7 home remedies for the flu

Medication may help tame the fever when it comes to the flu, but there are also home remedies you can try to give your spirits—and immune system—an extra boost.

7 home remedies for the flu

From chicken soup to humidifiers and garlic, learn about the home remedies that will ease the worst of your flu symptoms.

1. Eat lots of chicken soup

Chicken soup is scientifically proven to help relieve flu symptoms.

  • Chicken soup reduces mucus production by inhibiting certain types of white blood cells.
  • If your stomach can handle it, consider adding some red pepper flakes to help unclog your nose.

2. Incorporate garlic into your meals

Garlic is a powerful antibacterial and anti-fungal food that can easily be added to soups and other meals before eating.

  • In addition to garlic's ability to kill germs, it also boosts the immune system.

3. Use a humidifier and take hot baths

A humidifier or vapourizer will increase the moisture in the air and loosen mucus lodged in your chest.

  • Pair continuous humidifier use with a warm, steamy bath before bed.
  • The bath will provide extra humidity but will also add the heat needed to soothe sore muscles.

4. Try a nasal irrigation device to rinse away mucus

  • Using a nasal rinse of one-half teaspoon salt to 250 millilitres of warm, sterilized water, flush out any lingering mucus in your nostrils using a nasal irrigation device.
  • Be sure to tilt your head sideways over a sink to capture any moisture that flows through your nasal passages.

5. Gargle to tame bacteria and viruses

  • Make a simple gargle by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to 250 millilitres of warm water.
  • Using this acidic gargle will inhibit the bacteria and viruses that may lurk in your mouth.
  • To reduce a sore throat, try a gargle of a teaspoon of salt mixed with 250 millilitres of warm water.

6. Drink honey and lemon

  • Try a few teaspoons of honey and a squeeze of lemon in a glass of warm water to prevent coughing and to reduce a sore throat.
  • To prevent tooth decay, be sure to brush after drinking.

(Remember to avoid giving honey to children under one year of age.)

7. Add elderberry syrup to your drinks

Elderberry syrup or extract combined with vitamin C may reduce the duration of the flu.

  • To make a cold drink that will soothe a scratchy throat, try adding elderberry syrup and a squeeze of lemon juice to sparkling water.
  • You can also add elderberry extract or syrup and lemon juice to tea.

Home remedies

These home remedies are a great way to battle flu symptoms without taking additional medication. In addition to these tips, make sure you're drinking enough liquids and getting plenty of rest.

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