3 DIY Tisanes That Boost Immune Function
With autumn quickly approaching – and the looming cold and flu season – many people may be thinking about boosting their immune systems to avoid the dreaded yearly illnesses. While immune health is important all year round, the focus during colder months is often more prevalent because illnesses tend to spread more easily during this time.
There are many things people can do to improve their body’s ability to fight off pathogens. Exercising more, eating a diet full of nutrient-dense foods, and avoiding immune-busting vices such as smoking, are all great ways to keep your body in fighting shape.
However, you can add another thing to your immune-boosting routine to keep yourself safe from bacteria and other illnesses as the weather dips. You can make tisanes! But what are tisanes, and how do they help your immune system?
What Are Tisanes?
Tisane isn’t a word you hear all that often. However, a tisane is something you’ve likely had before. Tisanes are herbal teas, otherwise known as herbal infusions. These beverages are made by infusing hot water with herbs, spices and other plant-based ingredients. Tisanes aren’t always tea. Traditional and true teas are made from the Camellia sinensis plant. In contrast, tisanes are made using many different plants. These infusions, or tisanes, are also often called botanical beverages.
While tisanes are infused in hot water, they can be served both hot and cold. For example, infusing mint and lemon with boiling water and chilling it is considered a tisane. It’s simply cold when you drink it! They are also caffeine-free, unlike true teas. Tisanes date as far back as ancient Egypt and China, where they were used for their robust flavor or medicinal properties.
Image by Alice Pasqual on Unsplash: What tea can I drink to boost my immune system?
What Type Of Tisanes Are There?
Tisanes come in many different categories, depending on what part of the plant is used to make them. The types and their examples include:
- Leaf: lemon balm, mint, lemongrass
- Flower: hibiscus, lavender, rose, chamomile
- Bark: black cherry bark, slippery elm, cinnamon
- Root: ginger, chicory, echinacea
- Fruit/berry: blueberry, peach, apple, raspberry
- Seed/spice: caraway, fennel, cardamom
The above example of lemon and mint would fall under the category of a leaf tisane because it uses leaves to create flavor and aroma.
How Do You Make Homemade Tisanes?
Making tisanes at home is an easy process! You prepare them as an infusion or decoction. Infusion, or steeping, involves pouring boiling water over the plant material you have chosen to use in your tisane and letting it sit for a specific amount of time.
Since you can use so many different ingredients, the length of time you steep each tisane will vary greatly. Some may only need two minutes, while others may need as long as 15.
Another way to make tisanes, known as a decoction, is by placing the plant material into boiling water so that the essential oils are released better. Typically, each method is reserved for specific types of plant matter. For example, a decoction is the better way to go if you plan to use more rigid plant substances such as bark or roots. Infusions are better for leaves, flowers and seeds.
Is Herbal Tea Good For Immunity?
Herbal teas can be good for immunity. However, it’s not about drinking any old herbal tea but rather what ingredients you use! The plants used in the tisane are what give it its medicinal properties.
Image by Lidiya Pavlikova on Unsplash: What tisanes are good for immune health?
Immune Boosting Herbal Tea Recipes You Can Try At Home
Making your own tisane at home can be as simple as picking your ingredients and going through the infusion or decoction process. However, if you want to reap the immunity rewards, you’ll have to choose the proper substances!
Here are three of the best immune-boosting herbal tea remedies you can make easily at home:
1. Tulsi Tea
Tulsi – often considered the queen of herbs – is commonly referred to as holy basil. The plant can be used for its leaves, or in dried or juice form. The tea has been shown to help improve the immune system by calming stress and anxiety and preventing respiratory illnesses like bronchitis. It also contains antimicrobial properties.
To make tulsi tea, you will need:
- ¼ cup basil
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- Add tulsi leaves to a pot or saucepan and one and ¼ cups of water
- Bring them both to a boil and reduce to a simmer after 15 minutes
- Once they have been boiled and reduced, strain the leaves out from the water
- Stir in lemon juice and honey
2. Mint Tea
Mint is a highly beneficial plant used for various health complaints. When it comes to the immune system, mint has been shown to provide antibacterial properties that can help prevent colds and other bacterial infections. Peppermint can modulate the immune system for better action against pathogens.
To make mint tea, you will need:
- 10 mint leaves
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- The juice from 1 lemon
- Tear the mint leaves into smaller pieces and place them into a pan
- Add two cups of water to the leaves and bring to a boil
- Once boiling, add the rosemary sprig and continue to boil for three to five minutes more
- Turn off the burner and let the mixture sit until cooled
- Strain the leaves and rosemary
- Add honey and lemon juice
3. Ashwagandha tea
Ashwagandha is often hailed for its anxiety-fighting benefits. The plant can also aid in the reduction of overall inflammation and the action of pro-inflammatory immune cells. While inflammation can be a good sign that the immune system is working, it can cause a host of issues and malfunctioning immunity if it becomes chronic.
To make ashwagandha tea, you will need:
- A dried ashwagandha root, roughly 5-inches long
- Honey, to taste
- One cup of water
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
- Boil the cup of water in a pot or saucepan
- Once boiled, add the ashwagandha root and put a lid on the pot
- Let the root boil, covered, for a few minutes
- Turn the heat down, and with the lid on, allow the root to steam for up to 15 minutes
- Remove from heat and let the root rest until slightly cooled
- Strain the root from the water and add as much honey or lemon as you’d like
These tisanes are so simple and enjoyable that you can drink them all fall and winter! If you’re looking for an added boost, mix the ingredients for an even more robust, immune-boosting tisane.
Featured image by Tamara Schipchinskaya on Unsplash
Leave A Comments