Healing Tea

There’s nothing more soothing than a warm cup of tea. Make your own herbal tea blends or purchase them. Either can treat and soothe a wide variety of conditions.

Wintertime can be tough on one’s physical—and mental—health. Whether it’s weight gain, a miserable cold, stress, or low energy, tea can help soothe a variety of problems. Fortunately, it’s easy to put together a healing tea blend using no more than four ingredients, all of which can be found at local health stores.

Healing tea recipes

These teas are formulated to be easy and adjustable. Make a quick cup, a pot, or—if you’re using dried plants—a big batch to have on hand for weeks to come.

If you’re short on time or frequently on the run, you might find it easier to simplify the DIY process. Check with your favourite health food store for prepackaged tea bags of some of the most popular ingredients called for in the recipes (such as peppermint and camomile), and simply steep them together in a teapot or mug to create the same blends. Easy!

As always, talk to your health care practitioner if you have a health condition or are on any medication before supplementing with plants, as these plants have powerful medicinal qualities and may not be right for everyone.


This tea blend is formulated to kick-start sluggish digestion and to calm stomach upset. Wild mint stimulates digestion, is thought to soothe stomach irritation or nausea, and promotes the flow of bile. Yarrow, a flower in the same family as camomile, is used to calm indigestion and heartburn.

1 part dried or fresh yarrow (flowers, leaves, and stems)
1 part dried or fresh wild mint (or peppermint)

Use 1 Tbsp (15 mL) tea per 1 cup (250 mL) boiling water. Steep for a minimum of 7 minutes.


Too many deadlines can leave us feeling frazzled. This stress-relieving tea uses the power of valerian root to ease anxious feelings, and the scent of juniper berries is said to calm the nerves. Goldenrod may reduce inflammation. This is also a great bedtime tea.

1 part dried valerian root
1 part fresh or dried juniper berries
1 part fresh or dried goldenrod (leaves and flowers)

Use 1 Tbsp (15 mL) tea per 1 cup (250 mL) boiling water. Steep for a minimum of 7 minutes.


This tea will restore waning energy, without the crash that comes with coffee or sugar. Zesty spruce has a high dosage of vitamin C, so it was used by early Europeans to help ward off scurvy. Today, vitamin C has been shown in recent research to reduce fatigue. Rhodiola naturally boosts energy levels while relieving stress, and mint refreshes and awakens.

1 part fresh or dried spruce needles
1 part fresh or dried wild mint (or peppermint)
1 part dried rhodiola root

Use 1 Tbsp (15 mL) tea per 1 cup (250 mL) boiling water. Steep for a minimum of 7 minutes.

Cold and flu

Illnesses are inconvenient at any time, but always a little worse—and more common—during winter months. Drink this tea to fend off any viruses coming on. Nettle is thought to help modulate the immune system and provide some antiviral effects, while camomile might help fight infections and boost the immune system. The menthol in wild mint helps open up sinuses and calm the stomach, and a final squeeze of fresh lemon gives a boost of vitamin C.

1 part fresh or dried nettle leaves
1 part dried camomile
1 part fresh or dried wild mint (or peppermint)
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (as a garnish, to be added after steeping)

Use 1 Tbsp (15 mL) tea per 1 cup (250 mL) boiling water. Steep for a minimum of 7 minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, and enjoy.

Weight management

Watching one’s waistline can be difficult during winter when many of our outdoor activities are curtailed, and we may have packed on a few pounds over the holidays. Drink this tea before and/or after meals to reduce cravings and encourage mindful eating.

Bedstraw has been used traditionally for weight loss and as a diuretic. Dandelion also acts as a mild diuretic and has been shown in recent animal studies to help support and protect the liver, which regulates fat storage and controls blood sugar. Munching on dried apples and/or raisins while drinking this tea can increase satisfaction by providing fibre and sweetness.

1 part dried or fresh bedstraw (leaves and roots)
1 part dried or fresh dandelion leaf
1 part dried or fresh dandelion root
Pinch of raisins and/or dried apple (to float on top of tea)

Use 1 Tbsp (15 mL) tea per 1 cup (250 mL) boiling water. Steep for a minimum of 7 minutes.

Time saver

Just about every ingredient in this recipe can also be found in health food stores as prepackaged tea bags . To save time, stock up on pure-ingredient tea bags, and simply steep them together to create tea blends. Add a splash of lemon and you’re done!


Dry skin and brittle hair and nails are symptomatic of winter. This tea can help make hair shiny, nails strong, and skin glowing. Horsetail has the power of silica, which helps strengthen fingernails, hair, and skin, while blueberries—high in antioxidants—help prevent long-term skin cell damage. Wild rose petals are thought to have antioxidant effects. When brewing this tea, keep blueberries and rose petals unfiltered and chew them as you sip to enjoy the full benefits.

2 parts dried horsetail
1 part dried organic blueberries
1 part fresh or dried wild rose petals
Use 1 Tbsp (15 mL) tea per 1 cup (250 mL) boiling water. Steep for a minimum of 7 minutes.

Ready-to-use medicinal tea blends

There’s no shortage of delicious medicinal tea blends at natural health retailers. They typically come already blended in tea bags, making it easy to get the relief you’re after, quickly or when you’re on the go. Here are just a few examples of the many kinds of medicinal teas out there.


If we feel a bug coming on, or we know we’ll be exposed to cold and flu viruses, it’s a good idea to stock up on an immune-boosting tea. Echinacea and elderberry are both staple ingredients in many of these tea blends. Nonmedical ingredients added for flavouring can include classic favourites such as peppermint.

Cold and flu

When we’re feeling under the weather, there’s nothing like a hot drink to soothe and comfort—plus medicinal ingredients can help us fight off cold and flu bugs or open our respiratory passages. Tea blends to soothe colds and flu often include ingredients such as ginger, elderberry, licorice, peppermint, and cinnamon.


Peppermint, ginger, and fennel are common ingredients in packaged tea blends formulated to aid digestion, relieve bloating, and reduce gassiness. Blends specifically for heartburn also exist, which often feature marshmallow root.

Sleep or anxiety

Ingredients used in packaged tea blends to calm nerves and aid relaxation include camomile, passionflower, lavender, and lemon balm. You’ll often find valerian or catnip added to blends formulated to facilitate sleep.

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