Influenza is a common viral infection that attacks the respiratory system, mainly the nose, throat, and bronchi. Also known as the flu, every year, millions are affected by it, and thousands lose their life. It affects people of all age groups and is characterized by the sudden onset of fever, headache, and body pains.
Severe cough, sore throat, fever, headache, and body pains are the common symptoms of influenza. The virus is generally transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets released in the atmosphere when an infected person coughs and sneezes.
Usually, effective treatment in the early stages can stop the virus from causing severe damage and help in faster recovery. However, in some cases, where the person’s immune system is weak or does not seek proper treatment, or if suffering from some other illnesses, it can lead to chronic health complications. In such cases, a person may suffer from pneumonia and respiratory damage, which can result in death.
However, influenza is not that threatening. For a healthy individual, home remedies can quickly help in easing out the symptoms and conditions of the cold. Besides, these home remedies also help in fighting the other conditions that may be associated with influenza or flu.
Science-Backed Home Remedies for Flu
Health experts recommended natural remedies as they help in enriching the immune power and also enabling the body to fight the infections from inside. Besides, they also promote quick healing.
Below listed are a few such home remedies for treating influenza or flu:
When you experience symptoms like cough and fever, it is a sign that your immune system is fighting against the virus and trying to defend your body. High body temperature is an indication that your immune system is working at its best to kill the infection. It is because high temperatures can help the system in enhancing the functions of the cells. Besides, a higher temperature also makes it hard for bacteria and viruses to thrive.
If you want to support your body the infection, you must be on a healthy diet with foods that are listed below:
[ Also Read: Natural Remedies to Treat and Prevent Flu ]
Ginger(1) is known to be the most common and effective home remedy to fight against influenza. It mainly reduces vomiting and nausea associated with the flu. Besides, it also enhances immune function, soothes throat pain, and improves recovery time.
[ Also Read: Beneficial Foods to Control Flu ]
2. Probiotic Foods
Probiotics are live bacteria that are beneficial for a healthy gut and also in supporting the immune system to fight against harmful viruses and bacteria. Adding probiotics to the regular diet also helps in preventing flu and its related symptoms.
3. Chicken Soup
Chicken soup contains many useful proteins that help in treating cold and flu. It stops the white blood cells from congregating, preventing inflammation, and the production of excess mucus. You can have chicken soup regularly to increase essential protein intake and support your immune system.
Honey is a very popular and common home remedy used to reduce symptoms of common cold and flu. It has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that help in preventing infections. Mix one teaspoon of honey in one glass of water and drink it daily to reduce the symptoms of flu.
Mustard(2) has healing properties and can treat flu symptoms. It is famous for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Put one teaspoon of mustard in a large bucket of hot water. Soak your feet in the water till it cools down. Soaking your feet in that water helps in improving circulation and relieves congestion. Do this twice a day to promote quick healing.
Garlic has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiseptic properties that help in treating many infectious diseases.
Echinacea(3) is a Native American herb that is used to treat infections. Flavonoid is an active ingredient present in the herb that can boost immunity and prevent inflammation and eventually
8. Herbal Tea
Herbal tea helps in treating your sore throat. Organic honey, along with lemon in the herbal tea, can cure throat infection. It is also considered as an effective natural cure for influenza.
Include more quantity of chili pepper in your diet, which is known to cure sinus problems and break the mucus. It can, in turn, help in treating and also recovering from influenza.
10. Vitamin C Foods
Vitamin C plays a vital role in improving the overall functions of the body. Fruits like lime, oranges, and grapefruit are good sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps in relieving upper respiratory tract infections and boosts your immune system to fight against different diseases.
Other Tips To Get Rid of Flu
Below listed are a few additional tips that help you in treating influenza and also supporting your body to fight off the associated symptoms.
1. Clear the Stuffy Nose
Blowing the nose during cold prevents the reverse flow of mucus into your head. It helps in sweeping or clearing away germs or dead cells that are in its path and prevents further infections. Make sure to be gentle when you blow the nose, as doing it hard can cause an earache or push germs into ear passages.
The best way to blow is to press a finger on one nostril and gently blow the mucus out from the other one.
Influenza cures faster when you keep your nose clear by avoiding the accumulation of germs.
Saltwater helps in alleviating nasal congestion and removing the bacterial and viral particles from the nose. It also helps in treating sore throat and cough that will help in relieving the irritation caused in the throat due to influenza.
You can take a pinch of saltwater, add it to a glass of water, gargle it for a minute and spit it out.
Squeeze a lemon juice in a glass of warm water and gargle to treat the sore throat. Gargling helps in reducing influenza symptoms. They also create an alkaline environment which can kill bacteria or viruses.
[ Also Read: Top 10 Effective Essential Oils to Treat Flu ]
Steam is an effective therapy for thinning the mucus. Pour hot water in a large bowl and add a few drops of thyme or eucalyptus oil and take the steam for a few minutes. This therapy will boost the healing process and is considered as the simplest and effective cure for influenza.
5. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. Dehydration can increase the flu symptoms and can also lead to heart palpitations, muscle cramping, and headache. Drinking water also helps in eliminating toxins from your body and also aids in alleviating the conditions of flu.
[ Read: Apple Cider Vinegar for Flu ]
Include multivitamin(3) in your daily diet or take artificial supplements recommended by the doctor to boost your immunity and effectively treat the flu symptoms. Vitamin B is also highly essential to deal with fatigue and weakness that is commonly experienced during a flu attack.
[ Also Read: Best Multivitamin for Women ]
7. Cold or Hot Packs
Use hot and cold packs around the congested sinus area. It will help in breaking and clearing the mucus blocked in your nasal package, which can help in reducing the condition of the flu.
8. Stay Warm
Wearing warm clothes during the infection can help in avoiding complications. Staying warm can help your body in directing the energy towards boosting your immune system. Listen to your body and take rest whenever required to experience fast recovery.
9. Use Extra Pillow While Sleeping
Using an extra pillow under your head to relieve the congested nasal passages. Helps in treating influenza.
10. Use Humidifier
The influenza virus spreads more rapidly in a dry environment. Thus it is recommended to create a more humid environment to prevent the spread of influenza virus. Increasing humidity also helps in reducing nasal inflammation.
Note: You should change the water that you use in the humidifier daily to prevent the growth of fungi and mold.
11. Warm Bath
You can give a warm sponge bath to your child to reduce fever. A warm bath also helps in reducing cold and flu symptoms in adults. Epsom salt and baking soda can be added to the water to reduce body pain caused due to influenza infection.
Influenza is a common viral infection. However, treating it in the early stages can help you in preventing various health complications. Strengthening the immune system should be of top priority is it helps the body in naturally fighting the flu and also other infections. The above remedies are your best solution to treat flu or influenza more naturally. In case you are under treatment, medications, or have any allergies, it is highly advised to consult a doctor before taking up these remedies.
1. Can flu viruses survive on surfaces?
Yes, flu viruses can survive on various surfaces, including metal and wood. The best way to disinfect those surfaces is by wiping them off or cleaning them with diluted bleach, disinfectant liquids, or detergents.
2. How long does a flu infection last?
In general, the flu infection lasts for about one to two weeks. With effective remedies, severe symptoms can be alleviated in two to three days. Other symptoms such as fatigue or cough may linger for a week.