Influenza or flu is caused by various types of viruses. In today’s post I will be sharing natural flu fighting home remedies that can assist with soothing flu symptoms. But before we get into that, let’s delve more into the symptoms and complications of flu.
Common Cold vs. Flu
Both the common cold and flu are caused by viruses and both can cause fever. The symptoms are also similar, however, the main difference between these infections is the duration. Flu symptoms can be severe and set in quickly, and flu typically lasts for a week or two. Common cold symptoms are not as severe and usually lasts for a week or longer.
Symptoms of Flu
Flu symptoms are mainly respiratory that affect the lungs, nose, and throat. The commonplace symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Dry coughs
- Body aches
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Fatigue or tiredness
Complications of Flu
In some instances, flu symptoms can result in other health issues which involve bacterial and viral infections in the ears, lungs, throat or other areas. These can include:
- Brain infection (encephalitis)
- Ear infection
Individuals who carry a higher risk of flu complications are:
- Kids younger than five years
- Those with pre-existing health issues
- Adults older than sixty-five years or older
Your physician might prescribe antiviral meds that can offer relief for flu symptoms and shorten the duration. Such medications usually are effective when taken within two days after getting sick. Here are ten natural flu fighting home remedies that you can try to soothe flu symptoms or help with prevention.
10 Flue Fighting Home Remedies
Drinking Plenty of Fluids and Water
Under normal circumstances, it is important to drink enough water, however, when you have a stomach flu or respiratory flu it is even more crucial. Water helps to keep your throat, nose, and mouth moist, plus it helps with getting rid of phlegm and mucus build-up.
It can also keep the body hydrated when you are not drinking or eating as usual. Symptoms like fever or diarrhoea can also drain your body from fluids. Keep your body hydrated by consuming these:
- Herbal teas
- Sports drinks
- Coconut water
- Raw veggies and fruits
How Do You Know If Your Fluid Intake is Sufficient?
Check for the following:
- Your urine colour is pale yellow or clear
- You are urinating frequently
A sure sign that your body is dehydrated is when your urine has an amber or deep yellow colour. When you have the flu it can help to smoke less since it will only irritate your lungs, nose and throat further.
2. Resting as Much as Possible
Your body needs plenty of sleep and rest when you’re having the flu. Sleep also assists with boosting the immune system and fighting off flu symptoms.
3. Drinking Warm Broth
Warm beef or chicken broth is a fantastic way to help your body to stay hydrated and loosening sinus or nose congestion. Bone broth is a natural source of essential minerals like potassium and sodium, and protein.
Protein is essential for building immune cells too. You can make broth at home by boiling beef or chicken bones and straining the liquid. Broth can be frozen for future use.
4. Boosting Zinc Intake
This mineral is crucial for your immune system and for producing white blood cells to fight off germs. Zinc can also help with easing flu and common cold symptoms.
To naturally boost your zinc intake you can eat foods like beans, dairy, lentils, red meat, chickpeas, eggs, shellfish, seeds, and nuts. You can also consider taking a zinc supplement.
5. Rinsing With Saline or Salt Water
A saline solution with salt and warm water can do wonders for soothing a sore throat or clearing mucus.
- Heat up or boil water and allow it to cool until it is room temperature or lukewarm. Mix half teaspoon with eight ounces of warm water.
- Gargle with the solution for 10-30 seconds.
- Spit the water back out and repeat the process for two to four times.
Avoid swallowing the water and never permit young kids to do so unless they’ve already mastered the skill of safety gargling with plain water.
6. Herbal Teas are Excellent
Numerous herbs like star anise contain natural antibacterial and antiviral properties. Herbal teas are fantastic for fighting off the flu virus and soothing your sinuses and throat. You can make your own herbal tea by using star anise and herbs such as:
- Black or green tea
- Dried or fresh ginger
- Fresh garlic
Use honey to sweeten the tea. You can also buy teas from your local grocery shop that already contain these ingredients.
7. Using a Humidifier
The flu virus stays longer and spreads easier in dry indoor air which can get drier with air conditioning or indoor heating. Using a humidifier can help to add moisture to the air and lower the chances of the flu virus surviving.
8. Applying Essential Oils
Certain essential oils can assist with protection against some bacteria and viruses. Tea tree oil for instance can assist with fighting off the flu virus by preventing or slowing down the rate at which the virus multiplies.
You can add a few drops of the oil to your lotion or liquid hand soap. Other herbal and plant essential oils that contains natural antivirals and antibiotics include:
- Peppermint oil
- Thyme oil
- Lemon oil
- Cinnamon oil
- Geranium oil
- Eucalyptus oil
- Oregano oil
Never ingest or swallow essential oils and always use it as directed. Essential oils are toxic and many of them are toxic. When used topically, always mix it with a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil.
You can add a few drops of essential oils to a diffuser to help with fighting off bacteria and viruses. Keep in mind that aromatherapy influences pregnant and breastfeeding women, pets, and children.
9. Inhaling Steam
Inhaling steam is an excellent way of soothing a sore throat, nose, lungs, and sinuses. Steam inhalation can also help with loosening mucus congestion. The warm and moist air also provides relief for swelling in the lungs, nose, and lungs and soothes a congested chest or nose.
Methods of Steam Inhalation:
- Using a pot on the stovetop
- Using a vaporizer
- Boiling water in a mug in the microwave or a bowl that is microwave safe
Do not steam from boiling water and always test the steam temperature before inhaling it. Keep hands and face away from scalding water to prevent burning yourself. Consider adding a few drops of medicated vapor rub or essential oils to the water to benefit from the antioxidant and antiviral properties.
10. Eating Bland Foods
When having the stomach flu, stick to small portions of food at a time. Stomach flu includes symptoms of diarrhea, nausea, and cramps. Bland foods are more easily digested and can help with soothing stomach symptoms.
Try eating foods like applesauce, rice, toast, bananas, crackers, boiled potatoes, oatmeal, broth and soup, grilled or boiled chicken, and drinking electrolyte rich fluids. Avoid foods that can cause digestion issues or irritate your stomach. Such foods include:
- Fried foods
- Spicy foods
- Fatty foods
When to See a Doctor?
If your symptoms do not improve after a week or two, seek medical assistance. Also speak to your doctor if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Fever higher than 38° (100.4°F)
- Having trouble breathing
- Sweating or chills
- Chest pain
- Mucus with an odd colour
- Severe coughing
- Blood present in your mucus
I hope you have found this post about ten natural flu fighting home remedies helpful and that you will try some of them to see if it helps for you.
Sending you loads of light, easy breathing, and flu fighting vibes.