Everyone at one point of time has been afflicted with flu and suffered from the symptoms. Flu is an air-borne respiratory disease which is caused by the influenza virus and is contagious by nature.
The symptoms of flu varies from the mild in nature to a more virulent and painful one which might lead to severe complications including death. It spreads through droplets released from infected people in the air and also if any surface that has been touched by the patient.
Although the best way to prevent flu is to get vaccinated each year, sometimes if you miss or if you get infected by some other virus and develop flu-like symptoms, you should seek medical help and take complete bed-rest till the infection is gone.
The symptoms of flu might range from fever (mild to high), cold, cough, body-ache (mainly muscle and head), tiredness, runny nose and sore throat and in some cases might lead to vomiting and stomach problems as well.
Even though there are several mainstream medications available for flu and flu-like diseases, people tend to move to home remedies in case of milder symptoms. Natural home remedies are increasingly becoming more popular than mainstream ones, the reason being their safe, effective and economical nature. Below is a collection of the most used and effective home remedies for flu.
One of the worst effects that flu can have on the system is to make the body lose essential hydration. At the same time lack of proper hydration cannot ensure the excretion of harmful toxins from the body.
It becomes extremely important to make sure that your body stays hydrated and your body is capable of letting out the toxins from your system. Fluids are essential during this period and you should take care to see that you are consuming only the right fluids.
You can drink plenty of fruit and vegetable juices like oranges, lemons, melons, pineapples, beetroot, carrot, cabbage etc but if you have too much of cold, stay away from too much citrus juices. Alcohol, caffeine and caffeinated products are strict no’s as they can cause dehydration.
Although research is still in primary stages, it has been determined that Vitamin C has the ability to prevent cold and flu and also to shorten the cold duration.
It seems to have the wondrous powers of working against the bacteria and viruses through the body’s own immune system, unlike antibiotics which will work against the bacteria and viruses directly increasing the risks of side effects for our own system. It is much better to try out natural means of preventing and curing than take on the risk of other problems arising from the treatment.
Vitamin C is safe to have until it reaches a certain saturation point; which is to produce gas in the stomach, after which it should be stopped. But, till then Vitamin C is your answer to cold and flu symptoms.
Chicken soup for the flu
This might sound like a stone-age remedy which was more suited to our grandmas than the present generation, but you might be surprised by its beneficiary effects during flu and cold.
Although the reason is still not clear, the remedial properties of chicken soup is attributed to its anti-inflammatory as well as hydrating qualities. The steam arising from the hot soup also helps to relieve congestion of the nasal passages as well as the chest. Whatever the reason might be, it sure is a tasty way to health.
Herbal teas and hot toddies
Herbal teas have the same kind of benefit as a bowl of chicken soup. It provides warmth to the throat and adding pepper and ginger also gives relief from the irritation and soreness inside the throat. The steam helps to alleviate the congestion of the nose and throat and the fluid content prevents your body from being de-hydrated.
Hot toddies might be a little more preferred as compared to hot teas, especially in case of men. Adding a dash of lime and a tbsp of honey to a shot of whiskey or rum mixed in warm water will do the trick. But you need to watch your shots because alcohol has negative effect if consumed during flu.
Spices and herbs
Spices like garlic and ginger has remedial properties for flu and colds. Garlic and ginger are both known for their anti-inflammatory qualities and also helps reduce the soreness and scratchiness of the throat. Garlic helps to get relief from body pain and headaches during flu. Pepper is another spice which helps in flu symptoms.
It acts as an anti-oxidant and also helps to open the respiratory passages for the germs to move out of the body. Adding peppers and garlic to your food, infusing ginger in your herbal teas and chewing a few cloves of garlic will bring great relief.
Gargling and steam inhalation
These are some of the remedies that even doctors ask you to follow. Gargling with salt water will help to clear your throat of the phlegm and taking steam inhalation with a pinch of menthol thrown in, will help to relax your respiratory passages and give you better sleep.
Rest and relaxation
Flu is a contagious disease and is likely to be aggravated if you do not take rest during the most tiring period. To avoid the risk of the infection from spreading to others, as well as get some much required rest and relaxation, you should take leave from work and take complete care at home.
It helps if you have someone to take care of you, who has been vaccinated or had the flu already that season. You will feel very fatigued and irritated during this time and a little tender, loving care will go a long way in taking you towards the road of recovery.
If you follow all the above remedies as soon as your flu symptoms start, it is likely to b cured in a few days time. However, it is not good to doctor yourself at home, and always best to consult a physician, especially if your symptoms are not relieved within a day or two.