How can we help a friend or loved one who is experiencing grief from a losing a loved one?
Sometimes, the greatest gift of all is just being there to listen, even when nothing is said. Take a “time out” with a friend, fill the kettle with water, and share a pot of tea. No…the tea will never make the pain go away, as this is the price we pay for loving somebody. However, sipping on a cup of soothing herbal tea can help soothe the soul and support your friend’s immune system at the same time.
For thousands of centuries, people all over the world have been drinking tea, and for good reason.
The systems in our body are all interconnected with each susceptible to the effects of stress and grief. The immune system is our body’s defense system that helps us fight off colds, flu, and other infections. When grieving we can begin to feel tired, run down and lose our ability to fight off illness. And, if an underlying illness already exists, grief can make it take longer to resolve. Herbal teas are an inexpensive go-to that can help normalize the systems in our body when we are feeling stressed or want to give our immune system a little support.
Remember, your friend knows that he or she should be exercising, eating right, and getting adequate sleep to keep healthy during their grief but, when in deep grief, it just may not even be possible at times. We can support our friend by beginning with small steps, such as simply as enjoying a cup of tea. Eventually your friend will have more energy and you can increase your activities together such as walking just 15-20 minutes a day out in the open air to feel the sun, wind or rain.
As an added benefit, many herbal teas also support our digestive system. Many digestive issues stem from some form of stress, which is why understanding the gut-brain connection is so important. The gut-brain connection is a component in our “Celebrate Life” grief coaching program which discusses the balance of your gut bacteria, and your overall health when bereaved.
While some teas provide more health advantages than others, there is plenty of evidence that drinking tea regularly can have a lasting impact on your wellness.
Here is a list of suggested herbal teas that can help your friend cope better, both physically and mentally while supporting their immune system:
Echinacea tea is one of the most well-known herbal teas for boosting immunity as it stimulates the immune system by boosting the number of white blood cells. It also helps control blood sugar, manage anxiety, and reduces inflammation.
Elderflower tea helps to relieve the symptoms of colds and flu, sinus infections, damaged joints and lowering cholesterol levels. It is rich in bioflavonoids that act as both antibacterial and antiviral agents.
Licorice is an antiviral, helpful for increasing immunity and helps the body produce healthy mucus. The immune boosting properties of glycyrrhizic acid in licorice is known to restore balance in our gut bacteria and lower inflammation levels. Good gut health equals a stronger immune system and greater defense against germs and bacteria.
Rosehip tea is unlike any tea you’ve tried before. Rosehips are one of the best natural sources of vitamin C, which is important for a strong immune system. Rosehips are also a helpful natural remedy for urinary tract infections. Plus, rosehips have vitamin E which reduces your risk of acquiring degenerative diseases and the effects of premature aging.
Ginger tea, rich in antioxidants, is a popular remedy for nausea and has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It is also known to help with weight loss, clear up congestion and relieve aches and pains.
Barley tea is popular in Eastern Asia, including Taiwan, Japan, China and Korea. Its toasty flavor is due to the fact that it is roasted before steeped in either hot or cold water. Regularly drinking barley tea can improve your overall health. It can boost your immune system and act as a potent weight loss agent. Additionally, this tea is high in Vitamin C, is a natural antacid that can prevent acid reflux, and its fiber can help with regular bowel movement.
Oatstraw has been used to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Oatstraw is high in Vitamins A, D and E, all of which are beneficial to your skin too. It is also a source of calcium which helps build strong bones.
You can drink each tea on its own or try these immune boosting tea blends:
· Elderflower, ginger, peppermint, calendula
· Elderflower, rosehip, licorice, thyme
· Echinacea, elderflower, oatstraw
· Rosehips, oatstraw, peppermint
· Barley, ginger, cinnamon, orange rind
· Echinacea, rosehips, lemon peel, ginger
While a majority of teas are beneficial for your health, there are a few varieties you may want to avoid:
Detox teas: These blends are typically for fad diets that suggest you will quickly lose weight. They are often laced with laxatives that can be harmful to your health.
Fancy tea lattes from your favorite coffee shop: While some of these drinks, such as a matcha tea latte, may be marketed as being a healthy beverage, they are loaded with sugar.
Bubble teas: These fun drinks are loaded with sugar, calories and carbs, with little to no nutritional value.
Allergies: Many herbal teas contain different types of fruits, herbs, spices and flowers that some people are allergic to. If you have allergies, always read the ingredients on the package before you consume a new herbal tea.
Take some time to slow down and enjoy your cup of tea. It works wonders for your stress levels and resets the mind! The more kinds you can drink, the better. Enjoy hot or cold.
Use your Mourning Drive to manage your grief and become the best version of yourself!
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. The information provided is based on my personal experience and studies. As grief health coaches, we help guide you to reach your own health and wellness goals.