Don’t wait until you’re sick to try to build up your immunity! Now is the time to rely on our herbal allies, and let nature give us that extra immunity-boost! This immune boosting tea is made with homegrown and foraged herbs, which are known to aid in the body’s natural defenses. It’s perfect for cold and flu season, but can also be enjoyed year-round.
As it warms the body, this tea also soothes the emotions, meaning that the stress-related problems of cold and flu are likewise lessened. That’s why I love this tea so much: it gives us a taste of comfort while also giving us high-level healing. It’s cold-weather medicine at its finest!
When I think of winter, I conjure up cozy memories like sitting by the fireplace and baking sourdough bread. Unfortunately, I also remember years past of colds and cases of the flu. That’s why for the last several years I have adopted a winter ritual of sipping on this delicious immune boosting tea that will be my go-to throughout the winter months to help me in staving off colds and flu… It’s super high in vitamin C and gives my body an immune boosting lift to help me get through the winter as healthy as can be. Now rarely do I get sick. I’d like to think this tea helps with that.
I love the ritual of creating herbal tea blends with wild herbs or those that I grew myself. It’s a process that involves the purposeful seeking out and harvesting of medicinal plants, the way our ancestors did and drying them for future use, often putting them in labeled jars on the apothecary shelf.
There’s just something so satisfying in the whole process. Knowing that I am caring for my own health with plants provided by the earth is a very powerful kind of medicine, and one I am thankful for. This is how I spend my Autumn days as the season turns. The colors of the craft match the golden and sepia hues of the land. It’s meditative. It’s magical. Not only that, but it’s nourishing in body and soul.
Weaving together the cycles of nature with my work is a tonic for the soul. Won’t you join me in crafting an immune boosting tea for winter wellness?
The herbs used in this immune boosting tea
Rose hips are not only tasty, when prepared properly, but they also bring a needed dose of vitamin C to the table during the winter months. In fact, they contain a whopping 2000 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit. That’s 40 times more vitamin C than lemons!
Elderberry has been used traditionally for hundreds if not thousands of years as a medicine to strengthen the immune system and treat colds, flu, cough, and sinus infections.
Lately, elderberry has received more attention because of its potent antioxidant properties. Our ancestors used the flower bud, bark, and berry of the elderberry plant to make medicines that improved overall health and wellbeing. Here are of few of the health benefits of elderberry:
- High in vitamin C – vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect your cells against the effects of free radicals
- A good source of phenolic acids – Antioxidants that help reduce damage from oxidative stress in the body
- A good source of flavanols. Elderberry contains the antioxidant flavanols which provide a wide range of health benefits, including antioxidant, anticancer, antibacterial and cardio protective effects.
- Rich in anthocyanins – Strong antioxidants with anti-inflammatory effects.
Echinacea has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries, and recently that knowledge has been confirmed by scientific research. Research has shown that it can cut a cold’s duration by as much as a day and a half. Other studies showed that it could reduce your chances of getting a cold in the first place, by 58 percent.
This natural medicinal herb was used by Native Americans long before European settlers arrived. Echinacea was used to treat toothaches, coughs, colds, sore throats, snakebites and as a painkiller. It was also chewed ritually during ceremonies and considered one of the sacred Life Medicines of the Navajo tribe.
It is also interesting to note that when Lewis and Clark learned about Echinacea during their expedition in 1805, they shipped the roots and seeds back to President Jefferson as one of their more important finds.
Ginger is one of the best ingredients to strengthen the immune system, as it is rich with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties, giving good reason to add ginger root to your daily immune boosting tea blend.
Making the Tea
This recipe is meant to be a guideline. Feel free to substitute or add other herbs that you have on hand that are known to boost immunity such as mint, goldenseal, sage, or turmeric.
I also love to use peppermint and cinnamon in many of my herbal tea blends, as they are both antiviral and antiseptic—and also add delicious flavor to the beverage. Some healing herbs don’t taste very good and are easier to get down when their flavors are covered with these tastier ones.
- 4 parts dried rosehips
- 2 parts dried elderberries
- 2 parts chopped echinacea root
- 1 part ginger root
- Mix all the ingredients in the proportions listed, scaling the recipe up or down based on your needs.
- Store this immune boosting tea blend in an airtight container, such as a mason jar, and be sure to label it with the date.
- To prepare, steep 1-2 tablespoons of the dry tea in 8 to 12 ounces (0.45 kg) of boiling water.
- Strain and enjoy, with honey if desired. Drink daily as a preventative against cold and flu.
There’s no one single way to stay healthy all winter long. But there are plenty of things you can do each day to build your own immunity and reduce the chances of catching a cold or the flu. Good nutrition is a good starting place, exercise is another, and getting enough sleep is another still. Don’t wait until you’ve already gotten sick to start taking care of yourself—start building your immunity today with healthy habits like drinking this immune boosting tea that you can incorporate in your daily life.
Disclaimer: outdoorapothecary.com is informational in nature and is not to be regarded as a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. While we strive to be 100% accurate, it is solely up to the reader to ensure proper plant identification.
Some wild plants are poisonous or can have serious adverse health effects. We are not health professionals, medical doctors, nor are we nutritionists. It is up to the reader to verify nutritional information and health benefits with qualified professionals for all edible plants listed in this website. The information provided is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the guidance of your qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.