 minutes, or to taste, while stirring occasionally.
If you’re using dried sage, you can use a loose leaf tea infuser or a French press to brew the tea.
Once the tea is ready, use a fine-mesh strainer to strain the mixture into a cup. Discard the used leaves.
STEP 3: ADD HONEY AND LEMON
Squeeze the juice of a fresh lemon into the cup of tea (about one teaspoonful). Add the honey or sweetener of your choice. Stir well to blend the flavors.
Finish off with a thin round of lemon and serve warm. Enjoy!
- Rub fresh sage leaves before steeping. Before adding them to hot water, tear or rub sage leaves between your palms to release the herb’s essential oils and aromatic flavor.
- Add fresh ginger. For extra health benefits, add grated or sliced raw ginger to the boiling water. Lemon, sage, and ginger tea for a cold has added healing qualities due to the root’s antiviral, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties.
- Make more than one cup at a go. To get the most out of a good tea for a cold, you might need more than a single serving. Feel free to double this recipe and drink about ½ cup every hour at the first onset of symptoms.
- Store fresh sage leaves in the fridge. If you find yourself with a surplus amount of sage leaves, remove the leaves from the stems, wrap them in damp paper towels, and place them in a resealable plastic bag. Use within four to five days.
- Don't overdo it. While sage tea is very beneficial, it can be harmful in large amounts. According to Healthline.com, sage tea is safe when consumed in normal amounts. The maximum is a few cups a day. Personally I only make it when I'm sick. I don't drink this as an every day tea.
Note: As with all of my home remedies, it’s crucial that you check with a qualified health care professional before treating yourself or your family with any new herb. I am not a trained herbalist, naturopath, or health care professional, so these recipes are offered for informational purposes only.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I’m allergic to honey. What else can I use?
You can try out agave nectar, light or dark molasses (not blackstrap), or barley malt syrup.
What is a good sage substitute?
Just like sage, cloves work as a natural expectorant. Add whole or crushed cloves to boiling water and let it steep for no more than 5 minutes. Here’s a not-so-extensive list of herbs for tea that can ease cold and cough symptoms: echinacea tea, peppermint, marshmallow root, elderberry tea, licorice root. All these make good tea for a cold.
How long will lemon and sage tea keep?
You can store it hot in a thermos for about 8 hours. You can also refrigerate unused tea and it will keep for a day or two. Just rewarm as needed. But fresh is always best.
As a final note, if you love recipes that use lemon, be sure to try our Lemon Pudding Parfaits!
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