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What Is Flu And Its Home Remedies read

Feb 22 2022

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Flu, or Influenza, is a common viral infection that mainly affects the respiratory system – nose, throat, and lungs. It seems like a normal cold with a runny nose, but the symptoms of flu begin quickly and can worsen if not treated well in time.

That being said, it is possible to treat flu at home. In fact, most people who get flu use home remedies to fight the infection. However, in case there are some complications, consulting the doctor is the best way to treat the flu.

We will discuss the conditions where medical care is essential at the end of this article. For now, let us focus on how you can treat flu with home remedies. Keep reading.

7 Home Remedies To Treat Flu

1.     Drink Hot Liquids

Hot beverages – from tea to soups – can help relieve nasal congestion and soothe the inflamed membranes of the throat. It also hydrates your body since flu causes dehydration in the body.

People also drink warm water to keep the throat, mouth, and nose moist, thereby helping your body get rid of the build-up mucus and phlegm.

Some other hot liquids you can drink during flu are herbal teas, broths, soups, etc., Drink them frequently, and you will feel relief from stuffiness and congestion. Herbal teas also speed up the recovery due to their natural antiviral and antibacterial properties.

2.     Gargle

Gargling is also quite a common home remedy for flu. It can soothe a sore throat and offer temporary relief. You can use warm water with salt to gargle your throat. Do it four times a day to see improvement.

In case you have tickling in the throat, opt for an astringent gargle. It refers to a tea with tannin that tightens the membranes. There are also other homemade as well as OTC gargle medicines that can effectively treat the infection and also maintain oral hygiene. However, do not swallow the gargle water but spit it into the sink. 

3.     Focus On A Bland Diet

During flu, it is essential to eat bland foods that are easier to digest and are not heavy on the stomach.

Here are some of the foods to eat during flu:

·        Boiled potatoes

·        Bananas

·        Cooked cereals like oatmeal

·        Soups

·        Juices

·        Coconut water

·        Broths

·        Blueberries

·        Electrolyte-rich drinks

Just eating the right food is not enough. You also have to keep away from food products that can irritate your stomach and digestion. Here is a list of foods to avoid during flu:

·        Daily products like milk or cheese

·        Caffeine

·        Meats

·        Spicy and fried foods

·        Fatty foods

·        Alcohol

4.     Use Nasal Strips

Blocked nose in flu causes a lot of discomfort and frustration. That’s where nasal strips come in. They are small, sticky strips that can ease congestion during sleep. You can buy them as over-the-counter (OTC) products from your nearby chemist shop. Just stick them across the nasal bridge, and it will stretch and open the passage.

Note that nasal strips only allow more space for airflow during sleep, and they do not break the mucus build-up. 

5.     Inhale Steam

Also known as steam therapy or steam inhalation, this technique is best to soothe your nose, sinuses, throat, and lungs. You can also loosen the mucus build up in the nose and allow proper breathing. In addition, steam inhalation also reduces chest tightness and dry cough.

For inhalation, you simply need to boil water either in a pot on the stove or use a vaporizer. You can also add essential oils or medicated vapour rub in the water for better results.

But be careful while using it. For instance, it is best to avoid steam from boiling water as it can improve the chances of getting burned.

6.     Get Plenty of Rest

It may sound obvious but getting rest is one of the most effective home remedies for flu. Sleeping tends to boost your immune system. This, in turn, helps your body in fighting off the flu virus.

So, whenever you or any of your loved ones get flu, head straight to the room and take plenty of rest and sleep. While sleeping, elevate your head using an extra pillow. This will help relieve congested nasal passages.

7.     Take A Steamy Shower

Another home remedy for flu is a simple hot shower. It can moisturize the nasal passages and also relieve stuffiness. But always check the temperature before taking a bath. The water should not be too hot as it can cause burns.

Also, in case you are feeling dizzy due to flu, use a chair and take a sponge bath with hot water instead of a shower.

When To Visit A Doctor

As mentioned before, you can treat flu at home in most cases. But it can also lead to some health complications and trigger other viral and bacterial infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis, eat infection, etc., So, if the symptoms such as high fever and severe cough, etc., persist for more than 2 days, do visit the doctor. 

Below are some other signs and symptoms of flu that require medical attention:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Seizures
  • Worsening of the existing symptoms

Flu also affects children. If you notice the following flu symptoms in a child, visit a doctor immediately:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Blue lips
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Pain in the chest
  • Dehydration
  • Seizures
  • Worsening of existing medical conditions

In such a case, do not hesitate to visit a doctor. They will offer medicines to treat the symptoms and provide quick relief.

The Takeaway

In most flu cases, you can treat the infection at home with the remedies listed above. Stay at home and try to avoid meeting with other people as this infection is contagious. But when you notice that the flu is not getting any better and the symptoms are getting worse, visit your doctor. Timely care and proper rest can significantly improve your health and recovery process.

Reference:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flu/symptoms-causes/syc-20351719

https://www.healthline.com/health/natural-flu-remedies#zinc

https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/12-tips-prevent-colds-flu-1

https://www.medicinenet.com/how_do_you_cure_the_flu_quickly/article.htm

https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ss/slideshow-colds-nighttime

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