Home Remedies for the Flu

Describe the flu

The flu is a common disease that is popularly known as influenza. It results due to a viral infection affecting the upper respiratory system. It is a contagious disease that spreads upon contact with an infected individual or his/her airborne oral discharge. The flu may be misdiagnosed as a common cold on account of identical symptoms.

The flu results in fatigue, headache, fever, stuffy nose, persistent sneezes, congested throat, dry coughs, decreased appetite and unexplained body ache. Early treatment of this disease is vital, as it might progress to pneumonia, bronchial disorders and ear infections. Antiviral medications might aid or simple home remedies may be tried.

What home remedies could treat the flu or influenza

Mustard

Mustard seeds are an integral part of cooking in South Asia and the Mid East. This seed is also features prominently in Italian, English, Mexican and Greek cooking. Apart from its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory characteristics, its pungent smell decongests a runny nose and the heat it generates, facilitates the circulation in the respiratory tract. Mix a thick paste with 1 tbsp of powdered mustard seeds, 4 tbsp of flour, 1 white from an egg and some warm water, as required. After covering the chest with muslin, spread this paste and re-cover, with an oiled cloth. Leave on for about a quarter of an hour and wash it off with lukewarm water, twice every day. Another option is to mix 1 tbsp of powdered mustard seeds to every 2 liters of warm water in a tub for soaking the feet, twice every day. Either of the two home remedies provides relief from the flu.

Ginger

The medicinal properties of ginger have long been acknowledged to resolve several health issues, including the flu. It has gingerol a potent anti-inflammatory agent and augments the immunity to guard against the flu, apart from the heat it generates upon consumption. It is advised to take 1 tsp of grated fresh ginger root for boiling and steeping with 1 cup of water. A bit of honey might be added for taste. Another option is to mix 2 tsp of grated fresh ginger root, 2 tsp of bayberry bark, 1 tsp of powdered cayenne for boiling and steeping in 1 cup of water, adding some honey. Both these tea options are advised to be consumed 3 – 4 times, every day for relief from the flu. An alternative is to peel & finely slice fresh ginger root for chewing or adding grated fresh ginger root to soups & salads.

Garlic

Garlic has several medicinal virtues that have been used to treat various disorders. it has antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial characteristics, apart from allicin that augments the immunity to guard against infections. This bulb is a vital ingredient of home remedies that protects from symptoms of the flu, or influenza. It is advised to take 3 – 4 garlic cloves for crushing and adding in 1 cup of water, for boiling & steeping. A bit of honey may be added before consuming this tea, 3 – 4 times every day. Alternatively, 3 – 4 garlic cloves could be chewed on or 2 tsp of garlic juice may be consumed, throughout the day. Consuming garlic provides instantaneous or quick relief from the flu.

Fenugreek

The leaves & seeds of fenugreek, both have popular medicinal properties concerning arthritis and diabetes. However, it is a potent antiviral as well and is vital for treating the flu. To derive its health promoting characteristics, it is advised to put 1 tbsp of fenugreek in half a cup of water and boil till half of the fluid evaporates. After filtering the fluid, it is advised to mix it with 1 tsp of fresh ginger root and some drops of honey, prior to consumption, every day for 3 – 4 days. To relieve a sore throat, it is advised to soak 1 tbsp of fenugreek seeds overnight, filter the water prior to warming and gargle the following morning, for a few days.