Homemade flu-fighting tea recipe

Forget about the store-bought solutions. Everything you need to fight and prevent the flu is already sitting in your kitchen.

Tara Miller's immune boosting, flu fighting tea (Photo Tara Miller).

Tara Miller’s immune boosting, flu fighting tea (Photo Tara Miller).

It’s flu season, again. And while everyone stocks up on cold and flu medication I keep reminding myself, “It’s not the germ, it’s the terrain”.

This saying, which I learned from a former professor, is one I repeat to all of my clients, friends and family. It means that by building a healthy body and immune system, germs will not be able to survive and make us sick. Being preventative creates an environment that germs don’t want to live in.

This means eating lots of fruits and vegetables, cutting back on processed foods and sugar, making time for exercise and getting enough sleep.

However, life doesn’t always go as planned and we sometimes do end up getting sick. Whether you’re just beginning to feel a scratch in your throat, or are in full-blown flu mode, this year try sipping on my homemade, immune-boosting, flu-fighting tea that kills bacteria, loosens mucous, relieves pain and allows you to naturally fight back. Here’s how:

1. Lemon
With natural antibacterial properties, high levels of vitamin C and the natural ability to support and detoxify your liver, lemon acts a strong defense against germs. As disease thrives in an acidic environment, it’s alkalizing effect also promote health.

2. Cinnamon
Traditionally used to soothe aches and pains because of its natural pain relieving effects, cinnamon is also a natural antibacterial and anti-fungal. This warming spice stimulates circulation and increases the elimination of toxins. (For more on the soothing health benefits of cinnamon click here.)

3. Ginger
Ginger’s been used for centuries to relieve a sore throat and loosen up congestion due to a cold. Best known for its ability to calm an upset stomach, ginger can also relieve aches and pains due to its anti-inflammatory properties. (Click here for a warming apple ginger soup recipe.)

4. Cloves
Cloves are expectorants, which means they make it easier to cough up and eliminate phlegm. They’re also natural pain relievers and high in antioxidants that support the immune system.

5. Turmeric
One of the most effective anti-inflammatories around, turmeric is one of the best things you can put in your body to prevent and treat cold and flu. Naturally anti-viral and antiseptic, this traditionally used spice works wonders on our immune system, liver and overall health. (For more on the health benefits of turmeric click here.)

6. Cayenne
Great for warming the body and stimulating the release of built up mucous in the sinus and respiratory passages, cayenne pepper also causes you to sweat, lowering a fever and eliminating toxins. Adding cayenne to your diet can also help to increase circulation and give you a natural relief of pain.

7. Raw honey
By using raw honey you’re getting all the benefits of the enzymes, vitamins and minerals that would otherwise be destroyed during the pasteurization process. Raw honey offers tons of protection against germs due to its strong antibacterial and anti-microbial effects, and I often eat a spoonful right out of the jar if I feel a sore throat coming on.

3 cups of water
Juice of half a lemon
1 cinnamon stick
3 slices (1/4 inch thick) of fresh ginger
¼ tsp cloves
½ tbsp. turmeric
1 pinch cayenne (start with this and add more to taste…the more you can handle the better)
1 ½ tbsp raw honey (can add more or less to achieve desired sweetness)

1. Add all ingredients (except honey) to a pot and bring to a boil.

2. Once boiling reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

3. Add honey and stir, adding more if necessary.

4. Pour tea through a strainer and drink while warm.

Please note these recommendations are meant for otherwise healthy individuals. Those that are immuno-compromised, elderly or sick for a long duration of time should consult their physician.

Tara Miller is a Toronto-based holistic nutritionist. Her educational background is from The Institute of Holistic Nutrition combined with a degree in psychology from the University of Guelph. This combination allows Tara to address the challenges individuals face when it comes to everyday healthy living. Tara is also the owner of the Health Hut Boutique in Muskoka where she offers effective and toxic-free beauty, household and specialty food items. You can follow her blog for holistic recipes and tips at taramillernutrition.com.

18 comments on “Homemade flu-fighting tea recipe

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Hot Tea Ideas - Top Inspired

  2. Pingback: Homemade flu-fighting tea recipe | 96.7 CHYM FM

  3. There is a typo in the recipe. It says “1/4 inch THINK” instead of 1/4 inch THICK


  4. Ack! Thanks Rockin678 we have made the correction.


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  8. I tried it, I liked it and it worked :) The initial symptoms of the flu went away immediately. Thanks!


  9. Thanks for posting this recipe. Lots all kinds of home remedies! I make my own face and body cream as well as many other recipes for my home. They all works wonderfully!


  10. Can you help me understand how antibacterial substances will help me to defeat a cold or flu, both of which are viral and have nothing to do with bacteria?


  11. Try it the other day. Seem to help but would like to know how ofen do should drink it


  12. Like so many other health drinks I am seeing these days with Turmeric in them, this is making the same MISTAKE. Turmeric is only soluble in fats or oils and needs piperine to increase it’s bioavailability. Heating also helps release the beneficial curcumin to the body, so, unless you are drinking this with a good oil like coconut oil, and adding freshly cracked black pepper to it, the Turmeric will just go through your system with next to no therapeutic value, you may as well not bother putting it in there. You should also make sure the Turmeric has the curcumin content intact and does not contain any additives or fillers. PLEASE do more research before posting health recipes like this.


  13. The quantity of water says 3 cups.When made should I assume that it is 3 servings?I could not find the quantity of servings this recipe makes.


  14. Any time I feel like I’m having a cold, I drink the Secrets Of a tea cold tea which helps me, the taste is great too. Since I read this article I started using the turmeric almost in everything I cook and I love it.


  15. I’m not sure exactly how putting honey into hot tea is any different from the pasteurization process …thoughts?


  16. I just use the secrets of tea Cold Br Gone Tea, it works like magic each time I have a cold, it even prevents it


  17. I basically do this recipe every time I get sick… BUT… I add the lemon AFTER it is boiled. This is because vitamin C is a heat sensitive vitamin, if you boil it for 10 minutes you will reduce it’s concentration in the mixture… so squeeze the lemon in last when you add the honey.


  18. Since Flu is a Virus such as the Common Cold how does this work? It only speaks of antibacterial and such. The drink it’s self is wonderful but don’t believe it would help with viruses. Take the shots, stay out of places with a large number of people and washing the hands is the best thing I have found.


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