Tomato Tea Recipe for Cold and Flu Season (2024)

Published: by Becky Striepe · This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon and ShareASale associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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Feeling under the weather this cold and flu season? Soothing tomato tea can help soothe that sore throat and clear out your sinuses.

Tomato Tea Recipe for Cold and Flu Season (1)
Jump to:
  • Ingredients and substitutions
  • How to make tomato tea
  • Helpful tips
  • Storage directions
  • Frequently asked questions
  • More recipes for when you are sick
  • 📖 Recipe

Sickness has swept through my house over the past few weeks, and when it was my turn to be sick, I turned to my old friend: tomato tea.

I've been making tomato tea for over 20 years, and it's become a go-to when I'm dealing with a nasty cold or flu. Over the years, my recipe has evolved as I made it again and again, using what was in my pantry and what seemed appealing.

Here, you'll find the recipe that I usually make alongwith substitutionsto help you use what you have. Because the last thing you want to do when you're sick is run to the store.

Tomato tea is not a cure for the cold or for the flu, meaning that it most likely won't shorten the duration of your illness. What it definitely does is help give you temporary symptom relief for a sore throat and stuffy nose.

It's also a good way to sneak in a snackwhen sickness has sapped your appetite.

Tomato Tea Recipe for Cold and Flu Season (2)

Ingredients and substitutions

Here's a quick breakdown of why the tomato tea helps you feel better while you drink it and for a while afterwards:

  • ginger - There is evidence that ginger is a goodpain reliever. Adding a dash of fresh or ground ginger to your mug can help soothe a sore throat and may even offer some relief to sore muscles.
  • spice - The ginger, garlic, and hot sauce make this drink pretty spicy, and that's no accident. Spicy foods and drinks help with sinus congestion, and they havea numbing effect that's nice on a sore throat.
  • warmth - Just like spice, a warm drink helps ease congestion. Don't just sip this tea - breathe the steam deeply. It's so soothing!
  • nutrition - The reason this drink is made with tomato juice is because when you're sick, chances are you're not inclined to eat. The tomato juice deliverssome calories and vitamins to help you feel a little bit less weak. A cup of tomato tea has around 65 calories, 84% of your vitamin C, 31% of your vitamin A, 11% of your iron, 23% of your potassium, and 4% of your fiber needs for the day. Not bad for a little mug of goodness!

How to make tomato tea

Warm the tomato juice on the stove or in the microwave. It's even OK if it's a little bit too hot. That nice steam is good for soothing your poor nose and throat!

Add the rest of the ingredients to your mug, and stir.

Sip, and enjoy!

Helpful tips

  • You can make this on the stovetop, if you're feeling up to it. For quicker results, use the microwave.
  • If you do feel a cold coming on, you can mix up a big batch of tomato tea, so you can shake, pour, and heat it as needed. It will keep for up to a week in the fridge.

Storage directions

You can store tomato tea in the refrigerator for up to a week. Feel free to make a big batch, so you can warm it up as needed!

Frequently asked questions

What can I use instead of tomato juice?

Any savory vegetable juice, like V8, will work in place of the tomato juice, if needed.

Can I sweeten tomato tea?

Sure! Add a little agave or maple syrup to sweeten it, if you prefer.

What can I use instead of sriracha sauce?

Any hot sauce that you like will work! You can even use crushed red pepper flakes or black pepper. Use what you have on hand.

What are the benefits of tomato tea?

I've been drinking tomato tea for years to soothe cold and flu symptoms. It's an easy way to get something into your belly while providing temporary relief for a sore throat and congestion.

The combination of ginger and garlic in this warming drink team up to reduce inflammation and help clear your sinuses!

More recipes for when you are sick

  • Instant Pot Elderberry Syrup
  • Ginger chocolate maca latte (maca hot chocolate!)
  • 20-Minute Creamy Miso Ramen

📖 Recipe

Tomato Tea Recipe for Cold and Flu Season (6)

Tomato Tea

by Becky Striepe

Feeling under the weather this cold and flu season? Soothing tomato tea can help soothe that sore throat and clear out your sinuses.

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes mins

Cook Time 2 minutes mins

Total Time 7 minutes mins

Servings: 1


  • 12 ounces tomato juice or vegetable juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice Or 2 teaspoons of vinegar. I've used rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and even balsamic to make this in the past.
  • sriracha sauce to taste, or use hot sauce of your choice, or a pinch of cayenne or crushed red pepper or black pepper
  • 1 pinch of ground ginger or ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic minced or crushed, or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder


  • Warm the tomato juice on the stove or in the microwave. It's even OK if it's a little bit too hot. That nice steam is good for soothing your poor nose and throat!

  • Add the rest of the ingredients to your mug, and stir.

  • Sip, and enjoy!


📝 Notes

As you can see, this recipe is very flexible. The idea is to get an acidic, somewhat spicy mix happening, so use what's in your pantry to make that happen. I'm sure that some of you are not fans of the microwave, but if you have one, I hope you'll make an exception in this case. Give yourself a break, because (as Daniel Tiger loves to remind us), "When you're sick, rest is best."

You can store tomato tea in the refrigerator for up to a week. Feel free to make a big batch, so you can warm it up as needed!


Nutrition Facts

Tomato Tea

Amount per Serving



% Daily Value*





Saturated Fat




Polyunsaturated Fat



Monounsaturated Fat

































Vitamin A





Vitamin C















* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Keywords tomato tea

Tried this recipe?Tag @glueandglitter on Instagram and Threads!

About Becky Striepe

Tomato Tea Recipe for Cold and Flu Season (7)

Hi there! I'm Becky Striepe (rhymes with sleepy), and I love using gadgets and shortcuts to create easy vegan comfort food recipes for busy people. Whether you love your Instant Pot, your air fryer, or just love delicious plant-based meals, stick around. You'll like it here.

Learn more about me >>>

Reader Interactions


    Got a question? Tried this recipe? Leave a reply!

  1. Muliki Joseph Enock

    Is this solution safe for babies less than a year old, alternatively at what age can this solution be given to a baby


    • Becky Striepe

      Hi! I'd talk to your pediatrician about that. Kids are all so different, and I'd hate to give you the wrong info!


  2. Emma Scott

    Completely unable to breathe or sleep I have tried this tea but so far I have not seen any difference. How long does it take to work in your experience?


    • Becky Striepe

      For me, the steam and spice usually help right away. You might try more hot sauce, to see if that gets things moving. I am so sorry that you are this miserable! I hope that you feel better soon.


    • Hailey Damron

      My grandma found tomatoe Tea recipe years ago she has been canning it and giving out to everyone for early Christmas presents... I'm feeling so sick and I don't live in my home town so I'm ab to make some

      My grandma makes it like this!


      • Becky Striepe

        Oh I am so glad that you were able to find comfort in this recipe! Get well soon, Hailey.


  3. Alisa @ Go Dairy Free

    I've never heard of tomato tea, but wow is your version packed with antioxidants! I hope everyone in your house is all well!


    • Becky Striepe

      Thank you! We are feeling a lot better over here. Poor Darrol had two colds in a row, but Dave and I managed to dodge the second one.


  4. The vegan 8

    I watched your video and loved it! I can totally see how soothing this would be, just like a hot bowl of tomato soup! Totally going to try this!


    • Becky Striepe

      Thank you, Brandie!


  5. Linda @ Veganosity

    I can totally see how this works, and it sounds delicious, like sipping on tomato soup. I love the addition of ginger as it's also an anti-inflammatory, which would also help reduce the symptoms of congestion. Thanks for this!


    • Becky Striepe

      Thank you, Linda!


  6. Sophia | Veggies Don't Bite

    I've never heard of tomato tea but what an awesome collection of ingredients to help you get through a cold. The hot sauce sold me!


    • Becky Striepe

      Hot sauce forever!


  7. Cadry

    I don't feel sick at all, but I'm going to make a mug of this anyway! In the winter, I get bored of the usual drinks, and I want something warm and satisfying. For a while, I drank a lot of broth teas. This is a similar idea and would be homemade. Thanks for the great idea, Becky!


    • Becky Striepe

      Ooh broth tea sounds really pleasant, too!


  8. Ginny McMeans

    How very nice! I already feel better. This is going in my medicine cabinet.


    • Becky Striepe

      I'm sorry that you're under the weather, Ginny, but glad the tea helped!


  9. Mel |

    Why did I not see this before I got sick? I only saw it when I was nearly better. It looks awesome and so comforting. Bookmarking for next time....hopefully I won't need it for a long time!


    • Becky Striepe

      I'm so sorry that you were sick! Here's to a healthy new year!


  10. Mary Ellen @ VNutrition

    I thought this was so interesting when I saw it on Instagram! Hopefully my husband and I don't get sick but if so, I'm totally trying this!


    • Becky Striepe

      I hope you don't get sick, too!!


  11. Jenn

    I have never heard of tomato tea before. I love sipping on tomato soup though, so I'm guessing I would love this too. Last year at this exact time I was super ill, so I know what you're going through. Luckily, this year, we were all sick in October, so the holidays were smooth sailing. I'm reaching for this spicy tomato tea next time though!


    • Becky Striepe

      Thank you, Jenn! May you and your family never need to make tomato tea!


  12. Sarah

    I'm totally intrigued by this—I used to like V8 juice when I was a kid—go figure! I hope you guys start feeling better soon. I hate the way germs linger and make their way through every member of the family before making a very long overdue exit.


    • Becky Striepe

      I liked it too! I remember when the spicy one came out. It was so exciting! Dave and I are feeling better, but Darrol seems to have caught something else in the week since he got over the last thing. Ugh!


  13. Amy Katz from Veggies Save The Day

    Not that I want to get sick, but I'm intrigued to try your tomato tea!


    • Becky Striepe

      It's pretty yummy when you're not sick, too!


  14. Dianne's Vegan Kitchen

    Dennis and I are both trying to get over colds, so I'm going to need to try this!


    • Becky Striepe

      Oh noooo! I hope you feel better soon.


Tomato Tea Recipe for Cold and Flu Season (2024)


Is tomato juice good for flu? ›

It may also be a sports drink to restore your body from fatigue (tiredness) and sleepiness. Tomato juice contains lycopene and vitamin E, which might reduce the formation of ”bad cholesterol” in the body. Drinking tomato juice might help avoid colds and flu and boost the immunity of the body.

How to make tea for cold and fever? ›

Lemon and honey tea

An excellent natural remedy for the cold and flu is lemon tea with honey, as this helps to relieve nose and throat congestion and improves breathing. Add the honey to the hot water and until it is well-combined in a hom*ogenous mixture, and then add the juice of one lemon.

How do you make homemade flu concoction? ›

Here, find out what cold and flu remedies you can try at home.
  1. Chicken soup. There is no scientific proof that chicken soup can cure a cold or flu or speed up recovery, but its ingredients contain nutrients that support your immune system. ...
  2. Ginger. ...
  3. Honey. ...
  4. Garlic. ...
  5. Echinacea. ...
  6. Vitamin C. ...
  7. Probiotics. ...
  8. Salt water gargle.

What tea is good for clearing mucus? ›

Peppermint tea has menthol, which can help open up airways and alleviate congestion. It also has antimicrobial properties that may aid in fighting off infections. Drinking peppermint tea can be soothing for cough and cold relief.

What tea is good for cold mucus? ›

Peppermint Tea

Peppermint helps by bringing up mucus that would be otherwise stuck in your lungs, bronchi, and trachea when you have a cold, relieving your throat pain with a refreshing effect. It also helps by reducing your fever.

Who should not drink tomato juice? ›

Although a small amount of sodium is beneficial to your electrolyte balances, too much salt can induce bloating and water retention and perhaps increase blood pressure. If you have irritable bowel syndrome, avoid drinking tomato juice on an empty stomach because it may worsen the condition.

Does tomato help cold? ›

Tomatoes. Tomatoes contain high levels of lycopene, which has been linked to lower rates of cancer and heart disease because it reduces inflammation in the body. The antioxidant also helps increase your immune system's ability to fight off cold and flu germs.

Do tomatoes prevent colds? ›

Increase immunity

One cup of tomato juice offers 45 milligrams of vitamin C — about 75% of an adult's daily needs. A powerful antioxidant, vitamin C helps boost your body's immune cells that fight infection and prevent free radical damage to your healthy cells.

What tea is best for sinus? ›

The Most Effective Herbal Teas for Sinus Infections
  1. Eucalyptus. Refreshing eucalyptus tea is one of the most popular herbal teas for sinus infections and other forms of congestion. ...
  2. Ginger. ...
  3. Peppermint. ...
  4. Thyme. ...
  5. Chamomile.
Nov 29, 2023

How to cure a cold fast? ›

You can help get rid of a cold and feel better faster by getting plenty of rest, staying hydrated, and eating nutritious foods. Taking zinc or vitamin C supplements at the first sign of a cold may help lessen the severity of cold symptoms or shorten the duration of a cold.

Does vinegar break up phlegm? ›

Mucus thinning: Some proponents claim ACV can help thin mucus secretions, making them easier to expel. This could benefit people with conditions causing excessive mucus production, such as sinus congestion and respiratory infections.

Is vinegar good for a cold? ›

The bottom line. Apple cider vinegar is a home remedy that many people swear by. But there isn't extensive research showing that it's an effective way to treat a cold. For most people, giving apple cider vinegar a try is a low cost, low risk way to reduce cold symptoms.

Is apple cider vinegar good for a cold and flu? ›

Drinking a warm and diluted solution of ACV may help with symptoms, says Dr. Rowan. “[The warmth] will make them feel better, it'll loosen some of the mucus, like in their nose, their throat, and their mouth,” he explains. But again, ACV isn't going to kill off your cold virus and magically make you healthy again.

What should I drink when I have a cold and flu? ›

Water is the gold standard. However, non-sugar drinks such as Pedialyte, green or black tea or non-sugar sports drinks work for adults, too. The key with fluid intake is to avoid dehydration. Fluids support your immune system function, thin mucus and lessen congestion.

Does tea really help a cold? ›

People who experience a cold may find that herbal teas provide comfort and soothe their symptoms. Although there is no cure for a cold, drinking tea and trying other remedies, such as steam inhalation, probiotics, and honey, may help people feel better and reduce the duration of their cold.

Is Earl GREY tea good for a cold? ›

So while it adds that delicious citrusy flavor to tea, it also has antibacterial properties that give your immune system a boost. It also has been shown to help with fevers, which makes it an ideal cold remedy. Beyond bergamot, Earl Grey tea is also rich in Vitamin C and zinc.

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