Flu is a respiratory disease which makes a comeback with the onset of winters. We all start taking care of ourselves in winters, specifically to avoid cold and flu. At times we are successful, but not always. In the process we all become our own doctors. This article tries to make you aware of a wider range of easy and simple, yet very effective home remedies than you may not have known.
Types of Flu
Influenza A, B and C are the three types. Influenza type C is different from A and B. Type C is milder and less serious than the other two. Types A and B can turn into epidemics and may cause deaths.
Causes of Flu
Flu is caused by a virus. There are many sub types of viruses, as they are notorious for continually mutating and changing. Because of this reason of their mutations, it has become very difficult to control flu.
Home Remedies For Flu
Warm Saline Gargles
The best known home remedy with which one must start is warm saline gargling. At the first signs of onset of this bothersome ailment, get started with gargles. They are easy to do and do not require anything other than a glass of hot water and a bit of salt. All you have to do is devote five minutes each time you gargle, but do it at least six to eight times a day.
Just see that the water is hot and not just warm, you need nice hot water, though not boiling hot, to get the benefit. The salt should not be too much, it should not give you the scratchy feeling, if so, add some hot water. Otherwise, it will dry your throat and harm it. Since flu attacks the deeper recesses of throat, lift your head up completely and make loud sounds as you swirl water in your throat so that the water can reach deep down. Cover your throat with a cloth for 10 minutes to seal the heat.
After the gargles, second pride of place goes to steam inhalation. The effectively of this remedy cannot be discounted. You doctor is also going to tell you to do this. Put some vicks or eucalyptus oil in the water that you will use for inhalation. Use a steam inhalation unit, purchase it if you do not have. It comes very handy and is reasonably priced, rather cheap. Take steam for 5 to 10 minutes with your head and face covered. Remove the steamer and keep yourself covered for another 15 to 20 minutes.
Irrigate Your Nose with Neti
Jal neti, is the most important yoga kriya for nasal passage and sinus. A specifically made small sized pot is used for this, traditionally it has been of copper, but now you can get a ceramic or plastic pot. Avoid plastic, because you are going to use warm water and salt, which can react with plastic. Go the safe way. Learn neti from somebody, otherwise you may not be able to use perform this seemingly easy therapy.
Increase Liquid Intake
Nasal congestion can be reduced to a large extent with the regular intake of warm fluids. Hot soups, hot herbal teas and plain hot water should be sipped throughout the day. This will help in thinning the accumulated mucus and help in draining it out of your body, thus relieve you of flu symptoms. You may want to drink alcohol with warm water. All the medical systems say no to this. Even the caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee are to be avoided.
Diet and Lifestyle For Flu
It becomes your utmost responsibility to take a good, light and very nourishing diet. Flu tends to take a toll on your health and makes it weak. The best diet is a fresh homemade soup. The soups are ideal because they are fluids, they have all the micronutrients and are light to digest. Make soups of vegetables, lentils, meats, or a combination of these. Add the herbs of your choice to enhance the flavor. Coriander leaves, thyme, parsley are some herbs that lend good taste and increase the appetite.
Flu calls for taking a few days off from work. Listen to the call of your body, the body may be lethargic , tired and heavy. The importance of allowing the body to heal itself is enormous.We commit a grave mistake by loading it with the medicines made of chemicals and yet not allowing the body to take the best use of medications. To keep the body always fit, go the nature’s way of giving it time to recuperate on its own, minimizing the dependence on medicines.
Other Treatments For Flu
Infusion of Holy Basil (Tulasi)
One of the best herbs to treat flu is the holy basil. India has the tradition of growing this plant at home. Leave aside the religious sentiments attached to it, it is a must to grow at least one plant of this herb at home. Even if you have a small balcony, create space for one pot. To make basil , or tulasi infusion take a glass of water, put 15 to 20 leaves of tulasi and simmer for about 5 to 10 ten minutes. Add a tbsp of honey and drink one cup at a time. You can have it three to four times a day.
Ginger contains gingerol which helps in healing multiple system of the human body. Flu, which is a respiratory system ailment is just one such system which ginger can look after. Boil a tsp of grated ginger in a glass of water, add some honey and take half a cup thrice a day. Be regular with it to extract the benefit.
Take ¼ tsp of cinnamon powder and mix it in 1 tbsp of lukewarm honey. Divide it in three doses to be taken in one day. Continue taking this for the next few days. This is an effective remedy for influenza, it helps boost immune system and improve the ability of the body to come victorious.
Vitamin C hastens recovery from flu. You can take orange or sweet lime juice. But they are sour and throat may not like it. To counteract this sour taste you can add honey and even dilute it. It should feel comfortable for your throat and there is no harm in mixing some lukewarm water in it. That will make it slightly warm. Honey soothes the inflamed throat by giving it a coating. Lemon will increase the ability of the body to fight infection.