You may be an occasional tea drinker – add some milk and a couple of spoonfuls of sugar and you have a nice brew!
Alternatively you may reject this notion as nonsense and stick to good old fashioned coffee, but if you want to survive Christmas without a dreaded cold then it would be advisable to make a change in your drinking habits.
Here I will argue the claim for herbal teas; they will fight hard to keep you clear of a cold at the tail end of 2012. Failing this, they will at least provide you with some rare nutrients for your immune system. Iâ€™ll offer you insight into all you need to fend off the common cold, remain fit and healthy, and enjoy a new world of tastes!
Starting off with traditional green tea (on the far left in the above picture) is a great start. You donâ€™t need milk or sugar with this, and once the kettle has boiled allow the water to cool for 5 minutes. The health benefits of this drink are vast; itâ€™s also low in caffeine so you can have a few of these a day and it will boost your immune system. Itâ€™s well known for its calming effect, which will remove malaise and help you along in your day. Purchase the organic variety for maximum health benefits.
This drink dates back thousands of years and is well known for its health giving properties. Again, itâ€™s best to let your recently boiled water cool for five minutes before you add the tea bag.
Mint will help you in several ways; if you have a cold it will help clear your sinuses, but it is also wonderfully soothing and will relax you, clear your head, and ease your stomach. In this respect itâ€™s excellent for any Christmas hangovers youâ€™ll be facing.
Not only does this ancient drink taste wonderful it also has the habit of keeping you well. You can often buy cinnamon as part of a mix of other herbs, such as ginger, so you can really give your body a boost with this. Cinnamon helps lower cholesterol, regulates blood sugar levels, can help your brain along, and eases arthritis.
A South African drink, Rooibos (pronounced â€œRoy-bossâ€) is an excellent alternative to caffeine. Itâ€™s stuffed full of rare nutrients and provides a unique, sweet taste. You can purchase spiced versions which are fantastic, and you can also add a dollop of honey to your drink for an additional boost. The drink is also excellent for a post-exercise pick me up as it helps your muscles repair after a workout.
Another ancient herbal remedy which is very good for digestion, malaise, your immune system, and it helps reduce pain and inflammation. Itâ€™s particularly good for fighting off colds and flu so, as with tea, keep a ready stock of it available. It also helps cleanse the palette, which is why the Japanese eat the pickled version between bites of sushi and sashimi.
You might baulk at the idea of drinking a plant with an attitude problem, but nettle is a natural cleanser. It helps purify your system and is particularly useful for the liver, brain, and kidneys. Admittedly itâ€™s not the best tasting of herbal teas, but you can buy a Nettle and Mint variety which adds a delightful zest to proceedings.
Much like nettle, dandelion tea has a purifying nature your body will love â€“ it will cleanse your kidneys and liver. The taste is somewhat like coffee, so this makes for a decent (and much healthier) alternative. I should state coffee isnâ€™t entirely unhealthy, but it certainly wonâ€™t help your through the winter season the way this selection will. If you must drink Coffee, limit you intake to one or two cups a day, and drink good quality beans!
With its unique taste and calming effects, Jasmine is an often forgotten tea. It helps to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, so drink up if you’ve been eating too much fast food recently. It’s also one of the best tasting teas I’ve ever come across, so make it a staple in your kitchen cabinet.
Keep a look out for “Detox” teas, many of which usually offer a selection of herbs you wouldn’t normally include in your diet. Chicory root, aniseed, fenne, cardomom seed, dandelion root, liqourice root and many others often find their way into these tea bags. They all help to cleanse your system and give your body a fresh start; perhaps ideal for the post-Christmas celebrations.
Night Time Tea
Chomomile is well known as a relexant; this wonderful and tasty herb is excellent for an evening cool down. Drink it a few hours before bed for maximum effect, in a small cup with little water. Other good “night time” teas include oat flower, valerian root, limeflower and lavender. They are all very soothing and, unlike the spurious relaxing ability of alcohol, will help you to have a proper nights sleep.
And finally, if the dreaded cold does arrive and itâ€™s all out warâ€¦
Pomegranate, Honey and Lemon
This one is, whilst being very tasty, a major assault on your cold! Itâ€™s a large amount of Vitamin C, amongst many other vital nutrients, and it will boost your immune system enormously. One or two of these a day and youâ€™ll soon be feeling back to normal again. As always, go for organic when possible (including with the honey and lemon) as this cuts out superfluous pesticides. A couple of spoonfuls of honey, and a slice of lemon cut up and added to the boiling water, along with the pomegranate tea bag, is the right step towards good health.