Common cold and the flu are the most common forms of ailments that bother almost everyone during the course of their lives. There are various means to contract a cold or flu, and for many people it recurs throughout the year. Going to a physician thus becomes an aggravating and cumbersome process and also creates an added unnecessary yearly expense. However there are several home remedies that can be effectively used to treat a patient suffering from cold and flu remarkably quickly. These remedies also keep out the cumulative side effect of using medicines for a prolonged period.
Reasons for contracting common cold and flu:
People contract the common cold and flu in many possible ways.
- More than a hundred different viruses present in the atmosphere around us can cause the common cold.
- It is highly contagious and can spread from a sick person to a healthy one.
- The spread of the virus might be caused by touching a surface that has germs on it and then subsequently touching one’s face or mouth.
- The rhinovirus causes most of the cases of the common cold.
- Influenza viruses type A, B and C cause the flu.
- Flu vaccines are only effective against types A and B so one can always catch the flu from type C virus.
- The virus can be inhaled from the air but may also spread from contact with sick people.
What are the symptoms of a cold and flu?
Usually the following are tell-tale signs of a case of cold and flu:
- Excessive sneezing
- Runny noses
- Mild to moderately high fever
- Watery Eyes
- Bodily fatigue and exhaustion
- Cold sores
The following provides you with a list of different home remedies which can alleviate your pain and get you back up on your feet in no time:
The anti-bacterial and antiviral properties intrinsic to garlic can be a huge aid in getting relief from a cough and cold or flu. Not only will garlic assist in opening up blocked respiratory passages it also helps your body to get rid of harmful toxins.
2. Ginger Tea
The feeling of stuffiness comes hand in hand with a cold or flu. In these cases, the age old home remedy of ginger tea has no match. Mucous membranes typically remain inflamed at this juncture blocking the sinus cavity and the ginger tea helps in reducing these inflammations. A couple of tablespoons of finely chopped ginger added to warm water to which a bit of lemon juice and a few teaspoons of honey forms a marvelous concoction to use at this point of time.
Irritation of the throat is one of the most common features of a cold or flu. One of the principal things which help soothe sore throats is honey. One of the oldest home remedies for treating a cold and flu is mixing a bit of lemon juice in warm water and copious quantities of honey.
4. Drink plenty of fluids
It’s a good idea to keep your throat moist and get rid of congestions while you’re down with a bad cold and flu. While you wait for things to get better make sure to drink plenty of fluids ranging from lukewarm water to tea to ensure that you keep hydrated.
5. Breathing in steam
Another old home remedy is breathing in steam. Fill in a bowl with hot water and breathe in the steam which helps a lot in opening blocked passages and bringing relief. Adding a bit of essential oils to the hot water is also recommended since they can help in removing congestion because of their inherent fragrances.
6. Blowing your nose
Blowing your nose in specific intervals of time actually helps in the process of recovery. The mucus getting stored in your head is prone to elongate the period of your sickness, so getting rid of it periodically is a good idea but blowing too hard may result in it travelling to the ears giving you an earache.
7. Red Onions
Syrup made with red onions and raw honey can also help to reduce symptoms from cold and flu. A spoonful of the syrup taken periodically a few times throughout the day helps a lot to get relief from sore throats.
Mullein is a herb; though it is probably a bit unconventional to most people, it really helps in diluting phlegm which you can subsequently cough out. This is very helpful in cases where there is a great deal of congestion.
9. Refrain from stressful activities
The exhaustion we feel when we have a cold and flu is the body’s way of letting us know that we need to rest. Doing a lot of stressful activities during a cold or flu results in worsening of the symptoms. It is a good idea to get a lot of rest to aid the recovery.
10. Chicken Soup
Chicken soup is highly beneficial for a person suffering from the flu because it stops white blood cells from accumulating together which results in inflammation. As anticipated the warm liquid also serves in thinning out the mucus and also provides nourishment to the weakened body.
11. Salt water Gargle
One of the most time-tested remedies to recover quickly from a cold and flu is to gargle frequently with lukewarm water. A teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water is all you need. This soothes the sore throat and provides relief over time.
12. Elderberry syrup
Elderberry syrup is also a very common homemade remedy. One tablespoon in frequent intervals can aid in recovery a lot.
13. Use a warm compress
A warm cloth spread over the forehead or the nose helps immensely in getting rid of sinus pains and lingering headaches. Warm compresses are also very effective in reducing pain from cold sores.
14. Mustard Plaster
Chest congestions are a common occurrence with the flu. Add water to crushed mustard seeds so that it forms a paste. Adding this salve to the chest helps a lot to get rid of congestion, enhance blood circulation and help in the overall recovery of the sick person.
How can you prevent from getting cold and flu?
The following are precautions you can take to avoid cold and flu:
- Avoid direct contact with sick people.
- Wash your hands properly before every meal.
- Refrain from touching your face or mouth with your hands when not at home.
- Try to stay away from large crowds of people during flu season.
- Cardiac exercises help a lot as well.
- Refrain from smoking as it compromises the immune system.
- Make sure common or shared spaces are cleaned regularly.
The home remedies mentioned above are highly useful in cases of a cold and flu. Since frequent use of pills will eventually cause side effects or effect the immune system in the long run, using these natural home remedies to battle simple cases of the cold and flu seems to be the more rational and intelligent choice.