Influenza (flu) is an airborne contagious disease caused by virus that most often affects people during seasonal changes. Flu symptoms including fever, cough, soar throat, headache, muscle pain, stuffy or runny nose, congestion and chills can make you feel miserable.
Antiviral medication may help to alleviate the symptoms, but simple remedies can help to get complete relief.
Best Home Remedies For Flu
Fever and Muscle Aches
When you have fever, it means that the body is fighting against the viral infection. To ease the fever and body ache, take over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen or aspirin. Call the doctor if your child or an elderly person has fever. Don’t give aspirin on your own.Fever can leave you dehydrated. Drink lots of water and fluids like soup, electrolyte etc. till the fever subsides. Chicken soup is considered a good option. Getting proper rest is crucial when you have fever as it will boost your immune system and allow the body to heal.
Relief from Stuffy Nose
Inhale aromatic steam to ease stuffy nose and breathe easy. Keep a bowl of boiling water on a table. Add two teaspoons of freshly chopped ginger in the steaming water. Cover your head with a towel and lean over the steaming water to breathe in the steam.Continue to breathe until you get relief from stuffy nose. You can also add few drops of eucalyptus oil, menthol or over-the-counter vapor ointment. These aromatic products will ease congestion and help you breathe easy.
Another way to liquefy the mucus is taking a warm shower. The steamy bathroom will help to open the airways by moistening and thinning the mucus. To keep the respiratory system hydrated, keep drinking lots of water and fluids.This will help to liquefy thick mucus buildup in the respiratory track and ease congestion. Drinking hot soups brings great relief. Other liquids like fruit juices can also help but avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages like tea and coffee as they can cause dehydration.
Breathing moist air can bring relief from nasal congestion. You can use humidifier to keep the atmosphere of the room moist. Using moist heat compress can also bring relief from nasal congestion. For this, place a warm and moist cloth on your forehead, nose or cheeks after dipping it in hot water and squeezing it.
Nasal Saline Irrigation
Studies confirm that nasal saline irrigation is an effective flu remedy for thinning the mucus and easing post-nasal drip. It also helps to remove virus and bacteria from your nose. Saline (salt water) nasal sprays are easily available in drug stores.You can also use sterilized salt water at home. Use lukewarm water for preparing the solution. Using a saline squeeze bottle, pour salt water first into one nostril and blow the mucus out of that nostril. Repeat the same process for the other nostril until both the nostrils runs clearly.
Throat and Chest Congestion
Gargling with salt water provides excellent relief from scratchy throat that is caused due to thick mucus that accumulates at the back of the throat. Gargling can also ease the irritation that you feel in the ears due to the formation of mucus.Another traditional way of gargling is squeezing lemon juice into a glass of warm water. The acidic environment created by lemon juice and water helps the throat to work against bacteria and viruses.
For fighting flu virus, raw onion works as a great remedy. For getting relief from sore throat, grate an onion. Squeeze the juice from it and mix it with spoonful of honey and eat. Honey will soothe your throat and onion will fight the flu virus.
For chest congestion, drink ginger tea. Ginger tea will clear the chest by loosening the mucus and also provides relief from cough by soothing the throat. Some people suggest using ginger and garlic equally in boiling water as it works more efficiently.
Eating spicy food helps to loosen the phlegm in your lungs and provides relief from chest congestion. Add chilly peppers to your soups and meals. It contains capsaicin, an antioxidant which works as natural expectorant and decongestants.Garlic contains antimicrobial properties that stimulates the immune system and provides relief from chest congestion. In the same way, ginger stimulates the nerve that causes mucus production. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties helps in fighting viral infections.
Drinking pineapple juice, which is high in vitamin C, an enzyme that works to breakdown the mucus is also beneficial for getting relief from chest congestion.
Steam inhalation not only works for stuffy nose but it also gives relief from chest congestion.
Massaging the chest with vapor rubs, eucalyptus oil or turmeric powder, which contains antioxidant properties, can also bring relief from chest congestion.Most of these home remedies have been used for generation to cure flu symptoms. They work to ease the flue symptoms and help the body to fight flu virus.