Everyone is concerned about the health of their respiratory system these days, and with good reason. I figured that I’d share some of my favorite teas (or tisanes) for respiratory health. Most of these are just your standard, loose leaf, herbal teas. The first one is the most complicated, but is a personal favorite for the flavor and the benefits. Enjoy!
Brewing Your Tea:
For a Cup:
1) Use 1 to 2 teaspoons of the loose leaf tea blend for one cup of tea. You can either use a large tea ball (2 inch diameter so the leaves can expand).
2) Pour just boiled water over the herbs, cover, and let steep for 20 to 30 minutes. Generally, herbal teas take a little longer to steep than black or green tea. The longer steep time allows you to obtain the most benefits from the leaves/flowers. You can let it go even longer for an even stronger tea. Just do some taste testing and find out what times work best for your tastes!
3) Sweeten (or not) to taste.
For a Quart Amount to Drink & Enjoy All Day:
1) Put about an inch (and even a bit more)of the herbal tea in the bottom of a quart size Mason Jar.
2) Pour just boiled water over the top to within about an inch and a half from the top of the jar.
3) Put a lid on loosely (Steeping with a lid keeps the volatile oils and beneficial plant constituents inside your tea instead of allowing them to escape with the steam.)
4) Allow to steep for at least 30 minutes....or like we do, just leave for several hours (you can even leave it over night). It will cool down, of course, so if you don't mind cooled and very strong tea, this is a good way to go.
5) Strain out the herbs.
6) Sweeten (or not) and enjoy throughout your day!
1. Chai Tea is a traditional tea made with warming spices that are great for the respiratory tract. This version replaces the black tea with a combination of Tulsi and Rooibos, so it’s safe for those who can’t handle the caffine. Cardamom increases circulation of blood within your lungs which helps relieve breathing problems. Ginger helps to break down mucus and helps improve circulation to the lungs while reducing inflammation. Cinnamon helps fight various kinds of infection, espeically those specific to the lungs. Black pepper contains a chemical called piperine, which improves breathing and reduces inflammation. Cloves work as an expectorant, loosening mucus in the throat and esophagus. Tulsi helps prevent certain respiratory illnesses ranging from cold and cough to bronchitis and asthma. Rooibos has long been sought after for its ability to clear the sinus and respiratory system.
One of my favorite things to do when making this tea is to crush and lightly toast the spices before I use them in this blend. Toasting is totally optional. This recipe is also not written in the same way that I have written the others, it’s made to make 3 cups at a time. If you want more, simply double or triple the recipe.
2 tbsp loose leaf Rooibos
2 tbsp loose leaf Tulsi
6-8 Green Cardamom Pods
2-4 slices fresh Ginger
1 tsp whole Black Peppercorns
1 whole Cinnamon Stick
3-4 whole Cloves
2 cups Water
2 cups Milk or Dairy-free Milk of your choice
Gently crush your spices (cardamom pods, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, cloves) and place them in an oven safe dish and toast at 350 F for 5-10 min (toasting is optional, but opens up the spices so much). Combine your toasted spices with Ginger in a pot on the stove. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer on medium/high heat. Allow to simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add in the Rooibos and Tulsi. Cover and allow to steep for 10-15 minutes. Remove cover, add in the milk and any sweetener you may want (I prefer honey or unsweetened personally). Re-cover and allow to steep 5 more minutes. Strain and enjoy!
2. Hibiscus may not be the herb we typically think about in regards to the respiratory tract, but it does have some great benefits. This tea is a tasty way to support your lungs, especially during cold and flu season. Hibiscus is used for treating colds, upper respiratory tract pain, and inflammation. Elderberry reduces the duration of upper respiratory symptoms like cough, nasal congestion, nasal discharge, and sore throat. Licorice has been used traditionally for cough, asthma, and other breathing problems. Orange peels contain histamine reducing compounds and provide support for problematic respiratory conditions by breaking down and expelling congestion.
2 parts Hibiscus
1 part Elderberries
½ part Licorice Root
½ part dried Orange Peel
3. This tea is one of the simplest to make, and has a huge impact on breathing. It opens up the respiratory tract before you even take a sip. So brew it up, sit back, and take some deep breaths. Peppermint helps you to breathe easier, opening up your lungs, and helping to expel mucus. Lemon Verbena helps soothe the respiratory tract. Eucalyptus can decrease mucus and expand the bronchi and bronchioles of your lungs.
2 parts Peppermint
1 part Lemon Verbena
½ part Eucalyptus Leaves
4. This tea is formulated with Asthma suffereres in mind. Mullein is a great herb for lung support, in general (read more here), but Ginkgo Biloba has a special role in this tea blend. Ginkgo specifically targets the mechanisms that cause wheezing. Larger doses may cause nausea, so it’s regulated to a smaller portion of this blend. Marshmallow roots help to soothe the mucus membranes, Hawthorne berries help to reduce stress and nervousness (which often constrict breathing), and Ginger root helps reduce inflammation and improve the general health of the lungs.
2 parts Mullein
1 part Ginkgo Biloba
1 part Marshmallow Root
½ part Hawthorne Berries
½ part Ginger Root
5. This is my super expectorant formula. It may not taste as good as some other blends, but it seriously does the trick. Lemon Balm Traditional respiratory uses of Lemon Balm include: asthma, bronchitis, chronic coughs, colds and influenza. Coltsfoot and Comfrey are the expectorant powerhouse of this formula. Coltsfoot is used as a respiratory disinfectant, expectorant, and cough suppressant and makes an effective tea to clear congestion. Comfrey has a general soothing effect on the mucous membranes, making it invaluable in soothing sore throats and coughs. Marshmallow is used for dry cough.
Cough It Up
2 parts Lemon Balm
1 part Coltsfoot
1 part Comfrey
½ part Marshmallow
Do these sound tasty? Let me know what you think! If you have any questions or comments please leave them below. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for updates. Find me on YouTube and check out my videos! I also have a few things up on Teespring, check it out! Also, if you like what I do and what to see more, Become a Patron!