When you get sick with the flu, one of the most tempting things to do is to reach for a small bottle of pain killers or other medications that are simply sitting in the cupboard. Unfortunately, these meds don’t actually cure your cold or flu, they just make the symptoms a little bit more bearable so that the individual can actually go about their day. While taking medication in an emergency is fine, being too reliant can cause issues later on.
Luckily, there are quite a few ways in which you can not only treat the symptoms of your flu but also cure it completely, seven of which are listed below:
1. Drink clear fluids.
Coming down with the flu can leave you very dehydrated, especially when there’s lots of vomiting involved.
It’s very important to keep drinking fluids to replace those that you are losing. It is recommended that you stick to clear fluids such as water, some fruit juices, sodas like Sprite or Ginger Ale, or sports drinks with electrolytes. All of these will help you hydrate your body without irritating your stomach.
Something you’ll want to remember is to only take small sips of whatever drink you’ve chosen. Drinking in large gulps when you are nauseous can actually make you throw up. You can also choose an herbal tea and put some honey in it—this combination helps to soothe a sore throat.
When you’re sick, you’ll also want to stay away from drinks that contain caffeine or any kind of alcohol. Caffeine will actually dehydrate your body more, and drinking alcohol will not only do the same, but it will also make you very drowsy. The flu will already be doing a good job at making you tired, so there is no reason make it worse.
2. Get some rest.
Perhaps the most important steps in getting rid of the flu, you want to stay well reseted. Your body will be focusing all of its energy on trying to eliminate the flu so it is often left in a state of exhaustion. Make sure that you get your minimum eight hours of sleep every single night.
Beyond that, make sure that you listen to your body and what it needs. For example, it may tell you that you don’t want to exercise and could really benefit from spending the day in bed. Your body knows what it needs, especially when ill, so all you have to do is listen.
Resting, even if you are not sleeping and are simply lying in bed reading, is very important. It allows your body to fully focus on getting rid of the flu.
3. Take some vitamins.
While there may be many hoaxes out there when it comes to vitamins helping with the flu, vitamin is a notorious cold killer.
This vitamin can be found in citrus fruits like apples and pears, as well as many non-citrus fruits such as raspberries, cranberries, papaya, and kiwi. Many fruit juices also provide good amounts of vitamin C in them, just be sure to choose one that says it is 100% pure rather than a cocktail. Cocktails are full of sugar and are not nearly as good for you, especially when you have the flu.
If you make sure that you have your recommended daily dose of vitamin C (based on your age and gender), you are less likely to catch the flu. However, sometimes our best efforts still lead us to being sick with the flu. In this case, it is recommended that you eat more vitamin C that the recommended daily dose.
A rough estimate may be to add half a daily dose on top of what you are currently taking each day. If you find it hard to integrate more vitamin C into your diet, consider taking a dietary supplement for the duration of your sickness and a few weeks afterwards.
4. Oregano oil.
Oregano is one of the most popular and versatile herbs used in the kitchen, and commonly found in pasta sauces. Beyond its use in the kitchen, oregano has some great health benefits when it is used as oregano oil.
Mix oregano oil with a lighter oil like coconut oil, then put a few drops under your tongue a few times a day. This is actually a technique commonly used by actors in the theatre to help with their throats as they are talking and singing almost every single night. This helps to get rid any infections that may be living in your mouth in addition to the soreness that you are experiencing.
Another way to help ease your sore throat is to put a couple drops of oregano oil in a glass of water before drinking it. As well, you can put a few drops of oregano oil in a bowl of steaming water. Here, all you do is lean over the bowl and inhale the steam to help clear out your sinuses.
5. Gargle salt water.
Gargling a combination of salt and water helps to disinfect the mouth from any germs. In addition, the salt water solution will help to loosen the mucus that collects at the back of your, making it easier for you to breathe. Finally, if the flu happens to be affecting your ears, the salt water solution can actually help relieve stuffy ears.
6. Relief from a hot shower.
Having a hot shower when you are sick with the flu is very beneficial as the steam helps to moisturize your nasal passages and clear the stuffiness that the flu causes.
If you are experiencing dizziness from the flu, do not stand in the shower as you are more prone to falling and injuring yourself. Instead, try simply sitting down at the bottom of the shower while cleaning and breath in the steam from there.
7. Try extra pillows.
Lying flat often clogs up your nasal passages and makes it harder for you to breathe. This is an effect that is more pronounced when you are suffering from the flu or other illness.
For a good night’s sleep, and comfort when you are lying awake in your bed during the day, add an extra pillow. This elevates your head and helps to drain your nasal passages. If the new angle is too awkward at first, try adding a different sized pillow, or even placing the extra pillow in between your mattress and the box spring to make the slope more gradual.
8. Let them take care of you.
Having the flu really sucks the life out of you. Sometimes running around to get everything you need for the above methods can tire you out even more, even if you are simply moving around the house. If a friend of family member has offered to help you get better, take up that offer!
You will have to spend less time pushing yourself to try and feel better and can simply focus on resting—the best method to help your body get rid of the flu.