Are you looking for a natural treatment for the flu? While there are some natural remedies that can help ease flu symptoms, there is no natural cure for flu at this time. In addition, there is no "natural" way to prevent flu other than by avoiding it, so there is no natural substitute for immunization with a flu vaccine or FluMist.
Read on to find out what natural steps you can take to help yourself or someone you are taking care of feel less sick when the flu comes on.
Myths about the flu are everywhere. According to many experts, misconceptions and rumors about the flu are as hard to contain and as hard to fight as the virus itself.
“There are urban myths and rural myths about the flu,” says William Schaffner, MD, chairman of the department of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn. “Flu myths are everywhere.”
Unfortunately, flu myths are common even among the people who should know better, like health care workers...
Believe it or not, those flu symptoms you're experiencing are part of a natural healing process -- evidence that your immune system is working to battle the flu. For instance, a fever is your body's way of trying to kill viruses in a hotter-than-normal environment. In addition, a fever's hot environment makes germ-killing proteins in your blood circulate more quickly and effectively. Thus, if you endure a moderate fever for a day or two, you may actually get well faster.
Coughing is another productive flu symptom. When you cough, you're helping to clear your breathing passages of thick mucus that can carry germs to your lungs and the rest of your body.
Can I Treat Nasal Congestion Naturally?
That congested nose is best treated mildly or not at all. A decongestant, such as Sudafed, restricts flow to the blood vessels in your nose and throat. But often you want the increased blood flow because it warms the infected area and helps secretions carry germs out of your body.
A natural remedy for nasal congestion is to drink more water. Hydration is important for anyone with respiratory problems, and water is cost-efficient, easily available, and healthy. As the water content of the mucus is increased, the mucus becomes less viscous and easier to expel. The sinuses drain more effectively when you are well-hydrated, and the mucus membrane is less susceptible to infection.
Will Salt Water Sprays or Rinses Help Nasal Congestion?
Rinsing with salt water helps break nasal congestion while also removing virus particles and bacteria from your nose. You can buy an over-the-counter saline spray or use this popular recipe:
Mix 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda in 8 ounces of warm water. Lean over the bathroom sink. Gently squirt the saline solution in your nostril using a bulb syringe. It may work best to hold one nostril closed by applying light finger pressure while squirting the salt mixture into the other nostril. Let the saline solution drain. Repeat two to three times, and then do the same with the other nostril.