Best Teas to Boost Your Immune System
Updated April 14, 2023.
Warm beverages have been an essential cultural and pharmaceutical phenomenon in civilised life since humans first discovered fire. In the modern world, it's often seen as normal for someone to drink several cups of tea or coffee each and every day. Avoiding these outright can actually trigger some degree of ostracisation from a cultural and social basis.
Especially with the advent of electricity, the process of brewing a cup of tea is now of insignificant difficulty for most people. This makes it easy to reap the benefits of specialised teas, such as those for boosting the immune system. Many of them can simply replace one of the many cups you'll likely have during the day, and you probably wouldn't even notice the difference.
How Can Tea Help Your Immune System?
The general benefit of most teas for your immune system is that they are an effective and simple way to get many healthy components into your body. Many herbs and other plants require the application of heat to extract their beneficial components, and steeping them in a pot of tea is a great way to go about doing this.
Aside from this, herbal teas are also a great source of hydration and, so long as they aren't prepared with copious amounts of sugar and other unhealthy substances, are low in calories and fat.
Best Herbal Teas for Your Immune System
The most commonly used teas that help your immune system are herbal, and the most popular ones are discussed below.
1. Chamomile Tea
The benefits of chamomile are extensive. For starters, research has shown the herb to have potent antibacterial properties, which can directly benefit the immune system by killing dangerous pathogens.
Additionally, chamomile has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the symptoms and progression of many inflammatory conditions, creating a more indirect benefit to the immune system.
2. Lemongrass Tea
Similar to chamomile, research has shown lemongrass to exhibit anti-microbial activity that could effectively combat various pathogens.
Lemongrass has also been shown to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, protecting against cell and DNA damage and promoting immune health.
According to some studies, lemongrass may assist the immune system in resisting cancer. The research has shown that the substance induces apoptosis (programmed cell death) of cancer cells, enhances the effects of other cancer treatments, and reduces the adverse reactions of other cancer treatments.
3. Turmeric Tea
Turmeric is widely used as a spice in many dishes, but it can also be brewed into a flavourful tea that promises a range of benefits. Research has shown this compound to possess anti-inflammatory properties, as well the ability to "Modulate the activation of T cells, B cells, macrophages, neutrophils, natural killer cells, and dendritic cells," which are all essential for proper immune function.
Best Mushroom Teas for Your Immune System
The health benefits of functional mushrooms are rapidly becoming common knowledge as the research surrounding them grows. Although all functional mushrooms seem to exhibit some degree of immune-boosting properties, some of the best ones are discussed below. For more info on this topic, visit our post about the best functional mushrooms for boosting the immune system.
1. Chaga Mushroom Tea
One of the many benefits of Chaga mushrooms is that they seem to possess immunomodulatory capabilities, especially in the recovery of bone marrow cells damaged by chemotherapy, as noted by this study.
Additional research has also shown Chaga to exhibit antibacterial, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activities in the body, making this a truly remarkable mushroom tea for building a healthy immune system.
2. Reishi Mushroom Tea
Many functional mushrooms seem to stimulate immune cell responses, and Reishi is no different. Studies have shown that certain mushrooms, including Reishi, can activate white blood cells (specifically lymphocytes, macrophages, and natural killer cells). The same study also concluded the anti-inflammatory properties of these mushrooms.
The Bottom Line
There is nothing like a cup of hot tea to boost your immune system. Simple to make and implement into a routine, with some significant benefits and almost no side effects. Even though almost no studies have looked at the side effects of drinking these teas every day for an extended period, no adverse reactions or lasting disadvantages have been reported so long as they aren't consumed in excess.
However, there is always the potential for side effects and allergies with any new substances. If you are apprehensive about your predispositions, you should chat to your doctor first.