Natural Ways to Treat the Dreaded Flu
No one wants to be sick. Getting bogged down by the flu affects your physical and mental wellbeing, your ability to work and enjoy life. When you get the flu you’ll likely be out of action for a week or two, confined to your bed, tissue box and hot lemon tea.
And if you’re one of those people who always seems to fall ill, you’ve probably tried every medicine on the market to cure your ailments. While there are some effective over-the-counter and prescription medicines, it’s important to be cautious of all the chemicals we put into our bodies.
So, for this flu season, consider our natural remedies to help you get over the dreaded flu.
What is the Flu?
The flu is one of those default illnesses that people fall back to when they don’t what to call their ailment.
Got the chills? It’s the flu. Got a fever? It’s the flu. Came down with a respiratory infection? Flu.
And while these can all be symptoms of the flu, what is it really?
The flu, or influenza, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. Generally, flu related viruses thrive and spread from winter through early spring. The flu is known to attack the body and spread through the upper and lower respiratory tracts.
Although the flu is not uncommon, it can be a very severe illness. And for those with weakened immune systems, it can result in death.
And while there are several natural and chemical treatments for the flu, the best way to fight the flu is through prevention – and the strongest prevention method is the flu vaccine.
Remember, you can also work year round to prevent the flu by keeping your immune system healthy and strong by eating immune building foods like dark, leafy greens and salmon.
But no prevention method is 100%. If you do fall ill to the flu, here are some natural remedies to help you get over it quickly.
If you have the flu, it’s best to stay home and get rest. No one wants to catch it off you, so don’t run the risk of spreading the virus to others. In addition, you need the rest to help your body get over the illness.
While exercise can be effective in building your immune system and helping prevent the flu, it can have the opposite effect if you are already sick. This is especially true for those with additional or underlying conditions along with the flu.
Rest allows your body to rebuild damaged cells and process necessary nutrients in fighting the flu.
Eat High Protein Foods
Maintaining enough protein is important at all times, but when you are sick – having adequate protein is especially important. Your body uses protein to help rebuild your strength during the flu. It also uses protein to help retain the strength you have and prevent further losses.
High protein foods include:
You have probably heard to drink plenty of fluids when you have the flu. And while some natural remedy advice is based on superstition and tradition, drinking lots of fluids is based on sound medical and scientific evidence.
Staying hydrated helps your body clear toxins. It also helps replace any fluids you lose if you are vomiting or sweating profusely. Furthermore, staying hydrated can:
- Provide fever control
- Control nausea
- Help clear airway secretions
But when speaking of the flu, not all liquids are created equal. You want to make sure to avoid:
- Surgery drinks
- Caffeinated drinks
Instead, drink plenty of:
- Decaf tea
- Water with and without lemon
- Clear soup broth
Eat Unsalted Crackers
If your flu symptoms include vomiting, unsalted crackers can help absorb your additional stomach acid and reduce feelings of nausea.
Crackers are especially helpful in this regard due to their high starch content. And, combined with other natural flu remedies, they can help get you feeling better much faster.
Take a Hot Shower
While a hot shower won’t cure your flu, it will certainly help ease your flu symptoms. Hot showers help:
- Loosen chest congestion
- Clear and soothe nasal passages
- Relieve the chills
- Lessen headaches
- Relax tightened muscles and relieve muscle aches
Additionally, taking a good, hot shower will wash away germs to help stop the spread of your virus to others and keep it from perpetuating within yourself.
Gargle Salt Water
Though not very appetising, gargling salt water can also help treat your flu symptoms.
Gargling salt water will help alleviate your sore throat by pulling the fluids from the tissues in the throat area. In effect, the salt in the water serves as a magnet for the fluids in your throat and helps wash the virus out.
This will provide relief from your sore throat and help clear the virus from that area of your body.