We all know when it’s coming…the start of the itchy throat and a little bit of a stuffy nose, and then WHAM, it all hits you like a Mack truck and you are socked with a soaring temp with the chills, a pounding headache, and a queasy stomach that feels like you shouldn’t move an inch or you’ll lose it. Every year we are diligent and get a flu shot and wash our hands as much as possible, but it almost seems inevitable that at some point, usually when you least want or need it, the flu will find you and set in for longer than you’d like. Most of us instantly grab for over the counter medication, but there are so many chemicals and unforeseen side effects with these medications that you never really know what you are putting in your body. Half the time you end up feeling more doped up than better. There is no one cure-all for the flu, but there are ways that you can fight the flu naturally. Give some of the below natural flu remedies a whirl the next time you feel the flu truck coming.
Natural Flu Remedies
(I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on the internet, so please check with your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about trying any of these flu remedies.)
There has long been the folk tale of a spoonful of raw garlic being the cure-all for the flu. While a cure-all might be stretching it, because garlic is an antioxidant, it does have antiviral, antimicrobial and antibiotic-like properties. It also carries a hefty dose of sulphur, selenium and vitamin C, which all help to elevate garlic’s flu fighting power. I like to take crushed or chopped garlic* and add it to a cup of warm water with a little honey. Your breath probably won’t smell that great afterwards, but you may just feel a little better.
Water, Water, Water
More water daily is supposed to do everything from help you lose weight to making your skin look less aged. It is true though that water can help you beat sickness sooner. Water not only keeps you hydrated, but it helps to flush the viruses and germs out so your immune system can recover and do it’s job. Keep a water bottle* with you at all times so it encourages you to drink.
I’m sure most of us have heard about Vitamin C helping when you get sick, and with good reason. Vitamin C helps to boost up your white blood cells which can help your immune system fight the virus better. If you have the flu, try to eat fruits and vegetables, as well as incorporating 1,000 milligrams as a vitamin supplement* daily.
Vitamin D might be a vitamin that you wouldn’t normally associate with natural flu remedies. Many of us associate it with our bone health, and even fighting depression, but getting adequate amounts of vitamin D can help your immune system fight of the flu. Aim to get 15 minutes of sunshine a day, use a light box*, or take a 2,000 IU supplement* daily.
Probiotics* are the new wonder supplement. Probiotics restore the beneficial bacteria in your gut that can in turn help you immune system fight the flu naturally.
Mom and Dad always said that chicken soup was good for a cold or the flu. Seems like it may not be just an old tale. Putting your face over the steaming bowl can help you breathe easier and ease upper respiratory symptoms. The nutrients in the broth, veggies and chicken can also help boost your immune system. If nothing else, a warm bowl of soup just makes you feel better all the way around. If you don’t have the energy to make it yourself, look for an organic version* that comes in a box instead of a BPA lined can. (Check out my post Three Easy Ways to Avoid BPA and BPS to learn more about BPA and BPS.)
If you have nasal congestion, moist, humid air is your friend. As like above with the chicken soup, putting your head above steaming water can help break up the mucus in your nose and throat. Try a humidifier* or boil some water and pour it in a bowl and slowly lean your head over the bowl with a towel over your head. Add a few drops of eucalyptus* or peppermint essential oil* for extra bonus points.
Getting the flu stinks, we all know that, but we can try to make it as bearable as possible and get over it faster with a few simple, natural flu remedies. Give one or two of these a try and let me know how they worked out in the comments below.
* Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I recommend these products because they are products that I personally use or companies that I have found trustworthy.