This winter the Flu is walloping Northern California. Unlike last year's mild Flu season, this Flu is a doozy with a constellation of symptoms that leave people wrung out and exhausted, achy and feverish, with coughing, headaches and sore throats.
What can you do when the flu strike? Here are some home remedies that can help ease they symptoms so that our feel better faster.
For Sore Throats
First, start with a warm salt water gargle:
- Mix 1 teaspoon of salt into 1/2 cup of warm water,and
- Gargle with the warm salt water mixture 2-3 times per day.
This helps to loosen thick mucus. The salt also acts like a magnet, drawing away the fluids that cause inflammation, and the salt also draws fluids away from the bacteria and other germs causing them to shrivel up and leave your achy throat.
Follow up with 2 Tablespoons of Honey:
- Your throat will thank you after the salt water
- Honey soothes the throat and provides a coating that protects against irritants, and
- Honey also has been shown in several studies to help quiet a cough.
Coughing causes the airways to dry out, so it's important to stay hydrated:
- Mix honey and lemon in warm water and sip on it continuously throughout the day
- Popsicle's are soothing and an easy way to get fluids, and
- Watermelon, cantaloupe, or other juicy non-acidic fruits will also help.
For Vomiting and Loss of Fluids
Don't make the common mistake of drinking plain water or plain juice right after vomiting; it will just come right back up:
- Instead mix equal amounts of a clear juice (apple, grape, cranberry) with water
- Then only sip from a teaspoon, which is 1/6 of an ounce every 5-10 minutes. The liquid will get absorbed before it reaches the stomach and will help break the cycle of vomiting, and
- If this doesn't work, it's time to give your health care provider a call.
- Use a heatproof bowl and fill with boiling water, then using a large towel draped over your head, lean over the bowl, and cover up with the towel.
The warm, moist air will help your air passages feel better and less irritated. To help your sinuses open up, you can add the following to the hot water:
- Tumeric, Vinegar or even a little Vicks Vapo Rub
- Saline Nasal Spray that's available over the counter at most drug stores can also help loosen thickened mucus, and
- For small children, make sure that the water is not too hot and monitor them closely, so that they don't get burned by the steam.
A Virtural Mask
If you're traveling or around people who are sick, there's a new product you can use to protect you from the germs in the air:
- Like a virtual mask, this new oral antiseptic spray, "Halo", catches and kills 99% of the germs in the air. Three quick sprays in the back of the throat creates a coating that stays put. You can eat or drink immediately afterwards and it lasts for 6 hours. Perfect for plane rides!
Congested Sinuses and post nasal drip can lead to difficulty breathing, especially when lying flat. Piling up extra pillows seems like an obvious answer, but they end up moving and slipping.
- Here's a trick from the ICU: Put extra pillows UNDER the mattress to elevate the head of the bed.
- For sinus pressure and pain: a warm compress over the forehead and under the eyes can help loosen thickened mucus so that it can drain.
- Ginger - Yes, ginger ale works for motion sickness and nausea, but quicker remedy is to suck on candied ginger, you don't have to swallow it, it will work even when placed under your tongue, and
- Chicken Soup - Yes, this really works! Any recipe will do and it's okay if it's take out or from a can.
I hope that these tips help you feel better faster!