Top 9 Flu Remedies to Try Today
Flu season…just the words are enough to have us scurrying to the store to purchase Lysol, hand sanitizer, and other antibacterial cleansers to waylay the condition before it can enter our homes and wreak havoc. The days when the flu was thought to be no worse than the common cold are long gone, and unfortunately, some sort of strain of the flu or another is responsible for many, many deaths during the season every year.
By definition, the flu, technically known as influenza, is a viral infection that once contracted attacks your respiratory system, through your nose, lungs, and throat. This makes you miserable, as everyone who has ever had the flu can tell you. For most people, this form of flu resolves itself on its own, but in recent years, there have been strains that are decidedly more dangerous to certain members of the population.
There are, of course, many ways that you can combat the flu, from preventing it, to over the counter medications, and, of course, the flu shot. Many of us, however, prefer to try the natural flu remedies before we start taking or giving our families prescription drugs or over the counter medications to battle their symptoms, especially with the scare from Tamiflu in recent years.
That is why, in this blog, we will go into a few things you need to know about the flu, from signs and symptoms that you have it, to how to prevent it, and to the flu remedies that you might want to try today if you have the beginnings of the flu.
With that in mind, pull up a chair, huddle under your blanket, with tissues at hand and your tea at your side and join us on our journey into the flu and the remedies to try today.
Signs and Symptoms that You Might Have the Flu
While in the beginning stages, the flu looks and feels like a common cold, it can be anything but. Below, you will find a few of the most common signs and symptoms that you indeed have the flu.
- A fever that is over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
- A headache
- Chills and Sweats
- Muscles that ache
- A sore throat
- Nasal congestion
- You feel tired and weak
In most cases, those that get the flu can treat it themselves, however, if your symptoms persist, it’s imperative that you see a doctor right away. There are some people who are at risk of deadly complication from the flu more than others, those people are listed below as well.
People Who Are at the Most Risk with the Flu
- A child that is under the age of five or under the age of two
- Adults who are over 65
- Anyone in a nursing home or elder care facility
- Pregnant women
- People who have a weak immune system
- People with chronic illnesses
- People who have a BMI of 40 or higher and are obese
If you or anyone you know are at risk for the flu, it’s best to follow prevention methods and see your doctor regularly during flu season. Below, you can also find the common complications that can result from the flu for these high-risk people.
Complications from the Flu
- Ear infections
- Heart problems
- Flare-ups of asthma
The most serious of these complications is the flu, which has caused many deaths during flu season in recent years.
Now that you know a little about what the flu is, the symptoms, and who is at risk of developing complications, it’s time to delve into the flu remedies that you can try to possibly give you some relief today.
Flu Remedies to Try Today Revealed
When the flu has you or a member of your family down, you’ll do almost anything to feel better. Between the coughing, the fever, and the downright achy muscles, something has to help right? Below, you’ll find some of the best flu remedies out there to try.
Gargle with Salt Water
While many believe that gargling with salt water is an old wives tale and truly not the way to help relieve the symptoms of the flu, it works better than you might think. As soon as you start feeling sick, add some salt to warm water and gargle two or three times a day. This will help with that scratchy, sore, itchy feeling that you get when the flu or a cold is first coming on.
Honey, Lemon, and Tea
Another old wives tale that many doctors today still swear by is honey, lemon, and tea. Keeping a nice, hot cup of herbal tea by your side, along with water, can help to soothe your throat and relieve your flu-like symptoms. The honey and lemon that you add to your tea will not only help soothe your throat but start that hacking cough as well.
The worst thing you can do when suffering from the flu is to get dehydrated, which leaves you with a whole new host of problems. One of the easiest and best ways to combat your flu is by drinking lots of water. If you are feeling sick or vomiting, then it’s best to take small sips so that you keep the water down. Symptoms that you are becoming dehydrated and need to see your doctor are listed below.
Symptoms of Dehydration
- Dry mouth
- Dry skin
- Extremely thirsty
- Dark colored urine
- A decrease in urination
- Muscle cramping
- Your heart is beating too hard
- Decreased sweating
A Shot of Ginger
Ginger has long been known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and that’s never truer than when it comes to fighting off the flu and flu symptoms. The juice shots are best for getting the job done quickly, but you can chew on ginger as well.
Another natural remedy known for helping to combat the flu is elderberry syrup. It’s a fruit that is grown from the elderberry tree and is also known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties as well. It is said to be a powerhouse for fighting the flu, colds, and even sinus infections and has been known to shorten the length of time these three threats hang around to haunt you.
Good, Old-Fashioned Chicken Soup
Another one of the oldies, but goodies, that has been handed down from one generation to the other is homemade chicken soup. When you feel the flu symptoms coming on, go ahead and make a batch of homemade chicken soup. Make sure to lace it with pepper, before eating. It’s good for what ails you and the warmness of the broth will soothe your throat at the same time. It’s best to use homemade chicken broth, not the store-bought kind for the best and fastest results as well.
Rest and Sleep
One of the best and most needed ways to combat flu and the symptoms that accompany it is by resting and getting plenty of sleep. This means calling into work, canceling social activities, and just staying in bed. Whether it’s curling up on the couch and reading a book or binge-watching Netflix while you nap in between, the best cure for the flu is rest and sleeping all that you can.
Over the Counter Meds
While most of us hate the idea of putting anything that’s not natural into our bodies and certainly the bodies of the people we love, sometimes over the counter meds is the best answer. There are many flu options available out there. There are also plenty of cough syrups, cough drops, and medicines to soothe the sore throat as well. Just make sure to check the package to ensure that you’re not allergic to anything in the over the counter flu meds and to always take as directed for the best results.
See Your Doctor
If none of the remedies above work for you or if your symptoms persist or you have any of the complications listed above, you need to make an appointment with your primary health care provider as soon as possible, so that he can prescribe you something to treat your symptoms and cure the flu once and for all.
The flu is nothing to play around with and a strain of it killed over 80,000 Americans in 2018, with 180 of those being children. Those are high numbers, even in a country as big as the United States. You shouldn’t think that the flu will just go away on its own or that you aren’t at risk of complications because you don’t fall into the categories listed above, as is proven by the case of the healthy 22-year old that died in the flu outbreak last year. Though 2019 is looking to be a better year in terms of the flu, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t still out there or that you can’t get it.
In this next section of our blog, we will look into a few of the best ways that you can prevent the flu from coming to your home.
Tips for Preventing the Flu Revealed
Luckily, it is said that there are ways in which you can prevent yourself and your family from getting the flu this flu season. Ensuring that your family is strong and healthy is a great place to start, but there are other tips to follow as well. With that being said, read on below to find out what some of those tips are.
Wash Your Hands Frequently and Completely
One of the best ways to keep from contracting the flu, to begin with, is by making sure that you and your family wash your hands frequently and completely. This means that the kids need to wash their hands with good old-fashioned soap for at least 20 seconds under warm running water, instead of running into the bathroom, running their hands under the water and being gone before you know it. Make sure that you never, ever touch your mouth, nose or eyes without washing your hands first, especially when you have been in a public place.
Exercise and Eat Right
Exercising and getting out in the sun at least twenty minutes a day will help to boost your immune system, something you need most during flu season. Eating right, which means plenty of fruits and veggies, with less fast food and sugary snacks, will help to prevent the flu from hitting your household as well. These are two things that you should already be doing, to begin with, just do them more during flu season for extra protection.
Avoid Close Contact with People if at all Possible
While it may sound like a bad thing to say during flu season it’s best to avoid close contact with people as much as possible, because not everyone will stay home or keep their kids home when they have the flu. While you, of course, have to go to work and the kids have to go to school, avoiding places like zoos, movie theaters, and public gatherings are the best way to make it through the winter without you and your family contracting the flu.
If You’re Sick, Stay Home
No matter what preventative measures we take, sometimes the flu germ just slips through and you end up with it anyway. It’s during these times that you need to call into work, let the grocery shopping be done by someone else and just lay up until you’re better. Not only will going out make you sicker, but it will also spread the flu germs to other people, something you don’t want to happen if you can help it.
This concludes our blog on the flu and the remedies that you can try today. Until next time, stay healthy everyone!
- The Healthy Maven: 10 Natural Cold and Flu Remedies that Work
- Mayo Clinic: Influenza
- Allure: Flu Season 2019