Home Remedies for Flu or Influenza

how to treat the flu - home remedies for the flu

As anyone who has ever had the flu can attest, it can be a pretty miserable experience.

You can normally determine if you have influenza as opposed to a common cold if you also have an accompanying fever (usually of about 102 degrees or more) and muscle aches that you would not normally have with a regular cold.

Below are common symptoms and some soothing home remedies for the flu or influenzayou can use to help sooth you through the worst of it.

Possible Symptoms of The Flu of Influenza

* Fever (usually high – around 102 degrees or more)

* Chills

* Extreme Tiredness

* Muscle Aches

* Headache

* Dry cough

* Sore Throat

* Runny Nose (usually more common in children than adults)

* Stomach upset such as diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting, (this again is usually more common in children than adults).

Home Remedies for a Flu or Influenza

* Get Plenty of Rest and Sleep

While chances are you will not really feel up to running around anyway, getting as much sleep and rest as possible is imperative to the healing process. Regardless of what needs to be done, rest and sleep should be your number one priority.

* Increase Fluid Intake

It is also vitally important that you stay as hydrated as possible, especially if you have also have an accompanying fever. Be sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day as well as an electrolyte filled drink such as Gatorade. Heated beverages are especially effective when it comes to upper respiratory infections so be sure to include some warm chicken broth or decaffeinated tea as well. Not only will this help keep your respiratory system well-hydrated but it will also help prevent thick mucus from building.

Be sure however to stay away from liquids that can actually dehydrate your body such as coffee, caffeinated tea or alcoholic beverages.

* Take a Warm and Steamy Shower

Building up steam in an enclosed bathroom is a great way to help open your airways and to help thin mucus in your sinuses. The warm water will also help to sooth sore muscles.

* Use a Humidifier of Vaporizer

Setting up a humidifier or vaporizer in the room that you are staying is another way to help reduce the discomfort of sore throat, cough or dry nasal passages. They can also help relieve chest congestion and nasal stuffiness.

* Use Saline Solutions for Stuffy Nose

Using a saline solution will not only help offer relief to your stuffed up head but can also help thin mucus, decrease any postnasal drip and help remove bacteria particles from your nose. Over the counter saline solutions are even safe for children. Gently spray the solution into each nostril. Wait a few moments for it to soften things up and then gently blow your noise. Repeat this process until both nostrils are clear.

* Make Your Own Nasal Spray Solution

Mix ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda in 8 ounces of warm water.
Using a bulb syringe, gently squirt the solution into your nose.
It is best to do this over a sink. Gently hold one nostril closed while inserting the solution into the other nostril. Again, give it a few seconds and then gently blow your nose. Repeat two or three times until each passage is clear.

* Keep Skin Under and Around Nose Moisturized

Constant rubbing and blowing of your nose can leave the skin around it raw, dry and uncomfortable. Apply a petroleum jelly around the area as frequently as needed. Consider a product such as K-Y jelly as opposed to Vaseline, because Vaseline tends to dry quicker requiring more frequent application.

* Gargle with Warm Salt Water Mixture

Another uncomfortable symptom associated with the flu is a sore or scratchy throat. A great home remedy for this is to simply gargle with a warm salt water mixture.

Mix 1 teaspoon of salt with one pint of warm water. Gargle gently but frequently during the day.
This will not only help relieve a sore throat but will also help wash out any secretions that might be accumulating in the back of your throat. Just be sure however not to swallow too much of the water due to its high sodium content.

* Suck on Throat Lozenges

Sucking on hard candy or Vitamin C Lozenges also have a dual purpose. The first is that it will keep throat moist but it will also help in replacing missed calories and vitamins that you have lost due to the flu and lack of eating proper meals.

* Apply Heat to Sore Areas

Applying heat is another great remedy to help sooth aches and pains.

    Heating Pad

– Applying a heating pad to sore body muscles can help reduce aches and pains. Just be sure that it is set at a comfortable setting, it is moved frequently and that you do not fall asleep on the heating pad to avoid any skin burns.

    Moist Warm Compress

– This is the perfect home remedy for headaches or achy sinuses. Simply apply a moist warm compress to sinuses, cheeks and forehead area to help relieve pain and pressure. Again, however be sure it is not too hot to avoid burning skin.

    Soak Your Feet in Hot Water

– As strange as it sounds, soaking your feet in hot water can actually relive nasal congestion and a headache associated with a cold or flu.

* Eat Light Meals

While you might not feeling up to eating much the first few days, eventually you will need to rebuild your strength. It is important to remember that you body has been through a lot so keep the food light. Chicken soup or even just chicken broth is one of the best places to start. Then you can follow it up with foods such as dry toast, warm cereal, bananas, cottage cheese, or rice pudding.


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Alternative Options

*While this site is dedicated to Home Remedies, there might be a rare occasion where you might need a little help from an outside source. The following are some other products or procedures that you can try if your situation is a little more severe and these home remedies aren’t quite doing the trick.