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Homemade Herbal Immune Boosting Tea Recipe

Let’s just be honest, there is nothing fun about having a cold. It’s downright miserable and while the body can generally take care of itself, we can use herbs to boost immunity

The great thing about making tea blends for a cold is that all of the ingredients can be understood, it’s frugal, and pretty darn tasty. 

While we can maintain a healthy immune system through eating nutritious food and generally keeping a healthy lifestyle – everyone gets sick now and then. Those germy foreign invaders generally get us all once in a while. 

A white enamel cup full of tea with herbs floating on top, a spoon sticks out of the cup. A teapot in the background. Text overlay reads Homemade Immune Boosting Tea.

This immune boosting tea blend contains basic herbs and common spices for helping combat all those cold and flu symptoms while also being quite palatable.

The Herbs

There are a multitude of herbs known for their immune-boosting properties, this particular blend is just the best tea for a cold based on flavor and my experience with its effectiveness.

Please Note: As in all herbal teas and herbal medicine, do check with a doctor or herbalist to make sure none are harmful to you and your conditions. Double check with a pharmacist to make sure none of the herbs interact in a negative way with existing medications. Pregnant and nursing mothers should always ask for a professional’s advice. Avoid this tea if you’re allergic to any of the herbal ingredients.


Stinging nettle is high in vitamins and great for vital energy. It has been traditionally used to cleanse the liver and more. It’s an incredibly simple and yet nourishing herb full of health benefits for the body as a whole making it an ideal tonic for flu season. 

Oat Tops

Oat tops (not to be confused with the oats you eat for breakfast) are also high in vitamins, nourish the immune system, and can help calm the nerves and encourage sleep. Never underestimate the important role good sleep plays in helping the body’s immune system stay strong.

Elder Flowers

Encourage sweating and as a result the cooling of fevers with the inclusion of elderflowers. Full of anti-inflammatory properties, eldflowers can help relieve some of that sinus pressure.

Blooming elderflowers on a bush.


Echinacea tea has long been studied for its ability to boost the immune response by increasing white blood cells and it these cells that fight infection in the body. The root is often used but is tougher to Echinacea leaf here makes the tea more tasty as well as suitable for fighting colds and flus.

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm does indeed provide a nice flavor and it is high antimicrobial properties and antibacterial properties. The combination of flavor and medicinal properties allows it to do double duty. A nervine, lemon balm can further aid calmness and sleep. It has been studied for its ability to stimulate an immune response making it ideal for fighting colds.

A stem of fresh lemon balm sits on a cutting board with a pair of scissors.

Licorice Root

Yes, licorice root will provide a bit of that black licorice flavor to the tea. It is also a demulcent meaning it relieves irritation in the mucus membranes which tend to get inflamed when sick. It can also be great for soothing a sore throat and an upset stomach which can often happen with a cold. 

Blue Mallow

This lovely flower is great for dry coughs and irritations to the mouth and throat. It’s probably one of the less commonly used herbs but it’s benefit here is great. High in antioxidant properties it may just go a long whay in proving a quick recovery. 


Cardamom a common ingredient in sweet baked goods and spicy teas, is a flavorful addition to the tea. It also helps move congestion from both the digestive system and lungs out of the body meaning it has a great place in this blend. 


A spice we’re all familiar with but often ignore its medicinal properities. It’s a great way to add flavor whjile simultaneously soothin irritating coughs and helping to dissolve mucus. It can also provide just a hint of sweetness to the tea without adding sugar.

A small open jar of ground cinnamon with a spoon sticking out of it sits next to a bundle of cinnamon sticks tied togehter with rope.

Make Ahead

Tea for colds is an easy herbal remedy to make in advance and have ready to call into service quickly. There’s no need to worry about time to infuse like in making tinctures and truly all that is needed here is the herbs, a jar, a cup, tea ball / strainer and boiling water.

We often feel like we have to make extensive herbal remedies to get the most healing benefit and while there are definitely times for those things – there are plenty of times when a simple and time honored cup of herbal tea can be just as effective if not as ‘glamorous’.


Sweetening in the herbal tea is a completely personal decision. If it feels necessary for you to enjoy the benefits of the tea choose something more natural and nourishing like maple syrup or raw honey over white sugar.

A white enamel cup full of tea with herbs floating on top, a spoon sticks out of the cup.

Manuka honey has been studied for its ability to fight colds, infections, and more. Consider adding just a bit of that to your tea to further add to its benefits.


There are some studies that show some of these herbs have diminishing returns when used for long periods of time. It shouldn’t be used as a daily tonic for overall health.

The best way to use it is by having a cup or two a day for a few weeks at a time – like when you’ve traveled or been exposed to someone else who is ill.

Of course try drinking a hot cup of tea or two each day when you feel cold symptoms coming on and for a day or two after it has passed.

Do sip your tea slowly, allow the steam to rise into your nasal passages and loosen up the stuffy nose.

Yield: 2 ounces / 30 Cups

Immune Boosting Tea

2 white cups full of herbal tea, cup in front has spoon sticking out, surrounded by dried herbs.

Boost your immune system's defense with this easy to make herbal tea blend.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 15 grams dried Nettle leaf (Urtica dioca) 
  • 15 grams dried Oat tops (Avena sativa) 
  • 7 grams dried Elder flower (Sambucus spp.) 
  • 7 grams dried Echinacea leaf (Echinacea purpura or angustifolia) 
  • 5 grams dried Lemon Balm leaf (Melissa officianalis)
  • 5 grams dried Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
  • 3 grams dried Blue Mallow flower (Malva sylvestris) 
  • 3 grams Cardamom seeds (Elettaria cardamomum) 
  • 3 grams Cinnamon chips (Cinnamomum verum or cassia) or broken Cinnamon Sticks


  1. Combine all the herbs in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Store with lid on and out of direct sunlight.

To Make a Cup of Tea

  1. Put one Tablespoon of herbal mix into a tea cup and cover with 1 cup of boiling water.  Steep for 15 minutes, sweeten if desired. Sip and enjoy slowly.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 Cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 4Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

We try our best but cannot guarantee that nutrition information is 100% accurate.

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Wednesday 3rd of February 2021

Can we use other mallow flower besides the Blue Mallow? I love using teas for my medicine. Never drank much tea before getting into herbs.

Kathie Lapcevic

Thursday 4th of February 2021

I imagine you could. Most of the time mallow roots are used but the flowers are still quite good.


Sunday 29th of November 2015

What a lovely tea. I would love to limit it to the herbs I grow. She uses so many herbs in this recipe. I wish I could use my elder flowers. The birds eat them before I can blink an eye.


Monday 29th of June 2015

Yum- what a gorgeous blend. Lemon balm can interact with thyroid replacement hormones. Any suggestions for a swap?


Monday 6th of July 2015

I'd just skip it honestly, if you were worried about lemon balm. If you want the lemony flavor maybe try lemon verbena.


Saturday 7th of March 2015

I rounded up all the ingrediants and my husband and I had our first cup this evening. How wonderful it is!

I have a question please. I am not all that familar with the herbs in this tea so I would like to know can I drink this tea more than once a day? I saw that one of the herbs listed was not to be used for prolonged periods. I do not remember which one it was though. Thank yoiu for your feedback. I could drink several cups of this a's delightful.


Monday 9th of March 2015

Licorice is an herb that, taken in larger doses, can raise the blood pressure. Taking the immune tea, when needed, 2-3 times a day should be just fine. - That's from Maria the post author.


Sunday 31st of August 2014

I want that tea pot. Seriously!

Lovely thought. We all need to stop and refresh ourselves with tea. Pinning this.

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