{"id":606919819570,"title":"Best Tea for Congestion: Three Research-Backed Options","created_at":"2024-01-06T16:03:13-05:00","body_html":"\u003cscript type=\"application\/ld+json\"\u003e\/\/ \u003c![CDATA[\n{\n \"@context\": \"https:\/\/schema.org\",\n \"@type\": \"Article\",\n \"headline\": \"Best Tea for Congestion: Three Research-Backed Options\",\n \"keywords\": \"best tea for congestion\",\n \"description\": \"Our research team highlights three different types of tea that are clinically shown to help relieve congestion and other cold symptoms. We explain what we recommend looking for when sourcing a tea brand, and feature a video with an at-home cold relief tea recipe.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/best-tea-for-congestion\",\n\"author\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Calloway Cook\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/calloway-cook\",\n \"sameAs\": \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/calloway-cook\/\",\n \"jobTitle\": \"President\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"entrepreneurship, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, eCommerce, medical research\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": \"S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University\"\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"editor\": {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Taylor Graber\",\n \"honorificSuffix\": \"M.D.\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/taylor-graber\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/in\/taylor-j-graber-md-81351642\/\",\n \"https:\/\/www.asapivs.com\/\"\n ],\n \"jobTitle\": \"Content Partner\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"medicine, health, anesthesiology, iv therapy, science, drugs, pharmaceutical, medical research, scientific research, medical journals, entrepreneurship, healthcare, orthopedic surgery, biomedical engineering\",\n \"alumniOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"EducationalOrganization\",\n \"name\": [\n \"University of California San Diego\",\n \"Arizona University\",\n \"University of Arizona College of Medicine\"\n ]\n },\n \"memberOf\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n }\n},\n\"image\": {\n\"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n\"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Best_Tea_For_Congestion_Thumbnail.png?v=1704579503\",\n\"width\": \"1365\",\n\"height\": \"1365\"\n},\n\"citation\": [\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/19145994\/\", \n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/25010803\/\",\n\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/u-relax-review\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/33038782\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/32519524\/\",\n\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/19542766\/\",\n\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/pmid\/34550452\/\"\n],\n\"mentions\": [{\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"black tea\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"hot beverages\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"chamomile tea\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"flavoring agents\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Thing\",\n \"name\": \"Benifuuki green tea\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Person\",\n \"name\": \"Yovana Mendoza\"\n }\n],\n\"datePublished\": \"2024-01-06\",\n\"copyrightHolder\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\"\n},\n\"publisher\": {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Illuminate Labs\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/\",\n \"description\": \"Illuminate Labs is the most transparent supplement company in the U.S., and is a leading publisher of research-based health information.\",\n \"knowsAbout\": \"supplements, science, nutrition, exercise, health, medication, pharmaceutical, wellness, diet, weight loss, medical research\",\n \"publishingPrinciples\": \"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/pages\/editorial-guidelines\",\n \"memberOf\": [\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"U.S. Chamber of Commerce\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.uschamber.com\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Certified B Corp\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.bcorporation.net\/en-us\/\"\n },\n {\n \"@type\": \"Organization\",\n \"name\": \"Natural Products Association\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/www.npanational.org\/\"\n }\n ], \n \"logo\": {\n \"@type\": \"ImageObject\",\n \"url\": \"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Illuminate_Labs_Favicon_48x48_7595c3cc-e27b-47b8-a4fe-edcc7ed9b29a.png?v=1666502785\", \n \"width\": 48,\n \"height\": 48\n},\n \"foundingDate\": \"2019-01-30\",\n \"sameAs\": [\n \"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/twitter.com\/illuminatelabs\",\n \"https:\/\/www.linkedin.com\/company\/illuminate-labs-supplements\",\n \"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/channel\/UCpgSJAsIPb-fZ25djtTxBEA\"\n ]\n }\n}\n\/\/ ]]\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Best_Tea_For_Congestion_Article_Header_Image_Optimized.png?v=1704575306\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan class=\"dc\"\u003eT\u003c\/span\u003eea is often used as a cold and flu remedy. And while certain types of tea do have medicinal and functional benefits, there are so many different types of tea that it can be hard for individuals who are sick to choose the right one.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eBut are any types of tea clinically shown to relieve congestion? What should consumers be aware of when purchasing these teas? And are they safe to drink?\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn this article we'll answer all of these questions and more, as we survey clinical studies to share our top three types of tea to relieve congestion.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWe'll explain what we recommend consumers look out for when buying herbal tea, and discuss the relative safety of each tea type.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eOption 1 \u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e— Black Tea\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Black_Tea_Image.png?v=1704576266\"\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eHot black tea may be effective for relieving congestion with two separate mechanisms of action.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eHot beverages were shown to provide \"immediate and sustained relief\" for most common symptoms of cold and flu\u003c\/strong\u003e in a \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/19145994\/\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/a\u003e published in the \u003cem\u003eRhinology\u003c\/em\u003e journal.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eThis suggests that individuals suffering from congestion should make their tea hot, rather than cold, until their condition improves.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eHot black tea consumption was associated with reduced rates of nasal infection\u003c\/strong\u003e in a 2014 \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/25010803\/\"\u003epopulation study\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003eThe study authors theorized that this association was due to a potential antibacterial effect of black tea.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/piquelife.sjv.io\/2rvWA7\"\u003ePique Breakfast Black Tea\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e is our top black tea brand, because its only ingredient is organic black tea, it costs only $16 for a carton, and it comes in crystallized form in single-serve packet so you can just add hot water -- no tea pot or steeping is necessary.\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eOption 2 — Chamomile Tea\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Chamomile_Tea_Image.jpg?v=1704577456\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eChamomile tea is typically used to promote relaxation, because it's clinically shown to relieve anxiety symptoms as we documented in our review of \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/illuminatelabs.org\/blogs\/health\/u-relax-review\"\u003eU Relax\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eHowever, chamomile tea may also support optimal nasal airflow.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eA 2021 \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/33038782\/\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/a\u003e found that \u003cstrong\u003echamomile extract improved congestion and quality of life in individuals with chronic rhinosinusitis.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThis study used a nasal drop rather than an oral tea, and chamomile extract is more potent than chamomile tea, so this study doesn't necessarily prove that chamomile tea relieves congestion.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eHowever, since chamomile tea is a whole food product with ancillary health and mood benefits, it may be worth a try.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/amzn.to\/3NSin8Y\"\u003eFGO Organic Chamomile Tea\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e is our top chamomile tea brand, because its only ingredient is organic chamomile, and it costs \u003cstrong\u003eunder $0.20 per serving.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eHow to Qualify Tea Brands\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003eBefore proceeding to the final tea for congestion recommendation, we want to explain to consumers how we recommend qualifying tea brands.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eWe recommend choosing brands where the only ingredient is organic tea, and there are no questionable additives like \"natural flavors\" or citric acid.\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMany tea brands that we reviewed while researching this article contained added flavoring agents, and we prefer a clean formulation without these additives.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThe organic distinction is less important than the clean formulation distinction, but organic food has lower pesticide levels and higher phytonutrient levels according to a 2020 \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/32519524\/\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAll three of the tea brands we recommend in this article meet these formulation criteria.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eOption 3 — Benifuuki Green Tea\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0047\/1524\/9737\/files\/Green_Tea_Image_v2.png?v=1704578637\" alt=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBenifuuki is a specific type of green tea native to Japan. It's rich in compounds called methylated \u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003ecatechins, which appear to be effective at fighting allergy in early research.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eNasal symptom score in individuals drinking Benifuuki green tea was significantly lower than those drinking a placebo green tea\u003c\/strong\u003e, according to a \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/19542766\/\"\u003eclinical trial\u003c\/a\u003e published in the \u003cem\u003eAllergology International\u003c\/em\u003e journal.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTea catechins were shown to prevent the flu and upper respiratory tract infections in a 2021 \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov\/pmc\/articles\/pmid\/34550452\/\"\u003emedical review\u003c\/a\u003e, which furthers the theory that this type of tea may help relieve (or prevent) congestion.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003e\u003ca rel=\"sponsored\" href=\"https:\/\/amzn.to\/3TQRWEy\"\u003eChado Tea House Organic Benifuuki Green Tea\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/strong\u003e is our top Benifuuki green tea pick, because it has the organic certification and no unhealthy additives.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eHow to Make Tea for Colds at Home\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eA YouTube creator named Yovana Mendoza has a video with over 450,000 views that features a natural, at-home tea remedy for colds that can be made with ingredients sourced from a grocery store:\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe width=\"560\" height=\"315\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/0OaDMnhACO0?si=JyQLVXyo8BF630P9\" title=\"YouTube video player\" frameborder=\"0\" allow=\"accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share\" allowfullscreen=\"\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003ch2 style=\"text-align: center;\"\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eConclusion\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/h2\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWe're unable to find any clinical studies directly proving that oral consumption of tea relieves congestion in humans.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eHowever, we were able to identify clinical studies suggesting indirectly that three different types of tea (black tea, chamomile tea and Benifuuki green tea) may relieve congestion.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWe recommend that individuals dealing with congestion drink hot tea, because hot beverages alone are clinically shown to be associated with improved symptom scores.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWe recommend looking for tea brands with organic certifications and without additive ingredients when making a purchase decision.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eOne of the favorable aspects of using tea to relieve congestion is that there may be secondary health benefits.\u003c\/p\u003e","blog_id":49281925193,"author":"Calloway Cook","user_id":26601750601,"published_at":"2024-01-06T17:21:38-05:00","updated_at":"2024-01-06T17:22:55-05:00","summary_html":"We highlight three different types of tea that are clinically shown to help relieve congestion and other cold symptoms. We explain what we recommend looking for when sourcing a tea brand, and feature a video with an at-home cold relief tea recipe.","template_suffix":"","handle":"best-tea-for-congestion","tags":"_related:tea"}

Best Tea for Congestion: Three Research-Backed Options

Best Tea for Congestion: Three Research-Backed Options


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Tea is often used as a cold and flu remedy. And while certain types of tea do have medicinal and functional benefits, there are so many different types of tea that it can be hard for individuals who are sick to choose the right one.

But are any types of tea clinically shown to relieve congestion? What should consumers be aware of when purchasing these teas? And are they safe to drink?

In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more, as we survey clinical studies to share our top three types of tea to relieve congestion.

We'll explain what we recommend consumers look out for when buying herbal tea, and discuss the relative safety of each tea type.

Option 1 — Black Tea

Hot black tea may be effective for relieving congestion with two separate mechanisms of action.

Hot beverages were shown to provide "immediate and sustained relief" for most common symptoms of cold and flu in a clinical trial published in the Rhinology journal.

This suggests that individuals suffering from congestion should make their tea hot, rather than cold, until their condition improves.

Hot black tea consumption was associated with reduced rates of nasal infection in a 2014 population study.

The study authors theorized that this association was due to a potential antibacterial effect of black tea.

Pique Breakfast Black Tea is our top black tea brand, because its only ingredient is organic black tea, it costs only $16 for a carton, and it comes in crystallized form in single-serve packet so you can just add hot water -- no tea pot or steeping is necessary.

Option 2 — Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea is typically used to promote relaxation, because it's clinically shown to relieve anxiety symptoms as we documented in our review of U Relax.

However, chamomile tea may also support optimal nasal airflow.

A 2021 clinical trial found that chamomile extract improved congestion and quality of life in individuals with chronic rhinosinusitis.

This study used a nasal drop rather than an oral tea, and chamomile extract is more potent than chamomile tea, so this study doesn't necessarily prove that chamomile tea relieves congestion.

However, since chamomile tea is a whole food product with ancillary health and mood benefits, it may be worth a try.

FGO Organic Chamomile Tea is our top chamomile tea brand, because its only ingredient is organic chamomile, and it costs under $0.20 per serving.

How to Qualify Tea Brands

Before proceeding to the final tea for congestion recommendation, we want to explain to consumers how we recommend qualifying tea brands.

We recommend choosing brands where the only ingredient is organic tea, and there are no questionable additives like "natural flavors" or citric acid.

Many tea brands that we reviewed while researching this article contained added flavoring agents, and we prefer a clean formulation without these additives.

The organic distinction is less important than the clean formulation distinction, but organic food has lower pesticide levels and higher phytonutrient levels according to a 2020 medical review.

All three of the tea brands we recommend in this article meet these formulation criteria.

Option 3 — Benifuuki Green Tea

Benifuuki is a specific type of green tea native to Japan. It's rich in compounds called methylated catechins, which appear to be effective at fighting allergy in early research.

Nasal symptom score in individuals drinking Benifuuki green tea was significantly lower than those drinking a placebo green tea, according to a clinical trial published in the Allergology International journal.

Tea catechins were shown to prevent the flu and upper respiratory tract infections in a 2021 medical review, which furthers the theory that this type of tea may help relieve (or prevent) congestion.

Chado Tea House Organic Benifuuki Green Tea is our top Benifuuki green tea pick, because it has the organic certification and no unhealthy additives.

How to Make Tea for Colds at Home

A YouTube creator named Yovana Mendoza has a video with over 450,000 views that features a natural, at-home tea remedy for colds that can be made with ingredients sourced from a grocery store:

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

We're unable to find any clinical studies directly proving that oral consumption of tea relieves congestion in humans.

However, we were able to identify clinical studies suggesting indirectly that three different types of tea (black tea, chamomile tea and Benifuuki green tea) may relieve congestion.

We recommend that individuals dealing with congestion drink hot tea, because hot beverages alone are clinically shown to be associated with improved symptom scores.

We recommend looking for tea brands with organic certifications and without additive ingredients when making a purchase decision.

One of the favorable aspects of using tea to relieve congestion is that there may be secondary health benefits.