Getting the flu can leave you bed-bound for days. That’s why it’s important to learn how to prevent the flu and manage the symptoms of flu with home remedies for a speedy recovery.
What is the flu?
The flu is a highly contagious virus that affects the respiratory tract. The symptoms are similar to a cold, but the flu is more debilitating. A high temperature, body aches, fatigue, sneezing, a runny nose and coughing are all symptoms of flu. Because it’s a virus, it does not respond to antibiotics.
Flu spreads through people breathing flu-infected droplets, which can be passed on through sneezing and coughing. Germs can stay on surfaces and hands for 24 hours, so it’s important to sanitise surfaces that you regularly touch.
Flu prevention tips
- Regularly wash your hands after sneezing or coughing
- Regularly sanitise household surfaces using a powerful cleaner like Jif or Domestos
- Use anti-bacterial wet wipes to clean devices such as laptops, smartphones and doorknobs
- Cough or sneeze into tissues and dispose of them immediately
- Check if a flu vaccination is available before ‘flu season’ lands
How to get rid of the flu and home remedies for flu
Flu usually goes away on its own but there are plenty of things you can do to help ease the symptoms of flu and make the process as speedy as possible:
- Drink plenty of water: keep yourself well-hydrated and replace the fluids you’re losing.
- Get plenty of rest and stay warm: your immune system is fighting off a virus, which will drain your energy. Stay in bed, wrap up warm and get as much rest as possible.
- Lemon and honey tea: to soothe a sore throat, make your own honey and lemon tea with fresh slices of lemon, a tablespoon of honey and hot water.
- Herbal steam face bath: add 2 cups of boiling water to a large bowl and sprinkle in aromatic herbs like oregano, basil, thyme. Place your head above the bowl, being careful that your face does not touch the water and put a towel over your head. This will help to soothe headaches and clear out your sinuses.
- Ginger: if you want to combat the feeling of nausea, make yourself some ginger tea. Slice an inch of raw ginger and boil it in water to make a slightly spicy tea.
- Warm salt water: to help ease the pain of a sore throat, mix a teaspoon of salt with warm water and gargle with it.
- Menthol: if you have a blocked nose or headache, rub a menthol-based balm beneath your nostrils or on your temples.
As long as you wrap up warm, get plenty of rest and keep well-hydrated, flu usually goes away without needing to see a doctor. But if you find that your symptoms are not getting better after seven days you should contact a medical professional.