I am probably biased but I can’t think of anything more comforting than a good cup of tea. It doesn’t matter if I am stressed, sick, or simply cannot sleep, tea is always the answer. Sometimes just the simple ritual of heating the water and steeping the leaves calms and soothes me. Other times, I need a certain type of tea to help nudge me in the right direction. Here is a quick cheat sheet of what I have in my cupboard and why:

I treat some of my herbal teas like a natural medicine cabinet. When I have an upset stomach, I drinka ginger tea to curb nausea.It really helps to settle my stomach down, even better than my previous standby—flat soda. Once I quit drinking soda, I lost my access to this option and discovered the joy of drinking tea made with ginger instead. It works just as well and I actually have it on hand. If I feel a cold coming on, I try a Rooibos tea with some added lemon to give my immune system an extra dose of vitamin C. Other good options are Echinacea or anything with natural citrus—like orange or lemon peel. When I get stuffy or am congested, I go straight for something made with peppermint. Sometimes just holding the warm cup in my hands and breathing in the minty scent helps clear my clogged sinuses. And if I have a sore throat, I have discovered nothing is better than a hibiscus tea sweetened with some locally sourced honey.

Tea can also be an excellent mood booster. If I am feeling down or stressed out, I break out the lemon zest. I put it in a cheery mug and it feels like I am drinking liquid sunshine. It never fails to perk up my mood. Lemon tea is also an option for me on those cold, gray winter days when the sun is nowhere to be seen and I can’t think of a good reason to crawl out of bed. When I am feeling down and lethargic, I will typically go for a good, strong black tea or a spicy chai. Nothing seems as terrible as originally thought with my hands wrapped around a good cup of green tea. I drink it when I need to settle frayed nerves or when work really has me spun up.

I love a good chamomile tea if I am trying to get to sleep. It works almost every single time. There are also special Sleepytime blends that also work well for me, and they have the added convenience of being bagged teas so I don’t have to worry about cleaning out an infuser before I stumble off to bed. I love the vanilla flavor. Almost anything warm without caffeine in it can do in a pinch.

This is just a brief overview of how I use tea to cure what ails me. Maybe one day I’ll do a more in-depth post that goes into more specifics about my go-to flavors. Let me know if you have any questions, I’d love to talk about this more!