It can be challenging to avoid getting sick during the cold and flu season, despite your best efforts. Ultimately, the influenza virus does not distinguish between individuals who are well or ill, or between the elderly and the young. We’re all potential targets because the virus can spread easily through airborne droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or even talks. Additionally, the flu season lasts longer than you might imagine; it peaks between October to February and continues through fall, winter, and even spring.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the flu actually causes over 20 million illnesses in the US alone each year. Flu symptoms can range from mild to severe and include fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, and body aches.
The key is to prevent this by having a yearly flu shot in October before the flu season officially begins, which can help greatly reduce the risk of illness for you and your loved ones. Although you can still get the flu, it will not be as bad if you receive the vaccination.
According to the National Institute on Aging, if you are aware that there is an outbreak in your area, taking an antiviral medication, such as Relenza (zanamivir) or Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate), can also help prevent the flu, even though you will need a prescription from a doctor. Gargling with green tea can also provide some protection; a July 2018 study published in the journal Molecules found that gargling with green tea on a regular basis reduces the risk of contracting the flu. Catechins, a class of antioxidants found in green tea, may aid in infection prevention.
Additionally, if you do contract the flu, you can reduce the duration of your illness by taking an antiviral or the more recent antiviral drug Xofluza (baloxavir marboxil) within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms. It can also be beneficial to try one or more of these natural remedies at home.
- How can one determine if they have the flu?
- Home remedies to consider
How can one determine if they have the flu?
During flu season, you may question whether you have the illness when you get a sniffle. However, other ailments—particularly the common cold—also proliferated in the winter. Typical flu symptoms include:
- Flu-like Cough
- Head Pain
- Sore throat
- Sore muscles
- Diarrhea and/or vomiting
Home remedies to consider
Take in liquids and water.
It is even more crucial to stay hydrated when suffering from the flu. Whether you have the stomach flu or the respiratory flu, this is true. Drinking water keeps your throat, mouth, and nose moist. This aids in the body’s removal of mucus and phlegm accumulation. Dehydration can also occur if you aren’t eating or drinking regularly. Water loss is also a common side effect of fever and diarrhea, two common flu symptoms.
To stay hydrated, make sure to eat lots of:
- Coconut water
- Healthy beverages
- Tea with herbs
- Fresh juice
- Raw fruits and veggies
You’ll be able to tell if you’re getting enough liquids and water if:
- You must frequently urinate
- Your pee is a light yellow or nearly clear color.
- You might be dehydrated if the color of your urine is a deep yellow to amber.
- Smoking should also be avoided as much as possible as it can aggravate your throat, lungs, and nose.
Although chicken soup’s ingredients contain nutrients that support your immune system, there is no scientific evidence that it can treat colds or the flu or hasten recovery. In addition to being hydrating and comforting, it may improve your general mood.
Additionally, there is some evidence to suggest that the nutrients in chicken soup may cause your body’s neutrophils to move more slowly.
White blood cells called neutrophils aid in defending your body against infection. They remain more concentrated in the parts of your body that require them the most when they are moving slowly. This could aid in the healing process.
Numerous antibacterial and antimicrobial qualities are present in honey. Sore throat pain can be relieved by consuming honey in tea with lemon.
A child under the age of one year should never be given honey due to the possibility of botulinum spores. Although they usually pose no threat to older children and adults, newborns’ immune systems aren’t strong enough to fend them off.
Remain Warm and Sleepy
When you first catch a cold or the flu, staying warm and getting plenty of rest helps your body focus its energy on fighting the illness. The body is exhausted from this battle, so rest to help it a little.
Gargling can provide momentary relief from a sore throat by moisturizing it. Four times a day, gargle with half a teaspoon of salt dissolved in eight ounces of warm water.
Try gargling with something astringent, like tannin-containing tea, to tighten the membranes and lessen the tickle in your throat. Alternatively, use a honey or honey-apple cider vinegar gargle, which is thick and viscous. In two cups of hot water, steep one tablespoon of raspberry leaves or lemon juice; stir in one teaspoon of honey. Before gargling, allow the mixture to reach room temperature.
Although it hasn’t been shown to stop cold symptoms, vitamin C may shorten the duration of a cold, according to certain research. It also strengthens your immune system and improves your general health.
It is suggested to consume the vitamin through food. The food is best when it is fresh. Consider oranges instead of supplements or orange juice. Kidney stones and upset stomach can result from taking excessive amounts of vitamin C supplements rather than dietary vitamin C.
Put on essential oils.
Certain essential oils have the potential to shield you from specific bacteria and viruses. According to one study, tea tree oil inhibits or stops the flu virus’s ability to multiply, which helps the body fight off the infection. The study found that applying tea tree oil within two hours of infection maximizes its effectiveness. This indicates that it might be beneficial to prevent the flu virus from spreading.
In real life, you may mix a few drops of tea tree oil into your lotion or add it to liquid hand soap when you wash your hands. It’s an ingredient in some mouthwashes that are manufactured commercially.
Other essential oils derived from plants and herbs may also function as organic antibiotics and antivirals. These consist of:
oil of cinnamon, peppermint, eucalyptus, geranium, lemon, thyme, or oregano
Only use essential oils as prescribed. Many essential oils are toxic, so avoid consuming them. After being combined with oils like almond or olive oil, the majority of essential oils are safe to use topically. For comparable effects, you can season food with both dried and fresh herbs and spices.
Using an essential oil diffuser to release essential oils into the air may also aid in the fight against certain bacteria and viruses. Recognize that children, expectant and nursing mothers, and pets are all affected by aromatherapy.
Have a Hot Shower
In addition to hydrating your nasal passages, the warmth and humidity of a steamy shower may also promote relaxation. Take a sponge bath and a hot shower while sitting in a nearby chair if you’re feeling lightheaded from the flu. A cool mist vaporizer next to your couch or bed will do the same thing.
Frequently Asked Questions
The following are a few of the frequently asked questions that you too may have.
How can you promptly treat a cold or the flu?
Although there is no cure for the flu or a cold, symptoms can be managed with rest, fluids, and natural remedies like diffusing essential oils, making ginger tea, and using a humidifier.
What are some natural treatments for colds or the flu?
The following natural remedies can help reduce flu symptoms: probiotics, honey, ginger, echinacea, elderberry, and echinacea.
Is it possible to cure the flu in a day?
The flu currently has no known treatment. Usually, it goes away in three to seven days. Contact us to know more about the medications and treatment.
While there isn’t a cure for the flu or colds at this time, there are a number of dietary options, supplements, and other over-the-counter treatments that can help manage symptoms.
A little bit of extensive research is required, but some remedies may shorten the illness’s duration, according to a reliable source.
By eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising, you can boost your immune system and lower your chance of contracting a cold or the flu. Receiving all advised immunizations is also beneficial.
Which natural cures for the flu should you stay away from?
Many over-the-counter flu remedies are secure and even beneficial. However, some theories exist that have the potential to worsen the situation. The following home cures should be avoided:
Aspirin has been connected to Reye’s syndrome, even though the majority of over-the-counter cold and fever reducers are safe to take when you have the flu. This condition is most common in children with influenza and in severe cases can lead to damage to the brain or liver.
While soaking in a tub can be soothing during sickness, a cold bath is not necessary to lower a fever. Recall that the average temperature of your body is approximately 98.6°F. 92°F is usually considered a warm bath, which is already considerably colder.
Although it’s crucial to stay hydrated when sick, consuming excessive amounts of plain water can upset your electrolyte balance. Additionally, your body requires calories in order for your immune system to remain active. Try drinks that contain electrolytes in addition to water.
Reminder to Keep it yourself and to don’t spread it.
As you tend to your health, be cautious not to infect others with your cold or flu virus. When you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth with your sleeve or a tissue. Additionally, wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and water. If you are unable to reach a sink, thoroughly wash your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Recall that severe illnesses can mimic the common cold, including strep throat, meningitis, bronchitis, sinus infections, and asthma. Contact our physician if your symptoms seem severe or if they don’t seem to be improving.