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Five herbal tea recipes to boost your immune system

Posted on 09 Apr 2020

These brews from ‘Plants for the People’ are a natural wellbeing boost.

Photographer: Georgia Blackie

Extract from Plants for the People by Erin Lovell Verinder

Our bodies commonly speak to us with symptoms to convey a message – it may be a quiet conversation or a deafening directive. Symptoms signal the need for rest, to rein it in, to ease the pace. The herbal blends below are wonderful for an active cold or flu. To elevate the medicinal magic, create an overnight infusion of your chosen blend. Be sure to increase the frequency of dosing up to two to six cups daily if you have been struck with the low-immune stick. To support immunity generally, weave these wild healers into your daily rituals.

1. Bronchial buster

A potent mix for the sinuses, persistent coughs, asthma and bacterial infections. These common kitchen herbs have strong antiviral, antibacterial and warming properties. Lighten the flavour with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or some raw honey.

2 parts thyme
2 parts oregano
2 parts rosemary
1 part cinnamon chips

Best prepared as a tea

2. Bye-bye flu

This power-packed combination of immune tonics and lymphatic-loving herbals works to shift an active flu and support an overburdened immune system. Brew strongly, and be sure to sip frequently to alleviate symptoms.

3 parts cleavers leaf/stem/flowers
2 parts calendula flowers
2 parts echinacea root/leaf/flowers
2 parts elderflowers
1 part cinnamon chips
1 part elderberries
1 part orange peel, fresh or dried
½ part lemon balm

Best prepared as a tea or infusion

3. Defender

This is a beautifully supportive tea, high in immune-enhancing herbs and vitamin C. It can be drunk daily to fortify immunity, or utilised to combat the common cold. Add a touch of Manuka honey when the tea cools to supercharge the immune-enhancing effects.

2 parts elderberries
2 parts echinacea root/flowers/leaf
1 part rosehips
½ part ginger pieces
½ part cinnamon chips
Manuka honey (optional)

Best prepared as a tea or infusion

4. Y.E.P.

Yarrow, elder and peppermint is a classic botanical blend of synergistic herbs. It has a light flavour with minty, sweet tones, and will break up respiratory catarrh and congestion, and reduce inflammation associated with an active immune bug. Y.E.P. tea has longed been used to reduce a fever, alongside relieving the symptoms and duration of colds and flus. Do your best to drink this tea as hot as possible – the heat is thought to encourage the breaking of a fever.

1 part yarrow leaf
1 part elderberries
1 part peppermint

Best prepared as a tea or infusion

5. Deep breath

The demulcent actions of the herbs in this blend work together to combat a hoarse, sore throat and soothe relentless coughs, supporting the lungs and gently sedating any upper respiratory irritation or spasms. As this brew cools, add an optional dollop of medicinal Manuka honey.

3 parts mullein leaf
1 part sage
1 part thyme
½ part licorice root
Manuka honey (optional)

Best prepared as a tea or infusion

For more natural remedies to support immunity, discover Plants for the People.

The above recipes, and others in the book, are not intended to replace individualized professional advice on healthcare and wellbeing. The book’s aim is to offer a helpful guide to plant medicine, and as such it is not meant to be utilized to diagnose, or to treat.

Photographer: Georgia Blackie

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