Holiday stress and excessive food and drink can take its toll on your body. Here’s an easy, warming remedy: tea. Just like spices, teas offer high levels of antioxidants and amino acids that have been linked to cancer prevention, heart health, and even the treatment of anxiety. Tea is so good for you, researchers suggest drinking up to five cups a day to take full advantage of its benefits. Ready, set, start your kettle!
Holy Basil Tea: Unwind from frantic shopping and errands that contribute to holiday stress with a cup of holy basil tea (also known as tulsi). Holy basil can help stabilize the release of cortisol, the “stress hormone.” One cup might just help you forget about that person who stole your parking spot at the mall. Try: Alvita Holy Basil Tea ($10; twinlab.com/product/holy-basil-tea)
Ginger Tea: Did you overindulge at the holiday buffet? Ginger tea can relieve nausea and eliminate gastrointestinal distress. Before meals, try either a cup of ginger tea or a thin slice of ginger with a squeeze of lime juice and a pinch of sea salt. Note: People with heartburn should avoid ginger because it aggravates the condition. Try: Traditional Medicinals Organic Ginger Aid Tea ($5; traditionalmedicinals.com)
Elderflower Tea: For centuries, elderberries and elderflowers have been used to prevent colds and flu. Researchers now know why: elder activates the immune system by boosting the production of cytokines, which are small protein molecules secreted by immune cells. Try: Celebration Organic Elder Flower Tea ($7; celebrationherbals.com)
St. John’s Wort Tea: Holiday stress and gray skies can sometimes get you down. St. John’s Wort is well-known for treating mild to moderate depression. Skip St. John’s Wort if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking prescription drugs for various medical conditions. Try: The Blues Tea ($7; mountainroseherbs.com)
Echinacea Tea: Dry, scratchy, sore throats are no match for teas that include echinacea root. Studies about the effectiveness of echinacea have been mixed. Ignore them all, advises Sheila Kingsbury, N.D., chair of the Botanical Medicine Department at Bastyr University. “Native Americans used only the root,” she explains. “Clinically speaking, accessing the root is the best place to start.” Try: 5th Chakra Tea ($7; mountainroseherbs.com)
Hands holding tea image via Shutterstock