Winter is here and that means it’s time to wrap ourselves in multiple layers. It’s the time to sip on soups and warm drinks while staying bundled inside our homes. It’s also the time that we should take extra care of ourselves. Even if you are one of the careful ones, there is no knowing if you wouldn’t be hit with influenza. After all, millions of people get flu every year, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
Many people opt for the annual flu vaccines since it reduces the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations, and even the risk of flu-related death in children. However, if you are not immunized and have been hit by it here are some home remedies to alleviate the symptoms. As always, take the advice of your doctor if it isn’t in your control.
Try these six things out at home to feel relief from a blocked nose, body pain, and other symptoms:
1. Drink warm broth
One of the best ways to stay hydrated during this time is by drinking warm chicken or beef bone broth. It can help alleviate the nose and sinus congestion. Bone broth is a good option being high in protein and minerals like sodium and potassium, according to Healthline. When you are sick, your body will need more proteins and minerals to get better. There are readymade products available but opt for one with low sodium.
2. Gargle with saline/salt water
Warm salt water does the dual job of soothing a sore throat and clearing mucus. It can also help with stuffy ears, according to WebMD. And it’s simple enough to do at home. Boil water and let it cool until it’s warm. Mix half teaspoon of salt to eight ounces of warm water. Gargle for about 10 to 30 seconds to rinse your mouth and throat with it. Spit the water and repeat two to four times. Don’t drink the salt water and it’s better to not let children try it until they can gargle plain water.
3. Use a salve under your nose
If you have been under the weather and have a stuffy nose, try dabbing a mentholated salve under your nose so you can breathe better. It clears the breathing passages and eases the irritated skin at the base. Products with menthol, eucalyptus, and camphor, which have mild numbing ingredients, can ease the pain of a chaffed nose. The salve should be put on the outside of the nose and under it only. Don’t put it inside the nose, according to WebMD.
4. Consume warm fluids and water
Keeping yourself hydrated is more important when you have either respiratory or stomach flu. Fluids will keep your nose, mouth, and throat moist, which is the easiest way to be rid of built-up mucus and phlegm. Being unwell also dehydrates you unless you are eating and drinking the right things. Two of the most symptoms of flu, diarrhea, and fever, can cause water loss in the body. So, just drink up.
It goes without saying that the only way to recover in good time is by resting. Even if you feel unproductive, be a couch potato and curl up under warm covers. Keep yourself covered and protected from the elements. Sleep improves the immune system, so rest a lot because that’s how your body can fight the virus. Don’t worry about the chores and responsibilities for a few days and just take care of yourself because that’s the fastest way to recovery.
6. Breathe in steam
One of the simplest and fastest ways to getting rid of the stuffiness in your nose is by breathing in some steam. Boil water in a pot and once you remove it from the heat, place it on a heat-resistant surface. Drape a towel over your head and take in the steam wafting from the pot. Breathe in the steam deeply. Dr. David Kiefer, clinical instructor of family medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, told WebMD that adding a drop or two of peppermint or eucalyptus oil to the water gives it some extra power to beat congestion.