If you are reading this, then you probably have come down with the flu, or perhaps a really bad cold. While flu will eventually pass on it own without treatment, symptoms like a fever, coughing, a blocked nose, fatigue, muscle aches, headaches and difficulty sleeping, can be a real pain. So, that’s why in this article we will look at remedies for the flu which will hopefully offer you a bit of relief.
A throat lozenge, also known as a cough sweet, is a good way to prevent coughing and to ease a sore throat. They work by moistening the throat, which will reduce soreness and prevent irritation. Most lozenges contain ingredients that help to ease coughing, which is really useful if you are scared of having a coughing fit in public. Try to get a brand with menthol in as this will numb the throat, which can significantly reduce pain if it is sore
Steam inhalation is one of the best ways to get relief if you are suffering from congestion of any form because the steam works wonders on loosening mucus. This will help unblock your nose and get rid of some of the mucus in your chest, just be sure to blow your nose and cough it up once you are finished. Although, not my preferred method, you can do this by taking advantage of a hot shower, though talking from experience, I think breathing deeply in a steamy room can make you a bit dizzy.
The best way is with a steam inhaler machine or by using a deep container with some hot water and a towel over your head, though be sure not to put your face to close to the water as it can scald you! If you want an extra congestion-busting boost, then add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the water.
Eucalyptus oil is a natural decongestant and anti-inflammatory. Moreover, if you are not keen on the steam then you can just add a few drops of eucalyptus oil straight on to a tissue and breathe it in, or on your pillow at night – you may want to do all three.
Salt Water Gargle
Gargling some warm salt water is very effective if you have a sore throat or an excess build-up of mucus caused by the flu virus. It contains properties that make it difficult for bacteria to grow and it should help with any swelling or soreness you may be experiencing. Gargling will also help to loosen excess mucus in your throat.
This solution can also be used for for a nasal irrigation with the use of a neti pot, which should help to clear your sinus. You can make this salt water gargle by stirring two teaspoons of salt into a glass of warm water and gargling for 30 seconds. Repeat throughout the day.
Ginger, Honey & Lemon Tea
There are many different remedies for the flu, but keeping hydrated is super important. You should be sipping lots of warm drinks when you have the flu. As mentioned above, hot liquids will help to ease congestion by loosening mucus. It is also a good way to combat the chills associated. Of course, there are loads of different teas out there, but a tea with ginger, honey, and lemon is super effective when you are suffering from a respiratory infection.
Ginger is great when you have the flu as it contains antibacterial properties that can help to fight infection. Ginger is also an anti-inflammatory, meaning it can reduce any pain you may be experiencing.
Sometimes, nausea is a symptom of the flu and ginger is very effective at settling the stomach. Like ginger, honey also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, but it can also offer relief from a sore throat because it adds a protective film to your throat, which will reduce irritation. Lemon is high in vitamin c, which boosts your immune system, helping you to fight off infection.
Chicken soup has always been associated with the flu and there is a good reason for it. Chicken soup is hot and hot liquid is good to consume when you have the flu because it helps to loosen mucus; the steam from the soup may also help to unblock your nose.
Additionally, studies have shown that chicken soup contains anti-inflammatory properties that can prevent neutrophils from moving. Neutrophils are white blood cell that fight infection, causing an inflammatory response in the body. Therefore, eating chicken soup can reduce the inflammation that is responsible for the symptoms you experience when you have the flu. There are loads of chicken soup recipes available online for you to choose from. You may even have one that has been passed down through your family.
Lots of Fluids
This may sound obvious, but getting enough fluids in us is something we forget to do when we are well, let alone when we are ill. When you have the flu, it is easy for you to get dehydrated due to common flu symptoms like a fever and vomiting, which can see you lose a lot of fluids. You don’t have to drink water if you’re not up for it, but just make sure you remember to drink, though not coffee as that will dehydrate you.
Take an Expectorant
An expectorant is just want you’ll need if you are experiencing an excess amount of mucus, which you usually do when you come down with the flu. An expectorant works by clearing the chest of the build-up of mucus that occurs as a result of your body fighting an infection. There are various types of medication you can try, but you can also opt for natural expectorants, including:
- eucalyptus oil
- crushed garlic
- cayenne pepper
Some over-the-counter (OTC) medication can work wonders with flu symptoms.
There are two types of cough syrups available. There is one that you take to suppresses a dry cough, and another that helps to clear the build-up of mucus in the chest. Some people find that cough syrups don’t work, but, on the whole, they generally can offer some relief when nothing else works.
Acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol, is an OTC pain killer that will ease any muscle and joint pain that often occurs with the flu. The good thing about this particular painkiller is that it also reduces a fever, which is another symptom of the flu.
Elevate Your Head When You Sleep
By elevating your head while you are sleeping, you allow your sinuses to drain more efficiently as it increases blood flow and reduces inflammation. Try to avoid using pillows to prop your head up as this can make things worse, as well as leave you with a sore neck in the morning. Instead, invest in a wedge-shaped pillow. You could also raise your actual bed by adding some books underneath the bed legs.
Plenty of Rest
There are various remedies for the flu, but nothing will help if you don’t get enough rest. Again, this may sound pretty obvious, but there are many of us out there that still continue to run around even though we are ill. The more you rest, the more you allow your body to recover and make repairs. Try to take a few days of work; this will also prevent you from spreading the virus.
Flu will naturally go away on its own after a few days, but knowing basic remedies for the flu should ease some of the discomforts you are probably feeling right now. Remember, just take a few days off and relax… If you can’t do it when you have the flu, when can you?
What makes you feel better when you have the flu?