Try as you may stay healthy during cold and flu season, it can be difficult to avoid getting sick. After all, the influenza virus doesn’t discriminate between healthy and unhealthy people or old and young folks. Plus, the virus is easily spread through droplets in the air when someone who is already infected coughs, sneezes, and even talks, so we’re all potential targets. Whatever your symptoms — fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache — if the flu strikes, these natural flu remedies can help you get well faster.
- Sleep away your flu symptoms
Getting sleep and taking time to recuperate is the best thing you can do for yourself, your coworkers, and your family. And the truth is, when you’re feeling sick, you won’t feel like doing much else. Sleep as much as you can and avoid contact with others until you have been fever-free — without taking any fever-reducing medication — for 24 to 48 hours. While resting, place an extra pillow under your head to help drain your nasal passages and make sleeping more comfortable.
- Gargle often to soothe a sore throat
If you have a sore throat, gargle with water or salt water. Gargling often may help reduce swelling in the throat and loosen mucus, which can remove irritants, such as bacteria and allergens, from the throat.
- Drink enough to dodge dehydration
If you have a fever, you’re at risk for dehydration, so it’s important to make sure you’re drinking enough fluids. One way dehydration delays your recovery is by making it harder for the immune system soldiers that squelch invading viruses to travel through your body.
- Clear congestion quickly with a neti pot
If you’re stuffed up and feeling miserable, using a neti pot — a small teapot-like vessel with a long spout — to flush mucus from your nasal passages twice a day can help.
- Keep nasal passageways moist with steamy showers
Taking a long steamy shower can help moisturize your throat and nasal passages, while also helping to clear them of mucus. If the flu is making you feel light-headed or weak, simply turn on the hot water, sit in the bathroom and inhale the steam for up to 10 minutes.
But remember that it’s important to contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible, as the flu can have serious consequences.