The season of cold and flu got you under the weather? Well, you’re not alone, our coughing, sneezing, drippy-nosed friends. But before you run to the pharmacy for over-the-counter medicines, here’s a PSA for you: you can kick that flu to the curb without relying on OTC medicines, or leaving your home for that matter. Here are some ways how –
Breathe easy with steam inhalation
The best way to relieve a stuffy nose, far and wide! When you have a congested nose, inhaling steam 2-3 times a day through a vaporizer device or a bowl of hot water can help loosen up mucus in the nasal passage and lungs and help you breathe better. You can also add some eucalyptus oil to help relieve your congestion further.
Garage the pain away with warm water
One of the most effective remedies for a sore, painful throat is a warm water + salt gargle. While it may not provide you with immediate relief, it’s a great remedy to kill the bacteria or virus while loosening mucus and easing throat pain. Simply heat up some water, a pinch or 2 of salt, and gargle away! Repeat 3-4 times a day for faster results.
Drink hot liquids
Hot liquids relieve nasal congestion, prevent dehydration, and soothe the uncomfortably inflamed membranes that line your nose and throat. If you're so congested that you can't sleep at night, try a hot toddy – an age-old remedy, that genuinely works! Make a cup of hot herbal tea. Add one teaspoon of honey and one small shot of whiskey or bourbon. Limit yourself to one. Too much alcohol will inflame the membranes and make you feel worse. Alternatively, simply make yourself a cup of hot ginger, turmeric, peppermint, or lemon tea to give your throat some temporary relief.
Indulge in infection-fighting foods
Your diet and what you put in your body play a huge role in your health, especially when you’re sick. If you’re down with a cold and flu, make sure you’re eating vitamin-rich food to help combat your allergies. Here are a few –
- Soups and broths – think clear soap or tom-yum if you need something more flavorful. Avoid cream-based soups.
- Ginger and garlic – great ingredients to add flavor to your food and simultaneously help relieve congestion!
- Honey – a spoonful of honey makes for a great addition to hot teas. Its anti-bacterial properties will help you battle the flu and soothe your throat.
- Vitamin-C-rich foods – fruits like oranges and strawberries and veggies like peppers and broccoli are rich in Vitamin C, making them rich in antioxidants which can support your overall health and immune system.
Rest it out
And finally, try being patient and rest up. Staying warm and resting when you first come down with a cold or the flu helps your body direct its energy toward battling your allergies, which is a must in getting better. Remember that these annoying symptoms that you are feeling are part of the healing process. As they say, it’s got to get a little worse before it gets a little better. And, no better excuse to binge-watch your favourite TV shows, right? :)
*If your flu lasts longer than a week and you experience unusual symptoms like difficulty in breathing, high temperature, and chest pain, please consult a doctor. The methods suggested above are to treat mild-moderate flu symptoms only.