Winter is coming! With the change in seasons comes a different group of viruses that flourish, and these viruses make people sick. Being sick, even when you’re home in bed, isn’t fun. Flu symptoms can cause a world of misery, from fever and cough to sore throat, nasal congestion, aches, and chills. But there are ways to feel better and flu remedies are ample and effective.
Prescription antiviral drugs may ease symptoms of the flu when taken shortly after you get sick. In many cases, however, simple home remedies may be all you need for relief of mild to moderate flu symptoms. Here are 10 natural remedies for the flu!
The flu can leave you dehydrated, especially if have vomiting or diarrhea. So be sure to get enough fluids. Water is fine. So are fruit juices and electrolyte beverages. You may want to stay away from caffeinated drinks, because caffeine is a diuretic. Herbal tea with honey can soothe a sore throat. If you feel nauseated, try taking small sips of liquids — gulps might cause you to throw up.
Sip Some Soup
For generations, caring parents have been serving chicken soup to kids with colds and flu. But was mom right? Possibly. A study published in the journal Chest showed that chicken soup may help with symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections like the flu.
Be a Couch Potato
Listen to your body. If it’s telling you not to exercise, don’t. If it’s urging you to spend all day in bed, do. Don’t press on with daily chores even in the face of severe cold or flu symptoms. Rest is another way of supporting the body’s ability to fight infection. And don’t skimp on nighttime sleep. Good sleep cycles help the immune system work well, so it’s important to get your full eight hours of sleep each night.
Breathing moist air helps ease nasal congestion and sore throat pain. One good strategy is to indulge in a steamy shower several times a day — or just turn on the shower and sit in the bathroom for a few minutes, inhaling the steam. Another is to use a steam vaporizer or a humidifier. Clean it often to make sure it’s free of mold and mildew.
Be a Sucker
Cough drops, throat lozenges, and hard candy can be surprisingly effective at easing a cough or sore throat. Some doctors swear by lozenges containing slippery elm. Others recommend zinc lozenges to help shorten cold symptoms.
Swish and Spit
Gargling with salt water helps get rid of the thick mucus that can collect at the back of the throat, especially after you’ve been lying down. It can also help ease stuffy ears.
Try Nasal Irrigation
To ease stuffiness and post-nasal drip — and perhaps cut the risk of getting a sinus infection — some doctors recommend nasal irrigation. You can buy a neti pot in health food stores and drugstores, or opt for a saline squeeze bottle. You pour salt water into one nostril and let it run out the other, clearing out your nasal passages. You can buy pre-made saline solution or make it by mixing salt and lukewarm sterile or distilled water.