Nine Useful Home Remedies for Treating Cold and Flu
Having a cold and flu at the same time can be an exasperating condition, especially if you are down with a range of symptoms such as fever, muscle ache, runny nose, sore throat, coughing, headaches, sneezing, chest congestion, nasal stuffiness, nausea, loss of energy, diarrhea, etc. Therefore, it can undoubtedly interfere with your everyday activities. However, the good part is that there is a range of cold and flu treatments which can assist you in alleviating the discomfort. The following cold and flu treatments comprise the use of home remedies as well as OTC (over-the-counter) medications. The best aspect is that most of the home remedies can be easily found in your kitchen.
- OTC medications – Based on the signs, you can use OTC drugs to ease the distress caused by cold and flu. You can get a variety of medicines such as decongestants, antihistamines, cough suppressants, antipyretics, pain relievers, expectorants, combination medications, etc. For instance, if you are particularly suffering from a stuffy nose and fever, you can use nasal sprays, nose drops, antipyretics, combination medicines, etc. to get rid of the congestion. Likewise, if you are suffering from body ache and fever, you should opt for pain relievers and antipyretics to gain quick relief. You can get the mentioned cold and flu medicines in pharmacies. However, before consuming them seek the advice of your medical practitioner, especially if you have any existing allergies or are already on certain types of medicines. Similarly, if your child is suffering from a cold or flu, ensure that you don’t give them any medications without the doctor’s approval.
- Chicken soup or broth – Grandma’s secret recipe for swift recovery, a bowl of warm chicken soup or broth is a delicious way to bid farewell to cold and flu. It is especially beneficial for easing chest congestion. Chicken contains cysteine, a natural amino acid, and antioxidant which fortifies the immune system. It also helps regulate the movement of neutrophils, a kind of white blood cell that helps battle infections. To get the best results, incorporate a dash of spices, ginger, and garlic so that the mucus stuck in the chest could be easily eliminated from the body.
- Stay hydrated – It is imperative to increase your fluid intake while you are managing cold and flu. Besides water, you should have herbal teas, green teas, fruit juices, ginger ale, vegetable broths, lemon water, etc. Ensure that you avoid caffeinated drinks, alcohol, sodas, etc. This is because caffeine and alcohol cause dehydration. Likewise, sodas contain a high amount of sugar which can increase the mucus production, thereby delaying the recovery.
- Menthol ointments – The aroma of menthol can help unblock the nasal passages by calming the inflamed blood vessels of the nose. You can find a range of gel and creams in the market that can be topically applied to the nose.
- Time-out – It is quite natural that when you are dealing with cold and flu, there will be a lack of energy. The best way to fight this by getting ample of rest so that your body can effectively treat the condition. So, limit your movement and don’t forget to get adequate sleep to help your immune system recharge.
- Saltwater gargle – Experiencing a prickly sensation in the throat? Then utilize this tried and tested cold and flu treatment. Blend half or one teaspoon of salt in a glass of hot water and gargle. This will help in thinning the mucus trapped in the throat as well as minimize the soreness and pain. You can repeat this process for two to three times a day.
- Probiotics – These friendly bacteria can help restore your gut’s health if you are dealing with symptoms such as vomiting and upset stomach. You can consume probiotic foods like yogurt which is rich in calcium and protein as well. Just ensure that you purchase brands that sell organic products.
- Honey – Not just an effective cold and flu treatment, honey is also an excellent natural replacement for sugar. It contains antibacterial properties that lessen the swelling of the tissues in the throat. This is a safe option for little kids too. Taking one to teaspoons of honey before bedtime can help you sleep peacefully.
- Steam – If you have a stuffed-up nose, then you can use hot steam to get rid of the blockages. Just boil water in a pot and inhale the steam it releases. If you wish, you can also add some herbs and essential oils to the mixture. However, while you take steam, ensure that you are sitting at a safe distance as extreme proximity to it can burn your skin.
The above mentioned cold and flu treatments can be extremely useful. However, if your symptoms persist for more than four to five days or you feel unusually uneasy, then immediately seek medical assistance.