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(post, Sarah Price)
This past weekend your smooth-talking host was the emcee for a concert in Tucson. But his voice wasn’t as silky as it usually is on the air—Manish was recovering from a cold. It is cold season. Here in Tucson, the temperatures dropped about twenty degrees over the past two days, and my toes certainly noticed the change. Off went the cooler, and on went the pajama pants, long-sleeved shirt, and socks. Every year these temperature changes come along with pink noses and a chorus of sneezes—I am bundled up, determined to escape the trend. My roommate is an elementary art teacher. Every day she comes into contact with nearly two-hundred children, and their germs often follow her home. Last year, I caught a new cold every three weeks or so. I was sick nearly the whole winter season. This year, it’s not going to happen. I’m going to load up on teas. Manish and Tere talked about colds this week—not what they are, but how to prevent them. And also, what to do if you’ve already got one. Manish and I both will be sucking down these incredibly helpful teas over the next several months, and you should too. Here’s a breakdown of their suggestions, as well as links to some of the teas that they talked about. Join us in the resistance! If you don’t want to GET a cold, like me: First of all, drinking hot tea helps no matter what. But the particular types of tea that you drink can add to the benefit that you get from everyday consumption, and if you really want to avoid a cold, the teas you choose can make a difference. Chai contains a variety of healthy, warming spices. These spices will help to break down any mucus buildup. They are usually counter-balanced with milk and sugar, however, and the milk actually causes additional mucus to build. But if you choose to skip the milk, chai is excellent for cold prevention! You’ve probably heard of Echinacea. Studies have shown it to boost the immune system. We’ve included it in two of our immune-boosting teas: Seven Seas Herbal Tea: A mixture of cinnamon, licorice root, rooibos, peppermint, ginseng, sarsaparilla, and of course, echinacea. This is one of our classic herbal teas, and is helpful for relaxation, colds, flues, and the like. It is caffeine-free, and it’s flavor is lightly sweet—great for kids! Immunity Tea: A part of our new medicinal herbal line, Vana Spa Teas, this blend was designed specifically to boost the immune system, and each of the herbs do just that. It contains alfalfa, astragalus, echinacea, lemon balm, and licorice root. If you HAVE a cold, like Manish: One of the best things you can do if you’ve already got a cold is drink fresh ginger tea. Acquire fresh ginger root from your grocery store or Asian market, and grate about one inch of it into water. Boil for several minutes, allowing all of the good juice to infuse from the root. For additional benefit, add 1/4 to 1/8 tsp. turmeric. Add honey to taste. The warmth and burn from this delicious tea will loosen phlegm and mucus, and you will feel the effects immediately, on the first sip. Plain and simple green tea will help. The caffeine, theophylline, and L-theanine will help you to breathe better, and will give you a little extra energy to fight your cold. For concentrated green tea benefits, drink Matcha. Matcha is powdered Japanese green tea. The leaves are dried and then stone-ground to a fine powder, which you simply add to water, hot or cold. When you drink it, you are actually ingesting the entire tea leaves, rather than just the constituents that come off at boiling point. You will get significantly more antioxidants and other beneficial components, and it tastes great. And finally, whenever you are sick, one of the most important things for you to do is sleep. Chamomile is an excellent sleep-aid, soothing and sedative. Our Relaxing Mint tea contains chamomile, peppermint, and lavender. The peppermint will clear your airways so that you can breath, and the chamomile and lavender combination will lull you into a healing sleep. I’ve already begun. As I type, I’m sipping on the Immunity Tea. We’re only a couple of days into the season down here, but so far, so good! Viva la resistance!