10 Remedies That Help Coping With Flu Symptoms
By: Pinki Mon, 12 Apr 2021 6:37 PM
Influenza, or flu, is an upper respiratory tract infection caused by the influenza virus that spreads easily from person to person through airborne respiratory droplets, often resulting in a full-blown outbreak.
Here are some remedies that have helped many users cope with flu symptoms and, therefore may prove beneficial to you too.
However, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to establish the safety and efficacy of these interventions, which is why it’s better to consult your doctor before trying them.
# Take probiotics
Probiotics are essentially live bacteria and yeast that are akin to the healthy microorganisms found in the human gut.
Consuming probiotics is an easy way to restore the balance between helpful and harmful gut bacteria.
You can avail yourself of these probiotics in the form of dietary supplements, suppositories, creams, and fermented foods.
# Meet your vitamin needs
Vitamin D is essential for the proper functioning of your immune system, but most people run low on this vital nutrient.
Your body needs sunlight to synthesize vitamin D, which becomes minimal during winters when you spend most of your time indoors.
Supplementation of this nutrient during the winter may provide added protection against influenza A and other acute respiratory tract infections.
- Ask your doctor to start you on a vitamin D supplement, but stick to the prescribed dosage as an excess of this nutrient can prove harmful.
- You can consume foods fortified with vitamin D as well as part of your regular diet.
- You can derive your recommended daily intake of vitamin C from citrus fruits such as lime, oranges, and grapefruits as well as green leafy vegetables.
- Add lemon juice and honey to a simmering cup of black tea and drink this soothing beverage to relieve a sore throat and curb phlegm production when you are down with flu.
- It’s best to get these vitamins through food sources first and opt for supplementation only when your diet fails to deliver the required amounts. Always consult your doctor before trying supplements for the correct dosage.
# Use a humidifier
The flu virus tends to flourish in dry air and does not fare as well in damp environments. For this reason, consider using a humidifier to impart moisture to indoor air, especially when you have the air conditioner or indoor heater on.
# Try ginger and garlic
Garlic is credited with antiviral and antibacterial properties that may help your body fight the flu better in the early stages and keep it from getting worse. Also, garlic produces heat in the body, which can help kill the virus.
Ginger is another pungent ingredient that is known for various therapeutic properties, one being its ability to curb mucus secretions, making it useful for treating cold and flu.
- How to use:
a. Steam inhalation
- Mix 1 teaspoon of ginger/garlic in pint of water, bring it to a boil and then turn off the flame.
- Let the water cool down a bit such that the temperature of the steam is mild enough for your skin.
- Lean your face over the pot with a towel over your head to trap the vapors.
- Deeply inhale the steam for several minutes or until the steam dies down.
- Repeat this process as needed.
- Consume more of ginger and garlic in your regular diet to reap their antiviral benefits.
- Drink hot ginger tea to soothe your throat, thin out the mucus, and open up your airways.
# Drink diluted apple cider vinegar
The influenza virus tends to thrive in an acidic environment but does not fare so well in one that is alkaline.
Thus, consuming alkaline foods and drinks such as apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a simple way to make your internal system unfavorable for the growth of the influenza virus.
Moreover, unfiltered ACV contains healthy bacteria in the form of “the mother,” which can help enhance your immune system. However, this intervention has virtually no scientific backing and derives legitimacy from anecdotal support.
How to use:
- Add 2 teaspoons ACV and 1–2 teaspoons of honey in about 6 ounces of water.
- Stir the mixture until all the ingredients are sufficiently dissolved and drink this formula once a day.
# Have some chicken soup
Chicken soup has traditionally been used as a pick-me-up to overcome various illnesses, but there isn’t much scientific backing for this remedy.
However, one cannot dismiss the overwhelming anecdotal support for this remedy, especially for coping with infections such as cold and flu.
This warm, nourishing liquid can help your ailing body recuperate by giving it some much-needed strength to fight infections, especially cold and flu.
Consuming hot fluids helps dissolve the coagulated mucus within your respiratory system to restore normal breathing. It may help inhibit the excessive crowding of white blood cells in response to the virus, which leads to inflammation and overproduction of mucus.
# Consume honey
Honey is a popular home remedy for managing upper respiratory tract infections such as the flu, but rigorous studies are needed to understand its exact mechanism, safety, and effectiveness in this regard.
This sweet-tasting nectar is known to exhibit antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting properties that may help shorten the duration of the infection and ease its symptoms, such as a sore throat.
- Consume 1 tablespoon of raw honey three times a day.
- Alternatively, you can soothe your painful throat and clear airways by drinking black tea infused with a bit of honey and lemon juice several times a day.
# Try medicinal herbs
Certain herbs are renowned for their pharmacological potential, which can be utilized for relieving coughs, colds, and flu, but only after consulting with a doctor.
In fact, these herbs have been used anecdotally for quite some time, delivering considerable relief to many people battling the flu. However, further studies are needed to establish just how effective they truly are.
Menthol derived from the peppermint herb has been used in cough syrups and candies to soothe a sore throat and reduce respiratory congestion.
# Drink a turmeric and milk tonic
Turmeric mixed in warm milk is a tried-and-tested tonic for relieving common cold symptoms. By this logic, this remedy may prove helpful in managing the similar symptoms brought on by a flu infection.
Although many general users have reported positive results after using this remedy, it remains unverified by science and cannot be taken as a guaranteed cure for flu symptoms.
# Use a wet washcloth to cool down your body from the outside
One of the simplest and most popular ways to relieve a fever without the use of medication is by applying a cool, damp washcloth on your forehead and neck.
However, this topical therapy merely cools down the surface of the body temporarily without reducing the core temperature.
The fever will go away for good only when the infection resolves, but in the meantime, you can use home remedies like this to reduce your discomfort.
The idea is to use tepid water, which will be much colder than your feverish body and will help to bring down your core temperature gradually.
- Take a clean washcloth or towel and soak it in room temperature (19–24°C) water.
- Wring the excess water, and wipe the forehead and neck of the patient with the damp cloth until the body fever subsides.
- You can also wrap the cloth around the patient’s legs or leave it on their forehead/neck for some time.