The flu is a type of respiratory infection that is caused by viruses, and is also referred to as Influenza. It is important to clarify that this type of flu is not synonymous with stomach flu, a type of viral infection in the stomach that is characterized by diarrhea and vomiting.
For most people, flu resolves without any need for medical attention. The symptoms of flu, however, sometimes interfere with day to day activities. For this reason, natural remedies can be used to alleviate these symptoms and enable you cope better.
To recognize the onset of flu in order to use any of the natural remedies available, it is important to look out for the symptoms. One of the most common symptoms of flu is the striking similarity between it and those of the common cold.
This means that you are likely to come down with a sore throat, incessant sneezing and a runny nose. The difference between the two, however arises from the fact that flu develops abruptly while colds have a slow steady onset.
Other symptoms that characterize the flu include increased fever, thin sweats and dry coughs. In most cases, flu passes away on its own, and is easily treated with a host of natural remedies. If the complications do not subside, it is important to see a doctor immediately to prevent escalation of the symptoms.
Even while the natural remedies offer relief from the flu’s symptoms, you must ensure that you prevent the spread of the flu. Cover your mouth with your hands when you cough or sneeze, and ensure that you wash your hands often to prevent the spread of the flu virus. When you do this, you make it possible to curb the flu and enhance the action of the natural remedies.
1. Raw Honey and Lemon Juice:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Freshly squeezed juice of two lemons and raw honey.
Raw honey contains a mixture of bee pollen, propolis and royal jelly. These natural ingredients are highly nutritious, and contain a high concentration of enzymes which are known to kill viruses that are responsible for the flu. Lemon juice on the other hand, is one of the most popular citrus fruits. As such, it is rich in Vitamin C which helps boost the immune system, thus accelerating the healing process. Lemon juice is also rich in antioxidants which help fight free radicals in the body. The combination of the two makes for a formidable home remedy.
- Mix half a cup of the freshly squeezed juice with 3 tablespoons of honey.
- Drink this mixture throughout the day for best results.
2. Raw Red Onion and Honey Syrup:
Time Required: 20 Min for the preparation, 12 hours for the overnight stay.
What You Need: 2 Medium-sized red onions, half a cup of raw honey. Brown sugar can be used in place of honey.
Raw red onion and honey syrup is an excellent home remedy for you if you are suffering from a flu. The two make for a soothing syrup. The red onions are known for their incredible antimicrobial properties. The nutritious value of the onions also helps speed up healing, thanks to the concentration of vitamins and minerals. The benefits of honey, as mentioned above, play an integral role in soothing the sore throat, reducing the coughing and warding off the viral infection.
- Peel the onions to eliminate the light papery layers, before washing the onions.
- Slice the onions horizontally so that you have circular pieces of the onions.
- You will then use one of the bigger rings as a base for the syrup before spreading a layer of the honey in the bowl. If you are using brown sugar as an alternative, simply sprinkle the sugar crystals on the onion rings.
- Repeat this in alternations, making sure that the rings are well covered.
- When the bowl is full, cover it with a fitting lid.
- Refrigerate the mixture for 12 hours as mentioned above.
- When you open the bowl the following day, you will find a syrupy mixture that you can sip throughout the day. Take a tablespoonful every 3 hours or so. You will be amazed that this sweet syrup does not have any onion-like taste. So go ahead and treat your flu with a sweet remedy such as this one.
3. Fresh Garlic Tea:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 3 Cloves of fresh garlic, a teaspoon of raw honey, 2 cups of water, a pinch of cayenne pepper.
One of the most effective home remedies for a myriad of conditions is garlic. Garlic has key antiviral properties that make it effective in enabling the body’s immune system fight off flu infections. Its antibacterial properties add to its diversity. Honey on the other hand, is both a source of nutrition and antiviral in nature, making it an effective addition to the fresh garlic tea. Cayenne pepper, one of the optional ingredients in the garlic tea is known to contain capsaicin. This active has anti inflammatory properties that help reduce the pain associated with the flu.
NB: Raw garlic is not for everyone as it poses health problems for people who are prone to heart-burns as well as those suffering from ulcers.
- Peel two of the garlic cloves before mincing them to create a fine substance.
- Add the minced garlic to 2 cups of water and stir so that the mixture has the scattered garlic pieces.
- Bring the water containing the garlic to boil.
- Once the mixture has started boiling, reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Strain the garlic tea and allow it to cool so that the temperature is bearable.
- Sweeten the garlic tea with honey, and add a pinch of cayenne pepper before stirring.
- Sip the garlic tea as often as you need to or until the flu symptoms subside.
4. Hot Toddy – Adult Flu Remedy:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Hot herbal tea of choice, a teaspoon of honey, a shot of whiskey and a teaspoon of lemon juice.
This remedy is intended for adults only because of the shot of whiskey included. The age-old remedy is effective in helping you cope with the symptoms of flu as it reduces congestion and has a soothing effect on the throat. The herbal tea is packed with antioxidants to help boost the body’s immunity system. The antiviral benefits of honey help fight off the infection while the lemon’s Vitamin C helps pack up the body’s capacity to fight off infections.
Whiskey, which is perhaps the most glaring ingredient in this remedy, plays a key role in reducing the symptoms of flu. When taken moderately, whiskey has been shown to improve the function of the lungs, and for someone with a flu, this is equaled to improved breathing. The fact that this remedy is taken while hot also contributes to the efficiency of the home remedy.
- Prepare your preferred herbal tea as you normally would.
- When the tea has boiled, add a teaspoon of honey followed by a shot of whiskey.
- Stir the mixture before adding the teaspoon of lemon juice.
- Take this remedy twice daily. when taken in excessive amounts, the cumulative number of whiskey shots could easily cause drunkenness, and this beats the logic of the famous hot toddy.
5. Mustard Plaster:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Three tablespoons of mustard seeds, half a cup of water.
Mustard seeds, when ground and mixed with water have a characteristic pungent aroma that is effective in clearing a stuffy nose. When applied on the chest, the mustard paste generates heat that improves the circulation of blood in the chest area, thus enhancing de-congestion. It is important for you to note that the mustard plaster must not be used for more than 15 minutes as it can easily cause skin irritation and lead to burns for those with delicate skin. To protect your skin from this potential burns, you may want to apply some petroleum jelly to serve as a protective layer.
- Grind the mustard seeds to create a coarse powder.
- Add just about enough water to create a thick consistent paste.
- Apply this paste on your chest, and let it stay in place for about 10 minutes.
- When the 10 minutes have elapsed, rinse off the paste with warm water.
6. Steam Treatment:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Boiling water, a dry towel, 3 drops of eucalyptus oil, soft cloth (optional).
Steam treatment is known to be an effective remedy for dealing with the symptoms of flu. The steam eases nasal congestion and revitalizes one’s senses, making it easy to feel refreshed. The addition of eucalyptus oil is meant to make the treatment more effective. The oil has antiviral, antiseptic and expectorant properties that make it an amazing addition to this home remedy. In addition to this, eucalyptus oil also improves blood circulation. Note that this home remedy is not suitable for young children, the elderly and expectant women due to the risk of scalding.
- Bring the equivalent of a bowl of water to boil and set it aside before adding three drops of eucalyptus oil.
- Place a towel carefully over your head so that it hangs well enough to trap the steam.
- Inhale the steam through your nose, taking caution not to bend close enough to the hot water’s surface as this could cause burns. Remember to close your eyes to prevent irritation of the eye membranes.
- The other alternative to this method is to dab the eucalyptus oil onto a soft cloth and hold it under your nostrils so that the oil’s aroma clears any congestion in the nasal cavity.
Getting a flu is very uncomfortable, and while annual vaccinations go a long way in preventing a flu, the occasional infection calls for handy home remedies. Most of the aforementioned remedies are easily available, so choose any of the remedies that you feel would work best for you.