The influenza virus has been the bane of mankind for centuries since there is no known cure. Often, our only option to treat it is by treating its symptoms, which include a runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, chest or nasal congestion, headaches, and nausea. Since the flu is a virus, antibiotics are not effective and other treatments are limited. For this reason, many people turn to home remedies for the flu and flu-like symptoms.
The Best Remedies for the Flu
- Water – One of the main causes of contracting the flu is not consuming enough fluids. Without proper hydration the immune system cannot run at maximum effectiveness, which leaves openings in which viruses and bacteria can take hold. This is why one of the most recommended natural flu cures is to drink plenty of fresh, clean water. The color of urine is a great yardstick by which we can measure our body’s level of hydration – pale yellow to clear urine indicates healthy hydration levels, whilst dark yellow urine indicates poor hydration levels. It is important to maintain a maximum hydration level to give the immune system the best chance of defeating the virus.
- Steam – Steam, which is water in its gas state, provides relief for chest and sinus congestion associated with the flu. One method of utilizing steam is to sit in the bathroom and place the water on the hottest setting possible. Doing this a few times a day will clear up sinuses within a very short period. Another way to utilize steam for healing is to heat a pot of water until it reaches boiling point. Once it reaches boiling point, take it off and place it on the table. Then place a towel over your head with your face as close as possible to the water without getting burned. Breathing deeply through the nose for 30 minutes in this position will also break up any sinus and chest congestion.
- Salt water – A simple mixture of salt and water also works wonders as a natural cure for sore throat and nasal congestion. When dealing with a sore throat, gargle a mixture of salt and water three times a day. The salt absorbs the water that the bacterium needs to survive, which in turn kills the bacteria and reduces inflammation and irritation. It is important to not use too much salt as that will actually increase irritation. Thus, start by mixing a small amount and increase until you find your desired strength. A salt and water mixture can also be used to clear nasal congestion. Do this by mixing salt and warm water into an eyedropper. Tilt the head back and use the eyedropper to drop a few drops of the salt solution into the nostril, then lean the head to the side opposite the entry nostril so that the solution drains out of the other nostril.
Since there is no known cure for the flu, home remedies for the flu and flu-like symptoms are very popular. Many of the cures outlined above are just as effective as over the counter medications, if not more so, so if you have the flu, try them out!