Thursday, April 19, 2012

My First Medicinal Tea From Celestial Seasonings Is One That (Fortunately!) Works: Sleepytime Sinus Soother.

The Good: Nothing bad in it, Good aroma , Actually helps clear the sinuses.
The Bad: Not the most distinctive taste
The Basics: A mildly flavored tea, Sleepytime Sinus Soother actually helps relieve congestion and aid in head health!

For a long time in my reviewing of Celestial Seasonings teas, I pledged not to review the medicinal blends. The reason was simple; I felt that unless I actually needed the benefits of the medicinal teas, I could not fairly evaluate them. But, given that my wife and I have been suffering from sinus congestion the last few weeks, it seemed like the appropriate time to try Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Sinus Soother.

I'm have not reviewed much of the Sleepytime tea line, either, so the Sleepytime tag was not a huge selling point for me on the Sleepytime Sinus Soother. Even so, I have tried Sleepytime (reviewed here!) and Sleepytime Vanilla (reviewed here!) and I will say that Sleepytime Sinus Soother might well be the best of the bunch. It earns that status by being an adjective tea that does what it promises to do. In other words, Sleepytime Sinus Soother actually relieves some sinus pressure and congestion to actually help us feel better. Who knew?!


Sleepytime Sinus Soother is an all-natural Herbal Supplement Wellness Tea from Celestial Seasonings. This wellness tea is all natural and as a result is caffeine free - none of the ingredients in it had caffeine to begin with so it did not undergo any chemical process to remove them. Chamomile, the primary ingredient in Sleepytime Sinus Soother, is a wildflower and its use as a tea is interesting, but yields a tea reminiscent of dandelion juice. Sleepytime Sinus Soother beefs up the usual chamomile flavor, but overwhelms even the spicy Sleepytime herbs with a tongue-numbing sinus medicine (presumably the menthol).

Sleepytime Sinus Soother comes in Celestial Seasoning's standard stringless tea bags, which are paired together with easy to separate perforations that allow one to separate the tea bags. When I make pots of tea, I tend to use two bags and leave them connected. A box of Sleepytime Sinus Soother tea comes with ten pairs (20 individual) of tea bags.

Ease Of Preparation

Sleepytime Sinus Soother is a very standard tea; it is your basic herbal tea when it comes to preparation. Like many other Celestial Seasonings teas, there are no tea leaves listed in the ingredients, so this herbal tea flower-based. A single tea bag will make the standard 8 oz. coffee mug worth of tea and could be reused and make a second, rather weak cup of Sleepytime Sinus Soother tea. The second cup often comes out far weaker than the first, which is a serious detraction given how difficult the initial flavor is to describe. I tend to make my tea using a 32 oz. steeping tea pot with four tea bags and that works well, though a second pot with the same bags will come out about 1/4 - 3/8 strength. In other words, this is a poor tea for the teabag miser!

To prepare Sleepytime Sinus Soother tea, bring a pot of water to a boil and pour it over the tea bags, in a pot or mug. This tea takes six minutes to steep according to the directions and even if the water is truly boiling, I've found it can use the entire six minutes. Like most chamomile-based teas, this is a tea that I can never make strong enough. After six minutes, the flavor does not seem to get any stronger so there is no benefit to letting it steep longer than that. Sleepytime Sinus Soother never gets "too strong."

Sleepytime Sinus Soother smells like a saltier version of the traditional Sleepytime chamomile tea. The scent is not overly inviting, but it does smell more spiced and intriguing than the standard ricewater smell of chamomile tea. Inhaling the fumes did nothing for my sinuses.

On the tongue, Sleepytime Sinus Soother starts with the chamomile and mint flavor of a traditional Sleepytime tea. That taste changes pretty rapidly, though, the more that one consumes. Sleepytime Sinus Soother has a way of numbing the tongue to dull the sense of taste and this makes the tea taste a little more bland. It never simply becomes a ricewater flavor like a standard chamomile tea.

Cool, this tea tastes more initially forceful, then more bland. The tongue does not get numb, though I have found that even cool, it does help clear the sinuses, so this is not just a tea that one gets the benefits only from the steam.


For an all-natural remedy for sinus problems, Sleepytime Sinus Soother has a lot to recommend it. In fact, it is surprising that a tea made primarily of Chamomile, West Indian lemongrass and natural menthol flavor could do such good things for one’s sinuses! There is nothing unpronouncable in this tea and it is noted as being gluten free (for whom that matters). It is also kosher.

In terms of nutrition, Chamomile is another tea in a long line of teas that contribute nothing but hydration to the body while helping to break up mucus and numb sinus pain. There is no nutritional benefit or detriment to this tea. One 8 oz. mug of this tea provides nothing of nutritional value to the drinker. There are no calories (save what one adds from sugar or milk), no fat, sodium, or protein and no caffeine. It does, however, have the very real benefit of helping to relieve sinus pain, so that is a big plus.


Sleepytime tea is very easy to clean up after - the tea bags may be disposed in the garbage, or composted if you have a good garden and/or compost pile. The tea itself is still very light like a Chamomile, but it washes out of most fabrics easily. As well, it does not leave any residual flavor in one's teapot or mug.


Sleepytime Sinus Soother might be an occasional use tea, but whenever my wife or I have clogged sinuses now, we both brew up a pot, so when winter comes again, we are sure to keep this on hand as a staple tea. Given how little I like using medicine, that makes Sinus Soother a good alternative and a surprisingly high endorsement from me!

It might not taste like much, but brewed properly, Sleepytime Sinus Soother lives up to its promise to relieve sinus pain and congestion.

For other Celestial Seasonings tea reviews, please visit my reviews of:
Mandarin Orange Spice
Sleepytime Green Lemon Jasmine
Tension Tamer


For other food or drink reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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