Tea can help bolster the immune system and may even help prevent heart disease and cancer. This may be due to the presence of L-theanine, which once broken down can help T-cells respond more quickly. Although evidence of a link between heavy tea drinkers and strong immune systems is strong, a more concrete explaination is still pending upon further research.
From personal experience I can say that the warmth of tea can help calm and relax the muscles of a sore throat during a cold, and the steam and heat can loosen a stuffy nose. And unlike other hot beverages like coffee, it isn’t a stomach irritant. I am an almost compulsive coffee drinker, but I always make the switch to black or green tea when I’m sick.
Different teas can do different things based on what the tea is made of. Peppermint tea and ginger tea, for example, both alleviate stomach pain and aid digestion. Chamomile tea can alleviate stress. Other teas have antioxidants and other health benefits.
In addition to the information in the first two posts, tea is also high in antioxidants which help alleviate the body of “free radicals,” a cellular bi-product that causes a destructive chain reaction in our bodies that has been linked to cancer. Green tea is especially high in antioxidants.
When you have a cold it is important to drink a lot of clear liquids like water, juice, and tea. In addition to hot tea’s comforting effects (soothing soreness and clearing stuffiness), it helps boost your digestive system and aids in getting rid of the “bugs.”
Tea with echinacea in it has been known to help boost the immune system but is better for keeping illness away than remedying it.
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