Winter’s here and that means the flu season has well and truly arrived. If you’ve ever experienced a real flu (that’s influenza, and it’s a very different beast to a man-flu!), it’s not something you’ll ever want to experience again. The flu is a highly contagious viral infection that infects your upper airways and lungs. It usually comes with a fever, muscle or joint pains, headaches and a feeling of exhaustion - and it lasts for a week or so.
Getting an annual flu vaccination and having good hygiene are the best ways to ensure you don’t come down with the flu, but if you do get hit with it, here are our top 10 remedies to address those nasty flu symptoms.
1. Stay hydrated
Any virus is usually linked with decreased water content in your body, which is caused by your internal system trying to fight it. So, it’s super-important that you drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Water is a great option, as are drinks that contain electrolytes as these improve rehydration during illness.
2. Use Echinacea
While research around Echinacea is varied, it is believed to have active substances that can heighten immunity, relieve pain and inflammation, and have hormonal, antiviral, and antioxidant properties. A 2012 study found it is effective in treating respiratory tract infections, while a 2020 study concluded that it provides a safe option with increased therapeutic benefits for children. It can be administered in many forms, primarily by digesting tablets or drinking Echinacea tea.
3. Eat honey
Honey has long been known for its health benefits, and in addition to its use as a natural sweetener, honey is used as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial agent. Taking honey will primarily help if you have a sore throat, and it also helps with cough suppression. It is also very versatile as you can blend it with your food, mix it into a refreshing preferred drink, or simply have a spoonful each day.
4. Vitamin C is your friend
While many supplements provide vitamin C for your body, nothing beats taking it naturally, so make sure you have plenty of oranges, grapefruit and kiwifruit close by. According to The Drip Club, the anti-viral effect of vitamin C is effective against the Influenza A virus, boosts immune functioning by improving cellular functioning and increases the active body defence mechanism against viral attack. Vitamin C also has potent anti-oxidant properties. A high dose of vitamin C is effective to provide symptomatic relief by acting as pain relievers and decongestants.
5. Unclog that blocked nose
The flu is usually accompanied by a runny and blocked nose, making it hard to breathe other than through your mouth. Your local supermarket or chemist will have plenty of options to clear a blocked nose, including nasal sprays and topical ointments such as Vicks or Tiger Balm. Another option is to try nasal irrigation, a simple process that washes a saline solution from one nostril to the other, which helps to shift the mucus.
6. Utilize aromatherapy
Another pleasant way to treat your symptoms is using scented oils in a diffuser to open up your air passages and relieve congestion. Just add a few drops of eucalyptus, tea tree or peppermint oil to a diffuser and leave it running in your bedroom to help clear those nasal passages.
7. Let your body rest
Your body has some pretty awesome, natural caretakers built within it. When you have the flu, it’s important to rest and let your body recuperate naturally. No matter what work or personal pressures you may be experiencing, the best way to deal with them is to get better, so spend plenty of time relaxing on the couch and dozing in bed.
8. Take a hot and steamy shower
Taking a hot shower is an excellent way to decongest your air passages and expedite the recovery process. It also helps with your hygiene, ensuring that you avoid further complications. When the flu hits, it’s often hard to find the energy to get out of bed, but we guarantee you’ll feel a lot better after a nice long shower or soak in the bath. Better yet, get someone to change your sheets and pillowcases for you so you can slip into a nice clean bed once you’re done.
9. Probiotics for immunity
Aside from vitamin C, consuming probiotics can help to restore balance and improve your immune system overall. They are basically good bacteria that can live inside your stomach and help combat the bad bacteria. According to Inner Health, the gut is the body’s first line of defence against nasty bugs and bacteria entering the body because the majority of the immune system is located there. You’ll find probiotics in many yoghurts and bottled drinks, and you can also take them in tablet form.
10. Eat foods that aid in your recovery
Lastly, foods that aid recovery provide a holistic way of dealing with your flu. Foods rich in vitamins, such as fruit and vegetables, can help to create and maintain a healthy ecosystem within your body. Bananas can help with an upset stomach, while black and green tea both have natural antibiotic and anti-diarrhoea effects. Building a diet centred around natural foods will help with a faster recovery and a healthier body this flu season.
Having the flu can take a toll, not just on your health but also on your finances, due to the cost of remedies or your inability to get to work. Either way, if you’re in a financial bind, we’re here to help. Just take a look at our cash loan options to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, the cash is usually in your bank account within a few hours - so you can focus on getting better without stressing about the state of your bank account.