Influenza, generally known as ‘the flu’, is caused by RNA viruses that evade the immune system and target the respiratory tract. Typically, the contagious infection is an airborne one (also transmitted by direct contact). Almost one-third of all the Influenza cases are asymptomatic. The clinical symptoms usually surface one or two days post the virus infects the body and includes chills, exaggerated shivering, body ache and nasal congestion.
Influenza virus B which infects mainly humans is accompanied by abdominal pain and diarrhoea too. People inflicted with seasonal or conventional flu usually take a week or two to recuperate completely, but a few develop serious complications and progresses into pneumonia which may put the patient’s life at a grave risk. There are plenty of natural cures that can lend a helping hand while treating the flu. Here are some of the key ways in which the patient can be taken care of.
10 Natural Tips For Curing The Flu
Ginger And Flu
The gingerol content in Ginger enables the herb to heal symptoms of flu, specifically headache, sore throat and cold. This anti-inflammatory herb is available as liquid extracts, tincture, capsules as well as dried ginger root. The easiest way to cure flu is to have spicy ginger tea at frequent intervals during the entire day or by having gingerbread.
For the tea, add approximately 2 table spoons of freshly peeled and thinly sliced ginger root to a cup of water and allow it to steep for 10-15 minutes. Make sure the daily consumption of ginger does not exceed 4g as overconsumption can cause acid reflux, diarrhoea or oral irritation.
Chicken Noodle Soup, A Tasty Option For Flu
Chicken soup has been tagged as the ‘Jewish Penicillin’ for its soothing effectiveness in treating many ailments and flu is one of the many. It has been proved that flavorsome, hot chicken broth provides comfort to the flu patients by thinning mucus secretions.
The combination of well cooked broth with noodles provides carbohydrates for boosting the low energy levels. Another way of making the soup more nutritive is by adding lots of fresh vegetables and herbs such as garlic to the bowl of flu fighting warm soup. The constituents push the weakened immune system to fight the viral infection whereas the sodium included (salt content) assists in restoring the lowered level of fluid owing to high fever.
An extensively used herbal treatment for chest congestion and bad throat during flu attack is mullein tea. The soothing tea infusion, prepared by steeping a teaspoon of mullein in a cup of water for 15 minutes, works as a natural expectorant. Have mullein tea at least 3 to 4 times daily.
The probiotics naturally found in the gut regulate the digestive system but are outnumbered by bad bacteria during flu. Fortunately, yoghurt is packed with live and active cultures that promote production of white blood cells to ward off the infection. Plain or low fat yoghurt should be given prefernce over whole or sugar containing yoghurt as the latter may exacerbate the intestinal lining.
Have yoghurt in small amounts at short intervals as having excess of it in one go can irritate the digestive tract. In case you suffer from lactose intolerance or are allergic to dairy products, have soy yoghurt or buy probiotic supplements from the pharmacy.
It is a well acknowledged fact that honey soothes the ill effects of many illnesses, especially during the flu or winter season. However, it has been noted that one type of honey delivers better results than the commonly used clover honey. Manuka honey, indigenous to New Zealand is a powerhouse of minerals, vitamins and bacteria fighting anti-oxidants. This strengthens the immune system and prevents recurrences of flu.
It is recommended to ingest one teaspoon of Manuka honey 2-3 times each day. Buckwheat honey needs special mention too. The effects of buckwheat honey have been studied, and it has been concluded that cold and cough symptoms of flu are better managed in children than medication containing dextromethorphan. Use of honey is strictly prohibited in children aged less than 1 for fear of triggering infant botulism. For ages 12 and above 2 teaspoons, of the dark coloured honey is sufficient.
Healing Touch Of Turmeric
Turmeric root has been in use as a medicinal herb for countless years, particularly in India. Curcumin, the phenolic compound, found in turmeric has powerful antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. During an influenza attack, it is advisable to mix a teaspoon of yellow turmeric powder to a cup of warm milk for frequent consumption in a day.
In fact, a study mentioned that laboratory reports showed that intake of curcumin lowered the rate of virus replication by 90%. Tablets, capsules and powder, are some of the supplements in which the flavorful herb can be used. Allow your doctor to determine the apt dosage for you (dose varies in accordance with health status and age)
Citrus fruits such as lemon, tangerines and oranges are loaded with Vitamin C, an immunity booster. Fulfill the daily requirement of the body for Vitamin C by having 1000 mg of Vitamin C thrice in a day.
The increased uptake of the vitamin by white blood cells puts the body in a better position to fight the contagious infection. Do not discontinue its intake for a minimum of ten days post recovery. This prevents the chances of relapse, if any.
Flu results in variable uncomfortable symptoms such as high fever, overall fatigue and muscle aches. Prepare your body to deal with the viral flu by taking ample bed rest. Take leave from school or work for some time as this prevents the spread of infection to others.
Prepare a natural concoction that helps deal with cough and thick mucus secretion. Ground raw ginger, black pepper, add a drizzle of apple cider vinegar and mix well. Have one teaspoon of the resulting mixture. The irritating nature of pepper activates the flow of mucus. Another alternative is to take a cup of hot water and add a table spoon of honey plus a teaspoon of powdered back pepper to it.
Steam Bath and Inhalation
Lock your bathroom door and run a hot shower for a few minutes. This turns your home bathroom into a steam room, which can ease the body ache and fatigue brought on by the illness. If fever is absent, you can even enjoy a warm bath.