If you have a cold and are feeling a bit under the weather, you might want to try Starbucks’ Medicine Ball drink (via Thrillist). Originally a beverage on Starbucks’ secret menu, the Medicine Ball is now a regular menu item thanks to its rise to fame on social media. Officially known as Honey Citrus Mint Tea, the beverage has been touted as a cold-fighting concoction due to its list of ingredients.
The fall favorite is a hot tea made with one bag of Teavana Jade Citrus Mint Green Tea, one bag of Peach Tranquility Tea, hot water, steamed lemonade, and a touch of honey. You can also order it with a pump of peppermint syrup, but that’s just an optional add-on. While the drink itself contains a subtle sweetness, it’s actually made with quite a bit of sugar. A grande-sized order contains a total of 33 grams of sugar, which is almost the same amount of sugar in Starbucks’ notoriously sweet Caramel Macchiato.
Can Starbucks’ Medicine Ball drink fight off a cold?
Despite its excessive sugar content, however, Starbuck’s Medicine Ball may contain some potential health benefits. That’s because it’s made with green and chamomile tea, both of which contain anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties (via Health).
Research has found that the natural compounds present in green tea can help reduce inflammation, boost your immune system, and provide your body with antiviral and antibacterial properties. Chamomile tea, on the other hand, can induce feelings of sleepiness, protect immune function, and increase antibacterial activity in the body. Not to mention, drinking a hot beverage with honey is a great way to soothe and relieve a sore and scratchy throat, reduce coughing, and open up and drain your nasal passages.
Although it can certainly help temporarily alleviate some symptoms of the common cold, like a runny nose and sore throat, the Medicine Ball can’t really fight off a cold or mild illness. At the end of the day, it’s no different than drinking regular green tea with honey. The only notable difference is that the Medicine Ball contains way more sugar. To order a low-sugar version, trying swapping out the steamed lemonade for a squeeze of fresh lemon instead.