Holy Basil Tea Eases Cold & Flu Symptoms

Try though you might, escaping a cold or flu infection can be difficult in the colder months. Even the flu vaccine cannot guarantee prevention. Dealing with a respiratory infection can be miserable, but for the herb-savvy, holy basil tea can be a big help. This savory herbal tea has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to combat the symptoms of respiratory infection, and new research is now starting to show what makes holy basil tea so effective.

The Basics of Respiratory Infections

Colder seasons are the primary time for a cold or flu infection to strike, but a respiratory infection can happen at any time. These infections are generally marked by common symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, congestion, and fatigue. Depending on the infection, fever, achiness and headache may also be present.

How Over-the-Counter Medication Works

The most common respiratory infections have no cure; the only thing that can be done is to supplement the body’s immune system and deal with the most debilitating symptoms. Most of these symptoms are not a direct result of the virus itself, but of the body’s efforts to eliminate the virus. These methods are usually effective, but take a toll on the rest of the body. Standard over-the-counter medications work by suppressing the body’s efforts, which can ease discomfort, but will limit the body’s ability to fight the infection.

How Holy Basil Tea Eases Respiratory Infection

First of all, holy basil contains a number of antibacterial elements, and may also offer some antiviral and antifungal properties. While it cannot kill the infection itself, it may aid the body’s efforts in eliminating pathogens, a trait useful both before and during an infection. Its stress-relieving effect also helps to keep the immune system strong, as prolonged stress often takes a toll on the immune system and makes it vulnerable to infection.

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Holy basil tea is also a highly effective demulcent, a substance that promotes the flow of mucous. Glands in the sinuses produce mucous to help flush out pathogens, but illness can impair their effectiveness. This makes the mucous thick and unable to drain, causing it to clog the sinuses and leading to congestion. Demulcent herbs like holy basil tea promote the mucous glands, helping them to produce mucous properly and alleviating congestion.

The anti-inflammatory properties of holy basil are also helpful for congestion, as they can alleviate inflammation in the sinuses. This effect can also help to soothe a sore throat and calm the inflammation caused by coughing. Some of holy basil’s constituents can even help to regulate a fever. With these combined effects, it’s hardly a surprise that holy basil is the perfect herb for dealing with respiratory infections.

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