I would guess that thyme and sage are familiar culinary herbs every cook has used as flavouring. Less well known, I’m sure, is their value in helping to fight cold symptoms and all kinds of bronchial problems. This is one more reason to dose up on home-made bone broth when you’re sick, since these two herbs are basic ingredients. But there is another excellent way to enjoy their benefits.

When I start to notice cold symptoms at our house, I put the kettle on to make thyme tea. I use fresh herbs if they are available, but dried herbs are fine too. I grow and dry my own, so I know that they are only as old as the previous summer. Dried herbs will keep for many years, but they do lose their quality over time.

How to Make Thyme Tea

I like to use a thermal tea pot so that I can made a large amount that will stay hot and continue steeping throughout the day, but if you want to make it in a cup or a press, adjust the quantities. It’s not an exact science, so go ahead and err on the side of more herbs rather than less.

Into a four-serving pot, I put a handful (about a quarter cup) of thyme sprigs, and six or seven sage leaves. Heat filtered water to about 205 degrees and pour over the herbs. Put the top on the pot to keep the heat in and let the tea steep for at least twenty minutes.

To serve, pour the tea through a tea strainer. Add raw local honey to taste. A slice of organic lemon brings added benefits as well, so experiment to see if you prefer the taste with lemon or without.
By the way, breath the steam. It’s great for your lungs.

Why It Works

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) traditionally has been used for respiratory problems, and for fighting infections in general. This potent plant has a long list of beneficial properties including being antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial.
Sage (Salvia officinalis), with its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, is a go-to herb for sore throats and mouths, and for sinus infections.  
Local raw honey is antibacterial and contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It has long been used to sooth coughs, and more recently is also thought to help fight allergies. Important: Do not give honey to children under one year old.
Lemon is another common food that is antibacterial and antiviral, as well as containing Vitamin C and antioxidants.
Thyme and sage are perennials, and very easy to grow. Consider tucking a few plants into your flowerbed or vegetable garden, or grow them in a pot in a sunny spot around your home.