Going down with flu is not the best experience you can have anywhere. There is always an irritation that it adds to your time at home or at work, which varies from one person to another. Some people may experience one or a few signs and symptoms of the flu. These may include headache, fever, nasal congestion, chills, cough, sore throat, a stuffy or runny nose, fatigue, and general body weakness. Other people may have all the highs and lows (by which I mean the most serious to least of irritations) that come with having flu, making it undesirable and regrettable to handle even for a day.
There are also flu viruses that target the stomach and makeup what is dubbed the stomach flu. These present themselves in signs and symptoms like; diarrhea, fever, nausea, stomach cramps, and vomiting.
The typical escape from these would be an antibiotic for most people, but this hardly works because flu is caused by a virus. Therefore an antibiotic would not work since they work on bacteria and not viruses. Nasal decongestants are another no-go because essentially, you want to increase blood flow to the blood vessels in the nose and not reduce it, which decongestants do.
Naturally, whenever we get hit by flu, there is nasal congestion, fever, and cough that come with it. These however are the body’s ways of curbing the virus. For instance, congestion keeps the germs near expulsion by blowing. It can however cause a lot of difficulty in breathing, so if you want to reduce it, best go at it with mild solutions than quick decongestants.
In this write-up, we present some of the ways to treat flu without medicines. On that day when you are grounded with flu, try these at home.
Drink lots of water and fluids
This is one of the most important things you can do for the body even before you come down with the flu. Water and other fluids help to maintain the moisture in the nose, mouth, and throat, which aids in getting rid of excess mucus built up in those hotspots. The recommended amount of water a human being should take a day is three to four liters. This is more than ideal when you have flu since it causes liquid expulsion through mucus, and the more you sneeze or blow, the more water you let out. Also, the more serious signs like those of diarrhea and fever will more than necessitate taking as much fluid as possible, because a lot of water is lost to stool and sweat respectively.
How do you know that you have a sufficient amount of water intake? You should simply check out the appearance of your urine. You will pass out close to colorless urine when you have a sufficient amount of water in your body. Ensure to keep your pee at this state with or without the flu.
Breathe hot air/steam
Steam should be one of your closest friends as a remedy for the flu or its’ symptoms. It helps in reducing nasal congestion and dry throats. Test the temperature of the water before putting your face over it, then get a basin or bucket with steamy water (NOT BOILING WATER). Bend or lean over it with a towel or blanket over your head and fully close out any outlets. Breathe gently while in this posture. Do this for about seven minutes.
Be sure to be a safe distance from the steam. If it is very hot, don’t add salt to the injury by scalding your face and hands in a bid to cure the flu.
A balanced diet is most recommended to prevent and also treat the flu. Make sure you have the right amounts of Vitamins to boost your immunity from illnesses like the flu.
Your meals should have all food values properly blended in them. Protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and roughage, all play significant roles in building your body’s strength and making sure you are up to the task of fighting illnesses like the flu.
Get plenty of sleep
Sleeping for at least 8 hours a day is very important in treating the flu as well. Adequate sleep gives the body time to heal and replenish nutrients which helps in boosting its immunity. Try to get as much rest to give your body ample time to get the job of fighting the flu virus done faster than with a sleeping pattern of 4-6 hours.
Gargle/rinse with salt water
A rinse with saltwater is what you need to remove mucus and reduce sore throat pain when you have the flu. Boil water and let it become warm. Add a teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water, gulp it and keep it at the back of your tongue and gargle for about 30 seconds and spit. Repeat the process about three times.
This method may not be ideal for children unless they are trained with regular water. You can tell whether they can follow the steps properly before using it.
Consume food rich in Vitamin C
Much as these foods may not entirely treat flu and its irritations, they have many health benefits to the immunity of the body. They are good prevention and soothing means of reducing phlegm and mucus from the throat.
Foods rich in Vitamin C include oranges, lime, lemon, grapes, and other fruits and vegetables. Be sure to consume lots of these as they are or as juices like lemonade.
Use Chicken soup
Nothing like a little chicken soup for the invalid, right? Well, chicken soup is more than just a treat for the sick. Research and anecdotal evidence suggest that chicken soup is instrumental in lowering the symptoms of upper respiratory infections in particular. It is therefore stated that ingestion of chicken soup with vegetables goes a long way in improving the functions of the blood cells that fight infections in the body.
When neutrophils, a type of white blood cell are moving at a slow rate, it concentrates their healing ability on the areas that need as much help as possible, which in our case, would be the areas of the mouth, nose, throat, and stomach. So be sure to get some chicken soup and cut in some vegetables for better immunity.
There are so many ways to make good use of ginger to prevent and even treat the flu. You can choose to take ginger tea, have a steam bath with ginger roots in the water, or even though more corrosive, chew live ginger.
Ginger has had scientific evidence for a long to its herbicidal qualities, which in the matter of treating flu, helps to soothe cough and sore throat. If you experience signs of nausea too, ginger could be a good remedy because it has been tested to calm nausea effects in patients who experience it as a symptom of illness.
Talking about smooth and soothing, honey packs a sweet and calming sensation for any sore throat and cough. It possesses many properties, which help in the soothing front whenever you have the flu. Mix honey with lemon into your tea for better results against your flu.
However, for toddlers younger than one year, it is not the ideal method to use.
Garlic is another piece of grocery you need to stock up on your list as a means to cure the flu fast. Garlic has been researched to hold great immunity-boosting qualities to the body, with a component named allicin, which is believed to hold garlic’s good properties against the flu. Once immunity is boosted, your flu will be effectively fought away.
Take Warm baths
Best for reducing signs of fever from invalids, warm baths help lower the temperature of the body by opening up the skin pores to release heat away to the air. In so doing, this contributes to the quick management of the flu without involving a doctor.
It is recommended to reduce a child’s fever by giving them a warm sponge bath. Warm baths equally have the same potency as far as reducing cold and flu symptoms in adults.
Eat Warm broth
By drinking warm chicken or beef bone broth, you can explore yet another good way to not only stay healthy but also remain hydrated while treating the flu. The soup from chicken and beef bones helps to reduce your nose and sinus congestion.
In as far as nutrient wealth is concerned, chicken and beef bone broth are also naturally rich in protein and minerals like sodium and potassium. Drinking broth is a good way to replenish these nutrients while you have the flu. The minerals help to boost bodily immunity whilst the protein is important for rebuilding both body tissue and white blood cells.
Making your own broth is as easy as boiling chicken or beef bones. If you cannot find the right time to make this yourself, you might as well purchase some, preferably with low levels of sodium or salt. For sustainable results, you can freeze portions of broth for future use.
Double your zinc consumption
Consumption of zinc enables the growth and development of more white blood cells in the body. White blood cells are required to boost your ability in fighting off infections. Additionally, research shows that the consumption of zinc and its vast availability in the body leads to reduced growth and multiplication of foreign germ cells like the flu virus.
You can boost your zinc levels by taking a supplement or better still, constantly having a balanced diet on a regular basis. Not sure what to consume? The following are foods rich in zinc; eggs, milk, red meat, beans, nuts, seeds, etc.
Drink herbal tea
Look out for tea bags with herbal ingredients in them. These are usually ground and mixed together and possess antiviral and antibacterial properties, which should suffice in fighting the flu. A hot herbal drink also helps in soothing sore throats and sinuses, as well as combating nasal congestion.
More particularly, herbs like Star anise (a star-shaped spice) and Oseltamivir phosphate (better known as Tamiflu) have been prescribed to prevent getting the flu. They possess antiviral properties which are effective against flu viruses.
If at all you do smoke, you should stop it for the sake of treating your flu. Breathing will get even more difficult if you have a running or congested nose, and then add smoke to the respiratory system.
It is not exactly wise to add fuel to the fire (literally), you would rather halt for a while, and resume when the flu has passed. Smoking could add to headaches, chills, and fatigue if you maintain it while sick with the cold or flu.
Consume bland food
This applies to stomach flu, which may require less conventional dieting than usual. Stomach flu requires that you consume foods that are light and easier to digest than the typical meals that are a bit more robust for the stomach juices to handle at the time. These are known as bland foods.
If you are experiencing signs and symptoms like diarrhea and nausea, then you might just have stomach flu. You should be keen to ingest only easy food to digest. Such food includes things like; soup and broth, oatmeal, boiled chicken and potatoes, bananas, rice, toast, and many more.
However, be sure to avoid some of these foods, which will probably cause more irritation than satisfaction i.e. milk, cheese, caffeine, alcohol, fatty foods, spicy foods, and any form of fried food.
Use a humidifier
The last thing you need is to let the virus multiply in your home. The flu virus lives longer amidst the dry indoor air of a household, which would make the virus conquer more territory and spread in the air.
Colder temperatures can help to lower humidity in the house air. Indoor air can usually dry up due to heating, like in the kitchen and fireplaces, and the use of air conditioning. Using a humidifier to add humidity in your home or workplace might help reduce flu viruses in the air since it produces temperatures under which viruses cannot spread or grow.
Stay at home
Last but not least, don’t go to work if you’re sick with the flu. When at home, try to keep away from the younger children and other family members to curb the spread of the virus. When the virus spreads, it could take longer to treat and cure everyone of the flu. Sometimes you could cure it, but its spread will mean omnipotence, which could circle back to you.
While all recommendations offered have a chance of containing the flu, seek the advice of your doctor once symptoms persist.
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