Spice Tea – Yummy Cold and Flu Blaster

Posted by on Jan 7, 2018 in Do-It-Yourself, Frugal For Everyone, Green Living, Health, Recipes | 62 comments

spice teaThis Spice Tea is must for anyone living in Canada right now. It is so cold across the country that the Calgary Zoo actually brought their penguins indoors. You know it’s extreme when even the penguins can’t take it.

So one thing you don’t want is to start these cold mornings with smoothies. Much better to start the day with Spice Tea, which not only warms you up before heading out, but also provides a great defense against colds and flu.

This recipe is a variation of the popular Chai Tea. It’s made with everyday spices selected for their immune boosting properties and specifically aimed at keeping colds and flu away.

A great thing about this Spice Tea mix is that the ingredients are everyday spices and products found in most homes so it’s not necessary to run to specialty stores.

The basic Spice Tea Mix contains the following ground spices:

1 Tbsp. each of – Allspice and Cloves

1/4 cup each of – Cardamom*  and Nutmeg

1/2 cup each of – Cinnamon and Ginger

Contents from 16 Tea Bags – Can be black or green tea

Mix everything together and store in air-tight jar in a dark location. This makes about 28 tablespoons mix, enough for 6 or 7 pots.

* Because cardamom is very expensive many people do not keep this spice on hand. The cardamom in this recipe can be replaced by:

  • a blend of 2 Tbsp. each nutmeg and cinnamon or
  • 2 Tbsp. each of cinnamon and cloves.

To make a pot of Spice Tea:

  • 2 cups milk – any type of milk can be used: whole, soy (best for lowering cholesterol), rice milk (most hypoallergenic), or your personal choice of flavoured milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 3-4 Tbsp. spice tea mix, more or less depending on personal taste. (Best contained, see note below).

2-3 tsp raw honey.

Directions: Put all the ingredients in a medium size saucepan and slowly bring to a boil. Let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat; take out the spice bag(s) and add 2 – 3 tsp. raw honey (honey should not be heated). Pour into a teapot or straight into cups if preferred and serve. Lightly sprinkle with favourite spice – our spice of choice is cinnamon for best taste or turmeric for best health.

spice teaNOTE: The first time I made this I added the loose spice mix right to the liquid in the pan. That was a mistake. I didn’t realize that the spices would expand the way they do and ended up with such a thick mixture that only half of it would go through the strainer. Because of my herbs I always have a quantity of self-sealing tea bags around and use them to make up spice tea bags ahead of time, filling them loosely to allow room for expansion.  The  large tea bag (pot size) is filled with 1/4 cup mix and the smaller ones use 3/4 Tbsp. mix. The same could be done using squares of cheesecloth, as shown. The packages will still need to be stored in an air-tight jar in a dark location.

To make Spice Tea for one:

  • 1/2 cup milk: whole, soy (best for lowering cholesterol), rice milk (most hypoallergenic), or your personal choice of flavoured milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 to 1 1/2  Tbsp. spice tea mix

Dab of raw honey

Directions: As above.

Health Benefits of the Spice Tea ingredients:

BLACK TEA – Helps prevent cardiovascular disease; controls cholesterol; protects HDL the good cholesterol; strengthens the immune system; rich in the antioxidants that help cut the risk of cancer; promotes a general feeling of well-being.

ALLSPICE – Soothes symptoms of colds and flu; relieves stomach related problems – constipation, flatulence, indigestion, vomiting; eases menstrual cramping; stabilizes blood pressure and blood sugar levels; anti-bacterial, kills germs on teeth and gums, relieves tooth ache.

CARDAMOM – Immune system booster; soothes mucous membranes and lessens respiratory allergies; improves blood circulation; relieves stomach related problems – flatulence, heartburn, nausea, vomiting; increases appetite; supports the digestive system.

CINNAMON – Natural pain reliever; fights colds, flu and sore throats; anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal; stimulates circulation; helps detoxify the body; helps balance blood sugar levels; lowers cholesterol; helps relieve stomach problems – nausea, diarrhea; lessens menstrual cramps; calming agent.

CLOVES – High in antioxidants that help support the immune system. An expectorant, helps clear mucous membranes and cut phlegm; warming, soothes symptoms of flu and colds; pain reliever – relieves toothaches and gum pain; soothes ulcers; lessens nausea.

GINGER – Boosts the immune system; fights colds, flu and sore throats, loosens congestion; reduces sinusitis; anti-inflammatory relieves aches and pain from arthritis; improves circulation; soothes the stomach; reduces flatulence; used in the fight against cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

NUTMEG – Reduces drying of mucous membranes; keeps airways moist and open; supports digestive system.

OTHER. A pinch or sprinkle of either one – or both – of the following spices can be very effective in the prevention and treatment of colds, flu and fever. Both promote a feeling of general well-being.

  1. CAYENNE – Cayenne warms the body and a pinch added to the tea can promote the release of mucous from the sinus and respiratory passages. It stimulates sweating which helps to bring down a fever and remove toxins from the body. Increases circulation.
  2. TURMERIC – Excellent anti-inflammatory, turmeric is highly effective in preventing colds and flu. Boosts the immune system and supports liver function. It has anti-viral and antiseptic properties.

RAW HONEY – Anti-bacterial and loaded with enzymes, vitamins and minerals that work together to boost the immune system, fight against germs and prevent or lessen the severity of colds and flu. Greatly increases the antioxidant activity of other foods and spices.

Drinking two cups of Spice Tea a day will significantly boost the immune system and prevent colds and flu – or at the very least, lessen the symptoms. As a bonus, this tea is a delicious, comforting winter drink that lifts your spirits and just plain and simple makes you feel good.

Talk to you again soon,


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  1. This past Tuesday we in Southern California were hit by a massive rainstorm – it wasn’t bitterly cold but it wasn’t a day to go out, either – although I drank coffee (it’s what I had on hand) that day, it sounds like your spice tea would be the ideal drink for such an occasion.

    • Good Sunday Morning Andy. We’ve been following the news from California and all the rain you’ve had. What a horrible thing that mudslide was – apparently there are still 40+ people missing. Families must be going crazy trying to find out if their loved ones are among that number – so very tragic. Is that anywhere close to you?
      Anyway, you are right. A wet, grey day deserves a cup of spice tea as much as our cold snowy ones. Have a great week. 🙂

      • We experienced some minor flooding but thankfully no mudslides (we’re in San Diego County, south of where they happened).

        • I’m glad you weren’t affected in any big way – take care.

  2. This does sound like a wonderful tea. I have gotten to like the taste of a spicy tea, and I have been learning how much benefit Cinnamon and Ginger has. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi William – it’s hard to believe that the spices we took for granted for so long have such wonderful health benefits. Hope you try this tea the next time you come in from shoveling all that snow. It’s the perfect picker-upper after something like that.

  3. Just had a cup of Lavender tea and thought of you. This recipe sounds delicious–even with a heat wave in Pittsburgh–yes, it hit 40.

    • What’s a heat wave feel like? We’ve been in the deep-freeze for so long that I can’t remember. Glad you’re drinking lavender tea – is it helping you to sleep. It was Queen Elizabeth the first’ favourite drink so that puts you right up there with royalty. 🙂

  4. Your cold weather tea sounds wonderful, but I’m too lazy to make it. Luckily, I now live in Florida and we had a “cold spell” last week when it was only in the high 50’s and low 60s during the day. None of my friends up north felt sorry for me, however!

    • Jeannette, don’t you miss New York, the cold and the snow even a little bit? I read that because of the ‘snow bomb’ parts of Florida got so cold that frozen iguanas were falling from trees. Obviously not in your area. I’ll have to come up with a healthy, no-work, cold tea just for you. Enjoy your laziness.

  5. We could use a little warmth all over Lenie. Today is the first time it has been above freezing in New York for 16 days. Hasn’t happened since 1961.

    • I know Ken, it’s been brutal. We haven’t hit the above freezing yet – apparently forecast for the next two days and then back into a severe storm. Ah, the joys of living in North America. BTW Happy New Year – hope it’s a great one.

  6. I must admit I’m not much of a tea drinker – coffee is my beverage of choice. It’s pretty chilly here – like everywhere right now – and I try and make myself drink at least a couple of cups of green tea during the day, but it’s not my favorite thing. My sister, however, loves the stuff so I’m going to forward your post to her because I think she would love this recipe!

    • Hi Marquita, Happy 2018. You must find it quite a change from Hawaii. No more warm breezes for you. Anyway, I appreciate you sharing the recipe with your sister. Hope she enjoys it and that she never gets the cold or flu because she drinks it. 🙂

  7. The flu season is starting now. Hope I will not need to try your remedies:-).

    • Catarina, I hope you don’t have to take the spice tea for cold or flu but you could drink it because it tastes good.

  8. I like the idea of drinking the spiced tea first thing in the morning to warm up the body, keeping flu and colds away.

    • HI Bola, Happy 2018. The Spice Tea is a great drink in the wintertime – very comforting and a great defense against cold and flu.

  9. Wow Lenie, what a useful post! I love tea but am not a huge fan of chai and warm/milky spiced drinks… not sure why. However, reading about all the health benefits of each ingredient (thanks for that!) I’m seriously considering giving this a go. We just got a smoothie maker for Christmas but you’re right, cold smoothies at this time of year are not the way forward!

    • Hi Monika, hope you try this spice tea. While it’s based on chai tea to my way of thinking it tastes much better. I don’t care for the purchased chai tea either but sure enjoy this.

  10. Happy New Year Lenie!

    Spice tea sounds tasty – perfect for cold winter nights and frosty winter mornings!

    I bought hot apple and cinnamon tea at a coffee shop. It was a Christmas promotion and tasted delicious. I was unsure what to expect and was impressed with the richness of the drink.

    • Happy New Year to you too Phoenicia. It’s interesting how the tea and coffee shops are starting to offer all these different flavours, isn’t it. You’ll have to try this spice tea – it’s very comforting especially when the weather is nasty.

  11. Earlier this year I went through a box of Bigelow Vanilla Chai tea, and I have to say that I didn’t care for it, so I guess I am the exception to the rule that everyone likes chai tea. After that I went through a box of Carrington Peppermint herbal tea, which was much more to my liking, and I’m currently going through a box of Celestial Seasonings’ Chamomile herbal tea. (FYI: I usually drink tea in the afternoon, and I have to be a bit careful about caffeine consumption late in the day.) Is there anything ‘protective’ about peppermint or chamomile that you know about?

    • Good morning Andy. I like a cup of mint tea too although I don’t care for chamomile – I find it too bland although after reading the health benefits you many even be tempted to combine mint and chamomile. So here goes, the health benefits of mint and chamomile tea. Keep in mind this is only a small part of the benefits – both teas can also be used externally to prevent a host of other problems.
      MINT Tea -Strengthens the immune system; reduces fever; relieves nausea and vomiting; relieves and prevents motion sickness; great digestive aid – bloating, cramping, excess gas; eliminates bad breath; a natural stress reliever.
      CHAMOMILE Tea – Many similar benefits as mint; relieves allergies and sinus problems; treatment for gastritis, colitis, Crohn’s disease and other stomach problems like nausea, gas and heartburn; sleep-aid for insomniacs.
      As I will not be posting until the New Year now I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year.

  12. This Tea mixture sounds yummy & healthy. Like some other folks have said, I tend to drink more tea in the wintertime. I’ll try anything to keep my immune system operating in top gear, so I’ll be mixing some of this up for sure.

    • Rose, I think you may be surprised just how good this tastes. It just feels comforting and that it boosts the immune system is bonus. 🙂

  13. That sounds like an easy recipe. I need to try it.

  14. Hi, Lenie

    I always am tea drinker. Never like soft-drink.
    Your tea looks like very tasty. It can protect me from cold during winter. I will go ahead and try that tea.

    – Stella Chiu

    • Good morning Stella, please do try the tea. After experimenting with getting the right amount of spices in the mix, I really enjoy this. I have two cups a day, one in the morning and one mid-afternoon and while I know the tea us healthy I also like it because it is just such a comforting drink. Thanks for your comment, always appreciated.

  15. This reads so deliciously I cannot wait to try the spice tea! Who knew it also has a health benefit to it. Thanks for this one Lenie!

    • Hi Patricia – this spice tea is a winner, if I say so myself. I love it with a little sprinkle of cinnamon on top. One of the commenters suggested making it with almond milk and that is definitely something I’ll be trying. If we’re going to fight colds and flu we might as well enjoy it, right?

  16. I do tend to drink a good amount of tea in the winter and know I would enjoy this. Thanks for sharing. It would make a great easy gift as well for tea lovers.

    • Jeri, I think you’ll really enjoy this. It is so smooth and of course, so healthy. It would definitely make a thoughtful gift and it doesn’t even have to be tea lovers. I’ve never been much of a regular tea drinker but I have no problem replacing coffee with this Spice Tea. It is very comforting.

  17. Sounds like one I will have to try. I can’t seem to find mullein tea anywhere now and that was my staple in the winter to avoid colds (courtesy of you!!) I have been drinking a warm turmeric drink in the mornings as it is a great anti-inflammatory and with the neck troubles I have been having it really helps! It also contains lemon and honey so might help prevent colds also. Love my hot teas. (But of course still have to have that morning coffee or 3 to kick start my day!) Just half a teaspoon of turmeric, honey to taste (1/2 to 1 tsp), juice of half a lemon and hot water. Top with a sprinkle of fresh ground black pepper. All your aches and pains will go away! Took a bit to get used to the taste (and to get the amount of honey needed just right) but now I start every morning with it. My neck feels great!

    • Nancy, I can’t believe it but I actually forgot about mullein tea and yet that was a mainstay at our house when our boys were still at home and they were never sick. As far as finding the mullein, come to our place late summer and you and I will go on a mullein hunt – actually we won’t have to go far because it grows all over here.
      Thanks for the pain remedy – what exactly is the pain you have in your neck – is it arthritis or something else? You gave me the idea to do a post on natural pain relief – I’ll look at that for next year sometime and use your remedy.
      Enjoy this drink – I really enjoy it and you know what kind of coffee drinker I used to be. Now it’s two cups of spice tea a day.

      • I actually have a couple of deteriorating discs in my neck and it was pinching a nerve a few years ago. I am also told I have a bit of arthritis in there now too. The turmeric drink really helps with the inflammation. I will definitely come for a “mullein” hunt! I love mullein tea and I haven’t been able to find it the last few years…probably why I have been catching colds after many years without one! If I can do natural pain relief without drugs, I do it every time! Any hints you can give will be certainly tried out! I find lemon balm tea helps with the headaches I occasionally get still because of the surgery I had 15 years ago. My biggest weapons against arthritis pain in my one knee, my thumb and my neck are the turmeric drink and glucosamine. Gettin’ old! Old battle wounds coming back to haunt me…

        • Sorry to hear about all these aches and pains but looking forward to the mullein hunt. Hopefully this spice tea will keep you cold and flu free this winter and I am now definitely going to write a post on natural pain relief in the New Year. Old battle wounds indeed, I remember those battles well. 🙂

  18. Great for just enjoying tea as well, much like spiced Chai tea.Almond, coconut and cashew milks are also hypoallergenic. I use coconut milk to make hot chocolate and oat meal.

    Again, a great article and wonderful information!!

    • Hello Randy, welcome to my blog. Thanks for your comment. I’ve just visited your blog and really enjoyed the article ‘Herbs for healthy kids’. I also appreciate the tip about the different milks – my evening snack is a bowl of oatmeal, cooked in soy milk (have to watch that cholesterol) and topped with almonds. I’m going to try cooking it with almond milk instead of soy while keeping the rest the same. Sounds rather good. Anyway, this tea has become a favourite of mine – very smooth and comforting – great for seeing me through the Canadian winters.

  19. What a timely post Lenie! And it sounds delicious too. I haven’t been drinking my smoothies lately because it’s so cold. Now I have something new to try!

    • Meredith, knowing you are such a coffee drinker I think you’ll really enjoy this Spice Tea. It’s a nice bridge between regular tea and coffee. I’ve replaced my smoothies with this too. Hope you enjoy.

  20. Lenie this sounds wonderful and I’m definitely going to try it! I’ve never drunk a lot of sodas or even commercial juices or teas, but last year I stopped drinking them all together and began making my own so this is perfect. It doesn’t get cold where I am – well at least not like it does where you live, but it is chilly these mornings so this sounds like a real winner. Thanks!

    • Marquita, this tea is a real nice relaxant – great way to start the day. Even though I’m not a Starbucks person we do have to thank them for the increased interest in different teas and coffees. Who would have thought about adding spices to tea a few years back – not me, that’s for sure. Learning all the time Marquita, isn’t it great?

  21. I’ve never had spice tea. I’m not a huge tea drinker, but I will give this a try if I get sick. Something about a cold does make tea seem more appealing. And I can see how many of the spices would be beneficial for strengthening your immune system. I rarely ever get sick (the joys of living in a warm climate), but I will definitely keep this in mind the next time it happens. And maybe I’ll just try putting the spices in a soup as prevention.

    • Erica, I’m not a great tea drinker – the regular black or green tea, that is – but I sure enjoy this. Drinking a couple of cups a day keeps me from getting colds and since I do have a weak immune system it definitely needs all the help it can get.

  22. A really innovative approach to a healthy winter. Thanks for this tip.

  23. Thanks for sharing, Lenie! I’m a big fan of spice in tea. I love chai tea and made it several time from scratch. I will be trying this one soon.

    • Sabrina, I think you will really enjoy this tea – very smooth and with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top, oh so yummy.

  24. What a great post, I do have a question? Where were you last week when I sick with the flu?

    • Sorry William – last week I was writing this post….. If you get with the program now you may prevent any more cold or flu. Living where you do it will also be good to have a comforting cup of this tea after you’ve been shoveling all that snow. 🙂

  25. Great use of spices and tea to fight cold and flu. And it sounds fairly easy to make.

    • Donna, this tea is easy to make, so good for you and it tastes great. Rather a winning combination.

  26. Sounds both delicious and a good way of feeling better when you have a cold or flu. The best is however to avoid getting colds and flu in the first place. A Swedish product called Coldzyme based on enzymes from fish stops you from getting colds and flu. All you do is spray yourself in the throat before you go out. If you are close to people with colds and/or flu you just spray yourself again before going to bed. Have used it for years and never had colds or flu. Stopped once and got flu.

    • Thanks for the tip Catarina, I’m sure it will be appreciated by many. I’ve never heard of Coldzyme before but will certainly check it out next time I’m in the Health Food store or the pharmacy.

  27. Everybody raves about chai tea!

    Who would have thought that spice tea would contain so many ingredients that are good for our body?

    • Phoenicia, I think it’s all about getting back to basics. People used to rely on this stuff for years but then the pharmaceutical companies started promoting their chemical products and we believed their stuff was better. Thank goodness we smartened up.

  28. Just what I need right now Lenie. I’ve been searching for a natural remedy to help my family’s immune system and you’ve very kindly shared these tips at the right time. Thanks again for sharing an informative post!

    • Good morning Bola – smart lady finding ways to ramp up your family’s immune system. At this time of year we get subjected to so many illnesses and so many people with colds and flu that strengthening the immune system is necessary. An enjoyable tea is much preferred over pills and what not. Stay well.

  29. Hi Lenie. Thx for sharing your recipe. I absolutely love tea blends, and yesterday, bought a selection of Christmas blends to enjoy and give over the holidays. I’m in BC right now, and enjoyed a Nanaimo Bar Tea Latte in Nanaimo. It was very innovative.

    • Hi Doreen – It’s really amazing, this renewed interest in tea in all kinds of blends. It used to be coffee was the thing and I still have a couple of cups to kick start the day but for morning and afternoon coffee breaks I now have the spice tea. It really does add to the relaxation time. 🙂

  30. That is too cool. Great minds do think alike. ? I have a chai tea mix recipe too. It’s a bit different. Among other things, the major differences are I use powdered milk and I grind the spices to a powder and go from there. ?

    • Susan, I thought you’d get a kick out of this after your post with the Spice Tea recipe last week. A few variations but the same general idea. Don’t you love the taste of it? Once I got the mix just right and started drinking this I couldn’t believe how great it tasted. Now I even have my husband drinking it and that says a lot – he usually sticks with the tried and true but he sure likes this. 🙂

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