Natural Flu Remedies: 17 Cheap and Easy Solutions| May 18, 2023
Dealing with the flu can be a miserable experience, with symptoms like fever, body aches, chills, and congestion making it hard to feel good. While there is no cure for the flu, there are natural remedies you can try at home to alleviate your symptoms and speed up your recovery. These remedies are not only effective, but also affordable and easy to use. In this article, we'll explore some of the best home remedies for the flu and explain why they work.
- Staying hydrated is important when you have the flu, whether it's a respiratory or stomach flu. Drinking water and other fluids helps keep your nose, mouth, and throat moist, which can help eliminate excess mucus and phlegm. It's especially important to drink fluids if you're not eating or drinking normally, as flu symptoms like diarrhea and fever can lead to dehydration. To maintain your body's water balance, try drinking water, coconut water, sports drinks (make sure not added sugars or artificial sweetners), herbal tea, fresh juice, or eating raw fruits and vegetables. (1)
- Gargling with saltwater can be a helpful preventative measure against upper respiratory infections, including the flu. It can also ease the symptoms of a cold, such as sore throat and nasal congestion. This is because mucus can be reduced and loosened by gargling with salt water. To try this simple and cost-effective home remedy, mix one teaspoon of salt into a glass of water, swish it around in your mouth and down your throat, and then spit it out. It's important not to swallow the saltwater. However, children should not gargle until they are able to do so safely with normal water. (2)
- Bone broth has been touted as a natural remedy for the flu. Made from chicken or beef bones, it is a great way to stay hydrated and relieve nasal and sinus congestion. It is also rich in protein and minerals like sodium and potassium, which are essential for immune cell regeneration. You can make bone broth at home by boiling bones in water or buy pre-made options, but be sure to choose low-sodium varieties. So, next time you're feeling under the weather, try sipping on some warm bone broth to help ease your symptoms.(3)
- Chicken soup has long been a go-to remedy for those suffering from the flu. While it won't cure the flu entirely, it can certainly help alleviate some symptoms. Warm chicken soup with vegetables, whether homemade or from a can (but organic and homemade is the best!), has been shown to slow down the movement of neutrophils throughout the body. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell that help fight infection, and slowing them down can help concentrate them in the areas of the body that need the most healing. Additionally, low-sodium soup is nutrient-rich and hydrating, making it a good choice for anyone feeling under the weather.(4)
- Ginger root's health benefits have been promoted for generations, but we now have scientific evidence of its healing abilities. If you have a cough or a sore throat, putting a few slices of raw ginger in boiling water will help ease those symptoms. According to research, it can also prevent nausea that commonly accompanies the flu.(5)
- Honey is not only a delicious natural sweetener, but it also has medicinal properties. It has been found to have antibacterial and antimicrobial effects, making it a great remedy for a sore throat. Adding honey and lemon to tea can help soothe the throat and provide relief. Additionally, research has shown that honey is an effective cough suppressant. However, it is important to note that honey can contain botulinum spores, which can be harmful to infants under 1 year old. Older children and adults typically do not have any issues with these spores. (6)
- Garlic has been known for its potential antibacterial properties, thanks to a compound called allicin. Some people believe that taking a garlic supplement can help reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms. In fact, certain studies have suggested that consuming garlic regularly may even help boost your overall immune system, potentially reducing your risk of getting sick in the first place. So, next time you're feeling under the weather, consider adding some garlic to your meals or taking a supplement to potentially help alleviate your symptoms. (7)
- Echinacea, an herb and root used by Native Americans for centuries, has been found to have numerous medicinal benefits. One of its key components, flavonoids, can help strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation. In fact, recent research has shown that giving children echinacea may even help alleviate symptoms of the common cold. With its long history of use and proven effectiveness, echinacea is a natural remedy worth considering for those looking to boost their immune system and fight off infections. (8)
- Vitamin C is a crucial nutrient for maintaining good health and supporting the immune system. Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, limes, and grapefruits are excellent sources of vitamin C, as are leafy greens. When you're feeling under the weather with the flu, adding fresh lemon juice to hot tea sweetened with honey can help reduce phlegm. Drinking warm or cold lemonade can also be beneficial in providing the vitamin C your body needs to fight off upper respiratory infections. While these remedies may not cure the flu entirely, they can certainly help support your immune system.(9)
- Herbal tea can be a helpful addition to your flu-fighting arsenal. Many herbs, such as star anise, have natural antibacterial and antiviral properties. In fact, the prescription medicine Tamiflu was originally derived from star anise. Other herbs and teas with green leaves also have antioxidant benefits that can help boost your immune system. Drinking a hot cup of herbal tea can soothe your throat and sinuses while also providing flu-fighting benefits. To make a potent flu-fighting herbal tea, try combining star anise with other herbs like green or black tea, fresh or dried ginger, turmeric, fresh garlic, and cloves. Sweeten with pure honey, which has been found to have its own antiviral and antibacterial properties. (10)
- Probiotics are live microorganisms that can provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. They are commonly found in the human digestive tract and can also be found in certain foods and supplements. Studies have shown that probiotics can help boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of catching a cold or the flu. One delicious way to incorporate probiotics into your diet is through yogurt, which is also a great source of protein and calcium. When choosing yogurt, look for products that contain live bacteria listed on the label. Probiotics are live microorganisms that can provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. They are commonly found in the human digestive tract and can also be found in certain foods and supplements. Studies have shown that probiotics can help boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of catching a cold or the flu. One delicious way to incorporate probiotics into your diet is through yogurt, which is also a great source of protein and calcium. When choosing yogurt, look for products that contain live bacteria listed on the label.(11)
- Menthol, a compound derived from various mint plants, has been found to provide relief for some symptoms of the flu. Its ability to clear up stuffy noses and clogged airways can be helpful for those experiencing respiratory issues. Menthol also has antimicrobial and pain-relieving properties, making it a common ingredient in vapor rubs. Inhaling menthol through steam inhalation has been shown to reduce coughing caused by environmental irritants. Additionally, vapor rubs containing menthol, eucalyptus, and camphor have been found to improve sleep quality in both children and adults with cold symptoms. (13)
- Berries are a great source of polyphenols, which have been found to have antiviral properties that can help fight flu viruses. Elderberries have been shown to alleviate symptoms of the flu, while cranberry juice can boost the immune system. In laboratory studies, extracts from various berries have been found to be effective against the flu. Additionally, berries such as strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries are rich in vitamin C, which can help strengthen the immune system and fight off infections. (14)
- Essential oils have been studied for their potential to combat viruses, including the flu. Tea tree oil, in particular, has been found to slow down or even stop the replication of the flu virus. The best results are seen when tea tree oil is used within two hours of the onset of symptoms. Some people choose to add a few drops of tea tree oil to their hand lotion or liquid soap, while others use a diffuser to spread essential oils into the air. Other essential oils, such as cinnamon, peppermint, eucalyptus, geranium, lemon, thyme, and oregano, may also have antibacterial and antiviral properties. If you're interested in trying this natural remedy, consider using pure and effective essential oils like those from Harmony.
- Steam therapy has been used for centuries to provide relief for respiratory issues. Inhaling steam from a heated pot of water can help ease congestion in the nasal passages, sinuses, throat, and lungs. The warm, moist air can also reduce swelling and alleviate symptoms such as a dry cough, itchy nose, and chest discomfort. However, it is important to avoid boiling water steam and check the temperature before inhaling. To enhance the benefits of steam therapy, you can add vapor rub or essential oils to the water for added antiviral and antioxidant effects. (17)
- Humidity levels can affect your susceptibility to the flu. In dry conditions, the influenza virus can thrive and spread more easily. However, increasing the relative humidity in your home can help limit your exposure to the virus. Additionally, higher humidity levels can reduce inflammation in your nose, making it easier to breathe when you're sick. Consider using a cool mist humidifier in your room, especially during the dry winter months when indoor heating can worsen your symptoms. Adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the humidifier can also help with breathing. Just remember to change the water daily to prevent mold and fungi growth. If you don't have a humidifier, taking a long shower or spending time in a steamy bathroom can have a similar effect.(18)
- Getting enough sleep is crucial when fighting the flu. Sleep can help boost the immune system and aid in the body's fight against the virus. On the other hand, lack of sleep and high stress levels can increase the risk of catching a cold or the flu. In fact, a small study found that people who slept fewer hours were more susceptible to catching a cold. To prioritize rest and sleep, it's important to take a break from your usual routine. Harmony's Ear Candles can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, allowing for a better night's sleep and natural healing. The combination of smoke, aromatherapy, and ambient sound can help you feel better and recover faster.
The Bottom Line
A virus causes flu (or influenza); antibiotics cannot treat or prevent the illness. People who have the flu need to get a lot of rest and drink lots of fluids to get better. However, you may also find relief from flu symptoms by employing above mentioned cheap and effective home remedies. Additionally, Harmony's Ear Candles may reduce your stress and relax you, shortening your flu duration and alleviating its symptoms.
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