We hope your 2018 is off to a great start. January in Duluth is a time of resolutions both new and renewed, nosediving temperatures, and also (most unfortunately) peak cold and flu season. Fortunately, there are lots of tea options that serve as natural remedies and either hasten recovery, or better yet, ward off illness in the first place. Here are Snooty’s top three picks:

Sunnie’s Soother

An aromatic herbal, this tea helps cure what Grandma Suntina called gutturale — Italian for throatiness. Blending clove, peppermint, and licorice into a cup of comfort, it will help sooth away any sore throat. Cloves in tea can act as an expectorant and are a natural analgesic or pain soother. All-natural and full of antioxidants, this tea will have you feeling better in no time.

Black Spice

Warming and comforting, yet zesty. Clove, cinnamon, and orange mingle together to make this black blend a sweet and spicy delight! If you feel under the weather and need a boost, Black Spice is a great choice.

As mentioned above, clove is a natural painkiller, and the cinnamon really opens the sinuses if you’re stuffed up. Powerfully aromatic, this is also the best tea for banishing headaches.

Chai Sisu

On a frigid January day, this chai blend might just give you the Sisu you need to tough it out. It is difficult to translate, but Sisu is a Finnish word that means guts, grit, perseverance. Like Black Spice, Chai Sisu contains black tea, cinnamon, cloves, and orange peel.

Cardamom adds delicacy to this potent combination, and anise adds a final, flavorful twist. In the same category as chaga (see below) anise is an adaptogen, meaning it reads what stressor is affecting the body and adaptively responds to that stress. When you’ve got a fever or have come down with a bad case of the chills, this tea is a lifesaver.

More generally, there are many different ingredients in tea that have their own remedial and healing properties. A few of the major ones to keep on-hand for whenever illness strikes:

Green Tea of Any Kind - With leaves that are packed with antioxidants, all varieties of Green Tea and Green Blends are a healthful choice whether you’re feeling under the weather or just trying to stay well!

Chaga - Native to this area, chaga is actually a type of mushroom! The many health benefits of this earthy, amazing organism when it has been dried and steeped in hot water are not yet fully understood by science, but it has anti-inflammatory properties and is also an adaptogen capable of targeting any particular stressor in the body and restoring balance.

Peppermint & Lavender - These fragrant ingredients are perfect for when headaches strike. They’re also ideal for treating nausea, and their calming, aromatherapeutic qualities relieve tension and support optimal functioning of the immune system. Try pure and simple Peppermint tea or get back on your feet with complex Wild Sarsaparilla and fruity Lavenderberry.

Ginger - A single whiff of this root will convince you of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potency, thanks to compounds including gingerols, curcumin, and salicylate. Teas containing ginger will work miracles on even the most intractable maladies. With a antioxidant-rich base of green and roasted mate, Ginger Maté also contains lemongrass and citrus notes, making it an all-around reviver thanks to a boost of Vitamin C.

We wish you a safe, happy, and healthy year to come!