Home Remedies For Flu

by Sharon Hopkins

Influenza or flu is a viral infection that affects the respiratory tract which includes the nose, throat, trachea and bronchi. The symptoms of flu include cold and nasal congestion, headache, cough, sore throat, fever, aches and chills and can be quite debilitating, sapping the body of energy.

Since flu is caused by a virus, there is no known cure. Prescription medicines may help to ease some of the symptoms but in many cases, a few simple home remedies for flu are all that is required for relief.

A common mistake that many people make is to request their doctor for antibiotics in the mistaken belief that it will cure them. Antibiotics cannot help in cases of influenza as they have no effect on viruses.

Here are a few natural remedies that can help take the edge off some of the more severe symptoms of flu.

  • Stay well hydrated by drinking lots of fluids. Flu can cause dehydration especially when it is accompanied by fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Drink fluids such as water, fruit juices and electrolyte supplements to maintain the hydration levels of your body. Avoid drinks such as coffee, tea, caffeinated drinks, colas and alcohol as these have a diuretic effect and will further dehydrate you. One way to tell if you are getting enough fluids is to check the color of your urine. It should be almost colorless or pale yellow. Dark yellow urine is a sign that your body is getting dehydrated.
  • If you have a sore throat, try drinking herbal tea with honey. The anti-inflammatory properties of honey will help to soothe your throat and provide relief.
  • Chicken soup can also help keep you hydrated as well as provide your body with much needed nourishment. Some studies suggest that drinking chicken soup may alleviate some of the symptoms of flu.
  • Your body can fight the infection much better if it is allowed to conserve energy and rest. Do not insist on working or exercising as it will only slow down your recovery. Stay in bed instead and make the most of your time off.
  • Try to sleep on time and get a full eight hours sleep. This will also help your body recover faster.
  • Use a humidifier in your room and take several hot showers. Breathing warm moist air can help decongest your nasal passages and provide relief to a sore throat.
  • Steam inhalation is another great way to clear out the nasal passages. Fill a bowl with boiling water and add two teaspoons of chopped ginger to the boiling water or a few drops of eucalyptus oil. Put your head over the steaming bowl and cover both your head and the bowl with a towel. Breathe deeply through your nose, inhaling the steam for a few minutes. It will help clear your nasal passages, ease bronchial congestion and make breathing a lot easier.
  • Headache and flu go hand in hand. A warm compress on the forehead and nose can help reduce the severity.
  • For severe headaches, try some over the counter medication such as paracetamol or aspirin to provide relief.
  • Eat fruits that are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C can support your body’s immune system and help it fight the virus.
  • For sore throats, try gargling with warm salt water.
  • Dissolve some soluble aspirin in water and gargle with it. This will soothe your throat and reduce inflammation.
  • Echinacea supplements can provide a boost to your immune system, helping it to fight off the virus. This will help to get you back on your feet that much quicker.

In extreme cases you may have to visit the doctor for an effective cure.


Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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