If you woke up in the morning coughing, sneezing, sniffling and/or a sore throat, chances are you have caught the very hated yet common cold and flu. Sadly, you cannot fight the flu off as the virus takes its own time to go but you can definitely try some remedies and tips to ease the symptoms of the dreaded flu, Its actually the symptoms that hurt so try doing these to get rid of the flu fast
Rest rest rest!
You are definitely contagious when you have the flu hence going to work or outside is a definite no. Take this time off to rest, sleep and watch some television while giving your body the respite it needs to fight off the virus. However, amidst the television binging do not forget to get enough or even more than usual sleep as skimping on sleep will make your immune system weak and it will not be able to recover from the flu quickly enough.
Fluids are your best friend
Fluids will help ward of any signs of dehydration and also help to thin the nasty mucus that you are unable to cough or blow out. Water, energy drinks, fruit juices, tea, soups and broths are all excellent to get rid of flu fast with its symptoms and make you feel better.
The flu brings along with it a scratchy and sore throat. To help ease that, do some saltwater gargles every few hours. This will reduce the swelling in your throat as well as break the mucus which is very important as if the mucus builds in your lungs, it will cause infection that will require antibiotics. For saltwater gargles, stir in half a teaspoon of salt into warm water and gargle with that water until you finish the entire cup.
Honey can do wonders
During a spell of flu and cold, a teaspoon of honey can really make you sleep better. The honey can act as a coating on your itchy throat and ease the cough to allow you to sleep more soundly. You can also take the honey in your lemon tea. However, try to go for pure organic honey and also do not give honey to children below 1 year of age.
A hot shower
Although there is no strong research backing this remedy but a hot bath definitely does relax those pains and aches that come with a flu. Also the steam in the bathroom can loosen mucus, relieve congestion and also help to moisten your scratchy throat.
Over the counter medicines
There are some medicines that can help fight off flu symptoms effectively. However, if you are pregnant or considering for children below 6 years of age, then refer to your doctor for approval. Some medicines that you can take which are easily available over the counter are:
Lozenges are small candy like medicine that you can suck on and they will moisten your throat and help to reduce or quieten your cough. Lozenges contain a mixture of herbs that help to soothe and relax your itchy and throbbing throat.
Pain relievers like paracetamol and acetaminophen can help in reducing body aches and headaches that are usually caused by a flu. If you are also taking cold medicines along with pain relievers then be sure to not exceed 3000 mg of acetaminophen per day as it is dangerous as both medicines usually do contain acetaminophen.
Saline drops are safe even for babies and do not harm you in any way. They help to moisten your nose and take the mucus out by thinning it. Spray a few times in one nostril and gently blow out. Repeat in the other nostril. Repeating this 3-4 times a day will definitely make you feel better soon.
These sprays reduce the size of blood vessels in your nostrils to decongest you and open your stuffy nose. However, it is not encouraged to use these sprays for more than 3-5 days.
Antihistamines blocks the chemical in your body which is the cause of your runny nose and sniffles. you can get rid of flu fast by taking this, it is recommended that you use it only if you have something important to do.
Steam can also act as an effective reliever from many symptoms of the flu. Fill in a pot with water and boil it. Add 1 teaspoon menthol rub to it and take deep breaths of this steam until the water is hot enough. The steam will help to open your blocked airways, relieve congestion and aid in breathing more easily.
Nature has many remedies for those wanting to ease the flu symptoms naturally. Garlic is an excellent item used to fight of flu. Mince a bulb or two of garlic, mix it with honey and take twice a day for fast effect.
Lemon juice in tea also works wonders for those affected by the flu. Just mix some honey to your lemon tea and drink up.
Ginger tea is also an effective measure to help ease congestion and runny nose. You can boil ginger in water and then go ahead to make tea the way you like it.
One tablespoon of apple cider vinegar is also used commonly for treating flu symptoms. However, due to its strong taste, it is better to mix it with some honey and then drink it.
A humidifier can also help in some way to give relief from the flu and cold symptoms if your house is dry. A mist or vapor humidifier can moisten your surroundings to soothe congestion and coughs.
Sometimes one may feel that they have contacted just the flu and may not take it seriously and continue with herbal and home remedies. However, a flu is not always the case and it is better to visit your doctor to be aware if the symptoms are for some other illness except flu and cold.
Also be sure to contact your health care provider in case of:
- Pain on your face or forehead
- Green or yellow mucus (sign of infection)
- High, persistent temperature
- Flu like symptoms that will not fade away after three days
- Shortness in breath