THE BLOG
11/28/2011 05:59 pm ET Updated Jan 28, 2012

Herbal Teas for the Common Cold

Judging by the amount of coughs and tissue boxes floating around the office, it's that time again. The cold season is here. And with the cold virus passing from person to person it's only a matter of time before the epidemic really hits home, and before you know it you are up at 2 a.m. struggling to find cold medication to relieve the symptoms. While cold medication is the obvious choice when treating the common cold, herbal tea is another healthy alternate.

Last week I was fortunate enough to come down with my first cold of the season. Ugh! As I rushed to the drug store to purchase cold medication the memories of previous years began to enthrall me. Somehow I never seem to react properly to some cold medications, either I wake up looking like the bride of Frankenstein with a major headache, or my symptoms linger and I'm stuck with common cold symptoms for a duration of two weeks. Needless to say I slowly backed away from the cold aisle and began to explore other forms of cold treatments.

That same day I managed to come across a section of herbal tea in the grocery store. Right away I was taken with the variety of tea treatments for the common cold. It was as if I had just hit the jackpot. I purchased four different types of herbal tea in hopes of getting rid of my symptoms.

Here's what I did:

For my sore throat I used Traditional Medicinals' Organic Throat Coat Tea and mixed it with a dash of honey and lemon. Yum! I let the tea brew for about 15 minutes, and then I began to sip. I drank this once in the morning and the effects would last the entire day. What I love most about this tea is that my throat doesn't feel numb after taking it. In addition, it temporarily gets rid of the hoarseness and pain you may be experiencing in your throat. This is lifesaver if you have to do a ton of communicating at work. The taste of the tea maybe not that great but it will definitely grow on you, especially if you decide to mix it up with a little tea and honey.

My next tea was the Traditional Medicinals' Organic Echinacea Plus. Love this! I didn't mix anything with this one the first time (if you're not a fan of the taste, sugar mixes really well with Echinacea). I brewed for 15 minutes and then began to sip. I drank one in the morning and then another at night for about a week. The color and taste of the Echinacea maybe be a little discerning, but overall the tea really helped to give my immune system a boost. I was impressed. My cold didn't last quite as long. A major plus!

Third up isLipton's Green Tea which also happens to be one of my favorites. I often use green tea as a healthy alternate to coffee, but it also works as a great aid against common cold symptoms. This was another great immune system booster.

Last but not least is the Traditional Medicinals' Breathe Easy Tea. I used this to help clear my chest. Once again I brewed for 15 minutes and was good to go. I drank this tea once at night and it really helped with my breathing at night. It lessened the congestion, cleared the airways in my chest, and best of all it prevented me from coughing throughout the night which enabled me to rest.

Now with anything herbal you still need to be careful of the ingredients, so be sure to speak with your doctor and check the directions written on the box in order to familiarize yourself with possible side effects that may result from daily medications, health conditions, or allergies. With that being said, I really liked the results I received from using the herbal teas, no zombie like feelings or numbness whatsoever. Best of all it really helped to lessen the duration of my cold.

You learn something new every day and tea is no exception.