Influenza or the flu is an illness caused by different types of viruses. It is a relatively common illness, but it can be very debilitating when it strikes whether it is a respiratory or stomach flu. When it affects those with a weakened immune system, it can be serious. While the elderly, pregnant women and children can be vaccinated against the flu, there is no ‘cure’ for it once it has taken hold. However, it is possible to ease the symptoms and to speed up recovery if you take the right steps and advice.
This guide explores some of the most effective flu remedies and why they work.
Drinking plenty of fluids
Drinking fluids is one of the most effective ways to fight the flu for several reasons. Your body needs to be well-hydrated to be able to function at its full capacity, but your mouth, nose and throat should also be as moist as possible. This helps you to get rid of the phlegm and mucous which builds up. You can stay hydrated by drinking water, teas, juice, soup or fruit/vegetable water to boost your vitamin intake at the same time.
To get your body rehydrated sooner rather than later, you may want to consider IV Therapy in Los Angeles which will give your body the fluids, minerals and vitamins it needs for a speedy recovery.
When we sleep, our bodies can redirect our energy to fighting the illness and repairing damage, so try to get as much sleep as possible even if this means canceling plans and/or having a day off work. Taking the time to rest now could make your recovery much faster overall.
Drinking meat broth
Drinking a hot chicken, beef or bone broth can be helpful for several reasons. The hot water can help to soothe congestion in your nose and sinuses, the water helps with rehydration and the meat includes essential proteins and minerals which help to support your immune system. Zinc is also an important mineral for your immune system, so consider eating foods that contain zinc or taking supplements.
Rinsing a sore throat with salt water
Salt water rinsing or gargling can help to soothe the pain of a sore throat and can clear mucous. It’s important not to swallow the salt water, however, as this could result in nausea. Click here for how to rinse your throat with salt water and other sore throat remedies.
Drinking herbal tea
Herbal teas can be beneficial in the treatment of flu, not only because the hot water helps with hydration and can soothe your sinuses and throat, but also because the herbs themselves can help to battle the virus as they have antiviral properties. Several also act as antioxidants.
Star anise, for example, is a spice from which they have extracted oseltamivir, which is now used in a prescription drug called Tamiflu to prevent and treat the flu. Try making a star anise tea with ginger turmeric or cloves or buy a pre-bagged herbal tea. You can sweeten it with a natural sweetener like honey for taste.
Using essential oils
There have been several studies that have found that certain essential oils will help to fight the flu virus as they are natural antibiotics. Examples include tea tree oil, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, cinnamon oil, lemon oil, geranium oil, thyme oil, and oregano oil. Essential oils should not be ingested can be used in skin lotions, hand soaps or released into the air via a diffuser.
Using a humidifier
Viruses can spread quickly and live longer when the air is dry and warm. A humidifier can increase humidity in the home or workplace to slow the spread of the virus.
Steaming your airways
To ease congested airways such as your throat, nose, and sinuses, you can inhale the steam. This not only helps to break down mucous in congested areas but can also ease swelling and soothe dry noses, dry coughs or a tight chest. You could also add a couple of drops of antiviral essential oils into the water. When steaming you should take care not to burn your skin or hands.