What to drink when you are sick
I wrote about how I change tea habits when I’m sick (I just had a sinus infection). The short version is that I switch over to more tisanes, with this including ideas for types and blends. It doesn’t relate to medical advice; I just drink what I have around, and what sounds good, not so much trying to cure myself that way. Anyone else have personal favorites?
I got an awful head cold this week and discovered that I’m all out of sick teas. I’ve been drinking a peppermint tisane and a super-tannic, not-very-good Yunnan Dian Hong that I thankfully can’t taste. Getting rid of old, unwanted tea is the only upside of having non-functioning taste buds!
I too switch to tisanes when sick. My favorite tisane when I can’t taste anything is a concoction of fresh ginger and mint leaves simmered with whole spices (cinnamon, clove, cardamom) and saffron. Sometimes I’ll add a little honey and/or a pinch of green tea.
That sounds tasty, if a little labour intensive when you’re not feeling well. I also sometimes drink chai-like blends when I’m sick.
I don’t remember that I’ve ever made a chai-like blend when I was sick, but I did include that in this post as an idea, since it would be a good way to mix in spices and moderate caffeine intake. I’ve probably been to lazy to try it, since I tend to just lay around when I’m sick.
I would switch to ginger tea with some honey. It seems to work for me when I’m sick. I prefer ginger black tea from Zesta, it is Sri Lanka specific and it’s amazing. Do try it!
I wrote a second post on this (I’ll skip adding the link though; that gets to be a bit much), since I was sick again soon after. Masala chai really did work best, much better than any other tisanes or mixes of them I had tried. I have no idea why. I used a mix of willow herb (aka fireweed, Ivan Chay) and black tea to prevent consuming a lot of caffeine, since laying around sick and getting amped up don’t go together. I tried a shu stuffed orange / tangerine peel too (chen pi), but that didn’t make any noticeable difference. The masala chai did; my symptoms seemed to clear up relatively quickly. I can’t say if that only related to symptoms though, if the underlying cause and illness resolved at all.
I’m getting over a bad cold myself and drank both regular tea and the chai-like tissane I described earlier. Although both were soothing, like you I found that the tissane was better at relieving my cold symptoms. My thought is the ginger, which is a well known anti-inflammatory, and to a lesser extent some of the whole spices in the blend are helpful in this regard.
Tisanes: Linden for general relaxation and sleep. It also has the benefit of opening my lungs. Spicy chai blends for warmth and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger. Eucalyptus and peppermint for the lungs and sinuses. Those snow chrysanthemum buds from Yunnan Sourcing feel nourishing when ill.
If I’m going for caffeinated and energizing, an aged white tea does the trick. Comforting and caffeinated — shou with chenpi.
A friend passed on a tisane blend with a lot of ginger, lemongrass, and turmeric in it, which was fine to drink, but it didn’t seem to have much effect on symptoms. I’m skeptical of all that, in general, but the masala chai really did seem to make a difference. Trying a chen pi was nice, pleasant to experience, but I noticed no positive effect.
As far as a preventative goes the tea habit in general isn’t working, because I had another sinus infection last week, not that long after that first one. It may relate to pollution here in Bangkok; that level had spiked just before getting sick the second time.