My Cold-Busting Iced Tea Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links.

Life, you little prankster you.

James was gone last week. A solo RV trip to San Francisco, I’m sure he’ll tell you all about it. I had big plans for that week, and I mean grandma-gone-wild big…Joni Mitchell cranked 24/7, sleepovers with the grandkids, too many cocktails with Mackenzie, eating foods I never get to eat because James doesn’t like them, etc.

It was going to be insane!

I actually planned ahead and ordered new speakers for cranking Joni in my office and texted Mackenzie the cocktail list off the new restaurant down the road. Really, I did:


Excitedly anticipating the Week of Fun!

And then Life played his little joke. Instead of Stef’s Week of Fun, it turned into Stef’s Week of Opposite-of-Fun.

Alas, I had come down with a cold.

The first few days James was gone I didn’t even mention it during our phone chats. Didn’t want to be a downer, but mostly didn’t want to admit to being sick out loud. Denial can be blissful. But eventually my voice changed, and I couldn’t hide the coughs any longer, and just like that I was busted.

I don’t get sick very often….it’s been years. And usually when I do, it’s something so mild it’s inconsequential. Kinda surprising being I work in a total germ infested environment; a gym. I’ve always chalked my lack of sickness up to healthy living. But it didn’t save me this time. Last week’s cold was a doozy. The kind where you want to stay in bed with the covers pulled up to your eyeballs, but then you have to stay propped really high up on pillows because laying flat means your sinuses would explode… splattering what little brain matter I have all over my impressive tower of wadded up Kleenex.

But now here’s the crazy part. The whole thing had passed in 5 days. Five days! I went from bed ridden to doing my typical weekend 8 mile jog in that short of time! Pretty impressive, right?

I’m pretty sure drinking ridiculous amounts of this iced tea concoction had something to do with it:


And by ridiculous amounts I mean I drank more than double the Mayo Clinic recommendation for daily fluid intake (2.2 liters for women). I drank 2 pitchers of it a day, and my glass pitcher you see there holds 3 quarts. Since this tea is dang tasty and I was chronically parched, it was pretty easy to chug down.

The tea is quite simple really, just a combination of 3 teas loaded with good cold-busting stuff like ginger, turmeric, and polyphenols galore. Throw in some some fresh citrus, because Vitamin C is one of the best anti-viral agents available, and a little Manuka honey for its infection-fighting properties and ba-da-bing! Bye bye cold!


Stef’s Super Awesome Cold-Busting Iced Tea Recipe




Bring around 4 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat. Once the water stops boiling, add the tea bags. While they steep, cut the orange and limes in half and use a lime squeezer to squeeze the juice into an empty 2-3 quart pitcher. Once squeezed, slice the fruit and add to pitcher. Fill the pitcher 1/3 way full with ice. After the tea has steeped at least 5 minutes (I usually wait 10), remove the tea bags and squeeze out the extra water in the bags. Add the honey, stirring until just dissolved…do this as quick as possible so the honey won’t stay hot longer than a couple seconds. Pour the tea over the ice in the pitcher and stir. Fill the pitcher the rest of the way with more water and more ice. Enjoy!

*As for the type of honey I use, Manuka honey ain’t cheap, but there’s loads of research on its healing properties. Really, any raw honey has some level of healing properties and should work, too.  And if you’re vegan, replace the honey with any sweetener of your choice, but DO sweeten it, and feel free to add more if it helps you like it better. When you’re sick with no appetite, those carbs become important!

So there you go…my secret cold weapon exposed. Now that I’ve probably jinxed you, you might as well start stocking up on the ingredients so you’ll be all set next time YOU have a Week of Opposite-of-Fun. Here’s to hoping it’s a long, long ways down the road.

Healthy travels, gang!




After 15 years as an educator in both the public K-12 setting and the University level in Special Physical Education, Stef made the leap to her true passion… the fitness world. She’s currently a personal trainer and wellness coach specializing in seniors, medical conditions, and injuries. Stef loves running, cycling, and being “Mugga” to her two favorite mini-humans — Punky and Marshmallow. ❤️

    18 thoughts on “My Cold-Busting Iced Tea Recipe

    1. Bonnie Pierce

      Just mixed up my first batch of the season for my sicky friend. She just happened to be at the Dr today. He said to mix in some whiskey and warm it up.
      Doctor knows best!

    2. Bill Sprague


      It looks so refreshing that I may just try it sans-cold. Maybe you’ve found the magic anti-cold elixir!



      1. Stefany - Post author

        I actually made a pitcher today…and I’m not sick!!! So, yeah, I’m in total support of drinking it on healthy days, too! xoxo

    3. Linda

      Just in time! I’m getting over a cold that has left me with no voice and have to speak at a conference on Friday. Stopping on the way home at the co-op to get the ingredients!

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Oh my! Here’s hoping your voice is back in time for your conference! If you can’t find the brands I use, any ginger tea and orange spice tea would work, I’m sure. Get better! xoxo

    4. Lynn Carr

      Glad you are feeling better, hope you got to have some Mugga time and some Mommy time! By the way, we have incorporated some of your exercises while riding in the rv into our senior exercise class. We especially like the 20 seconds of stomping and we laugh each time we do it. Sounds like a herd of elephants! On election day while the voters were downstairs in the basement of the community center, they said they heard us and wondered what was going on!

    5. Ted

      Hi Stef, sorry you’ve been feeling under the weather. If you need something to read, I’ve been plowing through a book written by your complete opposite, Star Trek mirror universe, RV doppelganger…..
      “Queen of the Road” by Doreen Orion; a self-described lazy, fashion obsessed, psychiatrist who grudgingly agreed to travel cross country with her husband and pets in a Prevost motorhome while self medicating with improvised alcoholic beverages at each stop. I laughed through her crazy stories and observations, including a hilarious week long stay at a nudist RV park in San Bernardino. The whole time I thought “Dang… this lady writes with the same tone and sense of humor of someone I know… Stef could have wrote this!”

      By the way, I caught your episode on “Big Time RV”. You guys were great. This turned out way better than how I imagined the grandkids would end of camping with you….

      1. Stefany - Post author

        There you are, Ted! Now my day is a little brighter. You always have the best tips for me! Doreen Orion sounds like a crack-up, I can’t believe I haven’t heard of this book! I’ll definitely check it out. Besides, I always wanted to meet my Star Trek doppelganger! Checked out the link to the kids’ VW van tent…hey, maybe I could use that for keeping Mel corralled when we’re on the road!

    6. Other Steph

      I *almost* want to get sick so I can try this… but with half my office currently down with the crud, I feel like if I just wait a bit, it’ll come to me! But hey – at least now I have the time to get all the ingredients.

      I am curious about the honey though – I’m using honey from a friend’s bees, so I’m hoping the local pollens will be effective cold busters.

      You know… whenever it hits me. ;^)

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Other Steph! Well hello again she-with-the-awesome-name, love when I start recognizing FitRV readers! Yeah, local honeys are just great. It’s raw, right? The raw kinds have more anti-bacterial properties with all the vitamins, nutrients, and enzymes intact…total immune-system-boosters. So neat you have a friend beekeeper! xoxo

    7. leia

      I’ve already saved this as a .pdf. Glad to hear you’re feeling better! If you’re ever left with one of those coughs that just won’t go away, try Fenugreek tea. My husband has been using it for years and I kind of rolled my eyes until last year when I ended up with one of those coughs (following a cold). The results were pretty amazing. Cough suppressant wasn’t even cutting it.

      P.S. Blue songs are like tattoos 🙂

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Hi Leia! Thanks for the reminder on Fenugreek tea, haven’t had it in years! Helps with regularity, too. OMG…it was Blue that I couldn’t wait to crank! It’s my all-time favorite album. Problem is whenever I listen to folksy stuff like that with James around, he sings along changing the lyrics to something ridiculous, so I long ago learned to keep my music out of his earshot. “Take the good with the bad…” Sigh.


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Comment moderation is in use. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear once we have had the chance to review it.