Six winter warming, flu-fighting spices for your cuppa


Curling up under a cosy blanket with a hot cuppa is just what winter ordered – especially if you are feeling a little under the weather.  

Our go-to cuppa in times like these is the good old Rooibos, with a kick. Besides soothing a sore throat and easing congestion, it is also packed with antioxidants and helps to remove free radicals from the body. 

Take your tea to the next level, by adding these good-for-you spices, recommended by the SA Rooibos Council, to create a healthy, warming winter brew: 

Cardamom for colds & coughs: Both green and black cardamom help to boost immunity, but research suggests that the black pods are especially effective at alleviating colds, dry coughs and other respiratory issues.

Cinnamon for a sore throat: Chinese and Indian medicine has used cinnamon to treat a variety of conditions. It’s known for its ability to help relieve colds and flu symptoms and soothe sore throats. It is rich in polyphenols that boost the body’s natural immunity, is antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. Soak a cinnamon stick in Rooibos with a few drops of honey two to three times a day to clear a sore throat.

Black pepper guards your chest: Traditional Indian drinks often contain black pepper, because of its soothing effects on stubborn coughs and colds. It contains vitamin C, antioxidants and is antibacterial. It’s also said to keep the winter chills at bay and will help strengthen your immunity and guard against respiratory infections and chest congestion.

Cloves for flu: This spice is a potent anti-inflammatory, which is often used to help soothe coughs, sore throats, sinusitis and other common cold and flu symptoms. It also helps to loosen mucus in the throat and oesophagus, making it easier to cough up.

Ginger for colds: Known and used around the world as a herbal cold treatment, this root is sure to warm you up. Antioxidants and other nutrients in ginger, combined with its antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, will help ease a sore throat and other cold symptoms.

Turmeric for your immune system: This powerful all-in-one spice is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral and antiseptic and is a trusted cold and flu fighter among traditional healers. It’s also known for bolstering the immune system and supports healthy joint function.