Being ill is definitely not something fun, even if you are at home in your bed. Body aches, fever, chills, and nasal congestion, etc., are enough to make you feel awful.
Luckily, there are many natural home remedies that you can prepare in your home itself. Here are 9 simple, easy and practical home remedies that will help you alleviate some of the symptoms associated with the flu.
However, if the illness persists after a few weeks, consult your doctor. Flu, especially in the case of young children and of elderly people, should not be taken lightly. Moreover, if you experience any serious issues such as breathing troubles, rapid heartbeats or fainting, seek medical help right away.
9 Natural Home Remedies for The Flu
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C, obtained from oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits and leafy greens, among others, is very important for the human body and has numerous health benefits.
To reduce phlegm, you can add fresh lemon juice to hot tea mixed with honey, or you can drink hot or cold lemonade.
Although these drinks will not make your flu go away completely, they help your immune system get enough vitamin C. This can alleviate illnesses such as infections in your respiratory tract.
Honey, with its numerous antibacterial and antimicrobial effects, is an excellent way to eliminate coughing. To ease a sore throat, you can drink honey in tea mixed with lemon.
Moreover, consuming honey before going to sleep can improve your cough. It also helps you to sleep more soundly, which in turns reduces your flu symptoms.
However, children younger than 1 year should not consume honey because it often contains botulinum spores. The latter are harmless to older children and adults, but the immune systems of infants cannot fight them.
The curative effects of ginger are known since centuries. To relieve a cough or a sore throat, add a few slices of raw ginger root in boiling water, let it cool a little and then drink it warm. Ginger can also alleviate nausea that comes with influenza.
4. Chicken Soup
Chicken soup is a great meal for when you are sick. A warm bowl of chicken soup, whether prepared from scratch or a can, can reduce the speed at which neutrophils move in your body. These are a common type of white blood cell that has protective effects on your body against infection. Neutrophils moving slowly means that they are more concentrated in body areas needing most healing.
Chicken soup effectively relieves infections of the upper part of your respiratory tract. Moreover, soup low in sodium can keep you hydrated.
5. Echinacea Tea
Since hundreds of years, the herb and root of the echinacea plant were used by Native Americas to treat infections. Among its active ingredients are flavonoids. The latter are chemicals that come with many therapeutic properties for your body: for instance, they boost your immune system and reduce inflammation.
Although opinions on the usefulness of echinacea against cold and flu are mixed, it can help halve your risk of catching a cold as well as reduce the length of the cold. Healthy adults can take 1 to 2 grams of echinacea herb or root as tea, three times a day and up to one week.
Probiotics are friendly bacteria and yeast present in your body as well as in some foods and supplements. Their role is to keep your guy and your immune system in good health. They also protect you from being infected in your upper respiratory tract.
Probiotic yogurt is the most delicious and nutritious way to get your intake of friendly bacteria. In addition to this, yogurt is good for your immune system and is also a healthy snack packed with protein and calcium. Opt for products that contain live bacteria among their ingredients.
Garlic, thanks to its compound allicin, has antimicrobial effects. Supplementing your diet with garlic can alleviate the gravity of cold symptoms. Garlic can even help you to not fall ill, to start with.
Although more research needs to be carried out to establish the usefulness of garlic against colds, it will not hurt to add more garlic to your diet.
8. Salt Water
Salt water gargle can help fight upper respiratory infections and make cold symptoms less severe, such as a sore throat and nasal congestion.
Furthermore, salt water gargle decreases and loosen mucus, that contains allergens and bacteria. For this simple remedy, add 1 teaspoon of salt to water, swish it around your mouth and throat and spit it.
9. Warm Bath
A warm bath can alleviate the symptoms of cold and flu in both children and adults. Moreover, adding Epsom salt and baking soda to the water will help in case your body is aching. A few drops of essential oil, like tea tree, eucalyptus, juniper, lavender, rosemary, orange or thyme, can also soothe you.
- Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions – Wintergerst E. S., Maggini S., Hornig D. H.
- Effect of honey on nocturnal cough and sleep quality: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study – Herman A. C., Josef R., Haim K., Yoseph L., Mati B., Yosef U., Eran K., Avishalom P., Haim E.
- Efficacy of ginger for nausea and vomiting: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials – Ernst E., Pittler M. H.
- Chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro – Rennard B. O., Ertl R. F., Gossman G. L., Robbins R. A., Rennard S. I.
- Evaluation of echinacea for the prevention and treatment of the common cold: a meta-analysis – S. A. Shah, S. Sander, C. M. White, M. Rinaldi, C. I. Coleman
- Probiotics for preventing acute upper respiratory tract infections – Hao Q., Lu Z., Dong B. R., Huang C. Q., Wu T.
- Garlic for the common cold (Review) – Lissiman E., Bhasale A. L., Cohen M.
- Prevention of upper respiratory tract infections by gargling: a randomized trial – Satomura K., Kitamura T., Kawamura T., Shimbo T., Watanabe M., Kamei M., Takano Y., Tamakoshi A.; Great Cold Investigators-I.