flu bomb tea

Every winter as the cold creeps in, so do the stuffy noses and sniffles. My kids come home all bunged up and I know that soon enough the whole house will be plagued with another cold. This year I decided to concoct my own flu bomb recipe. Partly to soothe the poorly kids and partly to prevent it spreading to us!

Making your own flu bombs at home is fairly easy, and there’s a good chance that you already have most of the ingredients in your pantry. If you find that you’re missing an item and you’re feeling too under the weather to head to a store, feel free to swap things out!

S.O.S Flu Bomb

This health elixir is designed to nip cold and flu symptoms in the bud.
Prep Time5 mins
Brewing Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cold, flu, flu bomb, flu tea, garlic, health foods, healthy, hot tea, tea
Servings: 1
Calories: 170kcal
Author: Jane Hall
Cost: $2


  • fine strainer (optional)
  • kettle or pot to boil water
  • Garlic press (or just crush with a large knife)


  • 1 knob ginger grated
  • two cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 pinch chilli flakes to taste
  • 1 sprinkle black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh spearmint leaves
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 cup hot green tea


  • Grate ginger and crush garlic cloves
  • Add ginger and garlic to green tea to brew and infuse
  • Stir in honey
  • Stir in cayenne powder until fully dissolved
  • Add black pepper, chilli flakes, and fresh spearmint leaves
  • Leave to brew for up to five minutes
  • Feel free to strain out any remaining pulp

This recipe can be a little intimidating to some. Garlic and honey isn’t always a winning combination. If you or your little tykes are reluctant to try out my S.O.S flu bomb, I’ve made up a sweet and a savory version, too!

flu bomb recipe infographic

With so many self-proclaimed ‘health gurus’ promoting their essential oils and supplements, it can be tough to determine what your body is actually in need of when you’re feeling rough. I thought I’d include a little list of the health benefits of my ingredients list.

Flu-Fighting Ingredients and Their Benefits

  • Green Tea – full of antioxidants that help to fight off viral infections, soothes sore throats, gives an energy boost
  • Garlic – full of antioxidants to stimulate immune system to work harder, can reduce cholesterol and improve heart health
  • Ginger – anti-inflammatory benefits to reduce cold and flu symptoms
  • Stock broth – soothes sore throats, high in sodium to draw fluids into the body
  • Turmeric – antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects
  • Cayenne – lowers body temperature by stimulating sweat glands and reduces congestion by stimulating mucous membranes of the nose and sinuses
  • Lemon – naturally high in vitamin C and eases sore throat symptoms
  • Apple cider vinegar – probiotic with an immune boosting effect and acidic enough to thin mucous in the throat
  • Honey – soothes the throat and has antibacterial properties
  • Spearmint – rich in antioxidants and can loosen congestion

Starbucks Flu Bomb: Winter Warrior or Waste of Money?

For some, the idea of making a flu bomb at home derives from hearing about the Starbucks version. Starbucks originally had their flu remedy as an item on the secret menu, but it was so popular that they made it permanent. You might have heard people refer to it as the ‘Cold Buster’ or the ‘Medicine Ball’.

starbucks in winter

The Starbucks flu bomb is made up of hot water, steamed lemonade, Teavana jade citrus mint tea, peach tranquility herbal tea, honey and optional peppermint syrup. I’d avoid the optional syrup.

This Starbucks version isn’t all bad; the honey and green tea are included in my own recipe after all. However, the steamed lemonade and peppermint syrup are potentially going to do you more harm than good. If you’re feeling particularly low energy, you might benefit from from the glucose boost.

holding starbucks flu bomb

Personally, I won’t be heading out to pick up a Starbucks flu bomb any time soon. There’s nothing particularly diabolical about their recipe, but I don’t see it staving off a tough flu. If you’re experiencing cold symptoms like sore throat and you’re on the go, this might line your throat with a little sugar and help you to speak. However, if your house is plagued with a really nasty virus, you’re going to need a ton of antioxidants that just aren’t found in steamed lemonade.

The Bottom Line

Cold and flu season is usually pretty rotten, especially in families with lots of kids passing viral infections on to one another. The best way to combat your symptoms is with plenty of rest and lots of fluids. My flu bomb recipe will help to ease some symptoms, and is probably good at preventing sickness spreading. It might not be as tasty as the Starbucks rendition of the flu bomb, but the natural ingredients will be better for you in the long run.

pile of used tissues

Jane Hall

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Hiya guys! I’m Jane, a foodie with a passion for creating my own recipes. After years of working as a chef and following other people’s instructions, I decided to add a few twists and make up my own dishes. I was amazed at how easy it was to make a classic dish more unique and quirky and now I want to show you how to do the same! Hopefully you find some helpful tips and tricks that will really wow your dinner guests and impress your family.

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