Flu season is here and its come with a vengeance!
Let’s face it, getting sick is no fun. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. These viruses spread through the air from person to person. Symptoms may include aches, fever, nausea, chills, sore throat, and nasal congestion. It knocks you out. There are prescription antiviral medications that may ease these symptoms if taken shortly after coming down with flu symptoms. Simple home remedies can also help you feel some relief for mild to moderate flu symptoms.
Home Remedies to Make You Feel Better:
The flu can leave you dehydrated especially if you have diarrhea and/or vomiting. Keeping your fluid intake high will help you feel much better. Orange juice is a good option because it is a great source of Vitamin C. Water, fruit juices and electrolyte beverages are also choices. Stay away from caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine is a diuretic and alcohol is definitely not what you want to drink when you’re sick. If you suffer from a sore throat, honey mixed in with tea or taken on its own is a common remedy for a sore throat. How do you know if you are staying hydrated? Your urine should be pale yellow in an adequately hydrated state. If you are getting dehydrated, it will be deep yellow in color. This visible test is the easiest way to make sure you get enough fluids, even when you don’t feel like eating.
2. What to Eat?
Who feels like eating when you are sick? Your body wants to reserve its energy to heal rather than for digestion and this is typically why you don’t feel like eating when you have the flu. For generations, Mom and Grandma’s remedy has been chicken soup, and it’s a great meal! It contains cysteine which helps thin mucus and relieves congestion. High doses of Zinc and Vitamin C are two powerful supplements to help fight the flu. Yogurt is rich in zinc and supports the immune system. Vitamin C has a slight antihistaminic effect, which may reduce nasal symptoms. Spices such as garlic and turmeric can help break up nasal and sinus congestion.
Listen to your body. If it is telling you to be a couch potato, do it. Don’t worry about the cleaning the house or washing 4 loads of laundry. Rest is another way of supporting the body’s ability to fight infection. A good nights rest helps the immune system so make sure to get 7- 8 hours at night. Lack of sleep reduces the ability of the immune system to attack bacteria and viruses.
3. Use Healing Herbs
Garlic, echinacea, and elderberry are great herbs to try if you are feeling under the weather! These herbs will open up the airways and help you breathe much better. Garlic stimulates the immune system, has anti-inflammatory compounds, helps thin mucus, and acts as an expectorant. Echinacea acts as an anti-inflammatory, which can help reduce bronchial symptoms of cold and flu. Elderberry is said to boost the immune system, deactivate flu symptoms and relieve sinus pressure.
4. Essential Oils
Diffusing essential oils and using high-quality essential oils on your body helps to boost the immune system. Lavender, lemon, peppermint, and frankincense are some of our favorites! Lavender can assist with relaxation and rest. Lemon essential oil has antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which not only makes it ideal for fighting viruses, but also for reducing cold and flu symptoms such as coughing, congestion, swollen glands and bodily aches and pains. Rubbing peppermint and frankincense oil into your neck or bottoms of the feet helps to naturally support the immune system. Are you suffering from a sore throat? Lemon, Eucalyptus, and Sage essential oils are just a few that offer wonderful benefits!
5. Get Fresh Air and Sun Exposure
Just 10 minutes of sunshine can give you 10,000 IU of vitamin D, which is essential to your immune system working properly. Indoor environments can be a source of concentrated germs and toxins. The dry air we inhale, especially when heating our homes, makes airways more reactive and sensitive to viruses.
7. High doses of Zinc and Vitamin C
These two powerful supplements will deliver a punch to your Flu virus! Make sure you are using high-quality products. Vitamin C helps with immune system function and also boosts white blood cell count. Eating whole fruits and vegetables can help with Vitamin C intake. Zinc has an antiviral effect as well as supporting the immune system. Zinc works best when taken at the first sign of illness.
How To Prevent Getting Sick
Implementing these behaviors can help stop the spread of the flu
Wash your hands…frequently and thoroughly. This is the number one way to prevent the flu and other respiratory illnesses. You must scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds to kill viruses. If you can’t get to a sink, use hand sanitizer.
Do not to touch your nose, eyes or mouth, especially before you wash your hands well.
Reduce Stress. Stress can affect the immune system. Consider meditation, exercise or yoga to help reduce stress.
Get plenty of sleep every night, at least 7-8 hours. Your body relies on sleep to recuperate from daily exposure to toxins. Chronic sleep deprivation can significantly reduce immune function.
Exercise can boost your immune system by increasing your circulation and relieving stress. Increased circulation allows antibodies to travel throughout your bloodstream faster, making it easier for your immune system to fight off an illness.
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze! But, do not cover your coughs or sneezes with your hands. Instead, use a tissue then throw it away immediately or use the inside of your elbow.
Stay home! If you absolutely need to go out and are going to be around others, cover your nose and mouth with a mask.
If you or a loved one feel like you are coming down with the flu or have a high fever that won’t go down, see your healthcare provider right away. If you catch the flu and you have a chronic condition, such as asthma, or you are pregnant, see your doctor.