Your body aches, your sinuses feel like you’ve had an elephant stomp on them, and your stomach feels like you could recreate The Exorcist at any minute. The flu. Is there anything worse? Ok, sure….but if you’re dealing with it, it certainly doesn’t feel that way. While the best treatment is noticing that you might be dealing with it early enough to get medication there are ways of dealing with the symptoms while you are waiting to get in to the doctor, or if you weren’t able to get in early enough for things like Tamiflu to work. It seems like everyone and their mother is trying to hawk things like detoxes, oils, and other things “guaranteed to cure ( insert pretty much anything from colds to alien infestation here )”. Just how good are those remedies though? Unfortunately, some are just what they sound like…hype. Below you will find our list of the best home remedies for the flu, and the reason why they work so you know what you are getting into and what they will do to help.
Home Remedies for the Flu ( or at least ones that will make you feel a little better)
1.) Get Steamy
This could mean anything from a warm shower to an actual humidifier. Even putting your head over a steaming pot of water will help in a pinch. The key here is that the steam will break up mucus ( yup, even all that stuff stuck up in your sinuses ) Of course, it is important that you blow your nose after humidifying to make sure to get everything out while it is loosened up. Another great thing about steam is that the warmth can help with inflammation. A common misconception with a stuffy nose is that an abundance of mucus is causing the pressure and pain that can sometimes be involved. In fact, it is inflammation inside your nasal passages and sinuses that is the culprit.
2. Treat that Cough, Honey
One of the best ways to treat a cough is with raw honey. It can simply be eaten straight ( honey straws are great for this ) or can be put in teas to drink. Green tea is an excellent option here due to the high levels of antioxidants found in it. Honey is an old but wonderful way to treat a cough due to the fact that it helps to disrupt the urge to cough triggered by irritation to tiny little sensors in the throat that cause the brain to send a “clear it out” impulse to the body. A 2002 issue of Pediatrics suggests a dose of about 2 teaspoons of honey and found in a study that it can be just as effective as Dextromethorphan, the main ingredient in many cough medications.
Note: Never give honey to children under the age of 2 due to the risk of Botulism.
3. ) Spit it Out
Dealing with a sore throat? One of the best ways to find a little relief is a salt water rinse. Add about 2 tablespoons of salt to a glass of warm water and mix. Gargle with rinse for 1-2 minutes, spit, and repeat. This is a great way to deal with the pain of a sore throat because the warmth of the water can soothe a painful throat, the coarseness of the salt can help to break up mucus that has accumulated in the back of the throat causing irritation, and the whole thing helps to get it up and out of your throat so that it stops causing you pain.
4. ) Get Bratty on Your Sour Stomach
An upset stomach can be one of the most miserable things to deal with. Luckily, it can be one of the easiest to fix if you take the time to be mindful of what you are putting into it. One of the most recommended treatments for a sick stomach is a method known as the BRAT diet. This stands for bread, rice, applesauce, and toast. This diet is bland enough to not irritate your stomach which causes the pain and inflammation. In addition, it keeps the body from producing a large amount of stool, which can lead to a decrease in pain as well as other issues this can cause. Of course, it is important to use natural applesauce as the sugar in other varieties can cause irritation.
5.) Get Cozy and Hide from the Pain
Now this one might sound too simple to actually do any good but you would be surprised! There’s actually science behind it as well! Getting enough, and maybe even a little extra, rest can help the body store up reserved energy for healing. ( Yes, your body uses energy to heal. It takes something to battle all of those little sick germs in there and unfortunately our cells never do work for free.) Resting sore muscles can help them to feel better as well. Finding somewhere warm to stay is also great for a sore body. the warmth can help to soothe sore muscles and reduce any inflammation that you may be experiencing. Add a heating pad in extra sore spots for added effect.
Note: Contrary to belief it is not a good idea to warm up if you are running a fever. This can cause the body to overheat as your body temperature is already higher than normal.
Did any of your favorites make the list? Let us know if you try one, or if you have tried and true methods of your own! Be sure to share the love with your friends ( because let’s face it odds are if you’re sick at least a few of them are too or will be soon ). Feel Better Soon! ( Did you know that spicy food can help you clear your sinuses? Why not try our homemade salsa recipe! )