Black tea is one of the most popular drinks in the world — a nice hot cup will help kick off the morning and iced tea is the perfect refreshment during a hot day.
But this traditional drink has many other benefits and uses as well. An annoying tingle in the throat really calls for a cup of black tea!
Excellent for sore and scratchy throats this drink provides a soothing feeling on the way down and is full of ingredients that can help fight back against what’s ailing you.
So let’s take a proper look at everything you need to know about why a cup of hot black tea is one of the best home remedies for a sore throat. And what you can add to make it even more effective!
What Causes Sore Throat?
We’ve all had a sore throat. Annoying, the symptoms can range from scratching and irritation to inflammation and burning.
You may even have trouble swallowing if your throat feels like a patch of thorns.
But what actually causes a sore throat?
The most common cause of a sore throat is a viral infection. In most cases, the source of the infection is a cold, the flu, mononucleosis, measles, chickenpox, croup, or COVID-19.
Strep throat (streptococcal infection) is another common cause of sore throat symptoms. However, any kind of bacterial infection can trigger the sumptoms.
The world is full of remedies for this common ailment. In some cases, antibiotics are necessary to kill infections.
But black tea is a healthy and natural treatment that can either be used alone, with other ingredients or in conjunction with medications to soothe your sore throat.
How Black Tea Can Help Soothe a Sore Throat?
Black tea is full of benefits that can help you to feel healthy, strong, and energetic all year long.
So how exactly is it good for a sore throat?
First, a cup of hot tea of any kind can help to soothe an inflamed throat by increasing blood flow to the area.
We also know that staying hydrated helps your body to fight off underlying conditions that are causing throat pain. Hydration also promotes swallowing, helps to clear out mucus, and keeps your throat tissue moist.
While any type of hot liquid can provide soothing benefits, black tea is especially beneficial because it’s full of substances called tannins that reduce inflammation in the throat.
Tannins are incredible because they have antioxidant power, fight inflammation, produce antibacterial effects, and protect the body against free radicals.
Black tea has especially powerful anti-inflammatory effects because these qualities come from several different components.
In addition to offering up tannins that fight inflammation that causes throat pain, black tea also contains something called theaflavin which has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
It all adds up to a powerful, all-natural elixir that soothes the throat in the moment while also providing long-term protection against the underlying causes of throat irritations.
While a cup of black tea should not be seen as a substitute for visiting a doctor if you suspect that you have a viral or bacterial infection, peppering some black tea into your wellness plan can help you to enjoy antibacterial properties that could help your sore throat to clear up much sooner.
And sure enough, black tea is also one of my favorite Starbucks drinks for sore throat.
But There is More!
Many people turn to black tea when they’re feeling sick, but the truth is that this refreshing beverage is also a great everyday drink.
According to researchers, black tea is packed with theaflavins, thearubigins, the amino acid L-theanine, and several other catechins and flavonoids that protect the body against chronic disorders.
In addition, drinking black tea on a regular basis is linked with reduced chances of the onset of cardiovascular disorders.
Drinking up to three cups of black tea per day has been shown to significantly improve the antioxidant status of the body. Black tea has also been shown to reduce levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol in the body.
Finally, black tea may be just what the gut ordered. According to a recent publication, the polyphenols found in black tea may help maintain a healthy gut by promoting the growth of good bacteria.
This is significant because a properly balanced gut microbiome is linked with better digestion, a stronger immune system, and reduced risks for certain cancers. Of course, the biggest benefit of all for many people is that black tea provides caffeine that creates steady, non-jolting energy!
Black tea becomes even more beneficial for your health when you’re feeling the sting of a sore throat.
What to Add to Black Tea to Make It More Powerful
Consider stirring in some extras to make your cup of black tea even more powerful as a health aid. Many natural ingredients that help to flavor tea also amplify its health benefits.
Here are some more ingredients to make your black tea even more effective for treating a sore throat:
- Honey: Honey is packed with antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.
- Ginger: In addition to adding a natural sweet-meets-savory flavor, ginger is full of antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Citrus juices: Black tea with lemon, lime, or orange allows you to enjoy vitamin C, antioxidant power, and anti-inflammatory properties of these fruits. So why not squeeze in some fresh citrus?
- Coconut oil: Add a spoonful of oil to enjoy its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Coconut oil also soothes the throat by lubricating mucous membranes.
- Echinacea: This powerful supplement is full of anti-inflammatory properties that help to ramp up the immune system. Be sure to ask your doctor about taking Echinacea if you currently take any medications.
- Cinnamon, cayenne pepper, red pepper, black pepper, and chili pepper: These spices all have antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Many also contain a compound called capsaicin which acts as a natural pain reliever. Black pepper contains a compound called piperine that increases the absorption of nutrients to help support the immune system.
- Cloves: Tasty cloves wake up the senses while also providing anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits.
While all of these additions can make your tea healthier, tastier, and more powerful against sore throats, honey is the one to pick if you can only get your hands on one.
According to a 2018 study, honey has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties — and it also coats the throat to protect it further.
Always pick raw honey over processed honey to retain all of the benefits of this neck-friendly nectar! Check out some of my recommended manuka honey brands for the best result.
Final Thoughts on Using Black Tea for Sore Throat
The evidence speaks for itself!
Black tea is one of the best drinks for sore throat. In addition to providing hydration and warmth to your sore, inflamed throat, black tea also helps to potentially kill the bacteria and viruses responsible for sore throat symptoms.
Be sure to stock your kitchen with black tea, raw honey, and some other herbs and spices to treat your throat when cold and flu season strikes!
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