Respiratory Immunity Tea

A great tea for a stubborn sore throat, or when you want to power up your respiratory system.

This post comes from our friend Abbye Churchill — artist, herbalist and co-author of A Wilder Life.

By this time in winter, continuing to be stuck indoors can seem like a cruel joke. The dry air circulating makes throats sore and any lingering germs all the more likely to get the upper hand. This tea is great to use when a sore throat starts to kick in, or when you want to power up your respiratory system.

The potent herbs in this tea are packed with lung and throat-supporting goodness. Peppermint contains menthol –– a super-charged decongestant and antihistamine –– to calm the respiratory track. Slippery elm root has been used as an herbal remedy for sore throats and coughs for centuries while licorice root is a known expectorant and soothing agent. Lemon Myrtle is a go-to herbalist remedy for reducing headaches, colds and sore throats –– as well as adding the bright and sweet lemon-lime flavor.

This recipe adds fresh ginger, lemon and miraculous manuka honey into the brew to super-charge the healing properties of the tea. Manuka honey is made from blooms of the manuka flower in New Zealand –– which only bloom for around six-weeks in January. This prized honey (Wedderspoon Raw Manuka KFactor 16 is a favorite) has over four times the nutritional value of regular honey and is packed with enzymes and nutrients to help boost the immune system and ward off illness. Drink to your health!


To make one teapot of tea or two cups:

1 tsp peppermint leaves

1 tsp lemon myrtle leaves

1 tsp slippery elm root

1 tsp licorice root

3 slices of fresh ginger

1 slice of lemon

Manuka honey to taste

Combine herbs and cut ginger into your teapot. Slice your lemon and place it in your mug. Pour boiling water over your herbs and let them steep for 5-7 minutes. Pour the tea into your mug and add more honey to taste. Sip slowly and enjoy!

Photography by Erika Dufour.


  1. I love tea and I would love to give this a try. The only thing is that I need find elm root and myrtle leaves. Where can I find these?

  2. I searched Amazon and found the Elm & licorice root but the lemon myrtle leaves is not so easy to source due to the word lemon ….I ask the question whether or not Lemon myrtle leaf was the same as just Myrtle or Lemon Verbena or Lemon balm and according to the net the latter two is not closely related. Maybe Ms Churchill or our blogger can offer some suggestions. At this point I’m thinking if we could find an already blended tea of this concoction it would be much easier.

  3. hi all! from abbye:

    iHerb or Mountain Rose Herbs are both great options for all ingredients.

    This is the one I use:

    Mountain Rose Herbs doesn’t have lemon myrtle, but you can use lemon verbena in its place if you don’t want to order it separately.

    Whole Foods also stocks slippery elm, peppermint, and licorice root in the bulk section at most locations.

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